Volume 20 Number 6 February 23, 2019

Weaving Forgotten Pieces of Place and the Personal: Using Collaborative Auto-ethnography and Aesthetic Modes of Reflection to Explore Teacher Identity Development

Leanne Lavina
Macquarie University, Australia

Fiona Lawson
Gumnut Cottage Macquarie University, Australia

Citation: Lavina, L., & Lawson, F. (2019). Weaving forgotten pieces of place and the personal: Using collaborative auto-ethnography and aesthetic modes of reflection to explore teacher identity development. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 20(6). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.18113/P8ijea20n6


How do we develop understanding of our teacher identities and what can aesthetic modes offer to assist reflection and learning about shifting images of identity? These questions provoked our auto-ethnographic project. As two experienced early childhood teachers, we found ourselves transitioning into new professional terrain as teacher-researcher and teacher-director. This progression represented a significant shift in how we conceptualised, enacted, and located our respective identities. Using a new aesthetic framework, we explored what was known about our professional lives at key moments of “self and the other in practice” (Pinnegar & Hamilton, 2009, p. 12). We discovered that our histories matter, place matters, as do relationships made within these social spaces. This work opens opportunity for collaborative dialogue and critical reflection on self-as-teacher. Situating self-understandings within social systems of learning recognises forces influencing identity development (Hickey & Austin, 2007) and expands pedagogical frameworks for navigating sociopolitical complexities of educational realities.

Visual Abstract

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