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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A learning teacher : reflecting on pedagogic moments (At)tending to voices of self/other in transformative spaces McKay, Maria Soffia


An inquiry invites many questions. How does one pause to write about learning and living begun in the past, yet is so present and continuous? What genre, what words, what position and what tone art-fully communicate without artifice? Questions lead to possibilities; in/decisions open to places unknown. The title announces the subject and focus. As a learning teacher, I pause in my work and studies to consider pedagogical moments. A thesis typically promises findings of original research from a specific view. My reflections are original, but what do they find? I explore formative experiences, from sundry points of view/time, but claim no pronounce-able conclusion. The writing is a text-ured partial weaving of poetic, narrative, and autobiographical styles through hermeneutic inquiry that opens me to postmodern possibilities. And what findings emerge? In un/raveling pedagogic moments, I am entangled in spaces which (continue to) arrest my linear intentions, give me pause and stimulate change. In writing and re-writing, recent stories replace older ones while conflicting nuances and tentative understandings intrude. I find myself caught in past-present moments which provoke more questions, evoke more in/decisions and invoke more wonder. The sub-title further articulates intent. Attending involves paying attention, listening and taking care. Rooted in French, tendere means to stretch: teaching certainly tugs and enlarges. Alerted to tend, I recognize the call to serve, to cultivate, to foster. As I at-tend to self and other, urging students to have voice, I am exposed to richly relational experiences, which are disruptive and risky. The structure interlaces five questions, each prompting a story followed by threaded thoughts. Through to-and-fro movements, I interact with diverse, mind-ful thoughts gleaned from others engaged in pedagogical and philosophical work. Interludes offer a/rhythmic pulses. As the question-story-thought-threads spin on, I find myself seeking less control of knowledge and craft, rather re-reading my teaching life in order to dwell in awkward, tremoring pedagogic spaces, cracking with questions and vibrant with complicated relationships. The writing pauses to an end, which is not a stop, for as a learning teacher and teaching learner, I will continue to invite/join conversations found in transformative spaces, anticipating learning anew.

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