This article reports on phenomenological research which explored meanings and understandings that were taken for granted within teachers self-selected best teaching experiences. The research occurred within a pre-service Early Childhood Education teacher education course. This research was designed to understand teacher’s perceptions of their best teaching experience, having previously used Appreciative inquiry to ascertain students’ perceptions of their best experiences within the course (Giles & Kung, 2014). In this inquiry, the research sought deeper ontological understandings of being in these ‘best moments’. The analysis enabled four phenomenological themes to be identified: the preparation for relationships, the privileging of experiential pedagogies, the priority of experiences as foundational to teaching and the life of genuine engagement. Teacher’s perceptions of their best experiences related to their preparation and readiness for teaching, along with an ongoing concern of aligning practice to a clearly articulated teaching approach.
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