This book will be of interest to students and teachers of education, to teachers and educational researchers, as well as to those with a passion for the history and politics of education.
Chapter 7. Teachers’ Lives, Professional Knowledge, Educational Reform
The Context for the Turn to Research on “Life Politics”
Teachers’ Lives, Professional Knowledge, Educational Reform
Researching teachers’ lives is an enterprise fraught with danger but the alternative is, I think, more dangerous: to continue in substantial ignorance of those people who, in spite of the many historical shifts and cycles, remain central to achievement in the educational endeavour.
(Goodson, 1992c, pp. 15–16)
By the beginning of the 1990s Ivor no longer saw curriculum as a major site of contestation and he turned instead to the broad area of study that comes under the umbrella of “life politics,” which I discussed in Chapter 5 and which he defines as “the politics of identity construction and ongoing identity maintenance” (Goodson, 2005a, p. 181). This chapter will attend to the way in which he addressed these issues as they pertain to educational inquiry. It deals specifically with the period that began immediately after his most intense involvement with curriculum matters until he turned more explicitly to an engagement with narrative scholarship. This, roughly, covers the years from the beginning of the 1990s until the early years of the new millennium, although there is always considerable overlap and run off when academic attention shifts from one area to another. Watertight compartmentalizing is not possible—and neither would it reflect reality, which was somewhat messier than a progression narrative can convey. That said, the beginning of the 1990s saw Ivor focusing more intently on what can broadly be described as “teachers’ lives,” particularly...
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