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.

A study into the use and accessibility of tacit knowledge within learning to teach

07 June 2018 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Nicola Warren-Lee

Convenor: Katharine Burn

Abstract: This doctoral study focuses on ‘tacit knowledge’ understood as a personal form of knowledge, which plays a key role in the practice and professional development of beginning teachers. The role of and access to tacit knowledge in student teacher learning were investigated using a case study approach employing stimulated recall interviews wherein mentors were asked to reflect upon their teaching and explain their teaching actions.  Stimulated recall interviews involved student teachers taking on the role of interviewer. Thematic analysis of data revealed that student teachers probed key teaching episodes and encouraged mentors to reveal complex decision making which may otherwise have remained undisclosed. Both student teachers and experienced teachers valued tacit knowledge in the learning to teach process.  The interviews reveal that observable teaching actions had complex underlying reasoning and this was elicited via objective-led dialogue between student teacher and mentor, post-teaching.  Student teachers were able to independently select teaching events to examine further, and were able to understand their mentor’s actions and judgements more deeply as a result of stimulated recall interviewing. The implications arising out of this study include a need for change to observation and debriefing practices in school, with student teachers and mentors becoming more aware of the value and purpose of tacit knowledge.  The benefits of student teachers being instrumental in initiating and asking questions which can elicit experienced teachers’ tacit knowledge are clear; and findings show the potential for student teachers to become more pivotal in their own learning.  Where stimulated recall interviews were used mentors were encouraged to reveal embedded reasoning underpinning their classroom practice.