Teaching Inside Out in Appalachia: Identity Development of Insider/Outsider Teachers

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Virginia Tech

In this study, I investigate the concept of insider/outsider teacher identity, focusing on its relationship to teacher education. Having extensive experience as a student and teacher in rural Appalachia, I emphasize the regional perspective. To introduce the study, I present the research questions that guide the study, I explain my decision to present the study in two manuscripts, and I position my relationship within the research. In the first manuscript, "Teaching Inside Out: Exploring Insider and Outsider Status Among Teachers," I explain how I developed interest in this topic and I review academic literature about insider/outsider teacher identity. In the second manuscript, "Teaching Inside Out: A Qualitative Study of Teachers' Experiences as Insiders and Outsiders in Appalachia," I use qualitative research methods (Mayan, 2016) to delve into the experiences of teachers who have come to communities in Appalachia from outside the region, and I interrogate the implications of their experiences. This study can serve as a guide to teachers preparing for or continuing in the profession, to explore the development of their own insider/outsider identities in the communities where they work or will be working.

teacher education, insider, outsider, Appalachia