10 SES 09 A, Teacher Education: Future, Potential, Image
Contemporary society is characterized by uncertainty and by the need to be open to changes, to unforeseen events. In the White Paper’s Introduction (EU, 2001) emerges that the despite the more complex social and economic context of today, everyone, especially if young, needs to learn to be flexible, creative, participant in his own life and in society, demonstrating great adaptability. The educational institutions are appointed in this way with a new educational mission that is beyond the knowledge transmission and the learning process: this mission embraces the both, the learning processes and the life skills to being in the world. Schools, in particular, have a duty to provide pupils with an education which will enable them to adapt to an increasingly diversified and complex environment, in which creativity, the ability to innovate, entrepreneurship and a commitment to continue learning are just as important as the specific knowledge of a subject (EU, 2008). Schools and teachers need a major support to integrate, systematically, the key competences (EU, 2006), in the teaching and learning processes. It is needed also a reflection about schools and teachers’ ability to rethink their architectures and designs, to make them able to transform themselves in real time, responding to the stimuli that come from context and society. European Union asks also to schools and teachers to be themselves example and model of these competences: they need to be creative, dynamic, open to change, to cooperation and partnership, to be able to identify continuously possible innovation and improvement areas (EU, 2008). In this perspective, improvisation can be a very significant and inspiring phenomenon to be explored (McKnight, Scruggs, 2008; Santi, 2010; Sawyer, 2011), and it can be useful to rethink about the teacher profile in a way that can deal with these contemporary educational missions.
Which teacher-profile can emerge from an explorative inquiry between teaching and improvisation? Is this profile useful to rethink about the ordinary teaching and about the general teacher-profile and competences? How this profile can sustain the contemporary dialogue with the European challenges for the young people? Which limits and potentialities does the school present today as possible context to embrace this teacher profile?
The aim of the research is exploratory. The objective is identifying a clear teacher-improviser profile in its essential principles. It is the profile of a teacher who is able to catch the everyday challenges and the everyday possible improvisational processes and at the meantime who is able to start and propose improvisational processes during his own teaching.
In a dialogical perspective, another objective is reflecting about the limits and potentialities that from one side the teacher-improviser profile can present itself for the school of today and tomorrow, and from the other side, that the school of today and tomorrow can present for the teacher-improviser (what about the curriculum design? What about the school activities and environment?).
The phenomenological approach (Bogdan, Biklen, 2007; Douglas, 1976; Mortari, 2010) thanks to its discovered-oriented methodology, inspired the catching and the analysis of the data, looking for the essential principles that characterize the phenomenon of being a teacher improviser. Socio-cultural-constructivist approach (Ausbel, 1998; Jonassen, Land, 2000; Rogoff, 2004) inspired the creation and development of the method and instrument to collect the data. The paradigm of complexity (Morin, 1993, 2001) and discursive mind (Harrè & Gillet, 1994) receives and contextualizes in a unique whole, this research and the contemporary context. The theorization on “complex thinking” as aim and value of contemporary education (Lipman, 2003; Santi & Oliverio, 2012) is operationalized in the final proposals present in the paper as didactical implications and future perspectives for school systems.
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