The activities of the group include seminars and a reading group. The activities address a variety of topics within teaching and teacher education that reflect the interests of the participants. These interests include all phases from early years to undergraduate levels, and a range of perspectives, from psychological to socio-cultural.

Re-visioning history education

18 May 2017 15:00 - 16:30
Seminar Room C

Speaker: Dr Jason Todd, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Katharine Burn, Teacher Education and Professional Learning Research Group

Drawing on my doctoral study exploring how young people’s engagement with history outside of the classroom shapes the development of their historical consciousness, I address the implications of this engagement for history teachers and young peoples' learning.  My study, building on socio-cultural perspectives, examined the ‘lived experience’ of young people’s memory work. It used the First World War as a context and adopted a mixed methods approach that included work with several small groups of students who constructed their own ethnographic accounts of societal and familial remembering and their emerging historical consciousness. Drawing on the findings I challenge some orthodox conceptualisations of the purposes of history education, and argue for a greater engagement with young people’s affective desires and the remembering  done outside the classroom. While the work has quite specific implications for history teachers related to the ways in which they could enable young people to engage with the complexity of the First World War and understand its continued resonance in the contemporary world, the main aims of this seminar are to:  explore the implications for teachers of better understanding how young people orient themselves in time; and to make the case for a history pedagogy that is more responsive to young people’s needs and their process of making and remaking their identities.

The theory practice nexus in teacher education: learning across contexts

25 May 2017 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Professor Anton Havnes (Visiting Research Fellow), Centre for the Study of Professions, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Convener: Dr Katharine Burn, Teacher Education and Professional Learning Research Group

The presentation explores students’ conceptions of the relationship between theoretically oriented learning in the higher education setting and the more practice-based learning in students’ placement learning in schools. Based on students’ descriptions of what they learn, and how they learn, in these contexts, four dimensions of the complexity of the theory-practise nexus in teacher education are identified: (1) From the general to the concrete, particular and contextual. (2) From relating to rules and laws about school, pupils and teaching/learning to meeting individual pupils and unique situations. (3) From understanding to application; from knowing to doing. (4) From making plans of upcoming teaching to responding ad hoc to what happens in class. Furthermore, the findings indicate that the traditional notion of “bridging the gap” between higher education does not do justice to these students’ descriptions of learning across contexts. Rather than searching for a “shared vision” (Hammerness 2008), students were concerned about the differences between the contexts. The analysis emphasises discontinuities as a key dimension of the relationship between higher education and work, the need to understand the two systems as functionally diverse, and the importance of preparing students to understand and make sense of the learning opportunities of each context as well as their interrelatedness and their disparities.