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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation eTheses
Title: Exploring Professional Identity Development in Higher Education: A Social Identity Approach
Author(s): Abas, Bahijah
Supervisor(s): Summers, Juliette
Webster, William
Keywords: professional identity development
higher education
Social Identity Approach
Issue Date: Mar-2018
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Higher education provides a platform for students to prepare themselves for the world of work. In an effort to engage students with their intended profession, this study focuses on how students in higher education develop their professional identity. The social identity approach comprises of Tajfel’s (1974) Social Identity Theory (SIT) and Turner’s (1985) Self-Categorisation Theory (SCT) were adopted as a guiding framework. A qualitative paradigm was employed as it allows the students’ professional identity development to be examined in detail and in depth. An interpretive approach was adopted to understand the reality of the students’ identity as it is perceived and experienced by the students. Studies have been done on students undergoing teacher education programmes. A total of 80 student teachers undergoing a bachelor of education and postgraduate teacher education programme in the biggest teacher education institution in Malaysia were recruited in this study. A focus group was conducted to obtain detailed information of group perception and evaluation. The interview data were transcribed verbatim, and subsequently analysed to facilitate the development of themes. This study provides an important insight on how the students define themselves as a member of one occupational group, and how the membership in the group gave their behaviour a distinct meaning. The findings of this study confer implication for practice with a particular reference on how to motivate students to achieve and maintain a positive social identity of their intended profession, and develop a professional identity during their socialisation process at higher education institutions.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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