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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.47 - Fostering classroom communities through circling with teacher-candidates [CANCELLED]

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Classroom circles have been recognized as a valuable pedagogical approach to develop K-12 students’ social emotional learning and to establish a sense of community within a classroom (Cefai et al., 2014). There has been little consideration that teachers, themselves, may benefit from circling experiences in order to reflect on their own professional and personal well-being, and to successfully implement circling practices in their classrooms (Boyes-Watson & Pranis, 2010). To garner a deeper understanding of circling use for teachers, this study examined teacher-candidates' experiences with circling in a teacher-education course. The online and in-person focus groups with former teacher-candidates procured three themes: a) learning through circling; b) navigating tensions, and c) establishing congruence. The results suggest that circling should be similarly used with educators, in addition to with K-12 students. The authors conclude with recommendations for practice, suggesting that circling pedagogies should be embedded in current teacher-education programming.

Inspired by these results, the authors also call on instructors of higher education courses to consider the value of circling in fostering supportive learning communities across multiple disciplines. Specifically, the authors propose that developing students’ social-emotional competencies, at all levels of education, alongside the more traditional academic learning goals, can promote inclusive classroom communities that help to facilitate learning. Visitors to this poster will leave with an understanding of the potential benefits of circling specifically for teachers and teacher-candidates, drawing from the results of this current study. Visitors will also be encouraged to reflect on how the practice and impact of circling (and developing students’ social-emotional competencies and promoting inclusive classrooms, more generally) relate to their own teaching/learning contexts.


Karen Bouchard

Karen Bouchard is a Ph.D. Candidate and Part-time Professor in the Teaching, Learning and Evaluation stream at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. Her research and teaching interests focus on children’s social-emotional experiences at school, including teacher-student... Read More →

Additional Authors

Trista Hollweck

Trista Hollweck is a Ph.D. student at the University of Ottawa in the department of Education, Teaching, Learning and Evaluation. She has been a school administrator, teacher leader, and school board consultant. She is actively engaged with and training others in Restorative Practice... Read More →

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University

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