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Education Research Journal Vol.

6(9): 162 - 166, September 2016

Available online at http://resjournals.com/journals/educational-research-journal.html
ISSN: 2026-6332 2016 International Research Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Culture and Teacher Training

Yara A. F. Guimares
Center for Natural and Human Sciences, Federal University of ABC, Brazil

Corresponding Author Email: yara.guimaraes@ufabc.edu.br


The objective of this paper is to discuss culture in the context of teacher training. We discussed theoretically
the concept of culture and how this culture is inherent in the teacher training process. With this direction, we
discuss how social interactions and the elements of disseminated culture in degree courses influence of
teacher training and development of teacher professional identity. This is a theoretical research, based on the
relevant literature. Thus, our focus on analysis is the social interactions with the culture developed in the
course and how this interaction promotes teacher training. We believe that culture not only mediates the
identity processes during teacher training but also establishes implications for the curriculum of the
Undergraduate. We argue that analyzing teacher training courses from the perspective of social relationships
and identities through interactions with culture, is a powerful interpretive device. This interpretation allows us
to understand and analyze the teacher training and mainly find new options to advance in theoretical and
practical discussions about the curriculum.

Keywords: Culture, teacher training, identity, the circuit of culture, curriculum.

Introduction So, the culture not only mediates the identity

processes during teacher training but also establishes
Teacher training is an important time to establish the implications for the curriculum in the Undergraduate.
social significance of the teaching profession and to Thus, our aim at this work is to think about culture in the
form new identifications from the perspective of context of teacher training. We chose a theoretical
teachers. The undergraduate can provide an opportunity approach to discuss in this paper (Erickson, 1986). With
for review of the traditions in teaching. This training can this direction, we discuss how social interactions and the
be characterized by the intentional incorporation of elements of disseminated culture in degree courses
certain elements of culture, historically accepted, could influence teacher training and development of
determined by power struggles and representing the teacher professional identity.
training needs emerging from a given social context and Our focus on analysis is the social interactions with
historical moment. Consequently, we consider that the the culture developed in the course and how this
teacher training courses may represent a building space interaction promotes teacher training. Thus, we chose to
of a professional identity and can provide the necessary discuss theoretically how culture is inherent to social life
conditions for the development of the autonomy of and how it permeates the training of teachers. We did a
teaching. literature review and we based our considerations on the
Courses of teacher training are constituted through a work of authors who follow this investigative line. Culture
process of interaction between the participants has taken a central role in the ways which society is
(teachers, students, etc.) and the elements of culture organized. Therefore, the identification element in a
that has been historically constructed and systematized social group that is united in support of teacher training
in the undergraduate. This dimension of the teachers has culture as a negotiating agent in interpersonal
training process is established not only by the nature of relationships. Culture is produced and consumed within
the relationship that individuals have with the curriculum the group through social interactions. So the question of
(Apple, 1990), but also through the explicit concepts culture is essential in understanding the identity and the
and/or implicit in culture and their circulation into the training of teachers (Grant, 1997). We have culture as
course. discussion link and also as an analytical context.

