Teaching and Learning in the Language Teacher Education Course Room:: A Critical Sociocultural Perspective

  • Singh G
  • Richards J
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This paper is a reconsideration of the nature of teaching and learning in the language teacher education course room. Drawing broadly on sociocultural perspectives of Lave and Wenger and Vygotskian models of cognitive apprenticeship, it considers how to design the course room as a learning environment. It begins with a critique of technical-rational discourses of teacher education, one of the implications of which has been to assert the primacy of the social construction of teacher identity. We present the case for the course room as a community of practice where teachers learn through engaging in activities and discourses, mediated through cultural artifacts. A community of practice is also shaped by larger systems of power, which are reproduced in the micro-context of the course room. Teacher learning is a site of struggle over activities, discourses, tools and identity because of its situated nature within institutional, historical and cultural contexts. A revised role for teacher educators in shaping an emerging course room culture is presented, acknowledging the realities of power and ideology that influence the daily practices in the course room.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Course room culture
  • Sociocultural perspectives
  • Teacher education
  • Teacher identity
  • Teaching and learning

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  • Gurmit Singh

  • Jack C. Richards

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