A Teacher's Progress - professional identity development, gender transition and drama praxis

  • Lyndsay Muir

Student thesis: Phd


This portfolio thesis is born out of professional and personal experience, as a teacher, teacher educator, drama specialist and transwoman with lived experience of gender transitioning. A pilot project, Tea with Trans (TwT) explores the creation of literal and metaphorical spaces, through which authentic human encounters can take place with a view to both demystifying transgender people and exploring processes of becoming. The thesis is embedded in scholarly enquiry in the academic disciplinary fields of Trans Studies and Teacher Education and brings these two fields into dialogue through practice research in the setting of UK Initial Teacher Education (ITE). Dialogic practices from TwT are applied in developing drama praxis to support the professional identity development of trainee teachers as a transitional process within a one-year ITE course. This is an annual, iterative process and the thesis identifies one specific cycle (2018-2019) for data collection and analysis. The thesis proposes professional identity development as more than the adoption of a set of prescribed skills and behaviours and instead as a holistic process. Overall, the thesis argues that becoming a professional teacher is an embodied, emotional and psycho-social process of becoming and performing as teacher, and not merely cerebral or indeed instrumental. As part of this, it shows that disciplinary thinking/approaches associated with Trans Studies provide a fruitful as well as robust framework for professional transitioning. A Teacher's Progress offers a proposal for drama-based praxis through which experiences as trainees can be distilled, located and shaped to create self-sustaining identities as teachers.
Date of Award1 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAlison Jeffers (Supervisor) & Jennifer Hughes (Supervisor)


  • Applied Drama
  • Drama education
  • Applied Theatre
  • Trans Studies
  • Gender transitioning
  • Drama praxis
  • Teacher education
  • Professional identity development
  • Teacher training

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