Using possible-selves theory to understand the identity development of new teachers

Doug Hamman, Kevin Gosselin, Jacqueline Romano, Rommel Bunuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Questions about identity and future success often occupy the thinking of individuals during life transitions. Possible-selves theory describes how future-oriented thought provides identity-relevant information and motivation to pursue self-relevant goals. Expected and feared possible selves of beginning teachers (n= 221) were analyzed revealing four main categories (i.e., interpersonal relationships, classroom management, instruction, and professionalism). Differences between student and beginning inservice teachers suggest a transitional trajectory that could have implications for understanding the " how" of teacher identity development. Possible-selves theory may help bring a degree of unity across divergent frameworks and help link identity to broader issues of teacher development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1361
Number of pages13
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Possible-selves theory
  • Teacher development
  • Teacher identity
  • Teacher preparation
  • Teacher resilience


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