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Title: Radical reflexivity : assessing the value of psycho-spiritual practices of self as a medium for the professional development of teachers
Author: Keck, Charles
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 8133
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis discusses a case study of a psycho-spiritual retreat programme comprising an eclectic bricolage of technologies of self, ranging from the contemplative, to the artistic and the psychotherapeutic. It explores the possibility that such practices can be understood as a Foucauldian care of self, enabling teachers to participate in a radical reflexivity around subjectivity. It is argued that such reflexivity, whilst not directly concerned with teachers' professional identity, is transformative within their professional practice. Evidence to substantiate this hypothesis is sought in semi-structured interviews with participating Spanish and Mexican teachers. These interviews explore the teachers' understandings of their 'before', 'during' and 'after'. What had they experienced? How had it affected their understandings of themselves? How had these new understandings affected the ongoing construction of their identity as teachers? Interview data is organized and analysed through three complementary areas of problematization; Questions of Purpose, Questions of Order, and Questions of Performance. Evidence in and around these fields is embedded in a debate around subjectivity, teacher identity and education informed by thinkers of becoming including Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze and Britzman. Assessment of the value of the experience is also made using the psycho-spiritual referents of the retreat programme itself, as elaborated by its founder Claudio Naranjo. The empirical-theoretical analysis of narrative evidence poses questions about the established limits of traditional teacher development opportunities and of the 'service' oriented paradigm of professional ethics. The care of the self as a radical reflexivity, in which the teacher examines their constitution as human beings, might provide 'a way out' for teachers stuck uncreatively in their own historical subjectivities and the dominant educational paradigms. In such a way concrete examples of radical reflexivity in action could usefully contribute to debates occurring around alternatives in teacher identity discourse.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available