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Teilprojekt 2

Identitätsbildung im fachfremden Unterricht


Melanie Gürentz, Kathrin Otrel-Cass & Margit Raich

Newly hired teachers entering the teaching profession undergo a complex journey of identity formation when they are transitioning from diverse professional backgrounds to a new role in education (Beauchamp and Lynn, 2009; Feser and Haak, 2023). This thesis aims at exploring the multifaceted aspects of identity construction of career movers and the important role of emotions in this process. This process can be seen as even more complex when career changers are assigned to teach out-of-field. The possible challenges career changers face will be qualitatively analyzed using individual interviews, focus group discussions, and classroom observations. Eight career changers will be recruited and accompanied throughout the school year of 2024/2025.

Challenges and opportunities which are related to out-of-field teaching (OOF) have a direct impact on the identity formation, as well as on the professional development of teachers (Hobbs, 2013; Nixon et al., 2017.) In addition, there seems to be a complex connection between “emotional experiences and teacher identity development” (Arslan, 2023, p.1543). Especially the first few years of teaching are perceived as being the most challenging ones, in particular for novice teachers who are assigned to teach out-of-field (Napier et al., 2020; Nixon et al., 2017). Teacher identity is influenced by various factors and is therefore subject to an on-going transformation and change (Feser and Haak, 2023).

The development of a teacher identity is strongly connected with emotions experienced in the classroom setting (Feser and Haak, 2023; Beauchamp &Thomas, 2009; Arslan, 2023). This refers to experiences where teachers assume to fulfill the emotional, as well as intellectual needs of their students.

If out-of-field teachers do not know what students need for optimal subject-specific support, or where subject specific challenges are localized, tensions may arise. Especially when teachers subjectively perceive their teaching as successful.


Arslan, O. (2023). Investigating beginning mathematics teachers’ teacher identity development through emotion diaries. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 54(8), 1541-1556.

Beauchamp, C., & Thomas, L. (2009). Understanding teacher identity: An overview of issues in the literature and implications for teacher education. Cambridge journal of education, 39(2), 175-189.

Feser, M. S., & Haak, I. (2023). Key features of teacher identity: a systematic meta-review study with special focus on teachers of science or science-related subjects. Studies in Science Education, 59(2), 287-320.

Hobbs, L. (2013). Teaching ‘out-of-field’ as a boundary-crossing event: Factors shaping teacher identity. International journal of science and mathematics education, 11, 271-297.

Napier, J. B., Luft, J. A., & Singh, H. (2020). In the classrooms of newly hired secondary science teachers: The consequences of teaching in-field or out-of-field. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 31(7), 802-820.

Nixon, R. S., Luft, J. A., & Ross, R. J. (2017). Prevalence and predictors of out‐of‐field teaching in the first five years. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(9), 1197-1218.

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