chapter  13
Storming through Teacher Education: Talk about Summerfest
ByAllan MacKinnon, Michael Cummings, Kathryn Alexander
Pages 17

In our view, the daily conduct of teachers is shaped by the communities of practice in which they have participated. While we agree with Schön’s ideas about imitation being a highly constructive process, and with Aristotle when he writes of ‘mimesis’ as being foundational to learning in practical and productive human activities, we submit there is more to be said about the influence of work at the elbows on practices and identities that people appropriate through work together. There are occasions when seasoned teachers are able to ‘see themselves’ in the manner of their apprentices, when elements of style and character are passed on to novice practitioners. But to describe learning at the elbows in this fashion goes only part way; patterns of action form ‘texts’ that are not only ‘written’ and ‘read’, but which also function in ‘writing’ the co-workers. What may seem at first to be a simple gesture mimicked by a student may be the sign of a much larger development in the way that person comes to see and hold himself or herself in practice. Studio masters also acquire behaviors and traits of character found in others-sometimes students-who make an impression on them. There are also times when groups of students show in their practice how they have influenced one another’s manner of working (MacKinnon and Grunau, 1994).