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Title: Undergraduates' personal constructs : classroom teaching and the role of the teacher
Author: Brodie, Marilyn M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 0456
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2011
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This in-depth study shows how Personal Construct Theory (PCT) can be used to investigate the bipolar constructs of teaching and the role of the teacher held by five university undergraduates from a range of subject disciplines. The approach adopted was developed from that devised by George Kelly (1905 -1967) which was originally applied to psychotherapy. As a phenomenological approach, PCT draws out the perceptions that individuals hold about the world rather than trying to impose a pre-existing theory or psychological framework. In this study, the participants' constructs of teaching and the role of the teacher originally derived from their experiences as pupils in school were elicited. The contention is that when 'real-world' classroom experiences are offered, prior to making career decisions, undergraduates have the opportunity to develop or change their views related to teaching. The study employed PCT pre and postexperience conversations which were analysed for changes in these views and reported as individual case studies. PCT pre and post-experience conversations provide evidence that time spent in a classroom does change the views of undergraduates about teaching and the role of the teacher. In this case, all five participants agreed that teaching was a career they would be pursuing either immediately or in the near future, which represents a significant change for two of the participants who had not previously planned to pursue a teaching career. The study provides evidence that a practical classroom experience (practicum) changes an individual's views of the teaching from a previously held view that teaching was not a career option to teaching becoming a career choice. This study argues that this type of practicum should precede a full-time teacher training course to allow any candidate unsure about embarking on the training to 'try-out' teaching first. This detailed study provides evidence for the validity of the PCT conversation as an effective approach for eliciting personal constructs and identifying any changes around the issues of teaching and the role of a teacher as a result of a school placement.
Supervisor: Walton, Richard ; Bevins, Stuart Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available