“It’s Just Like Being a Student”: Making Space for Teachers to Think

By Yvon Appleby.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper looks at creating legitimate thinking spaces for teachers to explore their pedagogical beliefs and practices through collaborative writing. Based upon a project from a post compulsory Initial Teacher Training programme in the UK it will describe the process of working with teacher educators towards writing as part of a critical professional development process. Writing collaborativley for publication, a companion to a student research journal, has become significant not just for producing a useful resource but as a highly valued space for thinking and discussing teaching and learning. Teacher educators teach others to reflect, to be critical and to value their professional independence, yet there is little space for them to do this themselves. One participant in a recent writing day exclaimed it was the first space he had to think for years, whilst another said it was a vital space to reconnect with educational beliefs and pedagogical practices with others. This paper will explore using writing as a framework to support critical thinking, reflection and collaboration for professional development. It provides a case study to explore if using this method supports relevant, contextual and authentic professionial developmnent both for self development and and as a site for resistance to the overwork and deprofessionalised culture in post-compulsory teaching.

Keywords: Collaborative Writing, Professional Development, Teacher Education, Critical Reflection

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.23-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.235MB).

Dr. Yvon Appleby

Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Social Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

I have worked as a community educator and as a full time researcher, both which support my current work in teacher education. In community education I used a variety of teaching and learning methods to engage learners who were often marginalised. Many of these teaching insights were turned into ‘evidence’ as a full time researcher working in the field of adult literacy. A social practice approach enabled a connection to be made between what people learn in class and what they learn and use in their everday lives. Much of this reserach has been used to support teachers in this field. These insights and experiences underpin my work in teacher education particularly looking at teachers as learners.

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