Phronesis and the Student Teacher


  • Sheila Spence University of Calgary



This paper examines the preparation of teachers, through the lens of various authors who have interrogated the role of the particular circumstance. The current acknowledgment of the need for differentiation and individual needs, increasingly apparent in changing times, is explored through a hermeneutic approach, taking the case as an example, which has ramifications for the profession in general. The argument contends that, while knowing what to do is important, knowing why, how, when, and with whom are often even more important and becomes essential when considering the classroom as a place where the teacher lives daily with students. Tracing the idea of phronesis from its Aristotelian roots through contemporary writing and into a narrative of a particular student teacher, this essay seeks to claim a significant place for this ancient, but enduring and currently relevant idea, which embodies the idea of living well with others.