Teacher Possible Selves: How Thinking about the Future Contributes to the Formation of Professional Identity

Doug Hamman, Fanni Coward, Leah Johnson, Matthew Lambert, L. Zhou, John Indiatsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Researchers see the value of future-oriented thinking for teacher development. Inthis study, ten teacher candidates (Elementary = 1; Middle-level = 2; Secondary = 6; All-level = 1) from a large university in the southwestern United States were interviewed about their teacher "possible selves," and the regulative role these had on learning-to-teach behaviors. We found that all participants regulated behaviors through the use of strategies; used future thinking to gather information about progress; and derived incentive about themselves as teachers. We also found that for many participants possible selves changed, in a relatively short period of time, in response to reflection, mentors and experiences. This work contributes to a growing body of evidence concerning the usefulness of teacher identity in thinking about teacher development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-336
Number of pages30
JournalSelf and Identity
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2013



  • Possible selves theory
  • Reflection
  • Self-regulation
  • Teacher development
  • Teacher identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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