SMERU Research Institute
A Policy Lens on Becoming a Teacher: A Longitudinal Diary Study of Novice Teacher Professional Identity Formation in Indonesia
The early years of a teacher’s career are crucial to the formation of their professional identity—a complex process of reconciling their personal attributes with the demands of the profession. This study explores the identity formation of novice teachers in Indonesia and seeks to identify the various aspects that shape this process. Specifically, we examine how Indonesia’s current teacher policy landscape affects novice teachers’ perspectives on teaching and their profession. Through a longitudinal bimonthly diary study conducted over two years, we find that the novice teachers’ stories about their identity development revolve around five themes: initial motivation to enter the profession, beliefs about teaching and the teaching profession, satisfaction with working conditions, perceptions about major challenges during the early years, and commitment to the teaching profession and career aspiration. Our findings show that individual teachers’ personal attributes do influence the formation of their identities as teachers, but teacher policies and working conditions influence this process to a greater extent. Without support, novice teachers struggle to navigate the tension between their ideals, limited resources, and inconsistent teacher policies. These findings suggest it is necessary to redefine what it means to be a teacher by characterising the observable qualities of good teaching, linking them to student learning, and rectifying teacher policies in the Indonesian education system to be coherent with these characteristics.
Alifia, U., Pramana, R.P., and Revina, S. 2022. A Policy Lens on Becoming a Teacher: A Longitudinal Diary Study of Novice Teacher Professional Identity Formation in Indonesia. RISE Working Paper Series. 22/096. https://doi.org/10.35489/BSG-RISE-WP_2022/096