The voices of experience: teacher educators articulate their thoughts and concerns about current and future education policy and practice

PhD Thesis


Findlay, Yvonne Stewart. 2018. The voices of experience: teacher educators articulate their thoughts and concerns about current and future education policy and practice. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/7wwj-jf48
Title

The voices of experience: teacher educators articulate their thoughts and concerns about current and future education policy and practice

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorFindlay, Yvonne Stewart
SupervisorDanaher, Patrick
Baguley, Margaret
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages260
Year2018
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/7wwj-jf48
Abstract

This research addressed the neglect of teacher educators’ voices in the discourses surrounding teaching and teacher education. In this study, five Queensland university teacher educators articulated, through the narratives of their professional lived experience, their thoughts and concerns about current and future education policy and practice.

Evidence of the neglect of teacher educator voices was found by a search of the literature on teaching and teacher education. A number of reports were found that scrutinised classroom teaching and teacher education in Australia and the United Kingdom and across Europe. These reports make comment on and recommendations about the current and future practice in teacher education but do not indicate the ways in which teacher educators have or have not been involved in the discussion of and preparation of the reports.

Narrative Inquiry (NI) was used as both methodology and method in the study. Multiple conversations between the researcher and each participant led to the final five co-constructed narratives of the participants. The narratives told of the professional lived experience of the participants and how that experience has led them to articulate their thoughts and concerns about education today and in the future.

Five common themes emerged from the analysis of the narratives: the way in which initial teacher education (ITE) students are recruited; the influence of government policy on the ways in which the curriculum and testing are delivered in schools; the qualifications and experience of teacher educators; the need for a closer working relationship between schools and universities; and the process of transition from teaching in school to teaching in the university. These themes formed the basis of how the researcher made meaning of the participants’ narratives.

The nature of NI is such that the researcher becomes a partner in the research and this results in participation in a personal learning journey that leads to the articulation of the researcher’s own lived experience. In the thesis, my learning journey is evidenced in the prologue and the epilogue. There are also personal reflections at points throughout the study.

The study adds to our knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of NI. A new dimension, the generative space, was added to enhance the understanding of how the commonplaces of NI work together to enable deep reflection on the past, present and possible future lived experience.

Policy and practice in teacher education were scrutinised through the lenses of the teacher educators’ narratives and led to the development of the recommendations regarding the role and status of teacher educators, made in the final chapter.

In essence, this study has evolved into being about the things that matter to the five participants. Each is a highly qualified and experienced professional expressing the positives, negatives and frustrations that they experience in their current professional lives. They are five individuals with a passion for education as a whole and for the education of teachers in particular.

Keywordsteacher educators; teacher education; policy; practice; narrative inquiry
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
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