Teacher emotion and learning as praxis: Professional development that matters

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 2017, 42 (3), pp. 38 - 52
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This ethnographic study analyses the diverse emotions emerging within one teacher professional development workshop that engaged teachers as creative writers. Participating teachers revealed a vibrant range of positive and negative emotions as they worked within institutional discourses that conflicted with their intrinsic beliefs about effective teaching. They revealed their emotional investment in their roles and their desires for meaningful practice in spite of pressures to abide by managerial practices. Researchers documented high levels of vulnerability, engagement and hope as participants engaged in writing as 'praxis' to experience their beliefs about effective pedagogy firsthand. These findings suggest that since teaching and learning is inherently an emotional experience, professional development needs to acknowledge a teacher's complex emotional identity and to cultivate positive emotional growth. This study is relevant to teacher educators, preservice and practising teachers as it explores meaningful learning opportunities as a basis for effective teaching practice.
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