Reflectivity in Pre-Service Teacher Education: A Bakhtinian Approach
The Russian literary critic and philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin coined the term 'discourse' to describe the way a person or a group of people think and talk, which reflects their upbringing, the context in which they grew up and the context in which they live, and the different influences that were brought to bear upon them in the course of their lives. Every person is born and brought up in a particular context, one where several discourses are present and influence him/her. As people grow up and move on, they encounter different discourses which interact with the ones they are already familiar with and influence them in many ways, both overt and covert. An on-going dialogue takes place between these discourses, and slowly their own identity emerges, with its particular discourses.
The study presented here traced this process for two teachers, using in-depth interviews as well as observations of their work and the reading of documents, placing a special emphasis on the role of the pre-service teacher education institution in guiding and facilitating the dialogic process, thus formulating the ideological shaping of the novice teachers. The findings show that the teacher education institution plays a minor role in the process, mostly encouraging the novice teachers to keep their former discourses rather than examine them critically. The presentation ends with practical recommendations for teacher education institutions regarding their role in shaping new teachers.
Keywords: Pre-Service Teacher Education, Professional Development, Reflection, Bakhtin, Narrative Research
Dr. Orly Sela
Department Head, Department of English Language and Literature, Oranim Academic College of Education