10 SES 10 C, Dialogue and Reflection in Classrooms and Teacher Education: Narratives from the United States, Pakistan, and Spain
This paper, based on 15-month-long ethnographic research, explores how women teachers, recruited and trained by a transnational development organization supporting schools for rural and low-income communities in Pakistan, assemble and perform wisdom as a virtue of educated people. I analyze how wisdom, as an enactment of individual rights and family honor in a local context, provides nuanced insights into the workings of international educational reforms in local contexts. These women teachers mobilized the notion of wisdom—the ability to distinguish between right and wrong—to position and explain the value of education and context-specific practices of women’s rights and family honor. For participants, the vision of a good life included not only practicing individual rights, but also building and strengthening meaningful relationships with their families, students, and communities. I argue that it was the notion of wisdom that made it possible for the participants to construct an educated subjectivity that comprised speaking for their rights when it came to the right to work as a teacher and following cultural traditions when it came to the issue of marital choice. This study has important implications for exploring the global projects and policies that aim to empower women in Muslim countries.
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