To engage in S-STEP is to engage in a search for pedagogic turning points or threshold opportunities that can enrich personal understanding of practice through raising new possibilities, perspectives, and discourses (Hamilton et al., 2020). The theme for the Castle 2023 biennial meeting asked self-study researchers to mindfully pause and purposefully reflect on how we might realize the contributions the Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education (S-STTEP) community has made, is making, and could make to different communities and audiences. Drawing from the metaphors of threshold and becoming, we invited the S-STTEP community to explore the “powerful potential for speaking and contributing” (Berry, 2020, p. 4) to teacher education and to broader communities of practice and audiences.
Figuratively, a threshold …. signifies a place of transition or turning point. It can be a productive place, a space of tension, and also potential and opportunity. For the work of S-STTEP, this threshold moment represents both enduring and new challenges …. the current pressing issue for the S-STTEP community--and what may be seen as its threshold of opportunity -- is in realizing its powerful potential for speaking and contributing to different communities and audiences. While the benefit of self-study in supporting teacher educators to recognize and value their own professional knowledge continues to serve a vital purpose, there are others external to the self-study community who can profit from the knowledge and understandings developed through self-studies of practice. (Berry, 2020, p. 4)
Recognizing our individual S-STEP researcher identities as always becoming (e.g., Pinnegar et al., 2020), we wondered how and in what ways our collective S-STEP identity may be ever emergent and always becoming. Drawing from the work of Deluze and Guattari (1987), the metaphor of becoming represents open, ongoing, process(es) of ever-emerging, multiple selves, and ever-expanding understandings and connections in complex and ever-changing contexts (e.g., Barak, 2015; Berry, 2020; Pinnegar et al., 2020; Strom & Martin, 2013). We envisioned the 2023 Castle Conference as a dynamic nexus of S-STTEP past and the present; of being and becoming; of teaching and learning; of research and scholarship; of creating and sharing; of the here and there; of me and you--and we. Together, we strove to provoke, challenge, and illuminate the threshold(s) of opportunity/ies for S-STTEP in teaching, teacher education, and beyond.
The S-STEP community has long valued the collaborative, intimate, and interactive nature of relationships within the practice of self-study as researcher practitioners bring forward the past, acknowledge the present, and re-imagine possibilities for the future. Simply put, collaboration is built into the foundations of self-study research design and practice.
We invited self-study researchers to consider the following:
How can we position, reposition, reframe, re-imagine, integrate new learnings from the past, present, and future?
What inspires you to pause, deliberate, consider, or take a mindful stance to determine new or enduring practices?
What opportunities are you considering, contemplating, exploring, or embracing to contribute to different communities and audiences?
These questions became the framework for how we organized the book Pausing at the Threshold: Opportunity Through, With, and For Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices.
Section one illuminates the why—by lending focus to the process of exploring and making meaning from theoretical perspectives and a focus on Self-Study methodology.
Section two illuminates the how— by attending to the tools and processes in studying teaching and professional experiences, researchers shared their processes for identifying new and enduring practices in real and practical ways.
Section three illuminates the what—by exploring the creation of new wonderings and knowings we envisioned and generated (Langer, 2011) through engaging in self-study research. Chapters in this section lend insight into the purposeful practice of collaboration, the extension of boundaries, and the inviting of new audiences.
Barak, J. (2015). Augmented becoming: Personal reflections on collaborative experience. Studying Teacher Education, 11(1), 49-63. https://doi.org/10.1080/17425964.2015.1013027
Berry, A. (2020). S-STTEP: Standing on a threshold of opportunity. In J. Kitchen, A. Berry, S. M. Bullock, A. R. Crow, M. Taylor, H. Guðjónsdóttir, & L. Thomas (Eds.), International handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education (2nd ed., pp. 3-14). Springer.
Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism & schizophrenia. University of Minnesota Press.
Hamilton, M. L., Hutchinson, D. A., & Pinnegar, S. (2020). Quality, trustworthiness, and S-STEP research. In J. Kitchen, A. Berry, S. M. Bullock, A. R. Crow, M. Taylor, H. Guðjónsdóttir, & L. Thomas (Eds.), International handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education (2nd ed., pp. 299-338). Springer.
Pinnegar, S., Hutchinson, D. A., & Hamilton, M. L. (2020). Role of positioning, identity and stance in becoming S-STEP researchers. In J. Kitchen, A. Berry, S. M. Bullock, A. R. Crow, M. Taylor, H. Guðjónsdóttir, & L. Thomas (Eds.), International handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education (2nd ed., pp. 97–133). Springer.
Strom, K. J., & Martin, A. D. (2013). Putting philosophy to work in the classroom: Using rhizomatics to deterritorialize neoliberal thought and practice. Studying Teacher Education, 9(3), 219-235. https://doi.org/10.1080/17425964.2013.830970