Discuss culture in teacher education involves discuss adapt to the environment and makes possible the nature
the course, its context, its specificities and the transformation. In this sense there is a direct correlation
complexity of their social relations. between what is thought to be cultural identity and the
We understand that throughout his teacher training conception of what is culture (Hall, 1996). However, if on
the apprentice learns when interacts with the cultural the one hand, the social constructs us as individuals, on
elements disseminated in degree. It is the experience of the other; it is the interaction of individual subjectivities
becoming a teacher and influences the development of that produces culture and tradition (Arendt, 1993).
their ideology and their representations Hall (2009). The elements of culture are socially constructed and
Thus, culture is a human production. We are always in historically shared; therefore the culture is an essentially
process of cultural appropriation (Hall, 1997a). We human and social construction. It allows man to identify
became us teachers through the culture. We believe that himself as individual, changes the nature and changes
the identities emerge from the relationship (social and yourself too (Hall, 1996). It is through interaction with the
symbolic) with a group always mediated by cultural culture that the individual identifies and socializes (Hall
tools. In this sense, we can say that the representations 1997a). For Du Gay et al. (1997) because or since
and social identities express the reality that makes up culture is a way of life, production and circulation of
the society and its culture (Hall, 1997b). So Being a meaning.
Teacher is much more than just gets an undergraduate Du Gay et al. (1997) presented a method of thinking
diploma. about culture, using what they call the Circuit of Culture,
We have argued that analyzing teacher training as shown in Figure 1. According to the authors, the
courses from the perspective of social relationships and culture is theoretically emerging as significant element of
identities through interactions with culture is a powerful social mediation. The culture has been considered as
interpretative device. This interpretation allows us to constituting the social world, as opposed to being
understand and analyze the teacher training and mainly regarded as a mere reflection of economic or political
find new options to advance in theoretical and practical processes. Not only this, in recent years culture has
discussions about the curriculum. been promoted too altogether more important role as
theorists have begun to argue the cause of our the
The Centrality of Culture source of all social practices are meaningful practices,
they are full fundamentally cultural (Du Gay et al., p. 2,
The anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor in 1871 was 1997).
one of the first to define culture in a broader perspective, The Circuit of Culture is a methodological tool of
as we understand today. According to him the culture analysis to study the culture, production and
would be one complex whole, which includes maintenance of social identities; a diagram of
knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any interactions with culture. This system produces certain
other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a meaning when certain individual or social group
member of society (Tylor, 1871, p. 1). In this context, interacts with a cultural artifact, thereby producing
culture is a human construction, mediates social, identities associated with it (Woodward, 1997).
intellectual and artistic interactions and is ever According to this conceptual framework to analyze and
unfinished or in process. understand the cultural artifact, is necessary to analyze
Culture is necessary to make possible the diversity the processes of representation, identity, production,
into unity of mankind. Culture is what allows man to consumption and regulation.

Figure 1: The Circuit of Culture, Du Gay et al. 1997.

