Narrative inquiry as a meditational space to trace teacher learning in a technology integrated EAP Class

Year: 2012

Author: Herath, Sreemali

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:

Embracing a Vygotskian sociocultural perspective on human learning (Vygotsky, 1978), this presentation explores a self-authored narrative to understand the internal process of teacher learning that takes place as she decides to introduce technology in her EAP class. Research on teacher learning has revealed that critical reflection is an essential tool of professional development (Schone, 1987). Engaging in narrative inquiry provides teachers a mediational space to critically reflect on the process of learning to teach and the various instructional decisions they make. This presentation discusses how a teacher altered her existing instructional practices by introducing technology in a pre-university EAP class. It discusses how the new learning process was mediated, how the teacher and the students internalized the new modes of engagement, and the adjustments the teacher and the students made as they appropriated new modes of learning. The findings of the study revealed that narratives provide a mediational space for teachers to draw on various resources such as theoretical concepts, knowledge of expert peers, teacher's own 'expert' self, student responses and requests, and journal entries to externalise the reflective process.  The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how teachers can use narratives as a space to externalize the tensions they encounter, and reconceptualise and reinternalize new understandings of their instructional decisions.

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