Shona McIntosh
Trainee teachers on placement; an exploration of contextual influences on the development of situated agency in the process of becoming a teacher.

Author: Shona McIntosh, University of Bath.

Title: “Trainee teachers on placement; an exploration of contextual influences on the development of situated agency in the process of becoming a teacher”

spm25@bath.ac.uk

Abstract
My research aims, from a socio-cultural stance, to better understand ways in which trainee teachers experience the highly individualistic contexts of their placement schools, and specifically how this affects their development of situated agency. Situated agency refers to the choices which individuals deem apt for that place and that time. It is hoped one contribution of the study will be to offer a pluralistic insight into contextual, early-stage, professional career influences. The research questions investigate trainees’ perceptions of possible ways to be a teacher in placement schools through their descriptions of key influences within these contexts, asking them to identify the range of choices available to them at key moments in becoming a teacher, and exploring the relationship between practice contexts and situated agency. Adopting a holistic multiple-case study, I am constructing descriptions of trainees’ trajectories derived from a “within-case analysis” (Creswell, 1998, p. 63) of emerging themes. Through cross-case analysis of those trajectories, I construct a holistic consideration of the influences perceived by trainee participants upon their becoming a teacher and, in particular, upon their development of situated agency. Conducting semi-structured interviews with volunteer participants after each of their teaching practices, I incorporate visual methods to augment trainees’ articulation of their practice experiences, including photos of schools and trainees ‘drawing’ their placements as graphs. Additional data from a variety of sources aim to access descriptions of those potent mediators of culture, schools’ values and beliefs, to build a complex picture of the school contexts in which trainees are becoming teachers.

 
The DARE Collaborative is a research partnership focused on the digital arts in education, led by the UCL Institute of Education and the British Film Institute. It has a membership of university researchers, teachers and educators in cultural organisations with an interest in arts, media, culture and new literacies in the context of education and digital media.
Centro en Investigación Avanzada en Educación