- Volume 7 Issue 1
The purpose of this study was closely to explore the guidance experiences of senior elementary teachers who have had over 30 years of teaching experiences in elementary school based on interpretive(or hermeneutic) inquiry. The entry research question was 'What are the guidance experiences of senior elementary teachers like?' Seven senior elementary teachers working for O elementary School in G city participated in this study voluntarily. Each participant was interviewed twice in a consecutive manner. 14 periods of interview were completed all together and each period took about 40-60 minutes. In conclusion, this study conceptualized the guidance experiences of the senior elementary teachers(participants) as follows: First, the concepts of guidance held by the participants were conceptualized as 1) supporting and caring activity helping students to lead joyful school life, 2) assisting activity helping students to grow on good basic life habits, 3) character building activity helping students to lead integrative growth. Second, the fields and contents of guidance held by the participants were conceptualized as basic life habits, manners, and health & safety. Interestingly, these concepts were evolved in connection with their personal, practical teaching experiences rather than in-service teacher education. Third, the guidance methods frequently used by the participants were co-work with parents, exemplary storytelling, counselling, and praise. The participants applied these methods differently according to the grade, individual difference, and school curriculum policy to some degree. Fourth, the participants have experienced a lot of struggles with students, teachers, and parents in doing their guidance practices throughout the whole teaching career. Their guidance experiences commonly shifted from more teacher-centered or authoritative to more student-centered or relational way as their teaching years accumulated. Interestingly, all the participants more or less lived as lifelong learners to create their own right space as senior teachers in today's competitive and challenging landscape. This study strongly suggests that responsible teacher education can playa great role of enabling senior teachers to cope with guidance issues successfully. Compared with the speedy social change, the teacher education in Korea had been so authoritative, provider-based, subject-based until recently and it have not met the needs and wants of the elementary teachers in field. This trend has significantly hindered them from catching up with the needs of the speedy social change in terms of contemporary guidance issues. This study is limited in that the data is solely collected based on interview. So, an observational research is strongly suggested in order to uncover the situated understanding of the guidance experiences of elementary senior teachers.