Humanities Subjects in Ontario Teacher Education: The Foundations Metaphor and Reflective Practice

By Theodore Michael Christou.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This essay argues that practical training and theoretical education are not a dichotomy; rather, they are interrelated forms of knowledge that are both necessary for the development of critical and reflective practitioners. In education, reflective practice depends on embodied action and critical abstraction. This paper makes a case for humanities courses in teacher education curricula that both draw from and inform practice in order to provide theoretical tools and critical perspectives that enable reflective practice. Likewise, practical training must both draw from and inform theory to foster critical teaching. Rather than interpreting theory and practice as dichotomies, they can be interpreted as elements of a positive feedback loop whose relationship is iterative. To reiterate, considerations of the role of ‘foundations’ courses in teacher education are, for the purpose of this essay, required for balance and integration of the theoretical and the practical. The need to make a plea for the humanities in program curricula is a commentary on the marginalization of theoretical knowledge, which represents an imbalance in study and perspective.

Keywords: Teacher Preparation, Reflective Teaching, Educational Foundations

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.129-136. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 513.224KB).

Dr. Theodore Michael Christou

Ph.D. Candidate/Graduate Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Education, Curriculum Studies Department, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada

I have worked as a teacher in the Toronto and District School Boards in Ontario, Canada. My earlier graduate work at the University of Toronto's Institute of Child Study (Human Development and Applied Psychology Department) focused on the influence of educator's underlying assumptions on practice. I am presently at Queen's University's Faculty of Education (Curriculum Studies Department), beginning doctoral work that examines the notion of 'foundations' in teacher training and education. My concern is rooted in what I believe to be a neglect for the roles of history and philosophy in the formation of educated, reflective educators.

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