Featured The Dialogic Affordances of an Action Learning Project in a South African Teacher Education Context View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Ilse Fouche
In an effort to promote student agency and engagement, to foster an environment which encourages deep approaches to learning and challenges traditional student-lecturer hierarchies of power, a first-year academic literacies course at a South African university reconceptualised its curriculum around an action learning project. This course purposefully drew on dialogic learning at various levels with the aim of creating an environment in which effecting learning could happen despite large classes and limited resources. The course was structured around dialogic learning a) in small groups within the classroom, b) in small groups outside the classroom, and c) in online discussion forums where students were in conversation with course material, with writing fellows and with each other. Discourse analysis was used to analyse group reflections submitted at the end of the 21-week course, to determine the challenges and affordances of this approach from students’ perspectives. Though some students were resistant to this learner-centred approach, findings include that the dialogic approach used in this course encouraged critical thinking, helped students to develop problem solving skills, led to a cognisance of multiple perspectives, deepened understanding of course material and expectations, promoted inclusivity and encouraged reflection.
Podcast as a Third Space: Investigating Pre-service Teachers' Teacherly Becoming and Positioning View Digital Media
This study explores podcasts as a third space for pre-service teachers' teacherly becoming and positioning. Drawing on De Landa’s (2016) extension of the assemblage theory (De Leuze and Guattari, 1987), this study investigates the interconnectedness of various components of the podcast assemblage, including the technology, the content of the episodes, the social and cultural contexts, and the interactions between participants, to show how the assemblage influences the participants’ teacherly becoming and positioning. Through a qualitative case study approach, we collected data through interviews, observation, podcast recordings, and instructor reflections, analysing the data using thematic analysis. Our analysis focuses on the ways in which pre-service teachers position themselves as critical educators and moments of reflection on past, present, and future becoming. We also examine how the podcast serves as a unique third space for critical engagement and depth of dialogue, not typically found in more formal educational settings. This unique “third space” results in the ‘stretching’ of the university assemblage, by connecting pre-service teachers with a wider community of learners and creating a dialogic space that brings together the voices of pre-service teachers, instructors, and other stakeholders. Through this study, we aim to contribute to a deeper understanding of the potential of podcasting as a means for promoting agency and teacherly becoming in and beyond the traditional classroom boundaries. This study has implications for teacher educators and researchers who are interested in innovative approaches to teacher education where critical reflection and dialogue emerges as properties of a nested set of assemblages.
Teaching and Learning in Online and Face-to-Face Environments in the Context of Higher Education: Rethinking Teacher Education in a Post-pandemic World
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Alessandra Coutinho Fernandes
The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected teaching and learning experiences worldwide. When the lockdown was established in March 2020, it took a few months for the public university where I work to move classes online. Our institution used this time to offer courses to prepare professors to teach online, to redesign our virtual learning environment, and to get computers and Internet packages for students who could not afford them. When classes finally moved online, professors and students had to learn to teach and study in a new environment. In 2022, after almost two years of teaching and studying online, we returned to face-to-face classes, and had to relearn to teach and study in this environment again. In this context, the objective of this study is threefold: a) commenting on my main concerns, experiences and challenges, as a professor in an English Teacher Education Program, teaching on-line during the pandemic, b) discussing how the lessons I learned teaching online have influenced my face-to-face classes after the pandemic, and c) bringing some reflections on the information gathered from a Google Form questionnaire I sent to student teachers of our program regarding their experiences online and in a face-to-face environment. My discussions and reflections are based on the theoretical framework of the pedagogy of Multiliteracies/LbD, taking into consideration the affordances of e-learning and the concept of pedagogical ecologies. The discussions and data shared contribute to expand the reflection on teacher education in our post-pandemic world.