10 SES 12 C, Research on Professional Knowledge & Identity in Teacher Education
In this study, we will explore how a stronger focus on emotionality as an educational phenomenon may contribute to vitalizing teacher education, and as such can stimulate student teachers’ professional development. Norwegian teacher education is used as a case. Pupils, teachers and teacher students are surrounded by emotions every day. Despite the fact that the teaching profession includes many emotional aspects, the emotional dimension is to a limited extent reflected in teacher education. Emotionality appears to be underexposed in both international and Norwegian teaching education (Bjørkelo et al, 2013; Dolev & Leshemb, 2016), and largely ignored and neglected in teachers’ work (Hargreaves, 2001, s.1057; O´Connor, 2008). The overall research question for this study has been: What characterizes the emotional dimension of teacher students´ experiences during their teacher education?
Our general theoretical point of departure is inspired from two angles. First in our understanding of the body as the subject of all our actions, which we can never escape and that is present in all we do (Merleau-Ponty, 1962). Secondly, in Dewey’s understanding of the role of emotions as a “phase” in every experience (Dewey, 1934:61). In order to frame emotionality as phenomenological intentionality we will refer to Husserl's theory of intentionality.
This study is qualitative and empirically founded. The empirical data presented in this paper has risen on behalf of a dialogical approach to interviews with 10 student teachers for 18 hours in total. During the analysis of the empirical material, the following five dimensions of emotionality appeared: intentionality, intersubjectivity, feelings, bodily reaction and mentalization. To frame our understanding of emotionality as an educational phenomenon we have made a model, which we will describe and elaborate on in the paper.
In the conclusion of this article, we have argued that to strengthen the teacher student’s preconditions of becoming teachers who are able to take the responsibility of both their own and the pupil’s emotionality, it will require that the students during their teacher education gain a high degree of emotional sensitivity and understanding. This will include both bringing forward emotionality as a significant dimension of becoming a teacher and by directly invite the students into a dialogue of their emotional experiences in relation to the academic field and their personal identity. To conclude we suggests that we within future teacher education will focus on the development of students’ emotional sensitivity and understanding in line with the students’ academic competence.
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