The consecration of experience in the field: Interrogating the practicum relationship

Year: 2012

Author: Hodges, Kimbalee, Eacott, Scott

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This paper is concerned with the relations between co-operating and pre-service teachers during periods of work-integrated learning. It observes that, and arguably consistent across the professions, experience in the field – namely that which the co-operating teacher has and the pre-service teacher does not – is the default measure for structuring this asymmetrical pedagogical relationship. This taken-for-granted position casts 'teaching' with a particular temporal structure, specifically as a set of capabilities and skills which are developed, accumulated and stored up over time. The professional standards movement and teacher accreditation regimes are similarly built on such claims. Theoretically informed by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, this paper seeks to interrogate the structural arrangements that establish the desirability and value of time in the field during professional experience courses.  The relevance of such claims will also be located in the context of expanding technological advancements, the fluidity of knowledge creation and the potential need to de-couple experience from performance.