Essence of Teacherhood: The Story of a Young Class Teacher

By Seija Jouhki, Sivbritt Dumbrajs, Tuula Keinonen and Tove Westerlund.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

Our research takes off from two different perspectives. Primarily we focus on the life story of a primary school teacher, who has participated in our previous research project on class teachers. Secondly we allowed all her six pupils in the age range of 6 to 9 years to draw a picture of their teacher as she is busying herself. With use of phenomenological reduction the autobiographical narrative has been rewritten. Reduction, as used in analysis of open-ended interviews and essays, involves bracketing of all casual explanations, generalizations, or interpretations. Concrete details are asked for. Thus experience can be seen as an activity of encounter with the world. Drawing pictures is another way of enacting experience. Children imitate other people’s actions. They are attentive to gestures and postures, which express everything that goes to make an accomplished adult. This understanding is not cognitive but relational, situational and actional. We were able to reach a synthesis between our two interdisciplinary approaches. Each child experienced the teacher in a different way that was related to some aspect found in the teacher’s autobiography.

Keywords: Children’s Drawings, Autobiography, Interdisciplinarity, Pedagogical Relation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp.377-388. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.043MB).

Seija Jouhki

Ms, SiDu Consulting, Espoo, Finland

Dr. Sivbritt Dumbrajs

Researcher, SiDu Consulting, Helsinki, Finland

I defended my dissertation for a PhD in the summer of 2007 at Joensuu University. The topic was: A Learning Community: Teachers and Students Engaged in Developing Their Own Learning and Understanding. Since then I have done research work in collaboration with Prof. Tuula Keinonen at the University of Eastern Finland (former University of Joensuu). In 2009 I started an undertaking (SiDu) designated as consulting on questions concerning Science instruction and Development of understanding.

Prof. Tuula Keinonen

Professor, School of Applied Education and Teacher Education, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland

PhD in Physics 1984, Senior Assistant 1990-1998, Department of Physics, University of Joensuu; PhD in Education 2005, Senior Assistant 1998-2008, Professor 2008-2009, Department of Applied Education, University of Joensuu, Professor 2010- at the University of Eastern Finland; Research activities: Science and Environmental Education.

Tove Westerlund

SiDu Consulting, Espoo, Finland


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