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Title: Unpacking paradise : geography education narratives from the Seychelles
Author: Persaud, I.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 591X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The hybrid legacy of an English-based curriculum and socialist education principals, fused with contemporary aspirations to be a 'knowledge-based society', mean Seychelles' model of education presents a peculiar, paradoxical mélange. The small island nation is inextricably linked to England's farreaching 'educational space', yet while this connection enhances the legitimacy of its educational achievements, local governance is compromised. To understand the nature and scope of this compromise, the forces influencing education in Seychelles are explored through one area of the curriculum: geography education. The research draws on teachers' narratives to investigate the extent to which geography education is framed by a (neo)colonial geographical imagination. The narratives, co-constructed from stories of classroom practice, make meaning from the everyday and the 'taken-for-granted' lives of geography teachers in Seychelles. Close and trusted relationships had to be developed so teachers felt comfortable sharing their stories. Given the intimacies involved, an intriguing set of ethical and methodological challenges were encountered. Through the linking of personal stories of geography curriculum making to public narratives of geography education, and to wider social, cultural and historical events, the intricacies of teaching geography in a small and relatively isolated professional community were revealed. The politics of language, culture and power created unease in geography classrooms, yet this disquiet did not resonate with teachers' proud sense of Kreolité. Also, while some teachers felt marginalized from geography curriculum conversations, others were keen to engage in 'subversive' dialogue in order to challenge the curriculum status quo and develop a greater sense of professional self-worth. As an example of the use of storytelling to support teachers' professional development, the inquiry also provides an innovative contribution to understanding the way powerful discourses and the dialectic realities of globalisation not only shape geography teachers lives, but also destabilise vulnerable SIDS' education systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available