10 SES 06 C, Teacher engagement, assessment practices and strategic partnership
Digital storytelling is defined as a workshop-based practice where people create short audio-video stories (digital stories) usually about their own lives through digital media tools, which is carried out by the facilitators following certain stages (Hartley, & McWilliam, 2009; p.3; Lambert, 2010; Şimşek, 2012). Thus, it can be said that digital storytelling is a process and digital story is a resulting product of the given process.
It is stated that the stories of individuals reflect themselves and their knowledge on the meanings of the things that they encountered in their life; once they share these stories with others, they can begin to see themselves through the eyes of others in this way digital storytelling process enables them to have a deeper self-understanding, and improve their self-understanding (Garcia, & Rossiter, 2010; Lambert, 2010; p.22; Miyaji, 2011, 2012).
It is noteworthy that there are studies that examine the process of self-understanding directly, as well as studies that examine the process of self-understanding based on different theoretical bases and types (affective, historical, environmental, professional, etc.) in literature (Berry, 2009; Farouk, 2014; Kelchtermans, 2005, 2009; Miyaji, 2012; Mortari, 2015; Quaye, & Baxter Magolda, 2007; Simons, & Masschelein, 2008). This study discusses self-understanding in a professional sense. Because it is stated that a story provides the opportunity for teachers to see how they reconstruct their self-understanding through peer-group interactions in the professional self-understanding process and serves as a part of their professional development as well (Uitto, Kaunisto, Kelchtermans and Estola, 2016). Kelchtermans (2005, 2009) analysed the career stories told by teachers and found out that there are five intertwined components (self-image, self-esteem, task perception, job motivation and future perspective) through which teachers can have a self-understanding.
In this study, the professional self-understanding of teachers were investigated considering the situations in their professional life through digital storytelling workshop. Thus, it is aimed to contribute to the professional development process by revealing the experiences of the teachers with digital stories related to professional life, providing the opportunity for teachers to understand both themselves and each other as well as reconstructing their professional self-understandings in the digital storytelling process. Accordingly, the study seeks to answer the following question:
How teachers’ self-understanding is reconstructed in the digital storytelling process?
This study employed a phenomenological methodology. Creswell (2007) stated that “phenomenological study describes the meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a concept or a phenomenon… The basic purpose of the phenomenology is to reduce individual experiences with a phenomenon to a description of the universal essence” (Creswell, 2007; p. 57-58). For this study, the phenomenon is “professional self-understanding in digital storytelling workshop”. The study was performed with four teachers (T1, T2, T3, T4), who voluntarily took part in the study. All of the teachers were female. The branches of the teachers were as follows: informatics, religious culture, science and social sciences. The age range of the teachers was 26-32 years. In addition, the researcher participated in digital storytelling process along with the participants as a facilitator. The digital storytelling workshop was performed in four sessions. The process of digital storytelling workshop was as follows: 1. Session: Performing the semi-structured focus group interviews, creating the story circle, writing the stories 2. Session: Review of the stories, voice recording 3. Session: Preparing the visuals, combining the content (audio, visual, music)/ creating the video 4. Session: In-group screening, performing the semi-structured focus group interviews Following the 2nd session, the participant T2 withdrew from the study at will. In the data collection process, • Semi-structured focus group interviews were performed; • The narrations, stories, reflections and conversations of the participants were voice-recorded; • The behaviors of the participants were recorded through observations forms; • Digital stories, the resulting product of digital storytelling process, were examined. The data was analysed through content analysis. Content analysis is a method to make (reliable, valid, etc.) inferences based on scientific methods from text to other properties of its source (Krippendorff, 2004; Neuendorf, 2002). An inductive coding technique was utilized in coding the data (Miles, & Huberman, 1994). To ensure the consistency of the results obtained from the analyses, the codings were revised by the same coder at intervals of 25-30 days (Schreier, 2014, p.179).
As a consequence of analysis of data, it was revealed that colleagues, parents, students, and administrators reconstructed their professional self-understanding. The prominent conclusions of the study on the components of professional self-understanding are as follows: - It has been revealed that situation in which whether teacher education is linked to real life or not, is a determining factor in the reconstructing self-image, self-esteem and future perspective of teachers. Therefore, about establishing a link with real life in teacher education, the importance of effectively planning the school experience processes emerges. In addition, the curriculum need to be improved. - Teachers stated that students kept themselves at a distance due to differences in ethnic background in the schools. It has been determined that teachers who face similar situations have reconstructed their task perception by asking, "What must I do to be a proper teacher?" - It can be said that pressure exerted by parents and administrators on the teachers to raise the exam marks are determinant of the reconstruction of job motivation and future perspective. It can be stated that this situation cannot be regarded as a subject, which is only be related to the professional self-understanding of the teachers. Such situations unveil necessitate the critical review of the education system. In summary, the teachers interacted with each other in the peer group, which begin with the story circle in digital storytelling process. It was seen that teachers gained different perspectives, questioned themselves and developed their self-awareness due similar or different situations that they see from each other regarding their professional life. Thus, professional self-understanding of teachers was reconstructed. Moreover, the link between theory and practice can be established by using these digital stories in teacher education and prospective teachers can also reconstruct their professional self-understanding in this way.
Berry, A. (2009). Professional self‐understanding as expertise in teaching about teaching. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 15(2), 305-318. Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). USA: Sage Publications. Farouk, S. (2014). From mainstream school to pupil referral unit: a change in teachers’ self-understanding. Teachers and Teaching, 20(1), 19-31. Garcia, P., & Rossiter, M. (2010). Digital storytelling as narrative pedagogy. Proceedings of society for information technology & teacher education international conference, 1091-1097. Hartley, J., & McWilliam, K. (Eds). (2009). Story circle: Digital storytelling around the world. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. Kelchtermans, G. (2005). Teachers’ emotions in educational reforms: Self-understanding, vulnerable commitment and micropolitical literacy. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 995–1006. Kelchtermans, G. (2009). Who I am in how I teach is the message: self‐understanding, vulnerability and reflection. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 15(2), 257-272. Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content analysis: an introduction to its methodology (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Lambert, J. (2010). Digital Storytelling Cookbook (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: Digital Diner Press. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd edt.). USA: Sage Publications. Miyaji, I. (2011). Effects of creating digital storytelling by three kinds of themes. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Computers in Education, 531-538. Miyaji, I. (2012). Effects of creating three kinds of digital storytellings on student attitude. Journal of Modern Education Review, 2(4), 215-223. Mortari, L. (2015). Emotion and Education: Reflecting on the Emotional Experience Emotion and Education. European Journal of Educational Research, 4(4), 157-176. Neuendorf, K. A. (2002). The content analysis guidebook. USA: Sage Publications Quaye, S. J., & Baxter Magolda, M. B. (2007). Enhancing racial self‐understanding through structured learning and reflective experiences. New Directions for Student Services, 120, 55-66. Schreier, M. (2014). Qualitative Content Analysis. Uwe Flick (ed.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative data analysis (s. 170-183). Sage. Simons, M., & Masschelein, J. (2008). From schools to learning environments: The dark side of being exceptional. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 42(3‐4), 687-704. Şimşek, B. (2012). Enhancing women’s participation in turkey through digital storytelling. Cultural Science Journal, 5(2), 28-46. Uitto, M., Kaunisto, S. L., Kelchtermans, G., & Estola, E. (2016). Peer group as a meeting place: Reconstructions of teachers’ self-understanding and the presence of vulnerability. International Journal of Educational Research, 75, 7-16.
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