South African Journal of Education

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Enabling the development of student teacher professional identity through vicarious learning during an educational excursion

Karen Steenekamp, Martyn van der Merwe, Aygul Salieva Mehmedova


This paper explores the views of student teachers who were provided vicarious learning opportunities during an educational excursion, and how the learning enabled them to develop their teacher professional identity. This qualitative research study, using a social-constructivist lens highlights how vicarious learning influenced student teachers’ professional identity. Data were analysed from activity based reflection notes Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students had written based on their learning and experiences during an excursion. Findings indicated that learning from other practising teachers’ experiences enabled them to develop a more positive teacher professional identity in terms of caring, motivation and being a beacon of hope.

Keywords: educational excursion; initial teacher training; reflection; teacher professional identity; vicarious learning
AJOL African Journals Online