Teaching as Response, Responsibility, and Response-ability

Emmett, Yvonne and Hyland, Sheena (2019) Teaching as Response, Responsibility, and Response-ability. pp. 1-11.


In this paper we – two teacher educators – give voice and effect a response to some of “what challenges, irritates or even disturbs” (Biesta 2006, p.259) in our work in higher education. In responding we take up the ethical opportunity signalled in Bengtsen and Barnett (2017) to reflect anew on the potentials and pitfalls of higher education teaching and learning practices, here addressing the practice of educational autobiography writing in teacher education. This practice, which typically entails inviting students to reflect on their personal educational histories, is commonly used in initial teacher education programmes on the grounds that it can foster student teachers’ awareness of how past experiences can continue to exercise an influence in the present. We reflect on the use of an exercise in ‘brief’ or ‘snapshot’ educational autobiography on an initial teacher education programme for further education, on our responsibility and respons-ability (Oliver 2001) in using the exercise, and on the possibilities that it provides for an ‘emotional education’ (Crawford 2005), which might explicitly attend to the affective domain and the psycho-dynamics of the teaching and learning encounter.

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