The Nature and the Understanding of the Kinds of Knowledge Involved in the Praxis of Teaching
Our presentation deals with the different kinds of knowledge that are involved in the praxis of teachers' professional life. The teaching process involves automatically enacted activities, that emerge from teachers past experiences in educational situations (Gorodetsky & Barak 2004), and that incorporate beyond aspects of techne, cultural and value laden aspects. Explicit knowledge - e.g., theories and concepts - play a role in post acting reflections that lead to learning towards better understanding and formalizing the nature of the enacted activities and provide the grounds for possible deductions of future activities.
We suggest that meaningful learning regarding knowledge of practice is the expansion- extension of teachers’ horizons through weaving into the fabric of understanding wider/deeper/socially more suited/moral aspects (Engostrom 2004; Paavola et al. 2004). Even more, we will claim that knowledge of praxis is mainly characterized by horizontal growth on the dimensions of values and time rather than on the vertical dimension of abstractness. As education is a social construction the dimensions of values and time are the dominant features for critical evaluation of the compatibility of the newly constructed knowledge of activities with the needs of the specific educational community.
The study is based on our 4 years involvement in a school change project. It is a reflective study that followed after possible emerging changes in teachers' praxis. Specifically, we will discuss changes in the praxis of home room teachers from enacting an administrative stance towards becoming pedagogical school leaders.
Keywords: Teachers Praxis, Knowledge of Teaching, Horizontal Growth, Dimensions of Values and Time
Prof. Malka Gorodetsky
Professor of Education, Department of Education, Ben Gurion University
Senior Lecturer, Teacher Education, Kaye College of Education