Transforming Teacher Education Thinking: Complexity and Relational Ways of Knowing

Katherine Jane Sanford, Timothy Frank Hopper, Lisa Starr


In order that teacher education programs can act as significant scaffolds in supporting new teachers to become informed, creative and innovative members of a highly complex and valuable profession, we need to re-imagine ways in which teacher education programs operate. We need to re-imagine how courses are conceptualized and connected, how learning is shared and how knowledge, not just “professional”, but embedded knowledge in authentic contexts of teaching and learning is understood, shaped and re-applied. Drawing on our study of a locally developed program in secondary teacher education called Transformative University of Victoria (TRUVIC), we offer a relational approach to knowing as an alternative to more mechanistic explanations that limit teacher growth and development. To ground our interpretation, we draw on complexity theory as a theory of change and emergence that supports learning as distributed, relational, adaptive and emerging.

Full Text: