Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

September 2004


Published in Teachers & Teaching: Theory and Practice, 10 (3), 329-344.


This paper draws on data collected in a one-year research project focusing on elucidating theory/practice relations in learning to teach. As a teacher educator I grapple with the nature and role of teaching methodology. The notion of method, with its implied order and certainty, is confronted alongside prospective teachers throughout their coursework and student-teaching experiences. Reflexivity is considered essential to this research process, providing a means to address the interface between the empirical data collected alongside student-teachers and its interpretations. In this regard I draw on the historical writings of Dewey (1904, 1910, 1938) and Bakhtin (1990, 1993), found to provide insights into theory/practice relations. Through Dewey’s thinking, bearings are retrieved that reorient teaching/ learning methodology toward neglected needs and opportunities in learning to teach. Through Bakhtin’s early aesthetic essays, a language is retrieved that addresses forgotten assumptions central to reformulating teaching methodology. This paper pursues the necessary character of a teacher preparation course fostering a mode of method that is radically different from the technical one. It is a mode of method that attends to the voices of prospective teachers in schools confronting the nature of learners and learning, teachers and teaching. It is a mode of method that reminds all involved in the schooling process of the power of teaching/learning restored to its participatory and complex nature.