D. Jean Clandinin teaches important lessons about teacher knowledge at the Benjamin Cluff Jr. lecture

The David O. McKay School of Education used modern technology during the 2016 Benjamin Cluff Jr. lecture on March 24 to allow D. Jean Clandinin from the University of Alberta to give her lecture, “Teacher Knowledge: A starting point for teacher education.” Three teachers were also honored with the annual Benjamin Cluff Jr. Awards at the event.


A snowstorm in the Rocky Mountains prevented flights from landing in Denver, Colorado, where Clandinin was to make her connection to Salt Lake City. Because of this predicament, she had to give her lecture via video chat from Canada. The main subject of the lecture was the importance of teacher knowledge.

“For me, teacher knowledge and teacher education are linked. We cannot speak of teacher education without considerations of how we think of teacher knowledge,” said Clandinin.

Clandinin explained the link between philosophy and education. Early in her career she did not see any similarities between the two. As she continued her education it became clear that they worked together in the process of educating those who are educators.

“Shifting to think about teacher education as teacher knowledge work enables us to begin to ask different questions about which knowledge counts, why it counts, and to whom this particular knowledge counts,” said Clandinin.

Clandinin is the founding director of the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development at the University of Alberta. A former teacher, counselor, and psychologist, she is the author and coauthor of 12 books. Her research has significantly impacted the professional areas of teacher knowledge, teacher education, and narrative inquiry. She has been instrumental in the development of narrative inquiry as a methodology for conducting research in the social sciences.

“I care about teaching and teachers. I’ve spent most of a lifetime thinking about what carries me and other teachers into teaching each day,” said Clandinin.

Would you like to see the complete video lecture? Click on the McKay School Vimeo page to learn in detail how teacher knowledge connects with teacher education.

Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Benjamin Cluff Jr. Awards.

Stephen Yanchar, Instructional Phsycology and Technology Department, Benjamin Cluff Jr. Award for Excellence in Educational Research.

This award is given each year to a BYU faculty member whose research has contributed to the improvement of teaching and learning.

Timothy G. Morrison, Teacher Education Department, Benjamin Cluff Jr. Award for Excellence in Educator Preparation.

This award is given each year to a BYU faculty member who has made a strong contribution to the preparation of BYU education candidates.

W. Alexander Judd, Provo School District, Benjamin Cluff Jr. Award for Excellence in Public School Support.

This award is given each year to a public school employee who has made an excellent contribution to the mentoring and support of BYU education candidates.

Writer: Jordan Comstock

Contact: Cynthia Glad (801) 422-1922