The purpose of the proposed paper presentation is to generate the discussion of teachers’ learning as transformative praxis that leads to the development of teachers’ commitment to social change. In this interdisciplinary qualitative study such learning is conceptualized as a sequence of socially constructed and culturally mediated joint learning activities. Scaffolded with the mastery of such mediational means (Wertch, 1998) and cultural tools (Vygotsky, 1983) as dialog, schema, narrative, and joint artmaking, purposefully designed reflexive learning activities allow teachers to collaboratively examine the problems of practice through dialog, joint artmaking, and co-writing. Such learning as transformational praxis, scaffolded the shift in values and consciousness of the beginning teachers and empowered them to act as transformational agents – question the status quo of the neo-liberal contexts of schooling, deconstruct the codes of the dominant cultures prevalent in their classrooms, advocate for their communities of practice, and create liberating and supportive learning that leads development. Presenters will share research findings and discuss the transformational potential of meaning making as aligned with the mastery of mediational means (dialog, narrative, artmaking) of reflexive praxis. This cycle scaffolded a disruption in thought, impacted the development of teachers’ critical reflection, thus, emancipating them to act on the critical events in their classrooms. Interdisciplinary, technologically fluid, creative scaffolding inspired and supported teachers to deconstruct the dominant schooling practice and to re-imagine their practice and themselves.
Dr. Elina Lampert-Shepel is an Associate Professor, Chair of Childhood Education Program at Touro University, NY. Dr. Lampert-Shepel worked as a teacher educator and consultant in Eastern and Western Europe, Middle East, and Brazil. Her research interests include culture and cognition, reflective praxis, cultural-historical psychology, and activity theory. She is passionate about developing contexts for human development. She holds Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching/Teacher Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dr. Sharon Sullivan is an Assistant Professor and Site Coordinator in the Teacher Residency Program at Touro College, NY, USA. A former public school urban educator, she provides resources and supports to P-12 administrators, Mentor Teachers and Teacher Candidates in NYC schools. Her research interests include arts integration, reflexive praxis, interdisciplinary learning, and activity theory. Dr. Sullivan holds an Ed.D from Rowan University, NJ.