Critical auto-ethnography Peter Taylor Science & Mathematics Education Centre School of Science HREC Forum: Ethics & Qualitative research 21 October 2010
today… Critical auto-ethnography – multi-paradigmatic research Important ethical issues – narcissism, idealism, aestheticism Recent PhD theses – cultural studies of science & maths education no dwelling…
in Mozambique… Dr Emilia Afonso (MinduNhalivelo) Deputy Director Centre for Cultural Studies & EthnoscienceUniversitePedagogica, Mozambique “When I subsequently returned to Mozambique and to my practice as a science teacher educator at UniversidadePedagogica, though conscious that learning never ends, I felt empowered to discuss more deeply with my students issues of science in our cultural context. I have been encouraging them to learn from themselves. To interrogate their own attitudes toward learning and teaching science as well as their colleagues’ and teachers’ attitudes. To discover hidden subjectivities they have as Africans, especially in the context of the school science classroom. ”
in Nepal… Dr Bal Chandra Luitel Coordinator of Mathematics EducationKathmandu University, Nepal “My recently completed doctoral dissertation has addressed the protracted problem of the culturally decontextualisednature of mathematics education which un/wittingly prevents many school students from gaining full access to powerful mathematical ideas. With an emphasis on envisioning, I have developed a mathematics curriculum model to implement creative and innovative pedagogies that help students gain access to much needed mathematical skills and knowledge required for critical and active citizenship. I draw from self-study, Wisdom and Cultural Traditions, transformative education, various forms of imagination and inclusive logics to address otherwise unaddressed research issues, problems and agendas of mathematics education.”
research questions… • How can maths education become relevant to the needs of all people in Nepal (92 languages)? • How can maths education resist the Western hegemony of globalisation (neo colonialism) and build on the diverse cultural capital of Nepalese people? • How was my cultural identity shaped (distorted) historically, especially by my maths education – the standard philosophy of pure maths, a pedagogy of authoritarianism, a curriculum of cultural reproduction? • How can I transform my own professional practice (as a teacher educator) to help produce ‘culturally responsive’ maths teachers, research, curricula and policy ‘glocal’ citizens of Nepal? Subjectivity! Validity? Bias! Reliability? Advocacy! Objectivity?
positivist research paradigm… Ontology - realism Epistemology - objectivity Axiology - value neutrality Methodology - ‘quantitative’ Gold Standard
multiple research paradigms… epistemes emancipation inter|subjectivity reconstruction Positivism Interpretivism Criticalism Postmodernism Integralism methods • ethnography • autobiography • narrative inquiry • self-study • Arts-based logics • & genres • metaphor, poetics, dialectics • fictive imagining • performance texts • imagery • ideology critique • critical reflexivity • envisioning • transformative praxis
creative research design space… quantitative methods interpretive methods ideology critique methods arts-based methods
risks…harming self & others epistemes emancipation inter|subjectivity reconstruction Positivism Interpretivism Criticalism Postmodernism Integralism risks narcissism aestheticism idealism
risks… idealism… narcissism… self indulgence egocentricity revenge self harm self righteousness aestheticism…
risk minimisation strategies… • Grounded in researcher’s professional practice • Member checks • Critical reflexivity & humility • Accountability & respect
Dr Alberto Cupane Head of Physical Sciences UniversitePedagogica, Mozambique One of the major outcomes of my doctoral research was an enhanced consciousness of my Mozambican identity. It is something that can be hardly characterized. My identity includes: my body and the bodies of others my colour and the colour of others my language and the language of others my country and the country of others my relatives and those who I know my relatives and those who I don’t know my soul and the souls of others my spirituality and the spiritualities of others the others are me and I am the others
reference… Taylor, P.C., Settelmaier, E., & Luitel, B.C. (in press/2011). Multi-paradigmatic transformative research as/for teacher education: An integral perspective In K. Tobin, B. J. Fraser, & C. McRobbie (Eds.), International handbook of science education. Netherlands: Springer. www.springerlink.com/
Thankyou & apologies! Questions & Comments?
transformative research… …involves the researcher in a multi-paradigmatic processof: • examining critically his/her personal and professional values and beliefs • exploring how his/her lifeworld has been governed (perhaps distorted) by largely invisible socio-cultural norms • appreciate his/her own complicity in enculturating uncritically our students into similar lifeworlds • creatively reconceptualising his/her own professionalism • committing to transform science education policy, curricula and/or pedagogical practices within his/her own institution (Taylor, Settelmaier & Luitel, in press)
Transformative learning …is a shift of consciousness that dramatically and permanently alters our way of being in the world. Such a shift involves: • our understanding of ourselves and our self-locations (cultural-self knowing) • our relationships with other humans and with the natural world (relational knowing) • our understanding of power in structuring class, race, and gender (critical knowing)
Transformative learning • our body-awareness (kinaesthetic knowing) • our visions of alternative approaches to living (visionary knowing) • our sense of possibilities for social justice and peace and personal joy (agentic knowing) • (Morrell & O’Connor, 2004)
Cupane’s doctoral research - aims Background • Portuguese colonialism - cultural suppression/extinction • Pedagogical interest - ‘local indigenous knowledge’ in school science Research questions: How can school science better serve the cultural development of local school communities in Mozambique? • What are the culture-sensitive teaching/learning strategies that have been shaping my own praxis? How effective have they been? • What are key opportunities and obstacles to making science teaching relevant to everyday life in Mozambique?
Cupane’s doctoral research - design Multi-paradigmatic design • Interpretivism + criticalism + postmodernism • Critical auto|ethnography • Quality standards of epistemology Methods • Narrative inquiry • Performance texts • Multiple logics Theoretical referents • Postcolonial theory • Culture theory
Cupane’s doctoral research - Outcomes Self Transformation Using contemporary theories of culture and rationality I have more fully realised my Mozambican cultural identity. Meaning of Indigeneity This research has allowed me to reconceptualise the meaning of indigeneity by exposing how it has been applied in a discriminatory sense and how it could be applied to promote the human dimension that exists in all human beings. Cultural Model of Teaching I propose the use of both local-indigenous knowledge and World Modern Science to connect students to their history, their culture and their future. My cultural model of teaching encompasses four dimensions: • Use of local-indigenous language • Learning by doing using locally available materials • Use of stories to develop students’ cultural awareness (identity) • Inclusion of spirituality in science education
Bal’s poems… When will they enter in maths class? The petals of marigold The banquet of rhododendron The collection of pippal (fig) tree leafs The fractal of Bodhi tree When will they enter in maths class? When will they enter in maths class? The map of my village settlements The matrix of my mother’s work schedule The method of my father’s problem solving Thepattern of land distribution in my village When will they enter in maths class? When will they enter in maths class? The algebra of my family genealogy The geometry of wicker baskets The arithmetic of local harvests The statistics of my village budget When will they enter in maths class? He says I should not be here Because I do not have the brainpower He says I should not raise any question Because that hinders his mission He says I cannot look outside Because there is no actual math site He says I cannot talk to my pal Because it blocks the maths channel A man of his fifties With long moustaches Tells me that I am useless Because I cannot make symbols fit in his jigsaws Autoethnography a type of inquiry bridging nexus between you and I looking for tensions and fractures experiencing seams and selflessness for pedagogical praxes reflecting back and forth cultivating critical self with others
Ethical Issues • Narcissism • Aestheticism • Self-indulgence • Self-harm