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Going All the Way: A life history account focusing on a teacher's engagement with studies of Asia


Doug Trevaskis 
School of Education, Flinders University, Australia
doug.trevaskis@flinders.edu.au

 

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Abstract

What would prompt a primary school teacher in late career and from the Australian cultural mainstream to become interested in the societies and cultures of Asia and then to expand that interest into a personal and professional life focus? Through a life history approach, this paper recounts a teacher's journey from childhood, to becoming and working as a teacher, to initial inclusion in her late career of Asia-related aspects in her teaching and learning program, to extensive professional development in studies of Asia, culminating in a formal postgraduate study pathway. The teacher's story illustrates the complexity, the changing nature and uniqueness of individual teacher identity, thereby reinforcing Goodson's (1992a) view of a teacher as "an active agent making his or her own history". The story also demonstrates the value of the life history approach in showing how personal and professional influences interact to determine how teachers think, what they value, and what they choose to do at any given time - including why they actively engage with particular professional learning programs. 

Life history, teacher identity, studies of Asia

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Trevaskis, D. (2006) Going All the Way: A life history account focusing on a teacher's engagement with studies of Asia. International Education Journal, 7 (1), 1-16.
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