Storytelling and Living Praxis in the Pre-Service Teacher Classroom

in Teachers’ Professional Development in Global Contexts
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Abstract

At Victoria University in Melbourne many years have been spent developing a praxis model of education. Under this model praxis has been defined as ethical action for the public good. For the author praxis is focused around building theory from practice, to improve outcomes for both teachers and students. The author’s personal educational theory on praxis has evolved into a living praxis pedagogy and model. In this model, the educator and pre-service teacher (PST) build upon initial understandings, evaluate progress, reflect and act in an on-going reflexive process. In the Tertiary classroom this often manifests itself through the action of storytelling. This chapter will explore the relationship between stories and living praxis and suggest a process of narrative inquiry that can be used in the Tertiary classroom. Stories from placement/practicum have long been used in teacher education classes. Diagrams will be used to present this process and how it can be understood. This chapter will describe how these stories can evolve into understandings and personal theories of practice. It will explore the narrative inquiry process of live-tell-retell-relive and unpack how this can be used in the classroom to help scaffold PST theorising. It will outline the collaborative processes that occur in the classroom, the roles of the teacher educator, the individual PST and of other PSTs. The chapter will use data from PSTs, teacher evaluations and teacher observations to provide evidence of the success of the approach undertaken.

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