10 SES 08 C, Research on Professional Knowledge & Identity in Teacher Education
The research outlined in this paper is part of a Doctorate in Education and employs post-qualitative tools of investigation to research a language teachers’ community of practice in the context of UK Higher Education. The methodology employed is a narrative and auto-ethnographic approach aimed at analyzing language teachers' life trajectories in written, oral and cartographic accounts (Braidotti, 2011).
The main research questions underpinning the study are the following ones:
- How is the professional identity of HE language teachers constructed?
- What are the significant choices in language teachers’ journeys?
- What is the role of significant others in language teachers’ trajectories?
- What is language teachers’ relationship to knowledge?
The main theoretical episthemological background upon which this reserach is grounded, is based on Deleuze and Guattari (1980, 1987) notion of nomadic space, later on developed by Braidotti (1994a, 2011) in her conceptualization of nomadic subjects and of identity as rhizomatic. The study aims at giving evidence of the complexity and non-lienarity of langauge teachers' journeys into professional practice and of their relationship to learning. The research starts from the assumption that eveyr journey into learning is a nomadic, fragmented, complex and rizhomatic experience of self-discovery and of deterritorialization. Based on authors like Britzmann (2003, 2009), Braidotti (2014), Jackson & Mazzei (2009; 2012), this study explores the interrelation between personal and professional journeys into knowldge. investigating the motivations that guided the participants to become language teachers legitimizing, at the same time, their voices as active participants in all stages of the research process. There is an assumption that the engagement in the research process might promote participants’ self-reflection on their agency in professional development and transformation and might empower them to embark in new personal and/or professional projects.
The methodology is framed within a post-qualitative epistemological stance that places participants’ voices at the centre of the investigation process. Through data collection and analysis, participants will be given active agency and ownership in the research process in order to be co-constructors of meaning. Written, oral and cartographic narrative accounts will be analysed within a narrative thematic approach focusing on the concept of life as a journey within a post-structuralist, nomadic and psychosocial framework of reference (Braidotti, 2011; Frosh, 2010; Bainbridge, West, 2012; Hollway & Jefferson, 2010).
The outcome of this study aims at reconsidering the role of training and staff development in language teachers' professional journeys with the hope to redirect it towards more holistic approaches to learning in the field of language teachers' education. Data analysis gives evidence that language teachers' journeys into professional practice are invested with personal and significant choices that go beyond the mere institutionalised learning pathways and that their relationship to knowledge and to the taught subject is invested with deep personal meanings beyond the professional developments paradigms.
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