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Scholarship Essays

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Fulbright Scholarship Essay Example - Opening Statement

Opening Statement

As we move into the 21st century, many national and local education systems are considering how best to meet the changing needs and demands they face. One result is an increased interest in teachers, since they are the ones who will eventually implement any changes being considered. Understanding who teachers are, and how they see themselves, becomes increasingly important as educators, policy makers, and communities consider what they want their educational system to do and be. This seems especially important at this time, when many teacher training programs, such as those in [host country], are facing major reforms and restructuring. Educational research and literature often recognize that teacher identity is a key factor that influences teachers' sense of purpose, self-efficacy, motivation, commitment, job satisfaction and effectiveness, and that teacher identities are shaped by the broader social, cultural, political, and economic conditions in which they live and work…. While the concept of identity is often cited in educational research and theory, critical explorations into individual teachers' personal and professional identities have been relatively rare, as have attempts to understand that identity construction within a national context. Yet such analysis is important if we want to understand how the teaching force is constructed as a historical, political, and social actor within a particular national context. In this way, we gain insight into the ways in which teacher identities influence teacher practice, and how that practice is related to broader social and cultural contexts.

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