In this article, the authors make an attempt to operationalize the notion of identity to justify the claim about its potential as an analytic tool for investigating learning. They define identity as a set of reifying, significant, endorsable stories about a person. These stories, even if individually told, are products of a collective storytelling. The authors’ main claim is that learning may be thought of as closing the gap between actual identity and designated identity, two sets of reifying significant stories about the learner that are also endorsed by the learner. Empirical illustration comes from a study in which the mathematical learning practices of a group of 17-year-old immigrant students from the former Soviet Union, newly arrived in Israel, were compared with those of native Israelis.
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