Exploring perezhivanie: a new tool for teacher development in the digital transformation in education
This book uses the Russian notion of perezhivanie, a kind of a teachers’ response to the digital transformation push, which is shaping teaching and learning, to describe why and how teachers make decisions and act the way they do. Unlike earlier work in teacher development, where cognition predominantly served the thinking and decision making processes, here the focus is on a unity of emotion, cognition, and context, united in the notion of perezhivanie (Vygotsky, 1933-34). The author suggests using perezhivanie as a unit, which reflects distinct developmental processes that potentially accompany the changes teachers have to undertake. To demonstrate the work of perezhivanie, the author developed her conceptual framework, where perezhivanie was introduced in conventional terms. Then she applied the framework to interpret data from two in-depth qualitative interviews with ten university language teachers about their experience of using technology in their teaching. The author demonstrates that while teachers responded to issues of technology integration in various ways, a broad pattern emerged, however, when teachers could not do what they had planned for the lesson due to struggles with technology. The teachers initially experienced frustration, denial, and various other emotions. After that, they passed through a stage of acceptance, and started to engage with the problem more cognitively, and this induced sense-making and, therefore, progress. Additionally, following Vasilyuk (1991), the author shows that perezhivanie exists in three forms, which are perezhivanie-experience, perezhivanie-apprehension, and perezhivanie-reflection. This finding produces a nuanced understanding of how these forms of perezhivanie might work across these periods of difficulty. The author exemplifies how these forms can provide a theoretically powerful frame for understanding and researching teacher development and, taken more broadly, human consciousness. As a practical outcome of the study, the author suggests using these forms of perezhivanie in teacher training, as a supportive framework for a deep and intensive discussion, and for teachers themselves to evaluate from their own perspective their technologically enhanced teaching.