Examining the Relationship between a Sophisticated Personal Epistemology and Desired Pedagogical Practices in Trainee Teachers

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the key link between the development of a sophisticated personal epistemology and the concomitant emergent pedagogies of trainee teachers, as identified through research in this area, including empirical engagement with trainees on a PGCE primary teacher training course in the UK. The ensuing review of literature investigates the theoretical and paradigmatic perspectives and aims to theoretically underpin the methods used within the empirical research described. The conclusion is that it is of paramount importance that teacher training institutions allow for the development of exactly these sophisticated personal epistemologies through explicit teaching and exposure to the specific reflective practices discussed in order to promote the best possible outcomes in terms of trainees’ pedagogical understanding and practices when immersed in authentic experiences in situated learning environments on school-based attachments, and retain appropriate levels of control over the contextual, environmental and experiential circumstances that their trainees encounter.

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Matt Smith
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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