How to be an English teacher and an English teacher educator: spanning the boundaries between sites of learning
AbstractWhile perceptions that the roles of teacher and teacher educator as an oppositional binary are being challenged, sustaining and incorporating both professional identities has presented challenges. This paper presents a narrative account of my professional identity journey, including a description of a partnership that enabled boundaries to be spanned between a school and university and the teacher and teacher educator roles. As an English curriculum pre-service teacher educator, I have tried to maintain my connection to English classroom teaching, however, an absence from the classroom of eleven years left me vulnerable to the criticism that teacher educators lack relevant classroom practice. To retain my English teacher identity I sought partnerships to balance the theory-practice nexus. I returned to an English classroom, interacting with secondary students and pre-service teachers, working with former graduates as colleagues in enriching professional learning experiences. This paper proposes that new modes of professional collaboration, involving communities of practice, are needed to bring together schools and universities as sites of learning, but that changed attitudes are necessary within all areas of the profession to achieve this. The paper concludes with a discussion of perceived barriers threatening the sustainability of collaborative models of teacher education.
Sharplin, Elaine (2011) How to be an English teacher and an English teacher educator: spanning the boundaries between sites of learning. English in Australia , 46 (2). pp. 67-76.