10 SES 02 C, Learning to Teach: Meaning and Reflection
In this study we are interested in interpreting meaningful teachers’ actions in teaching and learning processes in classrooms.
Many studies (Hargreaves, 2012; McGregor, 2009; van der Wal & Waslander, 2007) have shown that there is an ever present pressure on teachers’ to perform well achieving the set aims and goals of education. Thus classroom research often focuses on the outcome/product of the curriculum transmission. On the other hand, reports (OECD 2005) confirm that ‘teachers matter’. Studying teachers’ actions is of importance both for the researchers of education as well as for the capacity building of in-service and pre-service teachers. But we lack knowledge about what is meaningful to teachers’ in teaching and learning. Hence we argue that obtaining ‘thicker description’ (Geertz 1973/2000) of teachers’ actions will provide us with a better understanding of what is meaningful action in teaching and learning. Therefore, we raised the question: How to make “thicker descriptions” of teachers’ actions?
As an answer to this question, we propose a framework for interpreting teachers’ actions within a reflexive framework. It is important to notice that when teachers reflect they produce something new that was not part of the event – they ‘read’ that action as a text (Ricoeur, 1991, Hoveid, 2009). This ‘reading’ leads us in the interpretation of what is ‘meaningful action’ for teachers in teaching and learning. The theoretical foundation for identifying ‘meaningful action’ is found in Ricoeur (1991). According to him ‘meaningful action’ presents intelligible action that can be accounted for. Hence, we start from this assumption and then follow four characteristics of ‘reasons to act’ that Ricoeur has identified as: motivation, generality explanation, causal (teleological) explanation and “chain of reasons” (p.190-192). These four characteristics are used in understanding relations of teaching and learning and actions that can be called ‘meaningful’.
Hargreaves, E. (2012). Teachers' classroom feedback: still trying to get it right. Pedagogies: An international journal, 7(1), 1–15. Frankfurt, H. G. (1988). The importance of what we care about. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press Gertz, C. (1973/2000). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books. Hoveid, M. H. (2009). Læreres utdanning: et arbeid med personlig språkbruk : pedagogisk filosofiske medieringer om mulighetene for utvikling av praktisk fornuftgjennom arbeid med språkbruk (Teachers education: a work on peronal language use: Pedagogical philosophical meditations aroung possibilitites for developing practical reason through personal language use). Trondheim, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet. 2009:133, (p 223 ) Hoveid, H. & Hoveid, M. H. (2013) The place of reading in the training of teachers. Ethics and Education. Volum 8.(1) (p.101-112) McGregor, G. (2009). Educating for (whose) success? Schooling in an age of neoliberalism. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30(3), 345–358. OECD (2005) Teachers matter: Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Ricoeur, P. (1991). From Text to Action: Northwestern University Press. van der Wal, M., & Waslander, S. (2007). Traditional and Non-Traditional Educational Outcomes: Trade-off or complementarity? School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 18(4), 409–428.
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