Making sense of what it means to teach : artful representations as meaning-making tools
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Alison BlackAlison Black
Making sense of what it means to teach is an increasingly challenging task as teachers’ work becomes progressively more ambiguous and demanding. This is a problem for both the person who teaches and the people who teach about teaching. This paper draws on a teacher’s story to illustrate how creative, non-linear forms of representation such as visual imagery and writing, together with narrative reporting, can be catalysts for revealing meanings for actions, and for eliciting self-awareness and the products and processes of reflection. Artful representations can make visible the way conceptions of teaching and self-as-teacher are constructed and re-constructed. Attending to these ways of knowing can focus reflection on what meanings have been internalised and how these enter practice. Artful representations can also help the field more generally, nourishing efforts to convey a sense of what it means to teach and providing supportive scaffolding for making connections with the knowledge that guides action.