Deep and lifelong learning: When theory and SoTL intersect

Jane West


In this reflective essay, a teacher educator describes her own transformation that occurred as a result of studying adult learning theory along with a group of doctoral students. In examining her habits of course design, she realized that her practices had departed from her ideals and that her course planning was guided as much by pragmatic schedule demands as by the conceptual development of her students. As a result, she redesigned her course in language and literacy for preservice teachers. After describing the existing course, the author relates how her thinking—and the course—were transformed by the intersection of three influences:  her   encounter with Ramsden’s (2003) androgogical theory of teaching and learning, her familiarity with a discipline-specific pedagogical theory, and her SoTL research on students’ needs as learners. Guided by these influences, she reconceptualized the language and literacy course with a renewed focus on the social constructivist goals of facilitating conceptual change through meaning-oriented approaches. The author attempts to make visible to the reader exactly how she made this transition to address both the theoretical and the practical dimensions of the course, rediscovering in the process the transformation that is possible when teacher education focuses as on the why as well as the how of teaching.



Transformation; constructivism; conceptual change; theoretical teaching

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