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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Dialogue for teacher professional development Nazari, Saeed


My study bridges self-education, dialogue, and teacher professional development using the method of currere. I explore in what sense self-reflective writing and Gadamerian dialogue can contribute to teacher personal and professional development and foster student wellbeing. I argue that autobiography can help teachers to render their relationship with their lived experience and that hermeneutic reflexivity embedded in Gadamerian dialogue can encourage teacher professional development and increase student wellbeing in a democratic society of today. I begin with my Secondary School experience using regressive, progressive, analytic, and synthetic dimensions of currere to recollect, envision, analyse, and synthesize my schooling experience in order to engage more creatively as well as critically with my learning experience. Intended for teacher mobilization, social, and political enactment, I explore teacher life-world as curriculum to provide a personalized understanding of teacher development as transformative, creative, humanistic, holistic, and emancipatory. I embark on the power of dialogue as a reflective and intersubjective practice in teacher professional development using which teachers can engage with the humanity and selfhood of themselves, other teachers and students through open and genuine conversations to encourage highest-quality teaching for students. I argue that Gadamerian dialogue can enhance teacher knowledge by overcoming fore-understanding and pressure of opinion which contributes to teacher personal and professional development. I discuss Gadamerian dialogue can nourish students’ voice by rendering the ways in which open-minded teachers can approve of students’ mistakes, errors, and half-formed arguments to provide a free space for students to feel more comfortable to move from the familiar to the strange. Finally, I summarize my study, return to research questions, discuss research contributions and limitations of my research. I conclude that currere facilitates self-education, connects self to social and political spheres, and encourages a hermeneutical understanding of lifeworld embedded in its analytic and synthetic phases for teacher personal and professional development. Such autobiographical understanding of self is complemented by Gadamerian hermeneutical interpretation of being rooted in history, text, and ethics as Gadamer invokes a historical, textual, and ethical understanding of teacher existential experience using self-reflective and interpretive dialogue. No specific professional development activities follow from this research.

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