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Developing a university contribution to teacher education: creating an analytical space for learning narratives

Hanley, C and Brown, T (2017) Developing a university contribution to teacher education: creating an analytical space for learning narratives. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 49 (3). pp. 352-368. ISSN 0022-0272

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Abstract

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. What might a distinct university contribution to teacher education look like? This paper tracks a group of prospective teachers making the transition from undergraduate to teacher on a one-year school-based postgraduate course. The study employs a practitioner research methodological framework where teacher learning is understood as a process of developing and evaluating self-representations. Students persistently revised a story of ‘Who I am becoming’, referenced to evolving notions of pedagogic subject knowledge. University sessions provided a platform for students to share and discuss their experiences in schools and reflect upon the research process as it occurred. Our findings suggest this approach enables student teachers to account for their learning in more nuanced and sophisticated ways where time for university-based reflection is restricted. The theoretical perspective draws on the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan. Subjectivity is conceptualized not as fixed but persistently re-produced in an increasingly analytical developmental perspective. Data comprise reflective and analytical material produced by students at successive stages of the course, where this material provides temporal reference points for them in tracking and asserting their own development. The paper provides a methodological framework for teacher education informed by critically reflective constructions of the process through which individuals become teachers.

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