ABSTRACT

"Cogent, interesting, and provocative."-from the foreword by Ann Lieberman Teaching What They Learn, Learning What They Live explores the multiple social, political, and epistemological domains that comprise learning-to-teach. Based on a study of eight beginning English teachers at four different university teacher preparation programs, this book examines the ways in which beginning teachers' personal dispositions and conceptions combines with their teacher preparation programs' professional knowledge and contexts to form their understandings of and approaches toward teaching. Brad Olsen recasts learning-to-teach as a continuous, situated identity process in which prior experiences produce deeply embedded ways of viewing the world that go on to organize current/future experience into meaning. Since experience shapes learning and everyone acquires different sets of experience, no individual teacher's knowledge is exactly like another's. Yet Olsen shows also that the process by which a teacher constructs professional knowledge is common: the what of teacher knowledge varies, but the how remains the same.