chapter  2
16 Pages

Developing a professional knowledge of teacher practice

ByJennifer Mansfield

This chapter considers the literature related to better understanding the development of teachers’ professional knowledge of practice. Teachers’ work is complex, emotional and intensive, because teachers are expected to serve in a variety of roles and functions. Teaching is also complex because it is problematic. Teachers are required to manage a variety of dilemmas on a daily basis and are able to do so because of their highly intuitive and tacit professional knowledge of practice. This knowledge, however, is difficult to articulate and share but develops when teachers encounter moments which are atypical and unable to be handled intuitively. These interruptions to practice, signalled by feelings of unrest, offer the opportunity for learning and observation of professional knowledge development in action. Drawing on the work of Dewey and Schön, this chapter highlights the value of purposeful reflection, such as problem-setting and framing as a way of better understanding teachers’ professional knowledge of practice and how it develops.