The Construction of Agency in Mathematics Teacher Education and Development Programs: A Poststructuralist Analysis

Mary Klein


In this paper I question the philosophical adequacy of past and present humanistic
notions of agency which frame practice in teacher education and development
programs. I look back over the past ten years or so of primary and early childhood
teacher education at some initiatives that have been attempted but found wanting
with regard to students' acceptance (Schuck, 1996) and eventual competent
implementation of innovative teaching approaches (Klein, 1996) in mathematics. I
suggest that perhaps a poststructuralist understanding of the discursive constitution
of subjectivities may go some way towards explaining this apparent stasis; as well,
in teacher education, it may be constitutive of a certain kind of agency for preservice
and practising teachers.


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