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Valuing practice over theory : how beginning teachers re-orient their practice in the transition from the university to the workplace

Allen, J. M. 2007, Valuing practice over theory : how beginning teachers re-orient their practice in the transition from the university to the workplace, in BERA 2007 : Proceedings of the British Educational Research Association 2007 conference, British Educational Research Association, [London, England], pp. 1-1.

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Title Valuing practice over theory : how beginning teachers re-orient their practice in the transition from the university to the workplace
Author(s) Allen, J. M.
Conference name British Educational Research Association. Conference (2007 : London, England)
Conference location London, England
Conference dates 5 - 8 Sep. 2007
Title of proceedings BERA 2007 : Proceedings of the British Educational Research Association 2007 conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2007
Conference series British Educational Research Association Conference
Start page 1
End page 1
Total pages 1
Publisher British Educational Research Association
Place of publication [London, England]
Keyword(s) pre-service teacher education
theory-practice
beginning teacher
symbolic interactionism
work-integrated learning
Summary This paper is about the experiences of beginning teachers in turning theory learned in universities into practice in the workplace. The research is situated in the context of a preservice teacher education program that explicitly and deliberately seeks to bridge the theory-practice gap in teacher education. The paper argues that, despite long-standing awareness of the theory-practice gap as a central issue faced by beginning teachers, attempts by teacher educators to address this issue remain thwarted. The argument draws on interview and focus group data collected via a study of 1st year graduate teachers of an Australian preservice teacher education program. The theoretical perspective of symbolic interactionism is used to focus on the meanings that graduates have of their experiences of turning theory into practice. The data suggest that prospective teachers during preservice training value both the theory that they learn on campus and the practice that they observe in schools. However, once they become practitioners, they privilege the latter. Upon entry to the workplace, graduates come to associate good practice with that of the veteran teacher, whose practice and cache of resources they seek to emulate. The paper concludes that background knowledge and occupational socialization remain key influences on teacher development and continue to play a key role in ensuring the continued transmittal of the cultural heritage. In particular, it proposes the need for innovative disruptions to the conventional model of teacher education.

Language eng
Field of Research 130103 Higher Education
Socio Economic Objective 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Research category E2.1 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30064785

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Faculty of Arts and Education
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Created: Fri, 27 Jun 2014, 17:38:21 EST by Jeanne Allen

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