The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 589–605 | Cite as

Thinking dispositions as a resource for resilience in the gritty reality of learning to teach

  • Amanda McGrawEmail author
  • Sharon McDonough


While there is agreement that dispositions and resilience enable teachers to negotiate the complexities of teaching, how we support pre-service teachers (PSTs) to activate and understand the nature of dispositions and resilience is less clear. This narrative inquiry, conducted at a regional university in Australia, examines ways thinking dispositions act as personal resources to enable PSTs to develop resilience and negotiate the reality of teaching. In this paper, we examine a teaching and learning experience in an initial teacher education program where PSTs engage with complexities associated with planning, teaching and assessment. Drawing from semi-structured interviews, we construct and examine PSTs’ narratives and identify the foundational influence of people-centred thinking. We also identify the central role of reflective and strategic thinking in enabling resilience. Finally, we argue that school/university partnership initiatives in teacher education provide opportunities to focus on dispositions associated with resilience.


Dispositions Resilience Initial teacher education Vignettes 



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Copyright information

© The Australian Association for Research in Education, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationFederation University AustraliaMt HelenAustralia

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