Dry stone walls, black stumps and the mobilisation of professional learning: rural places and spaces and teachers' self-study strategies in Ireland and Australia

Kenny, Mairin and Harreveld, R. E. (Bobby) and Danaher, P. A. (2016) Dry stone walls, black stumps and the mobilisation of professional learning: rural places and spaces and teachers' self-study strategies in Ireland and Australia. In: Self-studies in rural teacher education. Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices, 14. Springer, Switzerland, pp. 179-202. ISBN 978-3-319-17487-7

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In very different ways, dry stone walls and black stumps evoke sets of images and meanings ascribed to living in the rural areas of Ireland and Australia respectively. For the purposes of this chapter, they highlight as well the challenges and opportunities in professional learning encountered by teachers working in rural educational settings. To be successful, these teachers need to engage in effective self-study calibrated to the distinctive contexts of their work. Yet we argue that self-study must also take account of the politicised character of the places and spaces of current rural life. Throughout, our purpose is to examine how this then speaks back to a teacher education constituency against the backdrop of wider socioeconomic developments helping to frame the work of teachers and teacher educators in both countries.

Deploying a comparative, exploratory case study research design, the chapter analyzes selected critical self-reflections of teachers in rural educational settings in Ireland and Australia. Data are generated through the three authors’ collaborative autoethnographic accounts of their own respective rural teaching experiences. The analysis is framed by the French theorist Michel de Certeau’s enduringly significant distinction between places and spaces. The key finding is both the need for, and the potential diversity of, rural teachers’ successful self-study strategies if their professional learning is to be sustainable and possibly transformative for themselves, their students and their communities.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 15 May 2017 06:43
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2017 01:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia, Michel de Certeau, Ireland, places, professional learning, rural, self-study, spaces, teachers
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160804 Rural Sociology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930103 Learner Development
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-17488-4_10
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31181

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