Purdue University Graduate School
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A Cultivation of Civic Identity in Teacher Education: Stories of Preservice Teachers

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posted on 2018-12-19, 20:44 authored by Erin N. VaughnErin N. Vaughn
The United States continues to become increasingly more diverse, demanding civic engagement that extends beyond personal responsibility such as obeying laws and voting and requiring a citizenry capable of disrupting the status quo and enacting social change that contributes to a more equitable and just society. Education plays a vital role in this civic development; therefore, preservice teachers must be prepared to teach for critical citizenship education. Using narrative inquiry, this study explored how five preservice teachers with more critical civic identities made sense of their teacher education experiences in relation to civic identity development. The findings of the study revealed how teacher education programs fostered uncomfortable, but transformative, learning experiences that promoted the preservice teachers’ senses of understanding and empathy for those whose identities and lived experiences were different than their own. Additionally, the findings illuminated the preservice teachers’ understandings of the interplay between identity and power as they examined how their own civic values and engagement contributed to patterns of privilege and/or oppression in society. The study builds on the literature base that explores preservice teacher civic identity and continues the conversation regarding what type of teacher education experiences foster the construction of more critical civic identities.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Curriculum and Instruction

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Kathryn Obenchain

Additional Committee Member 2

Anatoli Rapoport

Additional Committee Member 3

JoAnn Phillion

Additional Committee Member 4

Phillip VanFossen