Boundary Crossing during Pre-service Teacher Training : empowering or hampering professional growth?

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Abstract

Yuli Rahmawati’s paper presents an auto-ethanographic inquiry into her lived experiences as a science teacher in different countries. Through her reflections and analysis of events, Yuli captures and builds a model of her identity and explores the influence of inter- and intra-cultural perspectives in shaping how she recognizes herself and brings meaning to her professional life. Yuli’s insights and explanations of teaching within different cultural contexts highlight the importance of personally relevant and meaningful knowledge, where expectations and accepted norms, that might fit well within one community, may be seen quite differently in another. While for Yuli, this led to professional growth as she inquired and made sense of her new context, my concern is that the social and cultural change could, in some instances, lead to disengagement rather than professional growth. My concern is that the conflict that arises from boundary crossing may be experienced even stronger by inexperienced professionals, such as pre-service teachers. The learning trajectory of pre-service teachers is steep; they need to gain stronger knowledge of curriculum and pedagogy and an awareness of how their students learn. They also need to build confidence in their professional self and what they can do to support and trigger student learning. For this to happen, in the tight time frames available on teacher education courses, pre-service teachers need to understand and engage with the new community that they are placed in very quickly, to make sense of both their role and that of others within the community. This paper suggests that pre-service providers should carefully consider the learning opportunities offered by school contexts, that may vary dramatically from the social and cultural contexts experienced by their teachers as part of their own education, to prevent disengagement or misunderstanding hampering professional growth.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural Studies of Science Education
Early online date4 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2017

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