Beyond the curriculum : learning to teach primary literacy
This study has at its centre the relationship between student teachers' behaviour and their underlying thoughts and beliefs as they learn to teach primary English. Following Harré's definition of personal identity as an organising principle for action (Harré, 1983), it seems that student teachers' sense of self-hood provides a key to understanding their actions in the classroom. The findings suggest that student teachers are powerfully influenced by the way they view the role of the teacher. They can be crudely identified with one of three categories. Task Managers have a restricted view of their role, concerned with organisation and management. Curriculum Deliverers relate to learning but this is defined and limited by the curriculum. Concept/Skill Builders link to an underpinning framework of concepts, which relate to learning beyond the curriculum and the classroom. An examination of the identity and knowledge held by each type of student teacher, when compared with an experienced teacher, reveals the importance of viewing teacher knowledge as a synchronised process of making connections. This highlights the centrality of school based learning and leads to conclusions about the complex nature of the support required to enhance student teachers' learning both in school and in Higher Education Institutions.