The professional identity of undergraduate students during their academic studies: A case study in Greece



This paper studies how undergraduate students of preschool education perceive their professional identity during their studies. Written affirmations of the study participants (n=46) reflecting on their educational experiences within the framework of an experiential approach in the kindergarten were collected. The qualitative data analysis revealed two significant findings: Firstly, the professional identity is shaped in correlation to the period of undergraduate studies, which can be analyzed in three non-standard time phases (past, present, future) that are discriminated depending on practical-experiential exercises (past and present) and on the completion of university studies as well as the subsequent career path (future). Secondly, it became apparent that the students’ opinions about their identity are presented through a self-referential approach (relating to their own work as educators) or through hetero-referential approaches (relating to other individual from the school environment).


Professional identity, undergraduate students, early childhood education, practicum, educational experience

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