Nilseen Encouraging the Habit of Seeing in Student Teaching

Nilssen, V. (2010). Encouraging the habit of seeing in student teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, pp. 591-598.

Summary: This qualitative case study examines how one mentor teacher scaffolds and develops the skill of seeing, or essentially observing, in six pre-service teachers during a six week field experience in Norway. Data sources were daily observations, audio or video recordings of conversations, interviews, and log books. The article concludes that pre-service teachers need to develop the skill of seeing children as children in order to employ a constructivist approach to teaching and learning, yet pre-service teachers, especially those without prior experience in classroom settings, struggle with the multitask of seeing while teaching. Adopting from Schon’s notions of reflection-in-action, pre-service teachers struggle with the ability observe-in-action (MY TERM).

Key Quotes:

  • “Not surprisingly, research findings show that knowing about pupils on the local level may be the most important part of pedagogical content knowledge for teaching in primary schools (Hashweh, 2005; McCaughtry, 2005). Such knowledge cannot be learned through coursework or by reading books: knowledge develops through the experience of teaching specific pupils over time (p. 592).” (CONNECT TO RELATIONSHIP STUDY).
  • Schon (1988) identified the term reflective supervision. “Reflective supervision includes any activity that supports, guides, or encourages student teachers in their reflective teaching (pp. 596-597).” (NEED TO LOOK THAT UP TO SEE ABOUT SCHON)
  • “Thus, we may assert that student teachers define the context of student teaching as an arena for training performance in the classroom more than a place to learn about teaching (p. 597).”



  • Hashweh, M. (2005). Teacher pedagogical constructions: a reconfiguration of pedagogical content knowledge. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 11(3), pp. 273-292.
  • McCaughtry. N. (2005). Elaborating pedagogical content knowledge: what it means to know students and think about teaching. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 11(4), pp. 379-395.
  • Schon, D. (1988). Coaching reflective teaching. In G. L. Erickson, & P. P. Grimmett (Eds.), ˆReflection in teacher education (pp. 19-38). New York: Teachers College Press.