The elements that constitute the Circuit of Culture constructed and historically has been shared by
(production, consumption, regulation, representation and individuals. The circuit of culture when analyzed from
identity) are aspects of social interactions and correlate the perspective of teacher training has the curriculum as
particular individual or social group to a set of different a cultural artifact of mediation and the identity of the
social practices that are equivalent in the identity training course that emerges from this interaction is
development process (Hall, 1997b). There is, therefore, essentially social, called Curriculum Identity (Guimares,
no order of priority or hierarchy between these forms of 2014).
analysis. The interconnections of diagram represent an
interactive dynamics, the slightest change in any Teacher Training and the Question of Culture
component ends up influencing all the others. Such
interactions are not presented as absolute or essential, With regard to curriculum and training of teachers we
but a necessity of existence or emergency contingencies consider that culture refers to the set of socially
of the circumstances (Du Gay et al., 1997). constructed elements and historically has been shared
Each of the elements in the Circuit of Culture by the group. In this sense, culture is a construction
represents a keyword for culture discussion For Du Gay essentially human and social; result of work and
et al. (1997) the investigation of these characteristics interaction of members of the course. It is worth
does not lead to a consensus about its definition or remembering that this perspective all cultures should be
importance. However, we can say that such action considered, this is, the various forms of crops produced
promotes to ponder about on social interactions and and / or consumed in teacher training. Such specific
also on the interaction between the culture and the cultures, belonging to the body of knowledge scientific or
elements in this circuit; and also to ponder about power cultures belonging to the social group and make up the
relations and hence the identities that emerge from cultural framework of professional training.
these interactions (Giddens, 1991). Following is a brief The curriculum in teacher training is a cultural choice
discussion of each of the elements that make up the and can be understood as a pronounced practice for
Circuit of Culture. several voices, although governed by the law from each
country. And so, if knowledge and culture are logical
Production: The production of culture is a social conditions of teaching and teacher training, it is also
construction, a practice of meaning construction through logical that his analysis materializes according to the
the use of language. Conditional upon the sphere of specific social conditions interaction that promotes their
regulation and to some extent is driven by demand development. The curriculum is a matter of culture as
(consumption). any other human construction. Thus, the curriculum is
also a political activity because organizes the culture
Consumption: It is the purpose for which the culture is and consequently the power relations and their influence
produced. The sphere of consumption can develop new on the development of teacher identity. The culture
forms of cultural significance and thus new identities. produced, shared and consumed in teacher training
This is because social practices of different groups may courses is between what has been developed and what
use different meanings and promote social it hopes to accomplish. The culture symbolizes a link
differentiation of a specific cultural tool. between the past and the future, in this case, between
tradition and the new in teacher education.
Regulation: Institutionalizes the rules of interaction with We consider that all curriculum content selection is
the culture and the different forms of mediation through reflected in the social relations of social context of the
cultural artifacts. The regulation establishes regulators of course. The culture setting and the selected knowledge
social interactions through of production regulation rules in curriculum of teacher education is not necessarily one
and standards consumption. It is a dynamic process and that is really present into the undergraduate degree or in
often is disputed, includes power struggles involving practice the teaching profession. The context of the
meanings, forms of subjectivity and identity. training of the teachers has its specificities; be the
knowledge declared and explicit in their legal documents
Representation: Is the discursive process by which or the social interactions of the individuals who compose
culture takes meaning and is developed historically. It is it. The curriculum mediates social and cultural relations
the system of significance of the identity. The within the teacher training course. In this perspective,
representation has the power to define the identity and we seek to characterize the curriculum as a cultural
therefore ultimately occupy a prominent place in artifact.
theorizing about culture and identity. Wertsch (1995) considers that man's relationship to
the world is not established through direct action, but it
Identity: It is linked to a representation of culture is always mediated by instruments (tools) that are built
expressed by particular social group. It is an effect, an by man to serve as mediators of this relationship. The
expression of a signification process of culture. The cultural tool is the mediator between the subject and the
identity is a way of being, acting and interacting in social object. The cultural artifact is a tool that was imbued with
according to the historical and political context. It is sense and meaning by group. In this sense, human
cause and effect of power struggles. activity mediated by cultural tools enables conditions for
the transformation of the world, allowing humans
In context of teacher training the culture in curriculum development of higher functions. So at the same time
development is as a set of elements that are socially
that human activity is a means of transforming the world individual to take part in the production space. In this
it is also factor for development of humanity. way, consume culture conveyed in a teacher training
Mediation is a dynamic process that is characterized course is, among other things, take representations of
by intentionality activity (Wertsch, 1995). The element of being a teacher. Thus, consume culture is closely
mediation of man's relations with the world, in turn, can related to the form yourself as teacher.
have two-way of action. It's called cultural tool when We indicate out those historical processes for
externally oriented and directed to the control of nature maintaining the tradition according to the culture
or sign when in an internal activity for appropriation of conveyed in the teacher training is important to
culture and knowledge by the individual himself. strengthen identity ties of group. Our results indicate that
(Wertsch, 1995). maintaining culture and traditions directed to teacher
Thus, the curriculum can be considered a cultural training are also ways for the production of the new and
artifact because it is a sociocultural construction and is the innovation.
impregnated with the senses and specific meanings of Culture is transformed according to the basis of
the course to which it belongs. We affirm that when the tradition. The culture is still a narrative chosen by the
curriculum is theorized as a cultural artifact contributes group to describe him. It is the group's tradition that
to both a broader understanding of the concept of develops and supports social representation which
curriculum itself, and also for the understanding and embodies the Curriculum Identity. Tradition is this vision
discussion of cultural identities that emerge from social of what is important and significant in the past and
interactions mediated by it. culture and, therefore, must be perpetuate (Arendt,
In course of teacher training the culture that is 1993). The tradition and the elements of the culture
conveyed, produced and consumed indicates what the shared by the group in the form of social representations
group considers to be publicly valuable to be consolidate the culture conveyed in the course; when is
perpetuated. On the other hand, the curriculum also promoting the convergence of course objectives for the
represents what ways the group interacts with each teacher training and for maintaining their professional
other. Such that discuss culture is equal discuss the identity.
social processes that are developed in the course of In conclusion, we affirm that it is the clash between
Teacher Training. Each institution or social group individual perceptions and social representations with
develops and requires its own universe of practices and the culture, the tradition and with the new in
meanings, that is, their own culture (Hall, 1997). The undergraduate degree, of course, is improved its own
teacher training course is a social group that is identity and becoming a Teacher. Try to become teacher
integrated into an extensive network of representations is hard and challenging work. Its requires free and
at different levels of action; such representations are creative effort to absorb its culture of Being Teacher in
aimed at legitimizing the specific cultural elements of the order to build a teaching professional identity. We argue
curriculum as a regulator of the teacher training. that analyzing teacher training courses from the
Consequently, we believe that emerging certain perspective of social relationships and identities through
social identity when the group that makes up the course interactions with culture, is a powerful interpretive
interacts with the curriculum which is a cultural artifact. device, we hope. This interpretation allows us to
In this sense, we can represent the diagram of Circuit of understand and analyze the teacher training and mainly
Culture for teacher training, where the curriculum is the find new options to advance in theoretical and practical
cultural artifact with which the course participants discussions about the curriculum.
interact and identity that emerges from this context is
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