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Auto/biography & Pedagogy

Memory & Presence in Teaching


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 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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