10 SES 10 C, Teacher Educators: Research methods and perspectives
This paper expounds on the final research project that we have developed for the last four years (EDU2011-29732-C02-01; MEC). The research scope is the inquiry of primary education teachers, in order to explore its educational value on initial teacher education. It has led us to go with teachers in their classrooms for a school year. Because of this accompaniment, we have produced narrative texts that we have called stories of experience.
In this paper, we focus on the way we have brought stories of experience into play in initial teacher education at University; and on the findings, we have done. This process is, at the same time: a) the final phase of an inquiry about experience-based teacher knowledge and its educational value, and b) the first phase of another research process which focus is our own teaching practices; we have recorded how bringing stories of experience to initial teacher education change our practices and generate pedagogical thinking.
Our research is held by permanent comings and goings from school to university. We are looking for ways of revitalising pedagogical knowledge and opening the meaning of teaching profession, what implies subjectivity and self-education (Biesta, 2013). That is: 1) recognising authority of teachers’ experience-led knowledge; 2) creating educational contexts that favour reflection and development of experience; 3) producing a pedagogical thinking that link experience-led knowledge and the experience of knowing. When we inquiry about teachers’ experience-led knowledge, our interest is on bringing experience-led knowledge to initial teacher education in order to allow movement and excitement. Or rather, a way of knowing that has pedagogical features, such as concern with an educational teaching, attention to every difference, newness, openness to the uncertain and unpredictable teaching practice (Contreras, 2012).
We haven’t expected to show the reality of classrooms but to generate a new relationship with the world that those classrooms showed us (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). This implies to have in mind that “thinking with stories is a process in which we as thinkers do not so much work on narrative as of allowing narrative to work on us” (Morris, cited by Clandinin, 2013, p. 30).
As a result of the studies with teachers we have composed stories of experience, in a delicate process: writing, shared reading, re-writing. And we have tried to go further the description, in order to ask questions about the meaning of events and lived experiences. We haven’t focused on telling stories but on giving rise to possible thoughts coming from them. We don’t want to bring stories of experience as an answer to educational problems but as existential questions that lead to delve into the meaning that education has for every student. We have tried to narrate stories focused on important educational themes, with capacity to question the reader and with new possibilities of thought (we pretend to promote questioning but not answering). Therefore, these stories allow to delve in an educational way into essential aspects of education, what makes visible gestures with educational potentiality (such as listening, caring for relationships, accompaniment, sensitivity, ways of waiting…). We assume the challenge of the stories linking us with someone´s life (trying to prevent the risk that they “explain something”).
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