Researching ‘With’ Lifelong Learning Teacher Educators in England and their In-Service Student Teachers an Action Research Study on the Use of Modelling

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The focus of this paper is a collaboration between two teacher educators from a further education (FE) college and a university-based teacher educator who are exploring the use of modelling, a teaching method which can allow student teachers to ‘see’ into teacher practice, with in-service student teachers from the Lifelong Learning sector in England. This study adopted a second-person practice approach (Chandler and Torbert, 2003, p.142) in which I, the university-based teacher educator, discussed with the two teacher educators Loughran and Berry’s (2005) paper on peer-teaching as a prelude to them planning a class for a group of first year trainees, where a new teacher educator ‘modelled’ a teaching strategy and professional value and a more experienced teacher educator lead a ‘de-brief’ with the student teachers of the modelling. This approach sought to answer two research questions: Firstly, what happens when teacher educators work together to explore the pedagogy of teacher education and, secondly, what are student teachers’ perceptions of the use of modelling by their teacher educators. A diverse set of data was collected including transcriptions from the planning meeting, a film of the lesson, a focus group held with the student teachers after the class, a stimulated recall interview with the
teacher educators and the teaching materials from the class. The data collected was then analysed using the conceptual framework of theories of practice architectures and ecologies of practices (Kemmis et al., 2014) and Winter’s (1982) concept of dilemma analysis. There are two principal findings arising from the study. Firstly, teacher collaboration is ‘messy’ (Adamson and Walker, 2011) and ‘beset by dilemmas’ (Winter, 1982, p.168); secondly, the use of modelling assumes that student teachers already possess the required language, what Freire (1996) calls the ‘dominant syntax’, and theoretical knowledge to engage with a teacher educator as they ‘unpack’ their practice (Loughran and Berry, 2005) and this can either ‘sustain or suffocate’ its use as a teaching strategy (Kemmis, 2014, p.50).
Period31 Oct 2014
Event titleCollaborative Action Research Network: Connecting Researchers, Connecting Communities
Event typeConference
LocationGateshead, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational