Memory & Presence in Teaching
Chapter 6: Auto/biography, Writing and Teacher Learning
Auto/biography, Writing and Teacher Learning
It has already been noted that, paradoxically, the places where children go every day to learn are not inherently environments that encourage and stimulate learning for teachers (Sarason, 1982). Much has been done to address this situation through research on how teachers learn (Wilson & Berne, 1999), through the establishment of learning communities in schools (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999), and professional development schools to promote shared learning of student teachers and experienced teachers (Lieberman & Pointer Mace, 2009; Vescio et al., 2008). In recent years there has been an increase in “systematic exploration that is conducted by teachers and for teachers through their own stories and language” (Johnson & Golombek, 2002, 6), through narrative research, teacher self-study (Kosnik et al., 2006; Loughran et al., 2004), teacher action research and teacher reflection (Oshrat, 2009).
This research presents a view of teaching as characterized by innovative developments such as reflection and collaborative inquiry, but there are also studies as well as statements in the public forum telling us that teaching has become a more and more difficult job over the years. The frequent use of terms such as “deskilling” (Apple, 1987), “intensification” (Ballet et al., 2006; Woods, 1999), and “marginalization” (Vongalis, 2004) reflect this. Research on teaching itself, particularly when conducted from instrumental perspectives, may tend to look at the negative side of the ledger rather than the positive, focusing on topics such as teacher stress and burnout (Byrne,...
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