Developing Sensitive Sense and Sensible Sensibility in Pedagogical Work: Professional development through reflection on emotional experiences


  • Anna-Carin Bredmar



The increased influence of neoliberalism in education has allowed the trend of evidence-based teaching to dominate professional development in many Western countries. Despite increased and persistent neoliberal measures in education, education critics argue that neoliberal reforms have a naive view of teaching. This narrowed neoliberal view both ignores the complexities involved in the everyday interaction between teacher and student and constrains the teacher’s judgement thereby limiting their contribution in the educational process. Many educators will note the significance of reflection in learning as essential and often emotional. However, the emotional experiences embedded in teacher reflections are often ignored, even discounted, in the discussion of teachers’ professional development. Investigating this phenomenon of emotions in teacher reflections, analysed by drawing on lifeworld theory, revealed how emotional experiences can be a resource in teachers’ professional development. To acknowledge teachers’ emotional experiences means recognizing that the teacher’s subjective and lived body is involved in the reflective and learning process of becoming professional.