Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Anne McGill-Franzen

Committee Members

Richard Allington, Amy Broemmel, Trena Paulus


New Internet and communication technologies (ICTs) facilitate collaboration and interaction among teachers. The increased presence of web-based tools in education settings prompted this qualitative inquiry. Widely available and inexpensive, these webbased tools (e.g., blogs, wikis, podcasts) provide opportunities for publishing content online. This multiple case study explores the sociocultural construct of identity formation (Holland & Lachicotte, 2007) of four first-year teachers who voluntarily blogged about their experiences. Data sources include the blog posts written by participants during the 2006-07 school year and responses to an electronic questionnaire emailed to participants at the end of the year. A qualitative content analysis (Alaszewski, 2006) was conducted to identify emergent themes in the data. Analysis was guided by a set of dimensions drawn from the research literature on teacher identity and grounded in the data. Findings represent six dimensions of teacher identity that include pedagogical, personal, intuitive, intellectual, social, and political aspects of teaching. The following conclusions were drawn by the researcher: (1) new teachers who capitalize on the affordances of blogging generate feedback from readers that substantiates their experiences and provides encouragement in times of struggle, (2) new teachers rely on their own educational histories to shape themselves as teachers, and (3) new teachers want a “safe place” to interact with other teachers, so much so that concerns about privacy, security and critique are outweighed by the benefits of communicating with other teachers through blogging.

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