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Letting go : a self-study utilizing critical literacy as method in improving my practice /

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dc.contributor.author McClenaghan, Michael. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-14T19:40:48Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-14T19:40:48Z
dc.date.issued 2003-07-14T19:40:48Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10464/2256
dc.description.abstract This is a Self-study about my role as a teacher, driven by the question: "How do I improve my practice?" (Whitehead, 1989)? In this study, I explored the discomfort that I had with the way that I had been teaching. Specifically, I worked to uncover the reasons behind my obsessive (mis)management of my students. I wrote of how I came to give my Self permission for this critique: how I came to know that all knowledge is a construction, and that my practice, too, is a construction. I grounded this journey within my experiences. I constructed these experiences in narrative fomi in order to reach a greater understanding of how I came to be the teacher I initially was. I explored metaphors that impacted my practice, re-constructed them, and saw more clearly the assumptions and influences that have guided my teaching. I centred my inquiry into my teaching within an Action Reflection methodology, bon-owing Jack Whitehead's (1989) term to describe my version of Action Research. I relied upon the embedded cyclical pattern of Action Reflection to understand my teaching Self: beginning from a critical moment, reflecting upon it, and then taking appropriate action, and continuing in this way, working to improve my practice. To understand these critical moments, I developed a personal definition of critical literacy. I then tumed this definition inward. In treating my practice as a textual production, I applied critical literacy as a framework in coming to know and understand the construction that is my teaching. I grounded my thesis journey within my Self, positioning my study within my experiences of being a grade 1 teacher struggling to teach critical literacy. I then repositioned my journey to that of a grade 1 teacher struggling to use critical literacy to improve my practice. This journey, then, is about the transition from critical literacyit as-subject to critical literacy-as-instmctional-method in improving my practice. I joumeyed inwards, using a critical moment to build new understandings, leading me to the next critical moment, and continued in this cyclical way. I worked in this meandering yet deliberate way to reach a new place in my teaching: one that is more inclusive of all the voices in my room. I concluded my journey with a beginning: a beginning of re-visioning my practice. In telling the stories of my journey, of my teaching, of my experiences, I changed into the teacher that I am more comfortable with. I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my personal approach that creates the climate. It's my daily mood that makes the weather As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a person's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a person humanized or de-humanized. (Ginott, as cited in Buscaglia, 2002, p. 22) en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Brock University en_US
dc.subject Teachers en_US
dc.subject Elementary school teachers en_US
dc.subject Psychology en_US
dc.subject Effective teaching. en_US
dc.subject Action research in education. en_US
dc.title Letting go : a self-study utilizing critical literacy as method in improving my practice / en_US
dc.type Electronic Thesis or Dissertation en_US
dc.degree.name Master of Education en_US
dc.degree.level Masters en_US
dc.contributor.department Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education en_US
dc.degree.discipline Faculty of Education en_US


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