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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


MOOSA, Moeniera  and  DISON, Laura. Building conceptions of teaching: Students' perceptions expressed through artifacts. Journal of Education [online]. 2020, n.81, pp.65-81. ISSN 2520-9868.

Teacher education researchers have been grappling with the question of how students perceive teaching. This is an issue complicated by inadequate schooling conditions. In this paper, we report on an intervention used in a campus-based teaching experience programme at the Wits School of Education that involved first-year students producing artifacts that included statues or posters to depict their conceptions of teaching. Students drew on their schooling experiences to formulate their ideas. Our intention was to provide multimodal opportunities for first-year student teachers to articulate their views and perform, as it were, their understanding of teaching through visual and written forms. We wanted to explore how students, working in groups, developed the capacity to represent their conceptions as they designed and made an artifact to depict the role of South African teachers. Interesting findings about the power of representing ideas visually in combination with written reflections emerged from our analysis of their outputs. We argue that the exclusive use of traditional written methods to elicit student teachers' conceptions of teaching limits the creative and critical possibilities for students to extend and challenge their common-sense assumptions about teaching.

Keywords : academic writing; artifacts; conceptions; first year students; multimodal; perceptions; preservice teachers.

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