Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Dynamics of Identity and Transformative Education in the Teaching Profession

Dr. Jane Thielemann, Dr Robert Johnson.

Changing trends in the United States public school system have brought new faces to the teaching profession as adults with prior careers have entered the teaching profession at a surprising rate. A teacher’s professional identity and ideology becomes established as the individual acculturates into the profession; however, that identity must not be considered fixed, but rather fluid and shifting depending upon personal experiences and school culture. This ability to accept growth and change makes possible for a teacher to develop a transformative outlook towards teaching and perceive the teaching profession as one where equity and social justice can exist. Teachers are often confronted by hidden values and cultures of the school system-- racism, classism, sexism—and the “dumbing down” of the academic curriculum when preparing urban students. The question then becomes: Does one succumb to the dominant school culture or resist and create an empowering environment for students to expand their possibilities as critical thinkers and actors in their lives?


Dr. Jane Thielemann  (United States)
Associate Professor
Department of Urban Education
University of Houston Downtown

Dr Robert Johnson  (United States)

University of Houston Downtown

  • Critical pedagogy
  • Non-traditional teachers
  • Professional identity

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)