Pedagogical Change and Mourning in Elementary Teacher Education

Steve Fifield, Linda Grusenmeyer, Danielle Ford


Learning and mourning both entail renegotiating the sense of self in a changed world. We reflect on the "Science Semester", an inquiry-based course for prospective elementary teachers, by drawing on theories of mourning to address students' resistance to inquiry pedagogies not as deficits in students or curriculum, but as students meaningfully grieving the perceived loss of their good-student selves and dreams of being loving teachers. Questioning the impulse to make learning unproblematic, we consider possibilities for caring and renewal in inquiry pedagogies that elicit deeper inquiries into loss and mourning as conditions of teaching and learning.


teacher education, science inquiry, self, identity, mourning

JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

The journal is published by the Foundation for Curriculum Theory and is associated with the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, held in the autumn of each year. JCT is indexed in The Education Index.

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ISSN: 1942-2563