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ERIC Number: EJ1136962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Swinging between Infatuation and Disillusionment: Learning about Teaching Teachers through Self-Study
North, Chris
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v22 n4 p390-402 2017
Background: School teachers who become teacher educators (TEs) are rarely prepared for the different pedagogies that teacher education requires. One pedagogical difference is the need for TEs to make their thinking and decisions explicit to pre-service teachers (PSTs) so PSTs can see teaching as an adaptive process rather than a set of routines to be memorised. Purpose: This research set out to analyse my learning about teaching teachers through making my decisions and thinking explicit to my PSTs. Participants and data collection: Using a self-study of teacher education practice (S-STEP) methodology, I collected data during an outdoor education course in a physical education (PE) degree. Participants included a convenience sample of six participating PSTs (of a cohort of 24) who participated in four interviews and two group interviews. Three critical friends observed five lessons and participated in interviews. In addition, self-generated data consisted of 104 written reflective journal entries (both private and open). Lessons were video-recorded to assist with reflection. Data analysis: Utilizing Schön's concepts of reflection for, in and on action, I sought out contrary perspectives in order to frame and reframe my understanding of TE practice. I then presented these new understandings to other participants for further development. Findings: My learning about teaching teachers can be represented as swinging between opposite extremes of infatuation and disillusionment. After observing my teaching, a critical friend identified that my physical position (or how I placed myself in the group) affected PST engagement in discussions. As I explored this aspect of my teaching further, I became very focused on the influence of my physical position to the point of infatuation. My infatuation stage culminated in a reflection-in-action moment when I changed my position in the act of teaching, which appeared to significantly increase PST engagement. But the PSTs challenged my interpretation and stated that inequalities of power cannot be resolved by rearranging where a teacher stands. In this second stage, I experienced a strong sense of disillusionment, even cynicism. As a TE, I felt any actions I took were pointless against the power structures of society. Later, with insights from participants, I developed a more nuanced understanding of power and position; while not a panacea, how I arranged myself and the class physically did have some influence on the flow of discussions. Conclusions: S-STEP requires that researching practitioners challenge their assumptions. In making my own learning about my teaching explicit to my PSTs and critical friends, I was able to frame and reframe my understandings about teaching teachers. Through this research, I discovered that I learnt about my teaching by swinging between extremes. I argue that thinking about teaching informed by extreme positions, provides a fuller purview of the complexity of teaching teachers. S-STEP in conjunction with explicit teaching practices offers TEs a tangible means to understand our practices more deeply and furthermore, to advance our understanding of teacher education more broadly.
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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: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A