Developing a Pedagogy of Disjuncture: Attending to the Learner-Teacher at the Heart of Higher Education Teacher Devlopment
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This hermeneutic phenomenological study explored the role of disjuncture in influencing teacher identity and practice in higher education. I adopted Peter Jarvis’ (2006) concept of disjuncture, a state whereby individuals experience a sense of unknowing or questioning generated from within and often prompted by their interactions in the social world. I examined the phenomenon of disjuncture from the perspective of ten 3M National Teaching Fellows from across Canada. The Fellows participated in individual and group interviews. They were asked to reflect on the emotions, cognitions, and actions they experienced during moments of disjuncture and together we interpreted how their teaching and identities changed as a result. Each Fellow’s disjuncture experience was contextualized in a short biographical narrative. The purpose of the narratives was to offer background on who they are as a learner and a teacher and to serve as fixed examples of the phenomenon of disjuncture. I analyzed the data using Jarvis’ theoretical learning framework, The Transformation of the Person through Learning, and focused on identifying the nature of Fellows’ learning from disjuncture. The nature of learning is described as the Fellows’ emotions, cognitions, actions during disjuncture and how their teaching and teacher identities changed as a result. The data are presented through four hermeneutic windows, which provide structure to describe these essential dimensions of learning from disjuncture. The findings indicated that using a scaffolded guided reflection process involving conversational prompts about episodes of disjuncture evoked reflection on and identification of shifts in both practice and teacher identity. The Fellows in this study described learning about students, learning about teaching, and learning about themselves as teachers. This study resulted in a modified definition of disjuncture called pedagogical disjuncture which better reflects the teacher and teaching experience. As a result of this study, I have integrated the findings into a discussion of the features of new pedagogy of disjuncture for teacher development that has both theoretical and practical applications in higher education. The study concludes with suggestions for future research that deepens our understanding of teacher development from learning perspective of teaching. Such research would ideally explore the centrality of learning in teachers’ experiences of teaching and teacher identity development.