What is required for me to call me by my profession? What is required for someone to be able to claim a professional identity? What must I know, what kind of attitudes should I have, how should I look?
For my part, I started pondering questions like these when I studied to become an electrician. When I chose to change profession, and become a teacher in philosophy and history the questions followed me as I developed my teacher identity.
I worked mostly at upper secondary schools focusing on vocational programs, and I noticed how several of my students developed and reassessed their personal identities in relation to their professional identities.
I have as long as I can remember had an interest in how people work but when I saw that many of my students' motivation to learn were strongly linked to their future occupation, my interest was directed toward wanting to study the relationship between identity and motivation, which in turn made me want to research this relationship at LiU.
Now I work with my dissertation project, which is about how the process of identity development of students in the municipal adult education vocational programs relates to the student's motivation to learn program and occupation-specific knowledge.