University of Illinois at Chicago

The Interior Lives of Early Career English Teachers Narratives, Stances, and Symbiosis

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posted on 2023-05-01, 00:00 authored by Duane Bernard Davis
The interior lives of teachers have come into focus during the last three years of school in a global pandemic. The ways that teachers' lived experience impacts the choice to become a teacher, the way they approach their training, the choices they make in the classroom and ultimately who they are as a professional are defined by who they are and what they have done. This study explores three questions. First, what narratives do early career English teachers share? These narratives are their self-reported versions of their life story that inform the decisions they make and how they interact with young people. It informs their “why” to get up and teach every day. The second question this study addresses is “What stances do early career high school English teachers take about their beliefs about teaching?” Lastly, "how do their narratives about their lives shape what they believe about teaching?" This qualitative descriptive case study was conducted to, in part, describe the connection, if one exists, between their lived experiences and how these experiences shape their beliefs about their roles and their impact as teachers. Data collected using interviews that explored the perceptions of four teachers showed certain shared narratives. The power of language, the importance of perseverance, the magnitude of the impact of school environments, all prove to impact their teacher beliefs and suggest that these narratives should be considered in matters of pedagogy, policy and human capital.



Razfar, Aria


Razfar, Aria


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Stovall, David O Humphries, Marisha Muhammad, Gholnescar Brown, Ayanna

Submitted date

May 2023

Thesis type



  • en

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