Real-Life Experiences during Teaching and Learning: Three South African Teachers’ Narratives

Geesje van den Berg, M.M. Dichaba

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers’ real-life experiences, during teaching and learning, in three aspects of their lives, namely as school learners, as tertiary students and as teachers, influenced their current educational practices. Transformative learning, which is based on psychoanalytic and critical social theories, was used as a theoretical framework for this study. Of particular interest was to discover how, and to what extent, teachers’ learning experiences had affected their assumptions, via which they interpret and attempt to understand their current teaching environment. Using purposeful sampling, three practicing teachers’ narratives were selected, based on their unique richness and depth, as well as their diversity and dissimilarities of contexts. The participants were enrolled for a postgraduate teaching qualification, while having between 10 and 38 years of teaching experience. Their narratives revealed that, as teachers, they had vastly different experiences but, despite these differences, they were all able to make some substantive mind-shifts to embrace a more inclusive world-view. Gaining insight into the real-life experiences of student teachers should assist higher education institutions in improving the course design for their teaching. If lecturers appreciate and acknowledge where their student teachers come from, they should be better equipped to purposefully guide them on their journey through the teaching profession.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p471


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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