ERIC Number: ED318724
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Beyond the Lonely, Choosing Will: Professional Development in Teacher Thinking. Occasional Paper No. 131.
This paper aims to accomplish several purposes through conceptual analysis, story telling and interpretation, excursions into philosophy, and recent studies of teachers' professional development. First, the paper identifies limitations and confusions in current conceptions of teachers' professional thinking: equating teacher thinking with planning and decision making, and confounding professional choice with personal liberty. These limitations and confusions mislead thought and action in efforts at teacher development and school improvement. Second, in a counterargument, the paper stresses the limits of choice in teaching (as in any social role) and introduces a membership-goodness-obligation theme. The counterargument and theme lead to a broadened conception of teacher thinking that includes contemplation, described as devoted thought that is not deluded. In a third part, to clarify this view of contemplation, the paper draws on stories of professional development and teaching. Fourth, applying the counterargument to the literature on teachers' professional life cycles, the suggestion is made that a distinction exists between focusing on the classroom in the service of the teacher's self ("personal interiority") and focusing on the classroom in the service of teaching and students ("professional interiority"). Only the second form of interiority is held to be consistent with professional development and school improvement. (Author/AMH)
Descriptors: Cognitive Style, Creative Thinking, Educational Philosophy, Fundamental Concepts, Higher Education, Interaction Process Analysis, Professional Development, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Role, Teaching (Occupation)
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($3.50).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.; National Center for Research on Teacher Education, East Lansing, MI.