n Education as Change - Narratives of professional development : forces in the field

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This paper describes the factors which characterise the design, management and resultant curricula experience of student teachers engaging in a Professional Practicum as part of their initial education. The goal of the paper is to highlight the use of the theoretical framing of narrative research, its analysis and representation, which emphasises the link between the way data is generated from the field, and what is understood from the analysis and representation of the data. The field texts are assembled in a narrative form from various data sources gathered from interviews with tutors, school managers, school-based tutors and students. These reconstructed narratives show how students make sense of their journey of professional development. They also signal how school managers and mentors understand and act out their roles and responsibilities during the Professional Practicum. The narratives reveal that the ideals of the policy resonate with students' professional growth but that they also conflict with the ethos of the school culture which is driven by its own internal standards, especially around matters of diversity. The narratives highlight the need for a multi-leveled understanding and interventions in order to enhance the quality of teacher education policy and practice.


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