Bildung, Bildungsroman, and the Cultivation of Teacher Dispositions

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The cultivation of teacher dispositions is an important topic within contemporary discourses of teacher development. The construct of dispositions, however, is still in need of conceptual refinement. In this article, we use the philosophical theory of Bildung (the educating and forming of the self) to explore how the cultivation of dispositions and the manifestation of dispositions in one's teaching practice are functions of both professional and personal transformation. In particular, employing the methodological tool of narrative inquiry, we present a teacher who, while working on her master's degree, authored her own Bildungsroman (story of personal growth). Her narrative, we argue, powerfully illustrates how teachers are, in part, autonomous authors of their own growth. We conclude by arguing that narrative, hermeneutical, and post-qualitative methods of reflection present unique possibilities for the project of cultivating teacher dispositions in teacher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalTeacher Educator
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017


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