Stepping Into The Self Study Space Essay

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Outcomes
Year 1: Stepping into the self-study space
In 2011, we were new faculty members who were invited to join an existing self-study group at our university. We joined as strangers to the group and to one another. We were transitioning from our work as K-12 educators into the academy as new assistant professors. This self-study group challenged us to textualize a professional critical event communicated as a personal lived experience. Part of the challenge of entering a self-study space is that we viewed the self-study members as professionals, not yet critical friends. They were critical others but not yet critical friends.
We began our first year of self-study with the guiding question of: “What can we learn about our teaching by critically discussing the texts of our teacher education practices?” We learned that our teaching experiences could become engaging texts open to multiple interpretations leading to new knowledge. Our culminating take away was a renewed commitment to model for teacher education students how to textualize, share, and grow from their own and each other’s experiences (Cameron-Standerford, et al., 2013).
Year 2: Being in and moving through the self-study space
We embraced the personal and professional tensions identified in year one and as a result brought our professional events to the forefront. We narrowed our focus by asking, “How does our use of visual texts in our teaching practice help to convey and communicate meaning?” The findings from
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