Theorizing_what_it_means_to_be_pedagogic.pdf - Theorizing What It Means 27 3 THEORIZING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE PEDAGOGICAL IN(THE EARLY YEARS(OF TEACHING

Theorizing_what_it_means_to_be_pedagogic.pdf - Theorizing...

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3 THEORIZING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE PEDAGOGICAL IN (THE) EARLY YEARS (OF) TEACHING Sandy Farquhar and Marek Tesar Problematizing a Research Project A traditional way of writing up research is to outline the concerns and the lit- erature, describe the methodology, and present and analyze the findings. In this chapter, however, we focus on the 'how' of a research project. We do this in the context of an emerging research practice with newly qualified early childhood teachers in Auckland inAotearoa. (Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand. Frequently, Aotearoa and New Zealand are used in conjunction. We use just the Maori name-Aotearoa-in this chapter.) Our research aim is to explore what it means to be pedagogical in diverse social and political early childhood contexts. In the project we will be asking newly qualified teachers to share their experi- ences with us and to engage in reflective and challenging thinking, to question and evaluate their own, and other more established, practices. In this evolving project, they will share their unique experiences of their workplace relationships and question their own pedagogies. The focus of the chapter is to report on how we are working in a philosophical way through narrative to develop an organic and unpredictable mode of inquiry, in which the methodology and analysis emerge from the action/ people/ events involved in the project. Promoting an organic mode of narrative and discovering method- ological and analytical insights within teachers' narratives is, in short, not always an easy task, when educational discourses are heavily laden with the expectations of traditional research outcomes. We outline some conceptual thinking about how we put together existing scholarship in a playful way, to set about considering the litera- ture and what might be useful thinking as we embark on this project of theorizing pedagogy.We then report on our difficulties in esche,:ving the restrictive nature of frameworks and models in such research and the problem of dominant qualitative discourses seeping in around the edges of our theorizing in unexpected ways. Theorizing What It Means 27 Our theorizing of the project in this way examines how we might work along- side teachers and how we might go about interpreting their experiences and narratives in respectful and ethical ways. Narrative inquiry focuses on the lived experiences of participants, and a philosophical approach invites consideration of ways to think, read, and analyze. Both narrative inquiry and philosophy are open to the possibility that both process and analysis emanate from the research concern itself. With this in mind, teachers will be invited to discuss and write about their lived experiences. Their narratives may intersect -with the ideas that we unfold in our theorizing and conceptualization and may include influences on their pedagogy that we discuss in this chapter-influences such as curriculum ini- tiatives, leadership and management practices, research, and policy. Furthermore, because Auckland is a
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