Paper Title
The Influence of Parenthood and Mature-Age on Pre service Teachers’ Professional Identity Development and Relationships

The professional identity development of six 4thpreservice teachers was the focus of a case study which tracked their progress during professional experience over a year-long period in a school-based immersion pathway in Australia. This qualitative case study used an interpretivist methodology to understand the meaning of the pre service teachers’ actions, and their experiences and histories. The theme of Relationships was commonly referred to by the pre service teachers in relation to the shaping of their professional identity development during their participation in professional experience. An unexpected finding of this study was that three of the participants, who were mature-aged university students and parents, indicated that the experience of being a parent helped them to engage with students and parents due to the knowledge and understanding they had of themselves as parents. Keywords - Immersion pathway, Mature-aged, Parent, Pre service teachers ,Professional identity, Relationships