Deborah Britzman, 2006

KEYNOTE 2006 – York University
Teacher Education as Uneven Development: Toward a Psychology of Uncertainty in Learning

Presenting CATE keynote 2006

Dr. Deborah Britzman


While many agree that experience matters, some experience can be an obstacle to learning. Our opening problem is this: we have grown up in schools, have spent our childhood observing teachers and our peers and when we enter the field of teacher education, this avalanche of experience we have undergone, made from schooling, confirms our childhood views on the teacher and the student.

How might a theory of human development be affected by this fact?

How is our field capable of changing itself , of developing responsibility for its representations if everyone involved in teacher education was once a child who grew up in school and unconsciously relies on their childhood archive of education?

To render this familiar dilemma strange, I work with some views of William James, Hannah Arendt, and Wilfred Bion to consider representations of uncertainty in human development as it pertains to the existential problem of choosing uncertainty in an ethic of development.

Fulltext of talk published in

International Journal of Leadership in Education

Britzman, D. P. (2007). Teacher education as uneven development: Toward a psychology of uncertainty. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 10(1), 1.