Examining Teacher Knowledge: Building Bridges to Conquer Brick Walls through Double Entry Journals
Butler, Deborah M.
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This research inquiry is a self-study grounded in the concepts of experience and educative experiences (Dewey 1916, 1938), types of teacher knowledge (Cochran-Smith and Lytle, 1999; Fenstermacher 1994), and teacher knowledge (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990; Clandinin & Connelly 1996). It explores the experiences of a long-time public school teacher as she transitions to a teacher of potential teacher education students. The researcher attempts to prepare her students to access and utilize all of the information and knowledge available to them on their journey to becoming potential educators (Vinz, 1997). Meanwhile, the researcher is also encountering brick walls and hidden curriculums (Jackson, 1968) of a first-time teacher in a new environment and school culture. This work is a self-study built on Bullough and Pinnegar’s (2001) self-study guidelines and especially focuses on facing past experiences with education openly and honestly, creating a narrative that allows others to empathize with the situations as they are told in an open and honest way, and attempting to gain insight from the experiences in order to help future educators/teacher educators. The three main areas of focus are on how the researcher confronts her past experiences in teacher education, how she struggles to tell her version of truth about education, and how she attempts to create better educators. However, as Eisner (1988) and Schön (1995) found, one cannot state what one knows. Therefore, to help understand what the teacher education students know about teaching and how they glean that knowledge, the researcher utilized Clandinin and Connelly’s (1994) research on narrative, and in a three-dimensional space (2000). Olson and Craig’s (2001) work with narrative authority was also very beneficial in exploring the experiences of the educator as she attempts to come to terms with moving from a post-graduate student and public school teacher to that of an expert in the teaching and teacher education field. This research will contribute not only to improving personal practice but also to what is known about teacher education and the preparation of teacher educators and teachers.