Teacher pedagogy as an act of moral answerability: A self-study of an infant teacher's answerable acts in infant pedagogy in New Zealand ECEC
Redder, B. (2019). Teacher pedagogy as an act of moral answerability: A self-study of an infant teacher’s answerable acts in infant pedagogy in New Zealand ECEC (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12365
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12365
Typically, educational research considers how teachers are ethically accountable to learners, their families, teacher colleagues and society as a whole. But this thesis set out to explore the extent to which teachers are also morally accountable for their pedagogical acts. My route to such insight drew upon the notion of moral answerability (Bakhtin, 1993), which invites dialogic processes of meaning-making between (my) pedagogical acts from multiple standpoints across time and space. As an infant teacher myself, I selected a self-study method aligned with dialogic methodology in order to connect (my) self, others and pedagogical practices in consideration of infant practice. This thesis is therefore based on the premise that teacher pedagogy is an act of moral answerability. My self-study took place in a community based early childhood education and care (ECEC) service. Initially, I video recorded my practice engaging with infants which I took to separate staff meetings where footage was analysed by my teacher colleagues in dialogue with me. Subsequently, I analysed the staff meeting dialogue. Bakhtin’s notion of moral answerability was applied as the unit of analysis in order to analyse pedagogy as an act of moral answerability. Insights from (my) dialogic self-study have revealed that as an answerable self I have numerous accountabilities to different selves in relation to others. These accountabilities were evident in the way I exposed (my) answerable self in the dialogue, upheld the best interests of infants, ensured infants’ perspectives were taken into account, and was aware of not denying my subjectivity. The discovery that as a teacher I am an answerable self in relationship with others, summons a re-conceptualisation of professional identity as a plural concept. This challenges the traditional conceptualisation of professional identity as singular, in ownership of a defined set of assets valued by the teaching profession.
The University of Waikato
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