Professional teacher identity is an important element in teaching. A teacher who rightfully identifies with teaching can be capable of helping learners achieve. Professional teacher identity needs to be addressed starting from pre-service level for preparation of effective teachers. This paper explores how Early Childhood Development and Foundation Phase (ECD and FP) pre-service teachers in South Africa construct professional teacher identity. A qualitative study in which six pre-service teachers participated was used. Using propositions from Bourdieu’s habitus theory and Wenger’s community of practice theory, pre-service teachers ‘narratives were analysed to find out how they construct professional teacher identity. From the findings, they constructed professional teacheridentity using dispositions influenced from their personal histories, personal attributes (beliefs and values), prior experiences and teacher education. These findings have implications for teacher education programmes.
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