Pelech, Sharon

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    "Surrendering to curiosity": impacts of contemplation for resisting rationalized experience in teacher education
    (2017) Pelech, Sharon; Kelly, Darron
    The authors explore what constitutes contemplative space in the context of teacher education and how free space can be created so preservice teachers experience contemplative learning practices amidst the intensified and alienating processes they have often experienced within their own education. Through data collected from student projects and semi-structured interviews, the authors explore a hermeneutic perspective on and analysis of teacher education and how providing opportunities to experience contemplative space helps deepen student understanding of education leading to a further, intersubjective form of thinking. Students described the uniqueness of the experience that was characterized by dialogic opportunities wherein they had occasion to “contemplate together” through inclusive and non-coerced communication. They shared knowledge, experience, perspective, and opinion as participants in a practice aimed at mutual support in the pursuit of insight. Findings show that preservice student teachers recognized the object of contemplation was far less important than the orientation and conditions under which they contemplate. The authors’ findings spur hopefulness that contemplative space in teacher education will better equip subsequent generations of teachers to counter the marginalization inherent in rationalized schooling.
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    Faculty writing groups: a support for women balancing family and career on the academic tightrope
    (Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, 2015) Penney, Sharon; Young, Gabrielle; Badenhorst, Cecile; Goodnough, Karen; Hesson, J.; Joy, Rhonda; McLeod, Heather; Pickett, Sarah; Stordy, Mary; Vaandering, Dorothy; Pelech, Sharon
    This qualitative research project explored the experiences of women who juggle the demands of family or parenthood while engaging in academic careers at a faculty of education. The researcher-participants consisted of 11 women; 9 women provided a written narrative, and all women participated in the data analysis. The data consisted of the personal, reflective narratives of 9 women who participated in a faculty writing group. Analysis of narratives uncovered 5 themes common to the researchers and participants in this study: genderspecific experiences surrounding parenting, second-career academics, pressure surrounding academic work, human costs, and commitment to work and family. Implications of the findings are discussed with particular emphasis on how a faculty writing group framed by a relational model of interaction can be used to support untenured faculty who experience difficulty balancing the demands of family and academia.
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    Teaching science as a hermeneutic event
    (University of Calgary, 2013) Pelech, Sharon
    In this article, the author explores the need for science education to be taught as a hermeneutic event, as opposed to a book of facts to be memorized. The fragmented, passive transmission of facts does not allow students to have a clear understanding of science, its’ traditions and how science lives in the world. Reconnecting biology back into the world, and recognizing its creativity and uncertainty, will help students understand how science impacts their lives and the world. The author explores how, through hermeneutics, students can experience the living discipline of science, as opposed to learning about science