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‘Here there is order, full stop!’ – radical reflexivity and teachers’ migrations from the orders of education toward the (dis)orders of (self-)relations

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This article derives from a case study involving in-depth interviews of 20 Mexican and Spanish teachers. Testimonies are analysed from teachers engaged in a training programme for ‘radical reflexivity’ known as Seekers After Truth (SAT). This training is informed by theory and practices from the psychotherapeutic and spiritual traditions. Evidence discussed in this article focuses on participating teachers’ positionings within the orders of education, understood as the means through which they organize and orchestrate teaching and learning. The article presents shifts occurring in their teaching practice and frames a discussion of these within Giddens’ analysis of modernity’s simultaneous drive toward ‘abstract systems’ and ‘pure’ relations. It is argued that the SAT’s training in ‘radical reflexivity’, which focuses exclusively on the ‘personal’ rather than the ‘professional’, effectively catalyses migrations in teacher identity, agency and relations. These migrations challenge and compensate for the institutional and individual abstractions that are often experienced as problematic both for teaching and for learning.
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Keywords: psychotherapeutic and spiritual discourse; reflexivity (radical); teacher beliefs; teacher characteristics; teacher learning and development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Society and Culture, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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