Teacher, teach thyself: Teacher research as ethnographic practice

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Abstract

This ethnography examines the potential of having teachers study their own practice in order to ‘liberate’ them as an oppressed and ‘voiceless’ group and to raise issues within their discourse communities about social, cultural, and political aspects of education. The study was conducted as part of a graduate program in education in which two courses were organized in a teacher research format. Although the teachers in these courses reported feeling supported and found their experience to have a marked effect on their awareness of their own and their students’ discourse patterns, they showed less apparent willingness to move from the examination of specific instances of teaching to an openly critical examination of their and their communities’ beliefs about students’ home lives or about schools as institutions and their roles in them. These findings in turn raise issues about what these teachers’ resistance to my critical perspective as an applied ethnographer may indicate about assumed relationships in the teacher research literature between the construction of ‘voice’ in teachers’ ethnographic writing and the culture and politics of schooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-356
Number of pages28
JournalEthnography
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • autoethnography
  • praxis
  • teacher research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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