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ERIC Number: EJ973633
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1394
Authenticity through Reflexivity: Connecting Teaching Philosophy and Practice
Jenkins, Catherine
Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v51 spec iss p72-89 Dec 2011
Adult educators have strong beliefs. This will surprise no-one, but where do their beliefs come from, and how do they influence future development of their teaching practice? Drawing on my PhD research, I explore the multi-directional relationship between teaching beliefs and practices, considering the influence of past traditions of adult education and personal philosophies of teaching. Through interviews, journaling and a focus group, ten practitioners from Melbourne's Centre for Adult Education explored the sticky questions of how their philosophies developed and how these philosophies interconnect with more recent notions of good practice. Some research suggests that teaching practice is fundamentally shaped by beliefs that are stable and resistant to change, yet these practitioners revealed a dynamic, multi-directional relationship between teaching beliefs and practices. They were influenced by their own past experiences of learning and some of the broad traditions of adult education, yet arguably of greater interest was the finding that adult educators' philosophies of teaching were also influenced by their current practice, their interaction with learners, and the challenges of the day-to-day learning context. The words and experiences of these practitioners demonstrate that deliberate engagement with educators' beliefs may enhance authentic development of their teaching practice. Current directions in government policy for adult education are firmly fixed on skilling a national workforce, and naturally require adult educators' teaching practice to reflect this. What can be expected when this irresistible force meets the potentially immovable object of adult educators' teaching philosophies?
Adult Learning Australia. Level 1, 32 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2603, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6274-9515; Fax: +61-02-6274-9513; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia