Silvio Scanagatta
Barbara Segatto

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Ursula Apitzsch, Jean-Louis Derouet, Luisa Ribolzi, Alison Taysum, Carlos Alberto Torres, Catherine Yan Wang

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Managing editor
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For Italian Law
Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Coping with Ambivalence: Unanticipated Outcomes as Challenges for Experienced Teachers

TitleCoping with Ambivalence: Unanticipated Outcomes as Challenges for Experienced Teachers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsColombo M
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedOctober 2009
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsReflective Practitioner, Sociological Ambivalence, Teachers

Within school establishments is almost frequent that one is involved in conflictual situations and interactions and in unanticipated developments which challenge the actor’s rationality and lead to innovative learning outcomes for the professional himself. Aim of this essay is to analyse such learning outcomes which grow up in professional situations full of ambiguity, contraddiction, ambivalence, in order to examine the role of teacher as a reflective practitioner. We assume that teachers, as other knowledge workers, are not able to became reflective practitioner in every situations, but they do it only under given conditions. The essay starts from the description of some study cases (teachers coping with unanticipated learning outcomes); deals with the concept of sociological ambivalence in R.K. Merton, and moves to an interpretation of the empirical cases by applying a model, in order to verify what kind of “oscillation” strategies teachers are able to use for balancing opposite values at stake (tradition/innovation; ripetition/variability, etc.).