Moments of critical realisation and appreciation: a transformative chemistry teacher reflects
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Motivated by Parker Palmer’s call for teachers to understand the self who teaches, I recently completed a transformative research journey of understanding my past chemistry teaching experiences. I am a university chemistry teacher educator from Indonesia, and recently participated in a three-year longitudinal co-teaching project in lower secondary schools in Western Australia. Conducting co-teaching and narrative research stimulated me to think deeply about, and reflect critically on, my past teaching experiences. As the research involved critical reflection on my professional praxis, I adopted a multi-paradigmatic research approach with three focus paradigms – interpretivism, criticalism, and postmodernism – and designed a critical auto/ethnography as my research methodology. I applied multiple genres within arts-based research, including poetic reflections (poems), stories, dialogues within narrative, and metaphors. This journey revealed how I struggled as an unmotivated teacher to become a highly motivated and passionate teacher. I used Habermas’ three interests and Schubert’s curriculum images to interrogate my chemistry teaching. This journey ultimately opened up the somewhat closed box of my personal and professional practices as a teacher.
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