Daily Archives: August 14, 2015

Unlearning in Teacher Education


As a literacy teacher educator, do you feel you spend a lot of time encouraging your student teachers to forget what they have previously learned?  Lortie (1975) refers to the perceptions of teaching our student teachers developed (as elementary and secondary school students) as an  “apprenticeship-of-observation”. Lortie suggests “education students have spent years assessing teachers and many enter training with strong perceptions based on firm identifications” and maintains that these strong perceptions affect student teachers’ “pedagogical decision-making”.  This makes unlearning as important as learning.  How do you get your student teachers to unlearn?

Lortie, D. C. (1975). Schoolteacher. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press.