10 SES 03 A, Professional Knowledge & Teacher Identity: The role of research
During the last decades, higher education in general and teacher education in particular have been subjected to significant changes. Education policy discourses of teacher education tend to change towards a teacher training paradigm where notions of best practice and effective teaching influence at the expense of teaching based on research. Beach and Bagley (2013), define professions as consisting of both professional knowledge and scientific studies. The findings indicate that in higher education, changes in policies have also been influential on professionalism and professional identity. In their comparative study of teacher education policy analysis in Sweden and England, it is argued that a changing discourse is aiming towards a teacher training paradigm as opposed to a professional education (Beach & Bagley, 2013). Besides defining a different teacher role and professional conceptions of teacher educators, there is also a focus on effective and practically competent teacher educators (Author, 2014; Gilis, et. al, 2008; Stremmel, et. al, 2015). As there are few studies examining how actors rhetorically position themselves within this context in higher education and more specifically teacher education, the ambition of this paper is to study conversations between teacher educators related to norms and values in education, with relevance to an European context. The aim is to analyse teacher educators´ rhetorical constructions and to problematize identified discursive positions related to quality and educational policies. The research question that pertains to the study is: How can teacher educators´ rhetorical constructions be understood related to changes in educational policies in teacher education?
The theoretical framework emanates from social constructionist and poststructuralist theory, with discursive psychology and discourse theory as methodological approach (Burr, 1995; Potter & Wetherell, 1987; Potter, 1996; Laclau & Mouffe, 1985). The analysis is conducted by using discursive psychology (Potter & Whetherell, 1987; Potter, 1996) and discourse theory (Laclau & Mouffe, 1985). Thus, the discourse concept both relates to a micro-sociological perspective, where teacher educators´ verbal interactions and organisation of language are studied, and to a macro perspective, based on the notion of subject positions as produced by overarching social and insitutional discourses. In discourse psychology, there is a sensitivity to various accounts about reality, as well as to different knowledge constructions (Potter & Wheterell, 1987; Potter, 1996). In this study, knowledge is seen as continuously being constructed by the participants in group conversations. Discursive psychology emphasises rhetorics and how language activities are made convincing in social settings.
Author (2014). Beach, D. & Bagley, C. (2013). Changing professional discourses in teacher education policy back towards a training paradigm: a comparative study. European Journal of Teacher Education, 36 (4) 379-392. Burr, V. (1995). An introduction to social constructionism. London: Sage. Gilis, A., Clement, M., Laga, L., Pauwels, P. (2008). Establishing a competence profile for the role of student-centered teachers in higher education in Belgium. Research in Higher Education. 49 (6) 531-554. Laclau, E. & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and socialist strategy. Towards a radical democratic politics. London: Verso. Potter, J. (1996). Representing Reality. Discourse, Rhetoric and Social Construction. London: Sage. Potter, J & Wetherell, M. (1987). Discourse and social psychology. London: Sage. Stremmel, A. J., Burns, J., Nganga, C., Bertolini, K. (2015) Countering the essentialized discourse of teacher education. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education. 36 (2) 156-174.
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