Articles and Literature

Article: Power and Authority in Teacher Education


Summary: This article discussed the relationships between cooperating teachers, and student teachers. It talked about how cooperating teachers have a certain amount of power and authority over student teachers. The article was based on four cooperating teachers, and three interns. They gave their perspectives on power and authority throughout the article, and it was very interesting to see what their thoughts were regarding this topic. The cooperating teachers tended to see the word ‘power’ as a negative thing, and generally tried to avoid the word. Whereas the student teachers admitted that they felt that their teacher had a certain level of power over them, as they were the ones that were grading them. They were the ones who determined their fate, and who had a huge impact on their career. Soon, I will be entering my pre-internship and internship, and I will be the one building relationships with my cooperating teachers. I know that as I become a teacher, I will have a certain amount of authority over my students, but I had never considered the power my cooperating teacher would have over me. This was an interesting read because it gave me a new perspective on this topic, and it made the topic of power and authority relatable to my life at this time.


McNay, M. (2003). Power and authority in teacher education. Educational Forum, 68(1), 82-81. Retrieved from

Additional Power and Authority Links

List below are two links to articles revolving around the topic of authority. I found them very interesting and helpful, and I hope you will too! Enjoy!

Trisha’s Article: Authority, power, and morality in classroom discourse (This article discusses how morality can be related to authority, and it describes an example of a situation within a classroom that helps to better understand these terms.)

Josie’s Article: Close to the Heart: Teaching Authority in a Classroom Community (This article outlines examples of how a teacher uses students as learning tools, and how he chooses to use students a resource rather than as a threat to his authority. It provides examples on how to demonstrate authority in a positive way, and it is a very good read that touches on an important topic.)

Treaty Essential Learning #4 World Views

The quote from this reading that stood out to me was, ‘Everything is part of a single whole.’ I think that this is a powerful statement that is very important to understand regarding First Nations perspectives. Everything is connected, and this is where the importance of the circle, and the medicine wheel comes into play. This article discusses how the circle represents a harmonious relationship with nature and with all living things. It symbolizes that there is no beginning, and no end. The circle has meaning, and purpose in First Nations culture, and I think that this is a very important thing for teachers to understand. It we do not understand, it is impossible to help students understand. In order to transfer knowledge, we must have knowledge ourselves, and this article helped me to see that. There are numerous ways to incorporate the circle into the classroom, and that is something teachers should strive to do. This can be incorporated into numerous subject areas, and this is something that this class has helped me to see.

Indigenous Knowledge and the Story of the Bean

‘The interconnectedness of knowledge, sources of knowledge, and experience are critical to understanding how indigenous peoples have survived more than 500 years of genocide.’ This quote summarizes the damage that has been done, and the impacts society has had on First Nations peoples. I think that the term genocide is a very accurate work to describe our past. Healing is an ongoing process that numerous people around us are going through, and this is something that teachers must be aware of. It is extremely important to incorporate indigenous views and perspectives into our classrooms, and this article shared an excellent example of how we could go about doing that. I think that the way the teacher said she would go about planting seeds was so interesting. It was something I never would have thought of, and I really enjoyed reading about how she would teach this. I recently developed a grade three Plant Growth and Change unit in my ESCI class, and I wish I had read this story before I created it. I never even considered doing something like this, but this story helped me see the possibilities that are out there. The plant unit is an excellent way to incorporate First Nations views and perspectives, and I wish I could have done more within my unit. This story opened my eyes to the possibilities, and I found it very interesting and insightful. Another thing that I found very interesting within this article is when it discussed how knowledge is active from an indigenous perspective. They believe that they are always learning, and that one should always be working to attain knowledge, and share it with others. The concept of knowledge is extremely important within the First Nations culture, and this is important for us to understand as we move forward in our journey.


One comment

  1. Your reflections are meaningful and insightful! I can tell that you really care about educating and you have valuable points coming across! Critical thinking is portrayed and I have gained some new perspectives while reading through your blog. Thank you!


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