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Its All about Relationships: Enhancing Authentic Learning Processes in Teacher Education

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Author list: Malm, Birgitte
Publication year: 2018
Start page: 48
End page: 63
Number of pages: 16
ISSN: 1694-2493

Abstract

In this article, the significance and consequences of enhancing authentic learning processes within undergraduate teacher education are discussed, inspired by American (liberal arts) contemporary practices. Liberal education can be defined as a higher education that is a cultivation of the whole human being for the functions of citizenship and life in general. In essence, a successful liberal arts programme will be characterized by close student-faculty relationships, small classes, excellent teaching, individual instruction, empathetic advising and personal attention. Nineteen faculty members at a liberal arts college were interviewed about their understanding and experiences of what a liberal arts education entails, how they perceive of the relationship between teaching and research and what in their daily work motivates them. Sentiments expressed included over-commitment and a heavy workload, as well as professional autonomy, meaningful engagement and profound caring and concern for students. Results emphasize the need to reflect on how undergraduate programmes should or need to be constructed and implemented - taking into account the importance of dialogue, feedback and reflection - if the aim is to create competent democratic citizens to be scholars and leaders of the future.


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