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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 9: Presence and Dialogue, Auto/biography and Teaching

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CHAPTER 9

Presence and Dialogue, Auto/biography and Teaching

“A teaching life is only lived when it is pursued educationally…as a narrative of inquiry, a life filled with tensions and problematic situations and with the growth that ensues from moving successfully from one inquiry to another.” Connelly, 1995, xv

An interest in narrative and story has been part of my life as long as I can remember, long before I understood that life is lived as a narrative, and this interest has motivated the work presented and discussed in this book. There are still many questions that can be asked about narrative as method, and many concerns have been raised by proponents as well as detractors (see, for example, Bullough, 2008). Now, however, I want to highlight several ideas that are made central by narrative inquiry as practice and as method, ideas which have been appearing and reappearing in previous chapters but that now ask to be looked at directly, in order to bring into focus the main themes that have been developing: the importance of presence and dialogue, body and imagination in teaching and in the study of teaching. All these themes are interrelated and it’s difficult to look at them in sequence, but it seems important to give each one its due as they are all seriously undervalued in the current educational climate.

First, though, I want to address the notion of “wide-awakeness.” Clandinin & Connelly (2000) highlight this notion...

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