Professional Growth through Guided Autobiographical Reflection: A Case Study from Pre-Service Teacher Education (pp. 153-196)
Authors: (Joachim Broecher, Janet F. Painter, Joyce H. Davis and Arwed Williams, University of Flensburg, Flensburg, Germany, and others)
Abstract: Using qualitative documentation and analysis methods this case
study explores the endeavor to support a student in pre-service teacher
education who failed his first attempt to write a master´s thesis on the
theories of experiential education. Because he had not assimilated
recollections from his own problematic family life, he was overwhelmed.
When invited by his advisor, the student revealed that he had performed
Rap since he was 14 years old. A new experience-based master´s thesis
was designed collaboratively, focusing on autobiographical reflection and
the Hip Hop world. Extensive interviews and e-mail correspondence
between university professor and student followed. The key finding of
this study is that university advisors can contribute to the professional
growth of a struggling student through the following components:
relation-building, collaboratively reconstructing and reflecting the
student´s life history and cultural activities, and working on the
interconnection of autobiographical reconstruction and acquisition of
theoretical knowledge. The article concludes by pointing to limitations of
the applied approach, beginning with the necessity to provide university
staff with time resources and training so that they can act as advisors in
the subject-centered and culture-oriented sense. The authors make
suggestions regarding how this approach in higher education can be
applied more systematically.
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