Source: Studying Teacher Education, Vol. 6, No. 1, April 2010, 3–15.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This article examines the author’s three-year journey developing a personal pedagogy of teacher education. As an autobiographical self-study, nodal moments are revealed that raise and reflect the tensions the author experienced and the challenges the author encountered.
The author argues that teacher educators, particularly those teaching part time, need to be supported in learning how to facilitate identification of their own and teacher candidates’ beliefs about teaching.
These included developing an awareness of her incomplete understandings of key components of teacher education, particularly the importance of fostering critical reflection.
Through narrative inquiry the author has explored understandings acquired over a three-year period during which the author was concurrently a doctoral student and a novice preservice instructor at an Ontario university.
Data sources include many forms of correspondence (personal journal entries, doctoral course manuscripts, preservice course syllabi, email messages between instructors) as well as artifacts collected from preservice candidates.
Data were analyzed through coding and categorizing (Creswell, 2002), with the resultant common units of meaning presented in an autobiographical narrative chronicling my challenges and tensions.
Four broad themes were identified:
the author’s initial awareness of her incomplete understandings of the knowledge teacher candidates require, acknowledgement of the complexities of first facilitating and, later, assessing reflective practice and, finally, appreciation of the support required by teacher educators, particularly those who are part-time instructors.
The author’s transformation from a confident schoolboard resource teacher to an uncertain teacher educator, who reiteratively questions her practices as the author comes to understand and teach to promote conceptual change, resonates with the uncertain terrain of teacher education.
The author explores the implications of this self-study by discussing the need for support. The author suggests that teacher educators, particularly part-time instructors, be provided with opportunities to examine their teacher education beliefs. The author recommends self-study groups as vehicles for this support.