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Presence in teaching

Presence in teaching
Teachers and Teaching
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2006
Pages: 265-287
Source ID: shanti-sources-21260
Zotero Collections: Education and Contemplation

This article articulates a theory of ‘presence’ in teaching and seeks to establish a theoretical foundation for presence that can serve as a platform for further research. It seeks to address the current educational climate that sees teaching as a check list of behaviors, dispositions, measures, and standards, and to articulate the essential but elusive aspect of teaching we call presence. Presence is defined as a state of alert awareness, receptivity, and connectedness to the mental, emotional, and physical workings of both the individual and the group in the context of their learning enviroments, and the ability to respond with a considered and compassionate best next step. The article is divided into four sections and explores existing conceptions of presence: presence as self‐awareness, presence as connection to students, and presence as connection to subject matter and pedagogical knowledge. Within each section the role that context plays in a teacher’s ability to be present is also explored. The authors draw upon papers and stories from student teachers, interview data from children and experienced teachers, and stories from a study group of experienced educators that explored the notion of presence on three different occasions. They conclude by connecting presence to the essential purpose of teaching and learning, the creation of a democratic society.

Education and Contemplation