Just Who Do We Think We Are? Methodologies for Autobiography and Self-Study in Teaching

Just Who Do We Think We Are? Methodologies for Autobiography and Self-Study in Teaching

Just Who Do We Think We Are? Methodologies for Autobiography and Self-Study in Teaching

Just Who Do We Think We Are? Methodologies for Autobiography and Self-Study in Teaching

Synopsis

Drawing upon diverse and specific examples of self-study, described here by the practitioners themselves, this unique book formulates a methodological framework for self-study in education.This collection brings together a diverse and international range of self-studies carried out in teacher education, each of which has a different perspective to offer on issues of method and methodology, including:* memory work* fictional practice* collaborative autobiography* auto-ethnography* phenomenology* image-based approaches.Such ethical issues likely to arise from self-study as informed consent, self-disclosure and crises of representation are also explored with depth and clarity.As method takes centre stage in educational and social scientific research, and self-study becomes a key tool for research, training, practice and professional development in education, Just Who Do We Think We Are? provides an invaluable resource for anyone undertaking this form of practitioner research.

Excerpt

Memoire, autobiography and narrative

Victoria Perselli

HEAVY FUEL: A CASE STORY

When I was a child, and even after I was grown up, I never thought of my grandfather as disabled. He had a 'Disabled' sticker he put on the windscreen when he went to see the specialist at Freedom Fields in Plymouth. But I guess words have different meanings in your own family; or maybe there are words you never use. The sticker was so that my grandfather could park outside the specialist's office. He went there once or maybe twice a year and generally my grandmother went with him. Afterwards they would have lunch on the Barbican, at the Intercontinental Hotel. They were smart dressers, both of them, and Jack always wore a nice suit and good shoes. My grandfather was tall and walked with a stoop - but that was because my grandmother was very short. He had bright blue eyes that were always laughing. My eyes are not blue, they're brown-black, with whites like used porcelain; when I smile it's more from the mouth. My grandfather had a big Devonian face. A picture of the poet Ted Hughes in a field comes to mind, but of course that's not it. Those trips to Plymouth to collect his new leg were a real occasion.

It surprises me to realize that years can pass without thinking about someone, after they're dead. Only recently, when we exchanged my old Ford Sierra for a new Toyota Carina - after I changed my job and started commuting to work - something thudded in my brain and I made the connection. I was really fond of that Sierra, but it had no power steering, so it was heavy to drive, difficult to park. On long journeys it smelt bad and was getting to be seriously unreliable. Back in 1994 my partner was involved in a pile-up - unhurt, luckily - but the Sierra was written off. I persuaded the Ford garage to get the assessor out anyway. As it turned out, the assessor was a friend of the proprietor. A bottle of good whiskey was involved somewhere along the line and the car got fixed on the insurance - rebuilt practically - which was just as well, because back then I wouldn't have had the money to turn it in for scrap and buy a new one.

I've always been good with garages; that's where I spent my childhood. My grandfather had a Ford dealership, so you get to know how things are . . .

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