Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework of this project is still developing, but these are the possibilitites as I see it today:

1) The underpinnings for the project and the basis for the presumption that theoretical knowledge is important for a professional teacher. I will draw upon the perspective that theoretical knowledge is necessary for professional development, by using the Aristotelian distinction of theoretical and practical knowledge. I have tried to outline this in more detail in the post “Theoretical and practical knowledge for a teacher”. I will also look at my results through the lense of the theory of practice architectures (Stephen Kemmis).

2) Analysis of the collected data viewed from the level of the preservice teacher
Characteristic to teacher education is that the students already have a vivid impression of teaching and classroom life from their own school days. The students’ intital beliefs may be understood with Bourdieu’s (1977) main concept habitus. Another concept describing preservice teacher exisisting “practice theories” is teaching stance (Remington Smith, 2007). With reference to Robert Fried (1995) she defines teaching stance as: “a philosophy, an attitude, a bearing, and is a physical, emotional and intellectual process”. It is formed through an process combining life experience (as for example own schooling), experience encountered in practicum and theoretical knowledge acquired at the university. In the analysis of my studies I will make use of these concepts in order to understand what influences they have on the students’ learning of theory.

3) Analysis of the data seen from a system level.
Rasmussen and Kruse (2007) build on the system theory of Niklas Luhmann, which divides the society in different systems. Pedagogy as a discipline is divided into a practical and a theoretical part, and belongs to two different systems, the education system and the scientific system. The two systems each operates within its own discourse and respond to different values and norms. A fundamental difference between the systems is that while the focus of theoretical knowledge taught at the university is on insight and understanding, knowledge learned through practice emphasizes “what works” – in this lesson, for my class, and in this specific school (Rasmussen, Kruse et al. 2007).

To move from the notion of gaps to the notion of differences between systems and the communication between them will be helpful as a theoretical lens when exploring the research problem of this project.

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