Professionalism and Professional Identity in American Expatriate English Teachers in Abu Dhabi Public Secondary Schools
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This study highlights how American teachers of English new to Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi public schools perceive the concepts of professionalism and professional identity. The study also examines if this perception changes for the participant group as they become more experienced in their new settings. Using qualitative research methods, specifically semi-structured interviews, which were be analyzed according to an inductive reasoning approach (Patton, 2002) and reconciled with extant theoretical perspectives, through this, the study sought to describe the interaction between the participants’ perceptions of professionalism and professional identity and their own reflections on their practice. The theoretical perspective on professionalism and professional identity is drawn from Goodson and Hargreaves’ model of “postmodern professionalism” from their 1996 book Teachers’ Professional Lives. Additional perspectives on teacher identity derived from the analysis of identity formation as found in Connelly and Clandinin (1999); Beijaard, Verloop, and Vermut (2000), and Gee (2001). My final objective for this study was to develop conclusions about how teachers’ perspectives of themselves as professionals and of teaching as a profession are impacted through the experience of being an expatriate teacher in Abu Dhabi public schools.