Research has shown that teachers’ professional identities are frequently represented as and conceived to be fixed and free of conflict. Semi-structured interviews and visual metaphors were used in this qualitative study to investigate the perspectives of self-described activist teachers regarding their experiences with integrating their activism into their professional practice and identity. The theoretical framework for this study was informed by the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, Dorothy Holland, William Lachicotte, Debra Skinner, and Carol Cain. The research findings described how activism and professionalism are reconciled by participants who see themselves as both activists and professional educators, despite the tensions between these commitments. The intensity with which ‘professional expectations’ were felt to constrain and limit both the character and the educational value of activism suggests, however, that there may be considerable value in enlarging opportunities for teachers to talk about the importance of activism in their professional practices and identity-development.
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