Using Mead's Theory of Emergence as a framework for sociological inquiry into pre-service teacher education

Allen, Jeanne, Sinclair, Mark and Smith, Richard 2009, Using Mead's Theory of Emergence as a framework for sociological inquiry into pre-service teacher education, Sociological research online, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 1-10.

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Title Using Mead's Theory of Emergence as a framework for sociological inquiry into pre-service teacher education
Author(s) Allen, Jeanne
Sinclair, Mark
Smith, Richard
Journal name Sociological research online
Volume number 14
Issue number 5
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher University of Surrey
Place of publication Guildford, England
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1360-7804
Keyword(s) Mead
theory of emergence
field of Interaction
role taking
self regulated behaviour
theory-practice gap
beginning teacher practice
pre-service teacher education
Summary In this paper we take up Chang's (2004) challenge to apply Mead's theory of emergence in sociological inquiry. Largely overlooked by scholars, this theory is shown to prove explanatory in one field where limited solutions have been found to date. Specifically, the theory sheds light on how the theory-practice gap is created and sustained in pre-service teacher education. The argument is that under current institutional arrangements the trainee/beginning teacher encounters different and oft-times conflicting environmental, social and cultural conditions in the two 'fields of interaction' (Mead, 1934: 249) of their training program, namely, the on-campus pre-service program and the school. The argument draws on interview and focus group data collected via a study of first-year graduate teachers of an Australian pre-service teacher education program. We conclude that the Meadian mechanisms of role taking and self-regulated behaviour within the two environmental fields of interaction inhibit the trainee/beginning teacher from exercising the power of agency to implement theory learned at university in practice in the classroom. In this sense Mead's theory of emergence predicts the obduracy of the gap between theory and practice in teacher education.
Language eng
Field of Research 130103 Higher Education
Socio Economic Objective 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Sage Publications
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Education
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Created: Wed, 21 May 2014, 16:29:30 EST by Jeanne Allen

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