ERG SES C 03, Parallel Session C 03
According the results of PISA 2009, which is the most popular and important comparative international study, that Shanghai Chinese 15-year-old students stand in the top among 65 countries and regions. They rank the first in reading, mathematics and science.
The achievement shows the effectiveness of Chinese compulsory education. But as we all know, the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers, which means the current teacher education in Chinese mainland has valuable features that should be maintain and further developed.
So this study will go deep into the authentic initial teacher education institution and the life world of the student teachers in Chinese mainland to see how they learn to become a teacher, and how they make sense of learning to teach.
In Chinese, initial teacher education institutions mainly refer to the teachers colleges and normal universities. They have similar curriculum, including subject knowledge courses, pedagogical courses and teaching practicum. The sequence is also alike, in which teaching practicum is always arranged at the last year of the programme. Therefore teaching practicum is appropriate for this study, because the student teachers can provide more substantial feedbacks at this stage.
This study draws on Lave and Wenger’s situated learning theory, which holds a conception of the learner as a cultural subject, interact with a network of social relationships and the culture they belong or pursue (Lave and Wenger,1991; Vygotsky, 1962, 1978), and learning is rather a process of meaning making via kind of social practice and identity building in the context of community on the social practice than acquisition or transmission of knowledge (Cole, 1996; Lave & Wenger,1991; Rogoff, 1994; Wenger,1998)
Furthermore, Wenger (1998) identifies four intrinsic components of learning:
Meaning----learning as experiencing;
Practice-----learning as doing;
Community----learning as belonging;
Identity---- learning as becoming (someone).
In Wenger’s opinion, these four components are closely and mutually connected (p.5).
The situated theory of learning will be helpful to explore the specific and complex process of student teachers’ legitimate peripheral participation and meaning-making, because they are entering and making sense of the community of teaching practice through their own practice and experience,
Accordingly, “Learning to teach is not a mere matter of applying decontextualized skills or of mirroring predetermined images; it is a time when one’s past, present, and future are set in dynamic tension. Learning to teach is always the process of becoming: a time of formation and transforming, of scrutiny into what one is doing, and who one can become”(Britzman,2003,p.8)
l To extend the understanding of the process of learning to be a teacher in the situated learning perspective.
l To examine the factors related to the professional identity formation of student-teachers in the jointly social practice contexts.
The research goals can be approached through the inquiry of following research questions:
l How student teachers making their learning trajectories into the community of teaching practice?
l How student teachers’ identities constituted and constrained through participation in community of teaching practice?
Cole, M.(1996). Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Gee, J. P., & Green, J. L. (1998). Discourse analysis, learning, and social practice: A methodological study. Review of Research in Education, 23 , 119-169. Lave, J & Wenger,E (1991). Situated learning : Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press. Lave, J. (1996). Teaching, as Learning, in Practice. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 3(3), 149 - 164. Rodgers, C. R., & Scott, K. H. (2008). The development of the personal self and professional identity in learning to teach. In M. Cochran-Smith, S. Freiman-Nemser, D. J. McIntyre & K. E. Demers (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (3 ed., pp. 732-755). New York Routledge. Rogoff, B. (1994). Developing understanding of the idea of communities of learners. ,. Mind, Culture and Activity, 1, , 209-229. Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Vygotsky, L. S. (l978). Mind and society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Wenger. E(1998). The community of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. New York:Cambridge University Press.
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