These criteria state that the account itself should be comprehensible, authentic, truthful and appropriate. By drawing together the separate strands of establishing standards to judge the quality of 1 the practice, 2 the research, and 3 the account, I make a case for the validity and legitimacy of my research account.
Constructivism is a theory of learning that has roots in both philosophy and psychology
I exercise epistemic responsibility through dialectical critique, by standing outside my practitioner researcher self and making judgements about the quality of my practice, while acknowledging my intellectual biases within normative cultural contexts. Time will tell whether or not these ideas are taken up more widely, beginning, perhaps, within the creative spaces of educational research in South Africa.
How do I explain the potential significance of my research? Gaylard explains that post-apartheid South Africa is in a postmodern moment, uncertain about how to achieve social sustainability. Yet these moments of destabilisation can offer creative spaces for developing and testing new ideas, which may be an opportunity for the development of the ideas expressed here. I have explained how practitioners can improve their work and create knowledge by producing explanatory accounts of practice, and by adopting inclusional epistemologies, logics and values Rayner, ; Whitehead, They explain the significance of their work, and define themselves as morally committed practitioner researchers.
They equip themselves to contribute to policy debates regarding research-based professionalism for a good social order. South Africa is well positioned to demonstrate these links, in light of policy recommendations about teachers as lifelong researchers who can contribute to the well-being of society Department of Education, , and in light of policy frameworks for continuing professional teacher development CPTD Department of Education, The recommendations state that the South African Council for Educators SACE should have 'overall responsibility for the implementation, management and quality assurance of the CPTD system' and that 'SACE will be provided with the necessary resources and support to undertake that role' ibid.
Perhaps SACE and other quality assurance agencies might consider action research-based approaches, which take as axiomatic the need to demonstrate quality in practice and research. Yet speaking about the continuing professional education of teachers has to be located within debates about the continuing professional education of providers and supervisors, including practitioners in higher education. If academic practitioners are to become providers, they also need to engage in the same processes they are expecting the teachers to engage in.
Not to do so, and to remain within the kind of asymmetrical power relationships generated by traditional epistemologies, would involve regressing into divisive forms of social living where power replaces rational debate as the arbiter for making judgements about forms of living. Higher education practitioners therefore also need to demonstrate their methodological and epistemological accountability, by producing their living theories of practice that show how they are encouraging the same kind of accountability within the teaching profession.
This is a feature of my own work, while working with teachers in Khayelitsha McNiff, This extraordinary group of teachers is setting precedents for what counts as professionalism in teaching, and communicating this through their accounts.
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Consider if they and I can show the processes involved in demonstrating improved quality in practice and research through working as a small group of teachers in a township, who are already influencing the quality of educational experience for their learners, the parents of those learners, and their colleagues, then how much more would be the degree of influence if such initiatives were developed at national level, with adequate resources, and appropriate support and institutional infrastructures.
How do I modify my ideas and practices in light of my evaluation? Let me say how I hope to continue this work. I will continue to engage with the politics of educational knowledge, as I support practitioners from all education sectors in producing their living theories of practice for public legitimation. I intend to find ways of publishing and disseminating those accounts. I will continue to make the case for a free academic press, which, in my view, is vital for democratic forms of research within a democratic political order.
I believe that, like Biko , people should write what they like, but also subject it to the critical scrutiny of educated peers, so that its quality may be judged in terms of social validity Habermas, , see above , within a context of enlightened scholarly debate. The development of the kind of knowledge that can contribute actively to human well-being has to be nurtured within a context of material 'I's, each willing to listen to the other, and test the validity of their ideas, with humility and respect.
I will continue to speak for myself, in the company of others who also speak on their own behalf, as a person claiming intellectual originality and exercising her personal judgement responsibly with social intent Polanyi, We all have choices, and, as intellectuals, the freedom to exercise them. I know what mine are, and what the implications are for demonstrating the quality of my practice.
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- Alfreds Basic Piano Library - Lesson Book 6: Learn to Play with this Esteemed Piano Method.
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Accessed 17 June The facilitation of reflection in undergraduate students within the field of Life Orientation. PhD thesis, Johannesburg, University of Johannesburg. Julia Kristeva: Live Theory. London: Continuum. Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. Autobiography as Philosophy: the philosophical uses of self-presentation. Abingdon: Routledge. My living theory of learning to teach for social justice: How do I enable primary school children with specific learning disability dyslexia and myself as their teacher to realise our learning potentials?
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