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Auto/biography & Pedagogy

Memory & Presence in Teaching

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Freema Elbaz-Luwisch

In the tradition of educational narrative inquiry, this book explores diverse ways of thinking, writing and theorizing from auto/biographic experience, in language that is rooted in practice yet challenges the authoritative discourses of educational policy, theory and research. The book moves from first to third person accounts and from personal and family stories to narratives of teachers and teacher educators in the contested, multicultural environment of Israel. It highlights the multi-voiced, embodied lives of Israeli teachers from many cultures and identities and engages with literature around memory and embodiment, imagination, place and presence in teaching. The book will interest researchers in curriculum studies, teaching and teacher education, as well as scholars interested in issues of memory in historical and contemporary contexts.
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Chapter 5: Retrieving Memory, Shaping Teachers: Stories of Teacher Educators

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CHAPTER 5

Retrieving Memory, Shaping Teachers: Stories of Teacher Educators

Introduction

The thing that made me very enthusiastic about teacher education is just this, something I like to quote that Dylan Thomas wrote to Caitlyn. He wrote her, “Thank God writing poetry gets more and more difficult.”…thank God teaching gets more and more difficult, I never found it possible to use the notes from last year, to do the same thing this year, I never found a formula for anything. (Devorah, 2nd interview, March 2012)

Having been engaged in teacher education for most of my working life, I was moved on hearing the quote from Dylan Thomas that Devorah brings to describe her experience as a teacher educator. Although I have had some wonderful experiences working as a teacher educator and learned a great deal about myself and something about teaching, I never felt confident about knowing “how to do it.” Yet despite my own questions and the discomfort that sometimes accompanied the questioning, I always appreciated the fact that teaching teachers was interesting, puzzling and challenging work (see also Clandinin, 1995).

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