Mapping the inner landscape of Australian TAFE teachers: navigating contours by explicating critical spirit

Edited book (chapter)


Tyler, Mark A.. 2008. "Mapping the inner landscape of Australian TAFE teachers: navigating contours by explicating critical spirit." Henderson, Robyn and Danaher, Patrick Alan (ed.) Troubling terrains: tactics for traversing and transforming contemporary educational research. Brisbane, Australia. Post Pressed. pp. 119-136
Chapter Title

Mapping the inner landscape of Australian TAFE teachers: navigating contours by explicating critical spirit

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID2978
Book TitleTroubling terrains: tactics for traversing and transforming contemporary educational research
Authors
AuthorTyler, Mark A.
EditorsHenderson, Robyn and Danaher, Patrick Alan
Page Range119-136
Chapter Number9
Number of Pages18
Year2008
PublisherPost Pressed
Place of PublicationBrisbane, Australia
ISBN9781921214318
Web Address (URL)http://www.postpressed.com.au
Abstract

In The Courage to Teach, Parker J. Palmer (1998) explores the inner landscape of teachers by elaborating his proposition that 'We teach who we are' (p. 1). What is highlighted is that in order to teach well teachers need firstly to know their self-hood and then to connect it with what they do. With this in mind, this chapter explores ruminations around my research into a particular site in the inner landscape of teachers' work. That site is illuminated and mapped by applying a concept known as critical spirit, which is used to describe the dispositions of the critical thinker (Oxman-Michelli, 1992; Siegel, 1988). The intention is to seek support for the notion of critical spirit being part of the inner terrain of a group of Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) teachers working within the current period of new vocationalism.
Taking a socio-cultural vantage point I begin with the claim that TAFE teachers are endeavouring to travel the terrain between discourses that position them as educators
responsible for skilling an economy and those that position TAFE teachers as liberal educators, concerned with the developing person and the enactment of civil responsibilities. I make claim to critical spirit as a discourse, and move to presenting a coding framework for exploring elements of critical spirit within TAFE teacher
narratives. The results of this analysis are discussed in terms of their relevance to these teachers' identities and their engagements with their world of work. The mapping of this landscape and the navigating of these contours are articulated in an attempt to reflect upon 'what might be' in relation to a larger research project.

Keywordscritical spirit; teacher identity; TAFE teacher; dispositions; critical thinking; methodology; discourse analysis
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390203. Sociology of education
390114. Vocational education and training curriculum and pedagogy
500321. Social and political philosophy
Public Notes

Author retains copyright.

Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
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