“The factor that makes us more effective teachers”: Two Pre-service Primary Teachers’ Experience of Bibliotherapy

Sue Wilson, Steve Thornton


This paper describes the experiences of two pre-service primary teachers in a teacher
education subject focusing on mathematics and learning difficulties. It describes how
bibliotherapy was a powerful reflective tool that provided them with the opportunity
to respond cognitively and affectively to their own schooling. By analysing readings
about school students’ learning and issues such as mathematics anxiety, they
reflected on and reconstructed their understanding of their own school experiences.
In turn, this challenged their assessment of their capacity to learn and teach
mathematics. Bibliotherapy was a healing process that generated both enthusiasm
for teaching and an enhanced confidence as the pre-service teachers looked to the


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