John D. Lange

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Stahl, Norman A., 1949-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Student teachers--Australia--Case studies; Student teachers--Supervision of--Australia--Case studies; Teachers--In-service training--Australia


The nature of student-teacher professional learning and of the ways by which it is engaged are the foci of this qualitative inquiry. The study draws on identified experiences and interpretative frameworks that the participants used to conceptualize the incidents that triggered professional learning. Supervising teachers and their final semester student teachers who were gathering together their awareness of professional knowledge and action in readiness for their first steps in a “new teacher” context were interviewed. The approach encompassed multiple case studies of 13 participants (student teachers and their supervising teachers) within a constructivist-focused teacher education program in Australia. Data from each individual case became the first unit of analysis in generating a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of the phenomenon. A grounded theory approach was used to generate theory from the data through constant comparative and negative case analyses. NUD.IST computer software program was used to manage the analysis and theorizing about interpretation of data. The analytical and interpretative processes were represented in a two-dimensional framework: the historical/social and the generative. The Vygotskian psychological theory of learning and development contributed significantly to the understanding of student teachers' learning and cognition. The framework depicts the social, historical, and intellectual conditions and characteristics that were engaged and fostered within the learning contexts of this particular teacher education curriculum. These higher order intellectual and social skills are shown to operate within the interindividual phase and at the intraindividual phase. The social and intellectual interactions contribute to the reorganization and reinterpretation of both the individual and the situation. As the learner learns, so the context changes, and as the context changes so does the identity of the learner. If student teachers are to generate understanding beyond the obvious characteristics of a teaching and learning episode, then it is necessary for them to develop cognitive functioning that increases their awareness of underlying elements and the ability to perceive theoretical relevance. The challenge to teacher educators is to recognize ways of integrating and connecting knowledge that is characteristic of both school and university settings.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [288]-306)


viii, 306 pages




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