Academic journal article Issues in Teacher Education

Narratives on Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Perspective

Academic journal article Issues in Teacher Education

Narratives on Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Perspective

Article excerpt

Narratives on Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Perspective Edited by Andrea M. A. Mattos New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

Novice teacher educators, especially doctoral students in schools of education, should have comprehensive understanding of the knowledge and practice of teaching prospective teachers. Zeichner (2005) points out that teacher education is treated as a "self-evident activity" (p. 118) in many universities in the U.S., meaning that teacher educators' prior teaching experience as a teacher can be easily transformed into the practices that are needed to teach prospective teachers. Yet the expertise required for teacher educators should be different from the kind needed for teachers (Zeichner, 2005). Learning to be a teacher educator does not only involve developing the practice of teacher education, which includes teaching courses and supervising student teachers. It also involves having profound understanding and knowledge of the issues and research on teacher education (Wilson, 2006; Zeichner, 2005) and one way to accomplish this is to read various empirical and conceptual studies written by teacher educators (Zeichner, 2005). However, in the field of teacher education, there is limited literature that specifically addresses the study of teacher educators' learning and practice.

This book, Narratives on Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Perspective (Matttos, 2009b) caught my eye because it is one of those few books inquiring about teacher educators' learning and practice. Given its title, I was particularly curious about how the authors explore teacher educators' learning to teach by using narrative inquiry as a common framework. Moreover, as an international doctoral student studying teacher education, I am particularly curious about global teacher education practices, not only those practices in the U.S. and Korea, my home country. Having a further understanding of teacher education practices in other countries would add breadth and depth to my own knowledge of learning to teach as a teacher educator.

Andrea M. A. Mattos (2009b) edited a compilation of fourteen studies about teaching and teacher education that use Clandinin and Connelly's (2000) narrative inquiry as a common theoretical framework. Clandinin (2009) explains in her foreword in this text that "narrative inquiry is a way of understanding and inquiring into experience" (p. xi). Addition- ally, narrative inquiry requires a perspective that human experience is socially constructed and can be retold by stories (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). The three "commonplaces" (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000; Clandinin, 2009) of narrative inquiry, which denote temporality, sociality, and place, are thoroughly and simultaneously explored throughout the inquiry. In this way, narratives not only present the stories of people's lives but also envision the future possibilities for their lives (Clandinin, 2009).

Taking note of the commonplaces of narrative inquiry is particularly important as the chapters in this book are grouped in two parts-stories of discovery and transformation and stories of hope-to particularly ad- dress the temporality of narrative inquiry (Clandinin, 2009). The chapters in stories of discovery and transformation focus on teacher educators' inquiry on their past and present experience of teaching to improve their current practice. Through this inquiry, teacher educators find meanings in their experiences that help them transform their practice as well as student teachers' learning in practice. For example, Garbett and Heap (2009) from New Zealand use narrative inquiry as a means to reflect on their team teaching experience in a science education course and propose implications to improve team teaching.

The second part, stories of hope, also looks at teacher educators' past and present experiences but also focuses on framing their narra- tives to be more explicitly geared toward their future practices. …

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