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Personal Construct Psychology in Preservice Teacher Education: The Path Toward Reflexivity

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In times of rapid changes, it is necessary to prepare teachers to be agents of education reform and thus educate them for reflective practice. However, prospective teachers in Serbia rarely have the opportunity to reflect on personal constructs of the teaching profession and their own practice. With the aim of supporting prospective teachers to become reflective practitioners and persons-as-scientists, we organized “alternative lectures” as part of the compulsory study course for future teachers. Within four encounters with four groups of 8 to 10 student teachers, we applied three techniques, developed within frames of personal construct psychology. Modifications of the technique “river of experience,” Career Rivers, enabled student teachers to reflect on the past and reveal constructs that guided previous actions in the professional field. Two self-characterizations, one portraying them as teachers and another portraying them as specialists in a different profession (in accordance with their education), made their constructions of future jobs more permeable. Through the combination of the perceiver element grid and perceiver self grid, they were encouraged to enter the role relationship with pupils and community. Although it raised new questions, this cooperative enterprise resulted in the reduction of anxiety regarding future jobs, embedding the stance of a person-as-scientist and sowing the seeds of reflective practice.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia 2: Centre for Education Policy, Belgrade, Serbia

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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