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Memories are made of this: temporality and practitioner research

Brown, Tony and Roberts, Lorna (2000) Memories are made of this: temporality and practitioner research. British educational research journal, 26 (5). 649 - 659. ISSN 1469-3518

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Abstract

This article sets out to examine the nature of time and how it is constructed within reflective teacher research. The article is motivated on the one hand by a belief in evolving identity but on the other acknowledges a world where such identities are collapsing into interweaving discourses where notions of such evolution are not tenable. It draws on a classic debate between Gadamer and Habermas concerned with how we experience our living in the present, either as a 'being in the world', or as an 'endgainer' aspiring to a new structural framework within which life will be unconstrained by reifications of oppressive relations. After questioning the notion of human agency these views presuppose, the article pursues a resolution offered by Ricoeur and his subsequent work on the close relation between time and the stories we tell about it. Some work arising from a course for teachers is described in which attempts are made to reconcile practice with descriptions of it. In particular, issues of the teachers working with their own earlier writings are discussed. It is suggested that such writings can be used to form a reflective/constructive narrative layer that feeds whilst growing alongside the life it seeks to portray.

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