This year-long study by an undergraduate teacher candidate explores the identity and emotional work involved in learning decisions through her teacher preparation program.
Using personal reflections, analytic memos, and notes, she was able to discover patterns of learning in the emotional geographies in teacher education.
Further, the authors employed both a critical and meta-critical friend to rigorously develop and interrogate themes and interpretations.
Findings revealed that decisions to ‘invest’ in any particular learning context did not merely constitute an intellectual commitment.
Rather embodied emotional responses to persons, ideologies, and environments challenged her to make sense of her place in emotional geographies.
Her decision-making process involved moving toward investing in learning or presenting a more superficial performance.
These decisions depended, in part, on her deliberations of whether the emotional geographies provided opportunities that she perceived would ‘build her’ or ‘break her.’
The authors assert that learning actively requires students to make decisions about their position, identity and belonging within educational relationships.
Attending to embodied emotional work in classroom learning is often understudied, and yet is relevant to issues of power and equity with teacher education.
This self-study offers teacher educators and researchers a glimpse into the benefits of a teacher candidate initiating and conducting a self-study and suggests that this could be a fruitful area to pursue methodologically.
This research contributes a deeper understanding of such emotional work and how self-study involving teacher candidates can be used as a source of knowledge in teacher preparation programs.