28 SES 11, Citizenship, Cultures and Practices I: The Social Construction of the Self
Parallel Paper Session
Reflecting on professional knowledge, formal and non-formal educational processes have to be considered. Non-formal educational processes are of great influence for the professional and have to be taken into account, because these are characterized as very sustainable and lasting (Schulze 2006). The relation of formal and non-formal educational processes is of relevance for further development of qualification and professionalism. This paper illustrates this exemplarily by referring to an educational research project which focuses on the profession of preschool teachers.
The paper is based on the current dissertation project “Influences of biographical experiences on the professional’s self-conception” which is carried out at the Leibniz University of Hanover and is supervised by Prof. Dr. Rolf Werning. The research project focuses on biographical experiences of preschool teachers, childhood experiences in particular, and analyzes the interconnectedness with their professional self-conception.
Following the biographical concept of Schulze biographical experiences can be described in layers of experience (Schulze 2006: 41). In contrast with formal knowledge these experiences are characterized by the importance of sensory impressions and the individual’s emotional engagement. As a consequence biographical experiences result in strong beliefs about life which can only be modified by conflicting new information. The individual is forced to rethink existing beliefs or develop other strategies to deal with these irritations (e. g. Sloterdijk 1978).
Concerning the topic of professionals’ development this described stability of beliefs challenges the idea of the effectiveness of formal learning alone. In order to capture the self-conception of the preschool teacher as a professional, the concept of ‘subjective theories’ is used (Groeben/ Scheele 1988). Furthermore childhood experiences play an important role here. On the one hand the work content is strongly related to the professional’s own childhood and youth. On the other hand these experiences in the first life phase build the foundation for all following experiences and therefore can be regarded as very strong. To capture these early experiences, the attachment theory and the “internal working model” is used (Bowlby e. g. 1979). This concept highlights the relationship with relevant attachment figures in the childhood.
This paper will present first results from autobiographical narrative interviews following Schütze (1983) and discuss the meaning of biographical experiences for professions in a broader sense. Withal this paper emphasizes the construction of self in autobiographical narratives in between individual and cultural influences.
Wang and Brockmeier (2002) give an overview on the interplay of memory, self and culture and describe a shift from a traditional view to a social-interactionist approach on memory development. Bruner (1994) draws the attention to certain individual agencies which underly the autobiographical memory and the construction of self in narratives. Furthermore he stresses the cultural impact as interrelated to this phenomenon. Whereas Bruner strengthens the meaning of the individual’s motives and agencies today Bittner (2006) argues in support of a harmonization with the idea of a substantial past identity which can be referred to.
Bittner, G. (2006): Bin “ich” mein Erinnern? In: Bittner, G. (Hrsg.): Ich bin mein Erinnern. Über autobiographisches und kollektives Gedächtnis. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. 57-70. Bowlby, J. (2001): Das Glück und die Trauer. London: Tavistock Publications. Bruner, J. (1994): The “remembered” self. In: Neisser, U./ Fivush, R. (Eds.): The remembering self. Construction and accuracy in the self-narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 41-54. Flecha, R./ Gómez, J. (2007): Participatory paradigms: researching 'with' rather than 'on'. In: Osborne, M./ Gallacher, J./ Crossan, B. (Eds:): Researching widening access to lifelong learning. 2nd ed. Oxon/ New York: Routledge. 129-140. Groeben, N./ Scheele, B. (2000): Dialogue-Hermeneutic Method and the “Research Program Subjective Theories”. Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 1(2). Groeben, N./ Scheele, (1988): Forschungsprogramm Subjektive Theorien. Tübingen: Francke. Merrill, B./ West, L. (2009): Using Biographical Methods in Social Research. London: Sage. Schütze, F. (1983): Biographieforschung und narratives Interview. In: Neue Praxis, 3, 283 – 293. Schütze, F. (1981): Prozeßstrukturen des Lebensablaufs. In: Matthes, J./ Pfeifenberger, A./ Stosberg, M. (Hrsg.): Biographie in handlungswissenschaftlicher Perspektive, Nürnberg: Sozialwissenschaftliches Forschungszentrum der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 67 - 156. Schulze, T. (2006): Biographieforschung in der Erziehungswissenschaft – Gegenstandsbereich und Bedeutung. In: Krüger, H.-H./ Marotzki, W. (Eds).: Handbuch erziehungswissenschaftlicher Biographieforschung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 35–58. Sloterdijk, P. (1978): Literatur und Organisation von Lebenserfahrung. Autobiographien der Zwanziger Jahre. Munich: Hanser. Strauss, A. L./ Corbin, J. M. (1998): Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. 2nd ed.Thousand Oaks: Sage. Wang, Qi/ Brockmeier, J. (2002): Autobiographical remembering as cultural practice: Understanding the interplay between memory, self and culture. Culture and psychology. 8(1), 45-64.
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