UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Following unnamed rivers and ruminating on teaching as vocation Scott, Jeanette Elynn MacArthur


The research which is reported in this text is probably best described as an interpretive inquiry which situates itself in the space between theory and practice and which explores the questions: What do teachers' stories tell us about the call of teaching? and How does drama help teachers to remember and to tell their stories? Originally imagined as a phenomenological study of teaching as a vocation, this project has slipped to the Acheron1 edge of academic research and, in so doing, it has been reborn(e) as a tapestry of words. The fabric of the text is an intertwining of threads of ideas, feelings and imaginings, a pulling out and a weaving in of bits of the tangled and worn, a playing with different textures and different tones. The common threads of the warp, consisting of a series of personal ruminations on the emergence, the development, the completion and the implications of a research project, lend a unity and a strength to the piece. The weft, which incorporates both old yarns and new y(e)arns, is intentionally a coarse interweaving of dark and light, common and exotic fibres. All of the parts are connected as in a Celtic knot with the text of the drama, written as a presentation of the data that were collected, at the centre. In part, drawing upon images of the arts; in part, borrowing from Zen Buddhism the metaphor of searching for the bull as the search for the eternal truth, the whole work suggests that the call of teaching emerges from a polyphony of voices, that it is heard and responded to in a similar contrapuntality of difference. In keeping with the tradition of an hermeneutic circle, the parts are seen within the whole and the whole within the parts. The fabric, as such, is a loose weave so that spaces are provided wherein the reader is invited to read in and write out or write in and read out whatever questions or answers that s/he intuits hidden among the threads.

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