Engaging the Self in Teacher Education: Critical Self-Narratives and the Creation of Educational Communities

Published: 
Fall 2009

Source: Action in Teacher Education, v. 31 no. 3, Fall 2009, p. 11-18.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

Within communities, groups that control the creation and use of language hold the power to dominate those marginalized by powerless speech and an inability to coconstruct the language of evaluation.

In this paper, the author examines taken-for-granted teacher education practices.
Furthermore, the author also challenges the deficit model of instruction, which views future teachers as nonparticipants in the creation of the language of their own education.

In the examination of these ideas, the author suggests that critical self-narratives are an essential part of professional growth and humanistic pedagogy.

Personal Pedagogical Principles

Finally, the author describes six personal pedagogical principles that function as the fertile ground in which coconstructed education can flourish.

These principles are as follows:
Principle 1: Education occurs within a community that fosters intellectual and personal growth and a sense of respect for individual differences.

Principle 2: Teacher educators have a moral and ethical responsibility to provide opportunities for growth beyond professional practices.


Principle 3: Teacher education candidates must be encouraged to become actively engaged in the pursuit of both self-knowledge and discipline-related knowledge.


Principle 4: Assembly-line concepts of curriculum and coursework in teacher education programs must be replaced by an understanding of the individual context.


Principle 5: Teacher education programs must become socially and politically active while recovering the understanding that teacher education cannot be constrained or defined by course labels and state regulations.

Principle 6: Teacher education curricula must be infused with a sense of transcendence that fosters an awareness of connectivity to life, profession, colleagues, and community.

The author concludes that engaging in critical inquiry can foster growth and connections to communities that support teacher education and provide the foundations on which transformational acts can occur.

Updated: Aug. 29, 2010
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