Articulating a better practice

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Olsen, Jenna R
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, c2012
This project deals with the nature of discourse about, around, and in the teaching profession. It begins with the researcher’s impressions that the amount and the severity of the negative, demeaning, and disheartening language in this context is alarming and potentially damaging to a healthy professional identity and, consequently, to the professional reality of practicing teachers. The researcher sets out to discover how teachers in her division experience this language and whether an awareness of the effect of language could help assuage professional harm and difficulty. A study of the fields of narrative inquiry, critical discourse analysis, and appreciative inquiry are at the core of the project. These three fields form the theoretical framework for the researcher’s ideas around the power of discourse awareness. An online forum was built, and seven volunteer secondary teacher participants and the participant researcher began discussions surrounding the nature of language and the specific words and phrases that each found to be demeaning and/or uplifting to their professional identity. As a final discussion, participants chose three to five “words to lose” and three to five “words to use” in their practice. The researcher performed a critical analysis of the discussions, paying attention to critical discourse and the potential transformative powers of narrative and appreciative inquiries. Her findings and conclusions point to the resilient and adaptive teaching professional as one who has found ways to navigate the minefield of personal, collegiate, and public discourse with courage, determination, and grace.
viii, 107 leaves ; 29 cm
Teaching -- Practice , Teachers -- Job satisfaction , Teacher morale