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Abstract

Identity development in writing is a unique process. While many studies have explored the process of developing a professional identity among future teachers, few studies have investigated how teacher candidates develop a writing teacher’s identity. This study explores the development and negotiation of writing teacher identity among 21 pre-service multiple-subject teacher candidates at a large public institution in California. More specifically, the study examines the students’ journeys as they transformed from students of writing in a university methods course to student teachers of writing in a local school district. Our findings indicate that the use of a sociocultural-based approach to teaching writing in a university method’s course conflicted with the use of a skills-based mandated curriculum used in local districts. Nonetheless, within this space of conflict, teacher candidates began to determine how to merge the two approaches, understand potential limitations and develop a pedagogical toolbox thus, renegotiating their identities as future writing teachers. We provide recommendations that teacher educators may use to assist teacher candidates and developing effective writing pedagogy while utilizing a mandated curriculum.