The professional agency of teacher educators amid academic discourses

Päivi Hökkä, Anneli Eteläpelto, Helena Rasku-Puttonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Agency has been seen as fundamental in the renegotiation of professional identities. However, it is unclear how teacher educators exercise their professional agency in their work, and how multiple discourses frame and restrict the practice of their professional agency. This study examines how teacher educators practise agency in negotiating their professional identities amid the multiple discourses emerging from the academic context of their work. The aim was to investigate educators' locally expressed professional agency in the context of the more global discourses that may construct teacher educator identities. The analysis made use of applied thematic discursive analysis to address patterns of talk relating to teacher educators' manifestations of agency within their work as teachers and researchers. Professional agency was found to be strong in the construction of their teacher identity. By contrast, the construction of their researcher identity was subjugated, complex and characterised by a lack of resources. Furthermore, teaching and researching were mainly described as two separate functions. In discussion these findings are analysed to show what they imply for the renegotiation of teacher educators' professional identities and for the development of teacher education in an academic institution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-102
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • discourse analysis
  • professional agency
  • research-based teacher education
  • researcher identity
  • teacher educator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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