Professional conversation is an art. It is different from everyday conversation in that it is situated in practice, in order to understand practice. It involves a high level of interpretation and reinterpretation, and therefore exhibits many hermeneutical characteristics. This paper outlines and discusses how some key features of hermeneutics, drawing on the work of one of its most distinguished advocates, Hans- Georg Gadamer, are helping to illuminate the kinds of conversations about practice that teachers engage in when conducting Learning Studies. A hermeneutic model is particularly applicable to the pre and post-lesson conferencing, as an example of professional conversation in which all participants are engaged in enhancing their own learning. The paper suggests that in conducting professional conversation and trying to understand each other’s point of view teachers are doing more than merely re-creating someone else’s meanings. They are also modifying their own meanings in a dialectic process that may be viewed as a fusion of horizons. Evidence of this occurring within the context of Learning Study is presented as a way of better understanding how professional discourse is not only part and parcel of teacher professional development, but also formative in achieving that development.
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2005|