Lärare tar gestalt : En hermeneutisk studie av texter om lärarblivande på distans
Sammanfattning: Texts, including teachers' responses to students' practice journals, in which a group of trainee teachers and their lecturers reveal their experiences of a distance education programme for primary school teacher training are interpreted in this thesis from within a hermeneutical tradition. Attention is focused first on how students through their texts conceptualise themselves as becoming teachers and also on how their teachers' responses to the students' texts contribute to this process. A second focus is on how distance education, normally targeting mature students, begins to be understood by students and becomes part of their lives. The possible research value of texts passing between students and teachers is also discussed. Finally, the possibility of developing a didactics based on existential hermeneutics is described.Completed interpretations show how students in the main focus on the brighter sides of the programme, of their teachers and of their co-students and how their lecturers also choose to focus on their students' positive qualities, giving praise rather than engaging in a critical dialogue which might challenge their thinking about the job of teaching and about themselves as teachers. Not being required to leave their own locality in order to study and thereby not disrupting their families either socially or economically is the main benefit of distance education for these mature students. The teachers' praise of students has been interpreted as indicating that current conceptualisations of teacher training, teachers, schooling and school children are seldom challenged as an integral part of teacher training. Reciprocally, student teachers' positive portrayal of the teaching profession, and particularly of their lecturers, can be interpreted as reducing the likelihood of teaching lecturers questioning their own conceptions of themselves, their students or teacher training in general. These positions may lead in turn to the detriment of the critical task of all teacher training, namely, to foster critically aware teachers, allowing teaching lecturers and their students to challenge their taken-for-granted truths about themselves and the profession of teaching.
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