Using a teacher knowledge framework to connect teaching practice with theory
Thomas, Keith Robert
The process Shulman described as ‘teacher-knowledge growth’ is complex, particularly for student teachers. This article presents an ‘Eraut-Shulman teacher knowledge framework’ that provides a structure and language to use to extend student teachers’ learning about knowledge. The article describes how the framework was created and draws on student teachers’ accounts of their teaching whilst on placement to demonstrate how it could be used to connect personal experiences of teaching with theoretical understandings of teacher knowledge. The students’ accounts were written whilst they were completing a new BEd degree programme in Malaysia. Seven accounts are presented, each with two ‘focus points’, to illustrate how a teacher educator could use the knowledge framework to engage the student teacher in dialogue that links their experience of teaching with theory. Issues explored in these examples include categories and types of knowledge; conceptions of knowledge; sources of knowledge; theories of knowledge and learning; and the nature of personal knowledge in teaching. Significantly, this article presents a practical approach that provides opportunities for teachers to relate their practice to theory; contributes to the conceptualisations of teacher knowledge; and extends our ability to unpack the nature, development and use of knowledge in teaching.