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Social Sciences and Humanities Journal (SSHJ), Volume 2, Aug 2017

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There is strong research support to suggest that while teacher education plays a role in the formation of teaching knowledge, it is the student teachers pre-existing beliefs and philosophical orientation that shape how they learn the information presented. However, assuming that biography follows a smooth, linear trajectory in which the professional learning of the individual is determined by external factors overlooks the active role individuals play in the emergent nature of their own subjectivity. Student teachers are not only shaped by their settings, they actively shape and adopt multiple subject positions within different settings. The aim of this paper is to consider how the principled positions of two student teachers in a physical education teacher education programme represent political subjectivities that connect with their developing teacher identity and mediate each students lived experience of learning to teach. Using memory-work methodology, the experiences of five student teachers enrolled in a four year PETE programme were generated and collectively analysed. Memory-work involves participants writing narratives about recalled experiences that are then analysed within the collective research group. The aim, through discussion and reflection, is to achieve an intersubjective understanding of the participants experiences as the basis for (re)interpreting the research material. The paper focuses on two participants in particular to show that an individuals personal politics is a reflexive part of their identity which mediates their subjectivity and experience of learning to teach. It appears that the principled position of each student acts as a significant factor that orients how they make sense of the situations in which they find themselves. This study suggests that a greater focus on principled positions and value orientations will enable a deeper understanding of the teacher education process.

Author(s): Alan Ovens
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