Case Study of Teachers' Role Identity Construction in Open Universities: From the Perspective of Symbolic lnteractionism and Constructivism
The historical transformation from Radio and Television University to Open University demands teachers' role changes. Based on the realistic situation of the role experience， role predicament and identity choice of the marginalized teacher in the Open University system ， this study invited four Open University teachers as research participants ， and investigated the following three research questions : what are the characteristics of Open University teachers' role identity? What is the process of the role identity construction? What is the role identity impact on individual teachers' professional development and institutions? Through the generic， contextual， and trans-case analysis of the data collected through in-depth interviews ， participated observations and documents ， we explored their role participation status ， the four types of role identity salience ， the trend of role identity and the characteristics of the meaning system of their role cognition. Findings are summarized as follows: The four role identity salience constructed by the research participants included teaching experts on face to face teaching ， experts on online tutoring and teaching design ， online teaching experts and researchers， research experts in the academic community. Three teachers who were fully involved in role participation achieved career fulfillment and happiness ; the other one that marginally involved in the role participation was of more loss and confusion. Two participant teachers tended to achieve increasingly high identity; one teacher sustained a low identity; as well as the other one showed a downward trend. The meaning system of their role cognition included the following four aspects: 1 ) the questioned role environment of ＂de-professionalization， resource development agencies， prominent administrative powers and declined teaching power＂ ; 2) the appeal that the responsibility and orientation of teachers' role should focus on ＂teaching＂ instead of＂ course management＂ and teachers should have the knowledge and ability to integrate information technology with teaching activities ; 3 ) the expected role transformation to online collaborative teaching ; 4) the professional development based on each type of role identity salience. The role identity could be constructed through the negotiation with the reification of teaching roles in Open University: ＂presiding teacher＂ ， in the realm of orientation， responsibility， ability， and behavioral criteria. Role identity could be socially constructed in the negotiation with multiple roles， as well as in the decision between the forms of boundary practices of resource construction， content provision， subject teaching， teaching design， and technical support. The role identity could be constructed through the negotiation on the symbolic meanings of subjectivity and reification ， specialization and generalization ， equalization and restriction， variability and fixity when interacting with the Open University organization and the communities of practice. Finally， the paper discussed social structure and teachers' self-efficacy and agency which affected the role identity construction. This paper also discussed approaches related to government legislation and Open University ' s teacher management to promote teachers ' role identity construction and professional development.
|關鍵詞||开放大学教师、角色认同、专业发展、实践共同体、teachers in Open Universities、role identity、professional development、community of practice|