Teachers’ Work in High-Poverty Contexts: Curating Repertoires of Pedagogical Practice
Teachers’ work in high-poverty contexts is complex and multi-dimensional. In this chapter, such work is described as curating repertoires of pedagogical practice, including engaging in and orchestrating different kinds of work, and deploying a range of competencies both individually and in collaboration with colleagues. One teacher’s repertoire of practice is outlined and used to illustrate how teachers might facilitate the transfer between home and school of knowledge about children’s interests, strengths, and needs. This example illustrates the assumption made here that the ways in which teachers curate their pedagogical repertoires reflect how they make sense of inequality in education. The process of curation involves the collection and performance of repertoires of practice in ways that are intentional, planned, and geared toward a particular purpose. These repertoires of pedagogical practice are not limited to the classroom. They are reflected in how teachers work collectively with each other, as well as with parents, carers, and others beyond the school. Equipping teachers with the capacity to recognize the effects of their individual and collective repertoires is an important function of teacher education for high-poverty contexts. It is argued that this involves challenging the legitimacy of discourses of schooling that make us forget the discursively constituted nature of how people, problems, and power relations are assigned meaning. While deficit discourses are deeply entrenched in what is said (and not said) about young people and their families who live in poverty, opportunities arise to disrupt these knowledge claims when they are treated as contingent, partial, and temporal accounts of poverty and schooling. Understanding repertoires of practice as meaning making processes that produce effects, including contributing to the problems they set out to solve, is an important element of teacher education for high-poverty contexts.
- Campbell, C., & Proctor, H. (2014). A history of Australian schooling. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
- Clifton, D. O., & Harter, J. K. (2003). Investing in strengths. In A. K. S. Cameron, B. J. E. Dutton, & C. R. E. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline (pp. 111–121). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
- Dreyfus, H. L., & Rabinow, P. (1982). Michel Foucault: Beyond structuralism and hermeneutics (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Habermas, J. (1971). Knowledge and human interests: A general perspective (trans: Shapiro, J. J.). Boston: Beacon Press. German edition: Habermas, J. (1968). Erkenntnis und Interesse. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag.Google Scholar
- Lather, P. (1991). Getting smart: Feminist research and pedagogy with/in the postmodern. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Lather, P. (2006). Paradigm proliferation as a good thing to think with: teaching research in education as a wild profusion. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19(1), 35–57.Google Scholar
- Lewis, O. (1959). Five families: Mexican case studies in the culture of poverty. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Luke, A., Freebody, P., & Land, R. (2000). Literate futures: Review of literacy education. Brisbane: Education Queensland.Google Scholar
- Sanchez-Jankowski, M. (2008). Cracks in the pavement: Social change and resilience in poor neighborhoods. Berkley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Suoranta, J. (2010). Jacques Ranciere on radical equality and adult education. In M. Peters, P. Ghiraldelli, B. Zarnic, & A. Gibbons (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of philosophy of education. http://eepat.net/doku.php?id=jacques_ranciere_on_radical_equality_and_adult_education. Accessed 21 July 2014.
- University of Queensland. (2012). An investigation of best practice in evidence-based assessment within preservice teacher education programs and other professions. Report of research commissioned by the Queensland College of Teachers. http://www.qct.edu.au/PDF/PSU/BestPpracticeEvidenceBasedAsessmentPreserviceReacherEdPrograms.PDF. Accessed 11 Aug 2015.