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S-STTEP: Standing on a Threshold of Opportunity

  • Amanda BerryEmail author
Living reference work entry
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Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

Since its formal establishment as a Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association in 1993 and the publication of the International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices in 2004, Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices (S-STTEP) has grown rapidly, bringing together the worlds of educational research and practice through the insider perspective of those simultaneously engaged in both. Now 15 years later, on the brink of publishing the Second International Handbook, it is timely to examine the accumulation of S-STTEP research produced since the previous Handbook, to identify directions taken, and to draw out issues and questions of significance that can shape future directions for the field. The authors of the chapters in this section do this through examining the foundations of S-STTEP and its development via several lines of inquiry including a historical perspective via the biennial “Castle” meetings of the S-STTEP community of scholars (Garbett, Fitzgerald, and Thomas); its genealogical-theoretical heritage (Craig and Curtis); its positioning, stance, and identity within educational research (Pinnegar, Hutchinson, and Hamilton); the establishment of its ways of knowing and claims to know (Vanassche and Berry); and its presence within the broader landscape of insider practitioner research (Butler and Branyon) and in teacher education policy and research (Clift and Liaupsin). While each chapter examines self-study practice and research through a particular lens, when brought together these chapters locate self-study very much at a threshold moment in terms of its development. In its literal meaning, a threshold marks a boundary between one place and another. Figuratively, a threshold also signifies a place of transition or a turning point. It can be a productive space, a space of tension and also of potential and opportunity. For the work of S-STTEP, this threshold moment represents both enduring and new challenges. As S-STTEP scholars, we recognize that as form of scholarship, S-STTEP is well-established. The accumulation of work over decades clearly signals that we are no longer beginning. Yet, as these chapters reveal, the extent to which our work extends beyond our local communities remains limited. Such limitations may keep us lingering on the threshold of potential for the growth and impact of our work. Reminiscent of Zeichner’s (2007) critique of self-study in terms of its limited contributions to “discussions and debates about issues of importance” (p. 44) in education, the current pressing issue for the S-STTEP community – and what may be seen as its threshold of opportunity – is in realizing its powerful potential for speaking and contributing to different communities and audiences. While the benefit of self-study in supporting teacher educators to recognize and value their own professional knowledge continues to serve a vital purpose, there are others external to the self-study community who can profit from the knowledge and understandings developed through self-studies of practice. Such a contribution is also consistent with the aim of self-study “to provoke, challenge, and illuminate” (Bullough and Pinnegar 2001) taken-for-granted ways of being in, and thinking about, education. Realizing the potential of this threshold moment for S-STTEP to expand its reach and influence is an issue explored by the authors of each of the chapters in this section. Their explorations also raise a central and enduring tension for the community of S-STTEP scholars – How to maintain the particular character and unique form of S-STTEP scholarship while at the same time aiming to contribute to the mainstream of educational research?

Keywords

Castle Conference Epistemology Knowledge-making Ontology Policy Self-study scholarship 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Amanda Berry
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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