Further education colleges in England, which offer a wide range of post-school education and training provision, have undergone major transformations in the past decade, resulting in considerable changes to the work of those involved in teaching in colleges. This paper examines the development of professional identity, as a means of exploring how cultures of learning and teaching are developing and changing in the sector. The paper considers the formation of professional identity amongst a group of trainee lecturers completing a one year full-time teacher training course at a university in the English Midlands. Lave and Wenger’s (1991) work on apprenticeship to communities of practice is used to examine the effect of trainees’ teaching placement on the development of professional identity. However, rather than identifying effective processes of increasing participation in existing communities of practice, the study highlights a strong sense of marginalisation and alienation amongst trainees. The paper argues that this is detrimental to both trainees and experienced lecturers if they are to actively engage in building new forms of professionalism for the future
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