An enabling place pedagogy for new teachers?

Year: 2006

Author: Somerville, Margaret

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The place pedagogy approach evolved from my previous research proposes three principles for a conceptual framework for an enabling place pedagogy: place learning is necessarily embodied and local; our relationship to place is constituted in stories; and deep place learning occurs in a contact zone of contested stories. The enabling place pedagogy approach was shared in ongoing informal discussions with a teacher education student throughout the year of his postgraduate teacher education studies. The student was subsequently placed at a high school in Moree, a notoriously difficult school in western NSW. We recorded his workplace learning during the first 18 months of his teaching in a series of conversational interviews. We found that learning place and forming community was a critical process for this beginning teacher, especially in the context of culturally and environmentally challenging places. This learning involved a profound process of becoming through which the new teacher became engaged with the place and its communities. I will propose that this approach can be applied more generally in teacher education and in school curricula and invite the audience to share their experiences and thoughts about this application.