10 SES 14 B, Self-Study Methodology: An inspiring and ambitious approach for practitioner research in Europe
Introduction I tentatively dipped my toe into self-study as a beginning teacher educator to develop my academic identity and practice (White, 2011; White, Roberts, Rees, & Read, 2014). I now lead a programme in a context where the agenda from policy-makers is for research-rich teacher education (BERA-RSA, 2014; DfE, 2016). Additionally, being a more experienced teacher educator has enhanced expectations of my research output by my institution and myself. My question has developed into ‘what is my impact on learning and on learners?' (Boyd, Hymer & Lockney 2015). Now my self-study must consider my practice not just directly teaching students, but additionally, indirectly impacting on their experiences through programme leadership and leading the professional development of others working with the students in school and the institution. Theoretical Framework Defining a research-rich environment as one where research and innovation thrive and practice is inquiry-based (BERA-RSA, 2014), and using models of the research-teaching nexus proposed by Griffiths (2004) and developed by Jenkins and Healey (2005), I explore how my practice is enabling student teachers to have confidence to make research-informed professional judgements. Loughran (2014:273) proposes that 'as a starting point, professionally developing as a teacher educator is shaped by the nature of one’s evolving identity as it is buffeted by expectations of knowledge and practice inherent in the enterprise of teacher education itself.' Using the theoretical concept of the substantive and situational self (Nias, 1989) to explore the active development of identity further, this self-study investigates the process of negotiating this new terrain. Methods The data for this self-study include reflections on critical incidents in sessions involving leading the professional development of mentors and of teaching student teachers. I used a structured framework, and the written evaluative feedback from mentors and student teachers collected anonymously at the end of these sessions. The reflections were sent to two critical friends with an interest in developing research-rich teaching for annotation before discussing together. The perspectives of critical friends provide dialogic interaction, which is a distinguishing feature of self-study, helping to triangulate the findings and challenge any assumptions (LaBoskey, 2004). Results Analysis of the data reveal a range of reactions to educational research and contribute to an understanding of how changing contextual factors can influence the development of professional identity as an experienced teacher educator. Ways to address the challenges and tensions in professional identity development in a changing landscape are explored through discussion.
References BERA-RSA. (2014). Research and the teaching profession. Building the capacity for a self-improving education system. London: BERA-RSA. Boyd, P., Hymer, B., & Lockney, K. (2015). Learning Teaching. Becoming an inspirational teacher. Northwich: Critical Publishing.DfE. (2016) A framework of core content for intial teacher training. London: Crown. Griffiths, R. (2004). Knowledge production and the research-teaching nexus: the case of the built environment disciplines. Studies in Higher Education 29(6) 709-726. Jenkins, A., & Healey, M. (2005). Institutional strategies to link teaching and research. York: HEA. LaBoskey, V. K. (2004). The methodology of self-study and its theoretical underpinnings. In J. J. Loughran, M. L. Hamilton, V. K. LaBoskey, & T. Russell (Eds.), International handbook of self- study of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 817–869). Dordrecht: Kluwer. Loughran, J. (2014). Professionally Developing as a Teacher Educator. Journal of Teacher Education, 65(4), 271-283 Nias, J. (1989). Primary Teachers Talking. A study of teaching as work. London: Routledge. White, E. (2011). Working towards explicit modelling: experiences of a new teacher educator. Professional Development in Education, 37(4), 483-497. White, E., Roberts, A., Rees, M., & Read, M. (2014). An exploration of the development of academic identity in a School of Education. Professional Development in Education, 40(1), 56-70.
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