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

Tyler, Mark A. (2008) Mapping the inner landscape of Australian TAFE teachers: navigating contours by explicating critical spirit. In: Troubling terrains: tactics for traversing and transforming contemporary educational research. Post Pressed, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 119-136. ISBN 9781921214318


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.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author retains copyright.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 08 May 2009 02:19
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 03:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical spirit; teacher identity; TAFE teacher; dispositions; critical thinking; methodology; discourse analysis
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130213 Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220319 Social Philosophy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development

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