Re: Education and PCP
16 May 1995 14:29:55 -0500

Thanks, Jim, for starting this discussion, and Chris for picking it
up just when I need it. I'm presently analyzing narrative and grid
data (critical episodes as elements) based on early field
experience. What I'm finding is that at this stage of preparation
teacher candidates are glorying in their role with students, though
they may not recognise it in terms of construing learners
constructions -- perhaps more as learners construing THEIRS. Edward
Pajak has discussed this phenomenon in terms of Kohut's mirror.

My participants are far more concerned with students responding to
them as persons than they are with the mechanics of instruction that
they're supposed to be trying out. Jim's comment makes me wonder if
these are poles of a tacit construct. The warm fuzzy pole is
entailed, of course, in the decision to teach, keeps them going
through the program, etc. so the choice corollary really makes sense
here. now, the question for teacher education, IMHO, is how do we
keep this going through student teaching and the early years? Can
we enable prospective teachers to understand all that love they get
from kiddies in terms of sociality? Conventional wisdom calls this
"idealism" that will be cured in a few years, else they'll burn out,
but I don't know that I accept this bit of CW as inevitable or even
useful. I guess what I'm asking is if there isn't a latent
constructivist teacher at this stage that we could nurture somehow.

One final comment. It seems to me that not only can we elaborate
Vygotsky through PCP, but we may have to for American educators to
consider a constructive alternative to Vygotsky and PIaget as the
two poles of the construct "constructivism"!

Suzanne Huffman