ERG SES D 14, Education and Teachers' Practice
Globalisation has impacted teachers’ educational practices since they have been the centre for the various governments to establish national results attained at the level of educational aims. In Colombia, the government established the Education for Quality policy based on neoliberal education (Libreros, 2002). English-Spanish bilingualism and acquiring technological skills have been an example of some of the key objectives to reach that main goal. In this context, teachers have faced tensions regarding the focus of decision making over their action since disregard their area, they are commanded to incorporate new competence skills in their practice while they are warned to keep students engaged in citizenship development. Besides, they are required to develop their subject matter knowledge. Educational practice in this sense has been minimised to what the teacher “can do” regardless of the socio-cultural conditions in which this practice happens (Hammersley and Nias, 1999). This paper aims to analyse theoretically the concept of teachers’ educational practice in order to problematize this oversimplification and its implication to education for equality. The content here is derived from a research in progress of a comparative study between English and Colombian school teachers’ educational practices and their subsequent underlying representations of cultural identity. The presentation is focused on defining educational practice to make a distinction from the traditional names such as teachers’ action and teachers’ practice that have mainly pointed to explain it as action within the physical context of the classroom. Although, practice has been considered multidimensional and involving psycho and sociological factors in the literature, it has been analysed more from the individuality of the teachers’ performance. In this case, educational practice is treated as a social construct that takes into account the socio-cultural factors beyond the classroom involved in situated practices (Johnson, 2009). These situations make explicit power relationships immersed in society where the understanding of practice flows within the static technical rationality (Schön, 1983). Educational practice as a concept in this essay is benefited by Bourdieu’s definition of social practice in as much as it incorporates the idea of cultural fields formed by social interaction in practices that symbolically tend to reproduction of social and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1976).
Bourdieu, P. 1976. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Translated by Richard Nice, London, Cambridge University Press. Britzman, D. P. 1991. Practice makes practice : a critical study of learning to teach, Albany, N.Y., State University of New York Press Geertz, C. (1979) La interpretación de las culturas. Gedisa: Barcelona. Hammersley, M. & NIAS, J. 1999. Researching school experience : ethnographic studies of teaching and learning, London, Falmer Press. Johnson, K. 2009. Second LAnguage Teacher Education, New York, Routledge. Libreros, D. 2002. Tensiones de la políticas educativas en Colombia. Balances y perspectivas, Bogota, Colombia, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional. Oyen, E., 1990. Comparative Methodology: Theory and Practice in International Social Research. 2nd ed. New Delhi: SAGE publications LTDA. Rossman, C & Marshall, C (2011). Designing Qualitative Research. SAGE publications: USA Sachs, J. 2003. The activist teaching profession, Buckingham, Open University Press. Schön, D. 1983. The reflective practicioner: How professionals think in action, London, Ashgate.
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Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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