The theory of possible selves, as proposed by Marcus and Nurius (1986), framed a two-staged instrumental case study designed to give voice to an often-neglected source of insight: teacher candidates. The collection and analysis of hopes, fears, and process strategies gathered from a cross-section of thirteen candidates and alumni from a private Midwestern institution informed teacher educator practice and increased understanding in regards to influences that shaped teacher identity development. The applied theoretical framework allowed for the assessment of participants’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions, aided in the identification of perceived preparation needs, and enabled an appraisal of program effectiveness. Findings affirmed the utilitarian, investigative, and evaluative qualities of the theory of possible selves. Embedded use of the reflective framework throughout coursework may motivate and regulate candidate actions and yield adaptive experts capable of nurturing identity development beyond the preparation duration.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License