Teacher professionalization in the age of social networking sites: Identifying major tensions and dilemmas
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As teacher education students become professionals, they face a number of tensions related to identity, social participation, and work-life balance, which may be further complicated by social networking sites (SNS). This qualitative study sought to articulate tensions that arose between professionalization influences and teacher education student participants’ SNS participation. Findings suggest that some expectations of professionalization in SNS cut deeply into participants’ self-concept and that tensions arose surrounding unclear expectations of professionalization and fears related to political and religious expression. The study’s implications are: Teachers need to (a) consider how participation in SNS may impact their identity, (b) understand how moral turpitude is defined in their communities and how their behavior aligns with these standards, and (c) carefully explore how they can maintain meaningful social connections in online spaces as they pass through new phases of life and seek to become professionals.
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