Studying Teachers' Lives

Studying Teachers' Lives

Studying Teachers' Lives

Studying Teachers' Lives

Synopsis

Provides a vital insight into the ways in which teachers' backgrounds and career histories affect their teaching. The studies employ a range of different methodologies, but they all reaffirm the centrality of the teacher in educational research.

Excerpt

The original aspiration of the new series of books on Investigating Schooling is to scrutinize those everyday aspects of schooling which have tended to be taken for granted and to treat these as objects for investigation and study. One of the most neglected aspects of the taken for granted reality of schooling is the importance of teachers’ lives. As many of the chapters in this volume testify the overall impact of new initiatives to reform and restructure schools often run counter to the everyday realities of teachers’ lives and the priorities grounded therein.

This is certainly not the first volume which concerns itself with the teacher’s life and work. There have recently been a number of studies of teacher biography, narratives and of teachers’ stories. However, to date the work on teachers’ lives has largely reflected ‘the stories of action’: studies which locate these lives in their full context have been much less common.

The chapters in this volume provide both substantive and methodological support for studies of teachers’ lives which seek to tell Stories of action within a theory of context’. In particular, those chapters which employ life history methods seem best able to embrace these two integrated aspects of analysis.

Ivor Goodson

University of Western Ontario . . .

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