Teacher professional change at the cultural interface: a critical dialogic narrative inquiry into a remote school teacher’s journey to establish a relational pedagogy

Kevin Lowe, Helen Bub-Connor, Rick Ball

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper is written as a co-constructed narrative between Helen, an early career teacher, Rick an artist and colleague and Kevin, an Aboriginal educator and researcher. They met over a 3-year period from 2012-2015 during Kevin's frequent visits to the school, when they talked about their professional and personal lives and the challenges of making a home in a small rural and remote community. These conversations, which commenced from the everyday interactions with students, evidenced an often forlorn and resistance-based co-despondency between the schools' teachers, its students and their families. Helen's professional and personal angst, which was reflective of this larger conflict, highlighted her particular response to this environment and an internalized conflict between her aspirations to be -a good and effective teacher' and the realities of her actual experiences of becoming a teacher in this rural and remote school. Bakhtin's notion of -polyphonic' dialogic narratives (Frank, 2012) provides a methodology that facilitates an expression of the experiences and aspirations of these two teacher participants, exposing both their personal and professional fragilities and their desires to affect a different outcome for their students. In turn, Kevin applies a critical Indigenous methodology that counterposed an alternative, Indigenous understanding to Helen's anxiety about the school, its students and her relationship with the town she wants to call home. This paper focuses on Helen's reflections on her particular efforts to engage her Year 8 music class in the -alien', remote educational environment in which she found herself.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17 - 29
    Number of pages13
    JournalAustralian and International Journal of Rural Education
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2019

    Keywords

    • cultural interface
    • teacher professional knowledge
    • teacher change
    • culturally responsive curriculum
    • Aboriginal education
    • remote education
    • teacher professional learning
    • dialogic narrative
    • rural education

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