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Impact of Teachers’ Past Childhood School Experience on Their Role as Teachers

The role of teacher is crucial in the contemporary education. However, the work of educators is vulnerable to the impact of multiple factors, such as the impact of the cultural environment, professional level, students’ cultural background and others (Nielsen, 2004). At the same time, one of the most influential factors is the past childhood experience of teachers. In fact, the impact of teachers’ past childhood experience on their role as teachers is currently under-researched and needs additional studies to reveal the full scope of the impact of teachers past experience on their professional performance.

In this regard, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that educators develop their professional skills and abilities in the course of learning and work. At this point, specialists (Pajak & Blas, 1989) point out that educators often use their personal experience and the past experience in their professional work. In fact, educators use their past experience as the ground for the development of their professional skills and abilities.

At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that many specialists (Tompkins, 1996) place emphasis on the fact that, as a rule, educators are not aware of the impact of their past childhood experience on their work and role as teachers (Ferri, 2001). What is meant here is the fact that educators are not conscious of the fact that they are vulnerable to the impact of their past childhood experience. In such a situation, educators can believe that they have their own views and ideas shaped in the course of their education and work. However, at the subconscious level, educators may suffer from the impact of the past childhood experience (Clandinin & Conney, 1996). For instance, educators have learned from their childhood some models of educators’ behavior as good or bad. In their course of their work, they naturally tend to avoid negative models of behavior and use positive ones instead. Moreover, they can just follow the model of behavior used by their educators, whom they considered to be good educators. In such a way, teachers refer to their past childhood experience as a source of models of positive behavior.

Furthermore, teachers can attempt to perceive students through putting themselves in students’ shoes. In such a situation, teachers again refer to their past childhood experience that helps them to understand their students and elaborate positive methods or strategies of work with students. In other words, teachers’ past childhood experience influences their understanding of their students and, what is more, they use their past experience to elaborate new, effective methods of work with their students. As a result, teachers can develop effective communication with their students on the ground of their past childhood experience. On the other hand, teachers’ past can have a negative impact on their roles as teachers because it may lead to the formation of stereotypes or biased attitude to some students, for instance.

In such a way, teachers’ past childhood experience can have both positive and negative impact on their roles as teachers. Nevertheless, this impact has to be researched in details to understand the full scope of the impact of teachers’ past childhood on their work.

 

REFERENCES:

Clandinin, D. J., & Conney, F. M. (1996). Teachers professional knowledge landscapes: Teacher stories-stories of teachers – school stories- stories of schools. Educational Research, 25(3), 24-30
Buttignol, M. (1999). We are our stories: Beginning with the personal in teacher education. Retrieved March 17, 2011 from http://gateway.proquest.com
Duemer, L. Benitez, J., Hurst, J., Jurrez-Torrez, et al. (2002). The edification of successful teachers: The role of the family. Education, 122(4), 844-889.
Ferri, B.A. (2001). Teachers with learning disabilities: A view from both sides of the desk. Journal of Disabilities, 34(1), p. 22-33.
Holt-Reynolds, D. (1992). Personal history-based beliefs as relevant knowledge in course work. American Educational Research Journal, 29(2), 325-249.
Nielsen, L. E. (2004). Teaching from heart … It’s about max and Maureen: A personal narrative. Childhood Education, 80(5), 266-268.
Pajak, E., & Blas, J. J. (1989). The impact of teachers’ personal lives on professional role enactment: A qualitative analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 26(2), 283-310.
Pinnegar, S. (1997). Depending on experience. Educational Research Quarterly, 21(2), 43-60.
Smith, R. W. (2000). The influence of teacher background on the inclusion of multicultural education: A case study of two contrasts. The Urban Review, 32(2), 155-176.
Tompkins, J. (1996). Look back in anger. Teacher Margazine 8(2), 42-45.