Towards a theoretical framework for understanding PGCE student teacher learning in the Wild Coast Rural Schools’ Partnership project
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This article focuses on a theoretical model that I am developing in order to understand student teacher learning in a rural context and the enabling conditions that can support this learning. The question of whether a supervised teaching practice in a rural context can contribute to the development of student teacher professional learning and their preparation to teach in a range of contexts needs to be researched in an academically rigorous way in order to understand student teacher learning in the Wild Coast Rural Schools’ Partnership Project and the implications for teacher education. The article aims to go beyond the “story” of the project and a description of student teacher experiences, to focus on a theoretical framework for understanding student teacher learning. Previous work with Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students has indicated that immersion in rural contexts in a supported way can provide opportunities for the interruption of the knowledge of many of the students (such as their existing schemata of rurality and of teaching in rural areas). Furthermore, it can facilitate the creation of new knowledge and altered mindsets through social participation in rural communities and with each other in communal living and teaching. The article explains the construction of a theoretical model, which addresses situational and contextual elements needed to understand student teacher learning.