Understanding identity development : a longitudinal study of professional identity development in educational psychology graduate students
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This study highlights how graduate studies involve students in building their professional identity by social roles, positions, and discourse skills in the process of professional training. The research question addressed in this study is whether the new roles and situations encountered by graduate students bring constraints and expectations. I was hoping to contribute to the literature on understanding how graduate students build new identities as researchers, and at a more theoretical level, to developing insight into the connection between identity and professional identity construction. The result presented as the central phenomenon of a grounded theory model, professional disciplinary enculturation was influenced by previous job and education experiences and current academic and personal relationships. The disciplinary training influenced by coursework, and research and writing projects seemed to support the students’ identity development, even as the enculturation process was experienced as emotionally taxing to different degrees and required the (re)shaping of identity and discourse practices.