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Learning-to-learn and learning-to-teach: the impact of disciplinary subject study on student-teachers' professional identity

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A coherent view of student-teachers' preparation and the learning experiences to which they are exposed are key to sustaining the relevance of university-based teacher-education programmes. Arguably, such coherence is lacking and the research base to an understanding of the student-teacher experience is still a relatively limited one. This paper takes the view that student-teachers' epistemological growth is a key component of their professional development, their sense of identity as intending teachers, and their successful entry into a teaching career. In adopting a phenomenographic approach it explores a chain of evidence which demonstrates that immersion in the processes of learning and knowing, within a specific disciplinary context, had a significant impact on students' emerging professional identities and on their values as teachers which extends beyond the subject matter itself. Arguably, the findings of this case-study hold important implications for a teacher-education programme and for effective pedagogic practice.

Keywords: epistemology; history; learning technology; teacher education; teacher identities

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Edge Hill University, Faculty of Education, Ormskirk, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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