Teacher Identity Through Autobiographical Reflections of Preservice Teachers’ Wider Field Experience

Abstract:
Preservice teachers enrolled in teacher education programs are required to engage in reflective practice to develop understanding of the teaching profession and to develop a personal teacher identity. Reflective practices are particularly useful during rural and remote Supervised Professional Experiences (SPE). Preservice teachers also reflect on Wider Field Experiences (WFE) which provide them with additional experiences that extend their professional learning. This study examines the value of shared autobiographical reflections of a group of preservice teachers as they completed Wider Field Experience (WFE) in an Aboriginal community school in a rural area. Preservice teachers indicated that the WFE had an impact on their professional learning and contributed to developing a positive understanding of teaching Aboriginal students. However, it was the opportunity to participate in shared autobiographical reflections on the WFE that contributed significantly to their teacher identity, and their teaching practices for both urban and rural classrooms. The preservice teachers’ autobiographical reflections about the WFE suggest the value of well-chosen WFE and the benefit of including personal experiences in developing professional learning and teaching practices for teaching in rural schools.

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