Student Teachers’ Storytelling: Countering Neoliberalism in Education


  • Ola Henricsson



Everyday teaching involves emotional and relational irrationalities, and these aspects of pedagogical sensitivity and sense are critical for beginning teachers as they develop their practice. The complex elements of what it means to teach are often impossible to grasp from an instrumental approach to teacher education, which emphasizes subject matter knowledge and practical behavioral know-how. Increased educational standardisation and a new teacher training paradigm in Sweden have resulted in positioning future teachers as responsible only for communicating official school knowledge and assessing their learning process. This narrowed understanding of teachers’ practice requires another perspective of teaching to be articulated. This article explores the internships of beginning teachers from a phenomenological perspective, drawing on storytelling in teacher education as a way to reveal student teachers’ lived experiences. These beginning teachers are learning professional ways of being, which reveal the complexities of teaching, and their accounts have the potential to counter the dominance of neoliberalism in education.