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Science teachers as mentors to their peers: the challenge of working over conflicting issues

2.1 Learning and development in onsite communities and online spaces
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
4:20 PM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (30 minutes)
Building on a six-year collaborative research with three science teachers acting as mentors for 60 of their peers during the implementation of a science curriculum, we document emerging ‘conflicting issues’ they faced. Using Developmental Work Research, we supported practitioners’ agency in analyzing and transforming the systems of their joint activity (Barma et al., 2014). Data analysis was guided by dialectical, linguistic, and emotional criteria to document the discursive manifestations of contradictions, namely tensions, conflicts, critical conflicts, and dilemmas (Engeström, & Sannino, 2011). We illustrate how they found a way to resolve what appeared as contradictory emotions and also how they demonstrated agency leading to a new form of practice. Our results show that both emotions and imagination were central to ‘work over’ what appeared to be oppositional (Smagorinsky, 2011). This symposium is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of perezhivanie as an emotional experience that embraces personal characteristics as well as situational characteristics (Jornet & Roth, 2016). As researchers interested in the individual and the social dimensions of an activity where emotions are key (Gonzalez Rey, 2011), we would like to raise some methodological questions to share and discuss like: 1- Which data to select? 2- What is the unit of analysis? 3- How do we make sense of the intertwining of the present, the past and the future in the discourse? The answers to these questions could help us highlight what raises the agency of participants as individuals but also as a collective to understand better what sets transformative actions.
Université Laval
Full Professor
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