, Volume 27, Issue 2-3, pp 125-136
Date: 15 Mar 2008

Teachers’ Identity, Self and the Process of Learning

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Abstract

In this paper we try, by drawing on some insights from practical knowledge, to bridge a gap between common conceptions of teaching on the one hand, and of learning on the other. In Western traditions of educational thought and discourse, practical knowledge—i.e. the dynamics of thinking, speaking, acting, and personal writing—is frequently separated from disciplinary knowledge: i.e. the knowledge of academic disciplines. But this separation often fails to recognize an inherent dialectic in teaching and learning. Through fresh explorations of human capacities to act and think, to speak and write, we try to illuminate different aspects of a teacher’s identity, including the teacher’s individuality and the teacher as an agent of an educational institution. The teacher has to present and represent knowledge in education, both as an agent of an institution and as a person. By examining the disclosure and transformation of the self in light of understandings of identity as sameness (i.e. that which doesn’t change with time), or as selfhood (i.e. that which is confronted by successive challenges), we hope to draw some productive conclusions about the teacher’s self-understanding as the source for personal learning in education. We aim to explore the importance of transformation of the teachers’ self for the quality of learning relationships between the teacher and the always Other student.