An affinity for learning: Teacher identity and powerful professional development

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Professional development (PD) for teachers is widely variable in its effectiveness. Efforts to improve PD at scale are complicated by the tremendous heterogeneity among teachers: what works for one teacher may work not at all for another. Using the lens of professional identity to analyze teachers’ perceptions of PD, I present and discuss five in-depth teacher accounts of their most powerful professional learning experiences, concluding that professional identity is a durable (but malleable) filter through which teachers interpret professional learning. I offer implications for how a better understanding of professional identity could be used to improve PD design and policy.

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Last updated on 08/24/2018