Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (1994). Telling teaching stories. Teacher Education Quarterly, 21 (1), 145-158.

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how teachers' professional and personal stories are central to teacher education, teacher development, and the improvement of schools. Connelly and Clandinin's work focuses on the role of teachers' and students' lives in education and the use of narrative in educational research. This article illuminates some of the basic assumptions and metaphors of their work, and provides insight into this line of research. The assumptions that they make about teacher education are that it involves the life history of the teacher; that it is lifelong and ongoing; and that teaching is an educative relationship among people. They compare two metaphors of teacher education: teacher education as injection (professors injecting knowledge and skills into prospective teachers) and teacher education as reconstruction (the prospective teachers rethinking and rebuilding the past in order to make sense of their learning). The central metaphors (or conceptual understandings) in Clandinin and Connelly's work include: life is a story we live; education equals growth equals inquiry; people make meaning of their lives through story; if a teacher can tell the story of her own education, she will be better able to tell the stories of her students' education; teacher education is a process of learning to tell and retell educational stories; and teacher education is a sustained education. Telling and retelling stories, they believe, leads to awakenings, to transformations, and to changes in practice.

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