University of Tasmania
whole_MossTimothy2003_thesis.pdf (10.7 MB)

Stories lived, told, and shared : Tasmanian drama teachers' narratives of identity

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posted on 2023-05-26, 17:19 authored by Moss, T
This project aimed to first examine and problematise our existing knowledge of what it might mean to be a drama teacher, and second, to employ innovative arts-based methods of research in order to explore how drama teachers themselves understand and describe their experiences. Of prime importance in this work was the connection between one of the fundamental purposes of qualitative research, and of artistic inquiry - that is, to encourage the reader/audience to engage in an act of educative transgression, questioning and examining their own assumptions about important experiences or phenomena. Instead of attempting to 'capture' truth or meaning through measurement and objectification, this thesis sought to place the elements of research - reading, doing, and writing- in an aesthetic dialogue, in order to promote the development of multiple meanings. While there are established bodies of research literature in the areas of both personal identity and teachers' lives and careers, there is a scarcity of research that attempts to engage with the connections between these two areas, particularly in terms of how teachers themselves understand and make sense of their lives. This project sought to address this issue by working closely with six drama teachers, exploring through a series of interviews the consequences of their life experiences (both within and outside the classroom) in terms of how they saw themselves as teachers, and as individuals more broadly. One of the most significant findings reported in this thesis is that often, teachers do not perceive any separation between what is personal, and what is professional. This raises significant questions about the broader processes and purposes of educational research. As a dialogue, there was opportunity within the project for telling, as well as listening. In the interpretive phase of this project, three 'tellings' took place. The first telling was the interpretation of the stories told by each teacher. By reading and writing about each participant's life within the aesthetic spaces of the text and the interview, these stories were included in an interpretive dialogue. In the second telling, sharing this new story - our story - with the participants during the interviewing and writing processes, this dialogue was extended. In the third telling, the reader is invited to join in the interpretive journey, to add their own voice to the newly developing conversation about the interactions between our experiences and identities, in and out of the classroom.


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Copyright 2003 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D)--University of Tasmania, 2003. Includes bibliographical references

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