Students’ agentic learning process: beginning the transformation of university teacher education practices
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
4:20 PM, Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 (30 minutes)
Convention Center - 2000 B
Teacher education draws attention to enhancing the quality of education offered through an emphasis on innovative practice. This project challenges current university practice of preset unit content delivered through instructional teaching and moves towards recognising and valuing student teacher agency in university unit development. Research supports the need for fewer teacher educators-directed learning to more interactive student teacher led learning, shifting the focus to work with students in more productive ways. In the current study, student teachers were invited to co construct their own learning through a consultation process where their choices and opinions were sought prior to unit development and delivery. During delivery of the unit, an open dialogue was entered into on social media where students were encouraged to provide feedback on their experience. A cultural-historical interpretative methodology was used to frame the project. Digital video observations of the pre-service teachers focus group co constructing unit content and assessment with a teacher educator and the social media conversations during the delivery of the unit were analysed. The concepts of relational agency (Edwards, 2004) and subjectivity (González Rey, 2015) were used to analyse the face to face and social media conversations. The target group consisted of seven fourth year undergraduate students enrolled in the unit. This paper unpacks dimensions of student teachers’ experience as co constructors in unit development, in order to determine how they perceive their own agentic learning. It is argued that transformation in teacher education begins with inclusive, collaborative dialogue and teacher educators who seek student’s choice, opinions and agency support the student-centred learning and teaching experience. The findings from this study have implications, which highlight the need to provide participants with outstanding student centred learning experiences. Further, the study provides insights into the benefits of offering opportunities that develop and respect variations in student learning styles.