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Listening to Ngaire: teacher negotiation of the personal and the institutional in childcare

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One characteristic of long day childcare settings in New Zealand is the opportunity for teachers to continuously observe each other at work. Ngaire's story is an account of one teacher's problematic negotiation of her subjectivity (self-as-teacher) in the context of a wider institutional story drawn from Ngaire's colleagues' observations of her teaching. Through an examination of Ngaire's narrative about her past, present and future self, informed by symbolic interactionist methodological and theoretical concepts, the author challenges Jalongo and Isenberg's claim that sharing teacher narratives provide a ‘natural' way for teachers to generate new meanings about practice. Some stories may be too risky to tell and Ngaire's story does not have a happy ending. It is possible to speculate, however, on some of the ways in which teams of teachers might confront such risks, through examining the collective stories they tell about themselves.

Keywords: Early childhood education; Narrative; Teachers' lives; Teaching

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Monash University, Frankston, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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