This project explores the question of what a teacher is, as defined by teachers. Teachers identify how they understand themselves within their respective roles, categorizing themselves as an "Agent" or "Object" of change in the classroom. I also hoped to discover the ways in which their self-concept might impact the institution of education, as measured by teachers and formal assessment scores. I sampled two populations of teachers from a small town (SCH1) and urban demographic (SCH2), respectively. Teachers from each district in grades K-6 responded to a series of questions constructed to capture their individual experiences. Through a theoretical foundation in symbolic interactionism, dramaturgy, and labeling theories, I constructed a conceptual model through which I categorized how teachers defined themselves and influenced student success. My findings suggest that most teachers identify themselves as "Agents," despite their immediate setting. My results also found that a far larger percentage of SCH1 students met state indicators in Math, Science, and Reading than did SCH2 students. This suggested a difference in the level of teachers' expectations for students, which is defined as students' progress pass their initial state, via assessments and value added approaches.


Gunn, Raymond


Sociology and Anthropology


Community-Based Research | Elementary Education and Teaching

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Nadia Reese