University of Florence (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 5989-5995
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.1284
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Future teachers’ beliefs around teaching as well as their professional aspirations are very often linked to their previous scholastic experiences that influence their idea of teaching and of being a teacher [1].
Recent studies [2] have highlighted these factors showing how they impact on learning in school, with the aim of optimizing teaching/learning techniques; motivating pupils and managing the classroom in a more effective way. More specifically Uitto [3] [4] has explored student teachers’ memories of their teachers to unravel how they learned from their teachers, through the reflection on the practices put in place in the classroom. These practices refer to the educational strategies adopted, to the social and emotional skills needed to promote class climate and face classroom management. Students’ personal memories can be a tool to develop a depeer understanding of the past and confront current beliefs about teaching that can influence future practices. Exploring students’ personal narratives can provide students with an opportunity to learn and it can be also seen as a research method to build reflective connections between past, present and future actions. In written memories teachers are described not only as representatives of a particular subject, but also as persons in relation to their role as educators. Reflecting on these memories facilitate students’ recognition of what kind of teachers they want to be. In addition, the ability to reinterpret these experiences helps understanding how complex is the teaching and learning process.

Methodology and Results:
The study involved 112 students from the Teacher Education Programme in Primary Education at the University of Florence. Students were asked to provide a thick description of their school memories related to the following components: Educational strategies; Class management; Emotive and cognitive support; Learning climate. Content analysis based on categories derived from the literature, was adopted to process data. The results show the profile of an effective teacher offering mostly creatives (28%) and collaborative educational activities (25%), able to listen to and support his/her students both from an educational (37%) and emotional (32%) point of view. The teacher able to manage the class is positively remembered since s/he knows what is going on in the classroom and has the capacity to manage the group (50%). The most pleasant memories are precisely those in which the group is involved as a whole (65%), such as the school trip. The effective teacher is the one who knows how to employ the right teaching strategies, who knows how to manage the class group creating a positive climate and knows how to provide each pupil with the right support with his social and emotional skills.

[1] Cook-Sather, A. (2001). Between student and teacher: Learning to teach as translation. Teaching Education, 12(2), 177-190.
[2] Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Routledge.
[3] Uitto, M. (2012). ‘Behind every profession is a person’: Students’ written memories of their own teacher–student relationships. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(2), 293-301.
[4] Uitto, M., Lutovac, S., Jokikokko, K., & Kaasila, R. (2018). Recalling life-changing teachers: Positive memories of teacher-student relationships and the emotions involved. International Journal of Educational Research, 87, 47-56.
Future teachers, Teacher student memories, Learning to teach.