This paper reports on a self-study where I take an autoethnographic stance in narrating my cultural origins, trajectory and identities as a teacher turned teacher educator working in the field of education in Ireland. Using self-study, I explore how my habitus has influenced my experiences of being a biology teacher at second level to teaching STEM education on initial teacher education programmes. Autoethnographic self-study is the hybrid approach used to describe and systematically analyse my experiences and learning as I struggle with a transitioning identity. The integrated use of both self-study and autoethnographic approaches enabled a deepened understanding of my professional practice and my embedded professional identity. Emergent findings from inductive analysis of multiple data sources from students, colleagues and my own reflections on my practice provide opportunities for rich description on three key domains. I present how reflection on the cultural self can lead to personal/professional growth and how seeing and hearing beyond my “self” facilitates significant and holistic professional learning. Finally, I discuss how my professional growth or stagnation as a STEM practitioner is predicated and mediated by meaningful collaboration with others.


autoethnography, self-study, professional identity, STEM education, professional growth

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Miriam Hamilton is a Lecturer in Science Education in the Department of STEM Education in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland. Please direct correspondence to miriam.hamilton@mic.ul.ie.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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