The artistry of ‘becoming’: Inquiry and arts-based pedagogy in pre-service secondary English teacher education

    Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


    The affordances of inquiry and arts-based pedagogy in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) have been extensively theorised and investigated in the international research literature in the field (cf. Bullough & Stokes, 1994; Connelly & Clandinin, 1998; Craig, 2005; Ewing, 2011). This paper explores a distinctive model of ITE for pre-service secondary English teachers that integrates a suite of inquiry and arts-based approaches across three semesters of a Master of Teaching (Secondary) program. The model adapts and creatively extends theory and pedagogy that are both deeply embedded in and intuitively appropriate to the disciplinary norms and characteristics of English as an arts subject and to English teaching and learning. The model is underpinned by a number of key assumptions, with the most prominent of these being the ‘teacher-as-artist’: to teach writing, for example, the teacher must be an accomplished and confident writer; to teach reading, the teacher must be an exemplar of an engaged and expert reader. From the outset of their ITE, prospective English teachers are introduced to the concept of the ‘mantle of the expert’ (Heathcote & Bolton, 1994) whereby each is expected to ‘act as if’ they are teachers in a school, classroom and staffroom: all university-based experiences are structured with this assumption and expectation in mind. Likewise, pre-service teachers are familiarised with the theory and implications of liminality (Cook-Sather, 2006; Turner, 1967) as they embark on the journey to develop their concept of the self-as-teacher and chronicle the emergence of their professional identity through narrative reflections and subsequent annotations of these over the three semesters of the program. In concert with the use of narratives as a vehicle for giving shape to and interrogating their personal and professional beliefs, values and expectations (Britzman, 1991), pre-service teachers construct a metaphor to represent their teacher identity – which is painted, drawn or sculpted in the first weeks of the program and subsequently revisited and revised at key points in the course of the ITE program. The presenters will provide an overview of the secondary English program and offer examples of artefacts from pre-service English teachers in response to the aforementioned and other inquiry and arts-based pedagogies. They will then reflect on the innovative features and strengths of the model and its scope for optimising English teachers’ professional identity, collaborative capacity and genuine artistry
    PeriodJul 2018
    Event titleAATE/ALEA National Conference 2018
    Event typeConference
    LocationPerth, AustraliaShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionNational