chapter  3
11 Pages

The search for pedagogical equilibrium

ByJennifer Mansfield

This chapter outlines how the research study was framed and how the construct of pedagogical equilibrium was developed. Pedagogical discontent was originally used to frame the research approach; however as data collection progressed, pedagogical equilibrium emerged as a more appropriate way of representing the nature of teachers’ search for a more steady state. The construct of pedagogical equilibrium draws on elements of Piaget's theory of cognitive disequilibrium, Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theory and pedagogical discontent to describe how challenges to pedagogical equilibrium, recognised as an interruption, can initiate the search for a more steady state, or an even better state of equilibrium. Challenges to equilibrium are characterised by feelings of unrest, perplexity, surprise or uncertainty. Pedagogical equilibrium offers a way of framing and articulating important moments of interruption.