The Nature of Primary Teaching: Body, Time, Space, and Relationships

January 2007

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 28, Issue 1 January 2007, pages 3 – 16

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the lived experiences of a primary teacher in order to illuminate the nature of primary teaching. Using qualitative methods, five university researchers spent nine months during the course of one school year with a second grade teacher and her students.

This inquiry took a multiple lens approach, drawing from the theoretical frameworks of hermeneutic phenomenology and constructivism (DeVries & Zan, 1994; Kamii, 1985; Piaget, 1932/1965; van Manen, 1997). Individual researchers focused on the existentials of the teacher's lifeworld: body, time, space, relationship with children, and relationship with adults. Four themes emerged: autonomy, pedagogical tact, lifelong learning, and kinship. Implications are drawn for school organization, teacher education, and educational policy.

Updated: Jan. 24, 2008