• Transforming self as reflective teacher: journey of being and becoming a teacher and teacher educator

      Akinbode, Adenike (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014)
      The nature of reflective practice in teaching and its development is the focus of this research. The research approach is reflexive narrative through systematic self-inquiry using Johns (2010) six dialogical movements. This methodology is new to researching the practice of teaching. The research process involved constructing stories of practice experiences, culminating in the construction of the reflexive narrative charting the entire journey over three years and four months. Creating the stories involved in-depth reflection using the disciplined practice of journaling. Reflection was deepened using reflective models, and dialogue with a range of literature sources also supported the creation of the stories. Central to the study was guided reflection through regular engagement with an established inquiry group, which provided a high level of challenge and support for the research. The reflexive narrative was constructed from 25 stories of practice experience, which represents the journey of being and becoming a reflective teacher and teacher educator. The research presents aspects of the lived experience of teaching which includes foregrounding some of the complexity of classroom practice. The research demonstrates how engaging in in-depth reflective process can transform moment to moment practice within the fast-paced crowded classroom experience. This is achieved through gaining an in-depth understanding of self as a teacher, and of the education system and its policies and practices. As a result of in-depth reflection on practice, aspects of teaching which usually remain hidden are exposed. The research identifies how emotion impacts on teaching in some depth. An understanding of one’s emotional self in practice, and one’s personality preferences are essential in developing desirable practice. The research makes a contribution to knowledge about narrative research in educational practices. The methodology demonstrates a valuable approach to developing teaching practice, and enabling a teacher to identify issues which impact on practice but which have been hidden. Teachers also gain an understanding of the fear and constraints which limit desirable practice and enable one to find ways to work that are liberating rather than limiting.