n South African Journal of Education - The community of learning is in the Baobab tree - how the branches stay together in the context of professional preparation
|Article Title||The community of learning is in the Baobab tree - how the branches stay together in the context of professional preparation|
|© Publisher:||Education Association of South Africa (EASA)|
|Journal||South African Journal of Education|
|Affiliations||1 University of Johannesburg, 2 University of Johannesburg and 3 University of Johannesburg|
|Publication Date||Nov 2011|
|Pages||561 - 573|
|Keyword(s)||Educational Psychology, Learning community, Personal development, Professional preparation and Transformative learning|
ISI Social Science
This article explores how participation in a community of learning supported transformation on a personal and professional level in a Master's programme at a South African university. It draws on the concept of transformational learning in the professional preparation of educational psychologists, and how such learning plays out in the development of critical perspectives and shifts in personal paradigms. We report on a two-year ethnographic study that involved 13 of a total of 15 students enrolled for an Educational Psychology Master's course. One of us (CW) acted as participant observer in the study and recorded the experiences of the participants through reflective letters that included symbolic metaphors, semi-structured group focus interviews, as well as a verification questionnaire. In our analysis and interpretation we used the metaphor of the Baobab tree, 'the tree turned upside down', because it is known for its resilience, holding capacity and continuous growth. We found the image to powerfully represent the dynamics of professional preparation and transformation in higher education.
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