10 SES 13 C, The ‘Practice Turn’ in Pre-Service Teacher Education: New Possibilities for Practice Development
In their article ‘Redefining teaching, re-imagining teacher education’ (2009), Grossman, Hammerness and McDonald challenge the field of teacher education to return to being organised around a core set of practices in which knowledge, skill and professional identity are developed in the process of learning to practice. Following Dreyfus & Dreyfus (2004) and Grossman et al. (2009), this paper presents findings of a Faculty wide project developed at Charles Sturt University, Australia, which engaged first year students, classroom teachers and university academics in an action research program centred around understanding and developing particular core practices of teaching. This initiative ‘csuPRAC: Programming, Relationships and Communication’ makes an integrated, cross-curriculum attempt to move pre-service Teacher Education courses toward a pedagogy of enactment; a program directed towards what we argue are core skills that work to inform teachers’ pedagogical success. This paper explores how this “practice turn” has resulted in observable changes in students’ embodied practice of teaching; the strengthening of the theory-practice nexus; the development of communities of practice capable of nurturing resilience and dialogic reflection; and the emergence of initial teacher identity prior to and in preparation for professional experience in schools.
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