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The Negotiated Self

Employing Reflexive Inquiry to Explore Teacher Identity

Edited by Ellyn Lyle

Teacher identity resides in the foundational beliefs and assumptions educators have about teaching and learning. These beliefs and assumptions develop both inside and outside of the classroom, blurring the lines between the professional and the personal. Examining the development of teacher identity at this intersection requires a unique reflexive capacity.

Reflexive inquiry is both established and continually emerging. At its most basic, reflexivity refers to researchers’ consciousness of their role in and effect on both the act of doing research and arriving at research findings. In making central the role of the researcher in the research process, reflexive inquiry interrogates agency while examining philosophical notions about the nature of knowledge.

While advancements have been made in investigating the relationship between teacher knowledge and teacher practice, the research often fails to connect this meaning with self-knowledge and issues of identity. Through a consideration of these tenets, the authors in this collection embrace critical, qualitative, creative, and arts-integrated approaches to examine ways that reflexive inquiry supports studies in teacher identity. Moving between theory and lived experience, the authors individually and collectively lay bare teacher identity as negotiated while evidencing the epistemological merits of reflexive inquiry.

A Carpenter's Daughter

A Working-Class Woman in Higher Education

Series:

Renny Christopher

A Carpenter’s Daughter is the story of the difficulties and rewards of the educational system for one who was not meant to go through it. The single most reliable predictor of whether someone will earn a BA is whether at least one of their parents has one-yet, today, there are an increasing number of first-generation college students. A Carpenter’s Daughter is both a memoir of the author’s experiences growing up, going to school, and becoming an academic and a thoughtful commentary on the meaning of class in American culture. By connecting her own story with ideas from scholarly works on class and identity, Christopher shows how her individual experiences reflect common struggles that people of working-class background face when their education, profession, income, and lifestyles change. This work reminds us forcefully that "moving up" isn't necessarily good and that changing one’s class isn't as simple as going to class or even becoming the teacher of the class.—Sherry Linkon, author of Teaching Working Class The work is stellar, merging the tangled and complex webs of social mobility through education in ways that leave lots of loose ends dangling just the way it should. No pretty bows adorning carefully wrapped packages here. No straight and narrow trajectory toward a mainstream version of success. Instead, readers will be pulled along by nuanced narratives portraying the warped nature of society’s construction of success and a careful crafting of the book in its entirety as a disjointed text presenting shards of a life that can never be visible in a tidied-up tale.—Stephanie Jones, University of Georgia