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Maths, History, God, Knitting and Me: A Reflexive Bricolage of Identity

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Abstract

Recent research into the lived experiences of out-of-field teachers aims to make recommendations for increasing the quality and effectiveness of the phenomenon of out-of-field teaching (Du Plessis, Understanding the out-of-field teaching experience (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Queensland, 2015; Research in Science Education 50:1465–1499, 2020; Hobbs et al., Examining the phenomenon of ‘teaching out-of-field?’: International perspectives on teaching as a non-specialist. Springer, 2019). This chapter builds on this research by taking an autobiographical approach, seeking the embodied authentic voice of someone who has experienced teaching mathematics both in- and out-of-field. Using bricolage as methodology (Berry and Kincheloe, Rigour and complexity in educational research: Conducting educational research, Open University Press, 2004) to reflect on my identity as a mathematician (Grootenboer et al., Identities, Cultures and Learning Spaces 2:612–615, 2006), I explore how others have struggled to situate my passion for mathematics alongside my academic background in history, my creativity and my faith. I reveal a glorious, complex, sometimes contradictory, shifting, fuzzy bundle of intellectual, personal and professional interactions defying traditional subject boundaries. I conclude that the autobiography of one out-of-field teacher can shed light on the centrality of confidence and emotion to lived experience and the importance of the identity work undertaken by the out-of-field teacher (Beauchamp and Thomas, Cambridge Journal of Education 39:175–189, 2009) and recommend that structures developed by policy makers and education leaders embrace the existing knowledges that out-of-field teachers bring with them as an opportunity, not a threat.

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Correspondence to Fiona Yardley .

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Yardley, F. (2022). Maths, History, God, Knitting and Me: A Reflexive Bricolage of Identity. In: Hobbs, L., Porsch, R. (eds) Out-of-Field Teaching Across Teaching Disciplines and Contexts. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-9328-1_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-9328-1_8

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