Pedagogical Habitus Engagement in a Developing Country Context: A Narrative-Based Account of a Teacher’s Pedagogical Change Within a Professional Learning Community

  • Aslam FataarEmail author
  • Jennifer Feldman
Part of the Education Policy & Social Inequality book series (EPSI, volume 1)


This chapter focuses on the journey of pedagogical change and adjustment of one teacher in a professional learning community (PLC) within the South African schooling context. It discusses the durability and malleability of this teacher’s pedagogical dispositions by arguing for a conceptualisation of teacher change that engages with the embodied practices of teachers in the light of the shifts and adaptations that they undergo when trying to establish augmented pedagogical approaches. Drawing on Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, bodily hexis and doxa, teachers’ pedagogical adaptation and change are conceptualised as a form of ‘habitus engagement’ that engages with teachers’ embodied teaching practices, what is referred to in this chapter as their ‘pedagogical habitus’. The chapter is based on data collected over a two-year period which include PLC transcriptions, observational school visits and multiple in-depth interviews with the teacher. This chapter highlights the ‘hardness’ of this teacher’s pedagogical adaptations and argues that the process of pedagogical change must engage with teachers’ corporeality and embodied habitus, what Bourdieu refers to as bodily hexis. We suggest that this is best facilitated via dialogical PLC engagement over a sustained period of time.


Cultural Capital School Learning Professional Learning Community Pedagogical Change School Field 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We wish to thank the teachers who participated in the professional learning community and especially Johan for providing us detail about his life story and the ways in which he engaged in the PLC dialogue and change process.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stellenbosch UniversityCape TownSouth Africa

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