Cross generational and historical interviewing: Stories of Literacy Teachers Work

Year: 2000

Author: KAMLER, B, COMBER, B, O'BRIEN, J, DORNBRACK, J

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
This paper will report on innovative research methods developed in a study of literacy teachers work. During the past four decades (the span of a teaching career) the field of literacy education has been riven with debates about best methods, with each new theory and associated pedagogies and technologies of practices, promising to solve the problems of the past (Kamler 1998; Luke 1998.) This project aims to explore the 'silenced' perspectives of literacy teachers by developing historical and cross generational accounts of literacy with regard to broader policy and curriculum change. The historical interview techniques piloted in this project invite teachers to historicise their literacy curriculum within the wider conditions of their labour as women primary school teachers during different phases of their teaching careers. The cross generational interview techniques invite and train early career literacy teachers (age 25-30) to access stories of older literacy teachers' work. The project is grounded in a recent explosion of research on teachers' lives and stories but works with Hargreaves (1996) warning against an apolitical presentation that romanticises teachers' voices, emphasising the need to 're-present' these voices critically and to explore the multiple power relationships that govern teachers' work.

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