Trajectories in Teacher Education: Recognizing Prior Learning in Practice

Aug. 20, 2009

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 37, Issue 3
August 2009, pages 271 – 282.

This paper analyses the trajectories into teacher education of a group of child minders who are studying to become pre-school teachers. The specific focus is what impact their prior experiences and learning from pre-school have on their trajectories. The paper also examine how these experiences and learning are recognized in the first year of teacher education.
A situated learning perspective is applied, with a focus on participation and trajectories in the two communities of practice in which teacher education is situated - the university and the pre-school. The data consist of transcribed interviews with ten student teachers, and additional data are gathered from stakeholders in the program.

The results show that prior experiences and learning are given implicit and indirect recognition. In the practice of the pre-school, the trajectory means a shift in identity, from child minder to student teacher and pre-school teacher. In the practice of the university, prior experiences and learning help students in their trajectories from peripheral to fuller participation.

Updated: Oct. 19, 2009