Reflecting on the Journey Towards Identity and Belonging During Professional Doctoral Study
Keywords:identity, belonging, community of practice, identity congruence
The Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) is a doctoral level professional qualification for practising teachers that affords the opportunity to research an area of practice of particular interest. Many EdD students encounter mixed feelings, emotions and new identities as many could be leaders within their employment and seen as ‘experts’ in their role, however, they may find themselves on the periphery of a new community of which they are yet to feel a part. This reflective paper explores the role of ‘identity’ and ‘belonging’ in Professional Doctoral students with particular emphasis placed on situated learning theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and the notion of communities of practice. I discuss the idea of ‘identity congruence’ and how I experienced this in terms of my identity as a leader of learning and as a fledgling doctoral researcher. The paper concludes that communities of practice promote a sense of community and belonging that have clearly supported me through the doctoral journey.
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