My teacher exclaims, "That's stupid!" and rolls her eyes': The risks and dilemmas of student teachers working in two communities of practice

Year: 2003

Author: Fleer, Marilyn, Robbins, Jill

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Particular communities of practice tend to have their own context-specific ways of thinking, values, histories and artefacts or tools that they use (Fleer & Robbins, 2003). Traditionally within early childhood education, a developmental approach to observing, documenting and planning for the learning and deve lopment of young children has been the most commonly used tool or 'way of doing things'. Increasingly, though, sociocultural theory has become influential for informing early childhood educational theory. However, translating theory into practice has been slow and there is still a great deal to learn about the dynamics of this process. This paper will report on a study of 75 early childhood pre-service student teachers as they moved through the participatory appropriation of sociocultural theory (Rogoff, 1995, 1998). As student teachers engaged in new ways of thinking and were able to make informed analyses and decisions about planning and teaching, risks and dilemmas were often encountered when they entered practical teaching situations where participants continued to recycle traditional constructivist-developmental approaches.