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Professional Life and Work

Studying Teachers' Lives

Studying Teachers' Lives - problems and possibilities

The requirement of procedural clarification is integral to developing more refined ethical and methodological guidelines in the study of teachers' lives. Working in a more collaborative mode, the study of teachers' lives provides an important arena for reflective and educative research study and ultimately an important, and as yet relatively unexplored, avenue to teacher development.

Ethical, procedural and methodological debate is now vital in this emerging field of study. Certainly a good deal of work is underway aimed at further exploration and clarification in this regard. If our work at RUCCUS is anything to go by this is a painstaking and protracted process based as it is on a continuing exploration and negotiation over values, ethics and procedures. As a collective enterprise of teacher researchers and academic researchers our work remains tentative, an ongoing dialogue. At it's best it resembles research as a grounded conversation between equal partners. But it is still often not at its best.

Finally, we should be aware that, important as it is, procedural and methodological clarification needs to be accompanied by other changes. It remains true that 'major shifts are more likely to arise from changes in political and theoretical preoccupation induced by contemporary social events than from discovery of new sources or methods[i]. As in other things the story of our research endeavour must be located within a genealogy of context.

[i] Popular Memory Group (1982) 'Popular memory: theory, politics, method' in Johnson, R., McLennan, G., Schwarz, B. and Sutton, D. (eds) Making Histories, Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, London: Hutchinson, p. 205-52. My thanks to Kathleen Casey for a number of discussions on inter-textuality and for drawing my attention to the work of the Popular Memory Group.

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Studying Teachers' Lives Ivor Goodson
  • Date of publication: 06/02/1992
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 272
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Subject:
    Professional Life and Work
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  • Appears in:
    Studying Teachers' Lives
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £42.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-415-06858-1
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