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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2011v36n1.5

Abstract

This paper reports on findings from a phenomenological inquiry into the nature of the teacher-student relationship. Participants’ stories showed that ‘who we are’ and ‘how we are’ is integral to our experiences in education. More specifically, a teacher and a student’s way-of-being is essential to the nature of relational experiences. A teacher’s comportment (‘way-of-being’) has been found to have a communicative aspect that is felt and sensed by others. Such comportment is embodied and integral to how teachers and students relate. In a primordial manner, the comportment of the other is felt in the act of relating. When the way a teacher comports is a matter of concern, students become increasingly attuned to the nature and movement of their relating.

The outcomes of this research call into question technicist and instrumental models of teacher education that are presently underpinned by the dominant neoliberal ideology. Consistent with critical approaches to education, this research calls for the humanising of the educational experience through the educating and re-educating of teacher educators and teachers toward essential understandings of the influence of comportment on the relational experience we call education.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2011v36n1.5