Research Seminar: Relational Agency and Teacher Education: Talent Thwarted?

Dr Linda Westphalen, Education Specialist, School of Education

Dr Linda Westpalen, Education Specialist, School of Education

Relational Agency and Teacher Education: Talent Thwarted?

Using the critical lens of Paulo Freire (1921 – 1997), this presentation explores the dual transformational and standardising imperatives of tertiary education, with a particular focus on teacher education. I consider the processes by which teachers are accredited in Australia, and suggest that a reductive emphasis on standards is insufficient for creating teachers as relational agents who must address the ‘inertia’ outlined by the WEF (2017).  It then locates relational agency, a human-focused understanding of the social, cognitive and emotional connections between teachers and learners, in the discourse of the teacher education and 21st-century skills.  It concludes by outlining, in relation to the WEF’s three interconnected features stymying the ‘development and deployment of talent,’ strategies for reconsidering teacher education, and proposing that relational agency be further explored as a means by which to enhance teacher education and tertiary education more broadly.

Find further information about Dr Westphalen's research here.

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