Introduction : My name is Karen. In this chapter, I take a narrative approach and highlight ‘critical incidents’ that have caused me to reflect on my ‘being’ and recall events from childhood and adulthood. ‘Being’ or ‘to be’ is what Wilcock (1999) described as ‘being true to ourselves, to our nature, to our essence and to what is distinctive about us’ (p. 5). The state of ‘being’ requires time to think, reflect and to discover who we are (Wilcock 1999). My name is part of this. The constructivist view of learning posits that the learner comes with a representational model of personal constructs (in this instance, one’s name being a personal construct) and within these personal constructs, the learner makes sense of their learning situation (Stacey 1998). From the constructivist view, the teacher negotiates meaning with the learner through reflection, dialogue, guidance and feedback because the learner interprets ideas and constructs meaning based on pre-existing understandings (Candy 1991; Stacey 1998). Reflecting on my ‘being’ gives insight into the representational model of my personal constructs, of which my name is one. As a learner, this insight helps me interpret new information within a meaningful context. As a teacher, this insight informs me on how to engage with the students I teach.
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