A identidade profissional docente de professores universitários: um estudo dialógico

Translated title of the contribution: University teachers’ professional identity: a dialogical study

Research output: ThesisNon-UWA Thesispeer-review


The present study aimed to discover whether it is possible to produce changes in teachers’ professional identity based on sharing representations, between teachers and students, about what happens in class during a term at university. The teachers’ professional identity is herein understood as unitary and multiple, continuous and discontinuous, individual and social, constituting a process of permanent negotiation among the distinct teachers’ self-positions at individual, social, and cultural levels. The main indicators of this identity are the representations and perceptions that the teacher possesses about his academic roles, conceptions about the meaning of teaching, learning, and evaluating his own subject, as well as the feelings related to his functions. Changes in teachers’ professional identity concern fluctuations in any of these indicators. The proposal of the present work was to continue a pilot study, in which it was determined that teachers’ formation based on critical incidents could be appropriate to analyze teachers’ self-positions, reflect about them, and evaluate the possibility of changing them, therefore affecting teachers’ professional identity. Critical incident is a situation full of tension which defies the current configuration of the self system. It is here recognized that the identity process takes place in the exchange of representations and that the student is an essential partner in reflection. The participants of this study were four university teachers and their students. Data were constructed employing electronic media. Questionnaires were created essentially using open questions. The answers to the following questions were pursued: (1) Is there any congruence between the perception of students and teachers about the atmosphere in class, the teacher–student relationship, the development of the subject, and the perception of critical incidents during class?; (2) What strategies are used by teachers to cope with situations that involve strong emotional burden?; (3) How do teachers react when they know the students’ point of view about their teaching?; (4) Could the fact of knowing the students’ point of view promote reconfigurations in any of the teachers’ indicators of identity and change their professional identity? This study confirmed the results of the pilot study, which had indicated that the perception of critical incidents by teachers and students does not coincide. The critical incident is sensed by the one that suffers its effects emotionally. Regarding the atmosphere in class, the teacher–student relationship, and the development of the subject, it was observed that a synchronism of perceptions may exist at a very high level, depending on how the teacher relates with his role as an educator. Teachers who were not aware of what was happening around them had to cope with strong negative emotions. The method of shared reports proved to be an effective formation tool to: (1) motivate the teacher to better reflect about his action, promoting changes in it and in his managerial strategies in class; (2) destabilize the self system when the teacher does not recognize the fundamental alterity of the educational process; (3) reinforce stabilized professional identities. For further studies, in addition to a cross-sectional project, it is also necessary to implement the method herein employed using a broader sample.
Translated title of the contributionUniversity teachers’ professional identity: a dialogical study
Original languagePortuguese
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade de Brasília
Thesis sponsors
Award date16 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


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