Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

David Gabbard, Ed.D.

Major Advisor

Norm Friesen, Ph.D.


Michele Carney, Ph.D.


Richard Osguthorpe, Ph.D.


This qualitative study explores how discourse communicates professional identities for mathematics in a context of pedagogical reform. The central research question is: In a case of mandatory mathematics professional development, what professional identities for mathematics are expressed, (re)constructed, and negotiated through discourse? This study takes a poststructuralist approach to discourse analysis. The purpose is to describe ways discourse communicates professional identities, or understandings about what it means to be a good mathematics teacher, in a context that may ask teachers to change their pedagogical practice. Data were collected by recording a mandatory, full-day professional development meeting for mathematics teachers of grades 6-8. Transcriptions of the meeting were analyzed using Gee’s (2005, 2014) method of discourse analysis. The analysis revealed that discourse communicated a range of positions relative to the pedagogical philosophy presented in the professional development. Through these positions, negotiations of issues of responsibility to students and to the system were taking place. These positions reveal professional identities based on different epistemological beliefs and moral purposes. Emotions, obligations, and values worked as discursive resources for communicating one’s position. Recommendations for professional development include providing opportunities for teachers to discuss and negotiate issues of responsibility both to the students and to a larger system.