10 SES 07 B, Teacher Education: Identities, Practices, Professionalism
This paper was born out of the work of (self) exploration that we do as a research group of the Research Project Professional Knowledge in Primary Education Teachers and its Implications in Initial Teacher Training: Case Studies (EDU2011-29732-C02-01- Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness -Spain).
We focus on looking in depth at the first stage of the research process where we investigate our own day-to-day practice as educators with the aim of: a) Understanding what it is that sustains our practice of relationship with students in teacher education; b) Discovering the directions and meaning that we give to qualities; and the dimensions that emerge on putting them into play; c) Looking closer into the educational meaning of our practices, taking into account the role of being a teacher; d) Researching into and understanding the uncertainties and tensions that appear in our educative practices in the university context; e) Reflecting on how experience-led knowledge enriches the knowledge of teacher education.
As a starting point and with the aim of exploring and going deeper into our experience-led knowledge as educators, we have looked to and been inspired by various research traditions of practices in teacher education (Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices –S-STEP–; Narrative Research; Auto-ethnography), (Loughran, Russell; Clandinin, Connelly; Ellis). This exploration of perspectives has helped to widen our visions of the educational task and of the work of the teacher in the present day. Also, contrasting perspectives of biographical-narrative research has supported us in our practices of observation, of looking deeper and of narrative writing of the process itself shared in the research.
We are interested in the fact that the self-exploratory nature of our practices allows us to widen our view as we come to understand the links between our teaching practices and knowledge, in the context of teacher education, and the practices and knowledge that the work of being a teacher require.
It is no accident that we ask ourselves questions out of what we do, or what we discover that guides us, questioning ourselves about its meaning. We are looking for a thinking that does not disconnect from experience (Buttarelli & Giardini (2008). That is, a thinking that does not seek the invention or proposal of ideals, but that also is not reduced to accepting the given and the repetition of what is already done. What we are interested in about the work of educators is a way of thinking about its meaning that does not seek to make models, but rather connections “in tension” or not with reality.
Here we present an analysis of what we have observed whilst studying the keys that our educational practice are based on. We show both the qualities that seem important to us to nurture and cultivate as well as understanding those tensions that we experience and the uncertainties that they occasion us. Specifically, we have asked what it means to speak of a teacher education concerned with an attentive reading of reality, with sensitivity towards the needs and desires of people, and with a wider view of their lives. All of this together with the awareness of the fact that the teaching work is always work that takes place in the singular, in concrete relationships, but that is sensitive to the desire of a life in relationship, which knows how to keep its questions open to alterity (Pérez de Lara, 2006; Skliar & Larrosa, 2009; Piussi, 2006). With the desire for a world that is better to live in and more respectful and loving relationships, bringing into play difference, alterity, freedom and shared living (Van Manen, Piussi, Rivera).
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