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ERIC Number: EJ1136611
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0256-0100
The Community of Learning Is in the Baobab Tree--How the Branches Stay Together in the Context of Professional Preparation
Wolfensberger-Le Fevre, Celeste; Fritz, Elzette; van der Westhuizen, Gert
South African Journal of Education, v31 n4 p561-573 2011
This article explores how participation in a community of learning supported transformation on a personal and professional level in a Master's programme at a South African university. It draws on the concept of transformational learning in the professional preparation of educational psychologists, and how such learning plays out in the development of critical perspectives and shifts in personal paradigms. We report on a two-year ethnographic study that involved 13 of a total of 15 students enrolled for an Educational Psychology Master's course. One of us (CW) acted as participant observer in the study and recorded the experiences of the participants through reflective letters that included symbolic metaphors, semi-structured group focus interviews, as well as a verification questionnaire. In our analysis and interpretation we used the metaphor of the Baobab tree, "the tree turned upside down", because it is known for its resilience, holding capacity and continuous growth. We found the image to powerfully represent the dynamics of professional preparation and transformation in higher education.
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-5798; Fax: +27-12-420-5511; Web site: http://www.sajournalofeducation.co.za/index.php/saje/index
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa