by Sean Wiebe & Craig MacDonald
ISBN 13: 978-1-60797-674-5
ISBN 10: 1-60797-674-9
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Elizabeth (Liz) Townsend, PhD (Professor Emerita, Dalhousie University and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Prince Edward Island)
Are you interested in the real world of teaching? I highly recommend reading carefully and pondering this volume of eloquent and unique conversations illuminating the passions and challenges of today’s teachers.
Drawn from narratives on “the intentions and struggles of teachers as real people with names, lives, dreams, frustrations, and passions” (p. 2), Wiebe and MacDonald spark wonderful insights for us in conversations on post-modernism, democracy, disembodiment, and teachers’ authority.
Diane Conrad, PhD (Associate Professor Drama/Theatre Education University of Alberta)
In From Narratives of Teaching, Sean Wiebe and Craig MacDonald invite readers into an intimate conversation about the work life circumstances of teachers. Complicated by the everyday realities of schools, by government policies and public perceptions, the work of teachers is shown to be anything but straightforward. Drawing on narratives of teachers’ lives, including their own diverse teaching experiences, they explore the intricacies of the profession. Teachers’ passion for creating learning experiences for their students is juxtaposed with the myriad of considerations that shape the real life contexts of teaching—within the classroom and beyond. Above all the authors’ conversation expresses their deep commitment to the well-being of teachers and the important work they do. Their insights will resonate with the lived experiences of teachers and provide rich prompts for discussion towards imagining more authentic and sustainable teacher work lives.
Ellyn Lyle, Phd (Associate Dean, Yorkville University)
Through a series of critical questions, Wiebe and MacDonald reveal the increasing demands for accountability leveled on teachers by a “normative disembodied public [that] would rather reproduce itself but at the expense of the teacher’s power” (p. 19). They caution that the current trend toward increasing mechanization of teachers creates a dehumanization in education that impedes both authenticity and authority. Theirs is a compelling inquiry and passionate call to action, From Narratives of Teachers identifies the need for “an insistent democracy” (p. 39) within systems of schooling and encourages us to critique with the aim of fostering a more liberating path for participation in public service.
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