Teacher Education for High Poverty Schools pp 211-222

Part of the Education, Equity, Economy book series (EEEC, volume 2)

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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.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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