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Personal Geographies Discourse Analysis of Interview Data Sue Bermingham GTE Jan 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Personal Geographies Discourse Analysis of Interview Data Sue Bermingham GTE Jan 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personal Geographies Discourse Analysis of Interview Data Sue Bermingham GTE Jan 2012

2 Interview Data Pairs of trainees 2008-12 Induction Phase & Last day of PGCE course 30 minutes Digitally recorded ‘Informed consent’!?!


4 Transcription of data Transcribing poses choices, I have an inbuilt desire to try and capture the sound recording into a script format for a play. Transcription conventions were chosen, gleaned from a variety of sources (MacLure 2003; Conradson 2005; Riessman 2008). dots. short pause dashes - longer pause voiced pauses - em e:m or er e:r where speech is unclear [unclear] S Interviewer CC Initials used for Trainee Teacher KI Initials used for Trainee Teacher CC/KI if unclear who is speaking bold if word emphasized [laugh] when laughing out loud [draws breath] when loud inhalation occurs positioning of speech to represent dialogic turns

5 Analysis “Analysis is not about adhering to any one correct approach or set of right techniques; it is imaginative, artful, flexible, and reflexive. It should also be methodical, scholarly, and intellectually rigorous” Coffey (1996:10).

6 Activity 1 In pairs define Narrative, Thematic, Discourse … Analysis

7 Analysis Chapter During this chapter I start by giving the reader a ‘feel for’ the data by employing Bell’s 9 piece Jigsaw as a geographical ‘quadrat’ lens over the data. Continuing to take the reader through the stages of data analysis, the next section provides a scratching at the surface level analysis of the data, introducing the reader to interesting nuggets of data in the interviews carried out at the start (Induction data) of the PGCE year, and on the last day (Exit data) of the course. A deeper level of analysis follows, stepping further away from the data, with its themes and emerging questions, to transcend the data with ‘discourse’ analysis.

8 Jigsaw / Quadrat lens Bell’s Socio-cultural teaching practice Jigsaw(Bell 2011) provided a useful theoretical framework for introducing the reader to the data, offering a glimpse of the data through a 9 piece Jigsaw lens, modelling a common geographical fieldwork approach where a quadrat is thrown into a field and the researcher focuses in on the field data within the quadrat grid that overlays the surface.

9 Socio Cultural Jigsaw (Bell 2011)

10 Exemplars The spatial context of learning was linked to experiences during the placements assisting with fieldtrips, and when looking to the future to their ‘own’ classroom space. Teaching as a relational practice is expressed as part of the shared learning journey, within a group of PGCE trainees within a network of potential peer support that the group offers now and in the future.

11 Interesting nuggets 2008 Induction E erm Its everything you see out of the bus window and everything that you erm everything you walk through and the people you meet and the reason erm The people you meet when you walk around and where you walk around and how where you walk was formed and made and when it was and the people who smile at you and the reasons why they do or don’t. M Geography for me is the subject that helps you understand key processes that occur e:r in both the physical and social domains of our planet that’s a real textbook definition I know but. for me its just all about understanding the linkages that occur between people that occur between e:r natural, physical and artificial features of e:r our societies and [draws breath] geography is er is geosociology for me its not just. for me it is more socially e:r constructed rather than. I know it has got a physical domain to it but the social side is so wide and so diverse that it can be transferred to so many different subjects I just see geography as sociology that’s why I’m here

12 Interesting Nuggets 2008 Induction M had been in the armed forces and talks about his dream, personal goal of being a professional teacher, ‘changing into that person is going to be the biggest challenge I want to do it fought so hard to get here’. E refers to the challenge of ‘separating myself from the group rather than e:m teaching from within’ reflecting her prior experience of teaching Outdoor education with a focus on making all feel safe and trusting her to keep them safe.

13 2011 Induction Prior work roles and relationships with colleagues and line managers are used as a benchmark for comparisons by SL. SL talks of the transition as a ‘big risk’ moving from a known field of employment into a new career, especially one that in 2011 involves training costs. SL’s personal goals, his desire to become a teacher helps him to ‘over come the funding issue’. The 2011-12 cohort of Geography PGCE trainees have tuition fees to pay as previous cohorts, this is the first cohort to not receive a training bursary, bursaries are to be reintroduced in 2012 based on degree classification of 2.1 or 1 st

14 2011 Induction JH says ‘ the people I think now who are doing it are the ones who want to be doing it rather than doing it as a [SL Yeh] easy option’. Teaching as a career both agree involves changes, a transitional period, JH shares ‘I was expecting it to be intense but I don’t think I was expecting it to be so intense’. Her prior work experience between University and the PGCE course during the summer vacation prepared her for the daily time commitment ‘I’ve been working as a pub, a bar maid over the summer so this is kind of I am getting back into the routine of early mornings, late nights’.

15 Exit 2009 – What is of interest here? MH E:m cool It’s been a good week. It has been relaxing, but at the same time I’ve still been doing work completing my enrichment phase, I took it upon myself to take the position of still actually teaching them on near enough a full time table which I thought was good for me it meant I got more practice of doing a full timetable ready for September so it was good [draws breath] but it has been its been a hard year, no messing the PGCE is a hard year.

16 ‘actual’ / ‘proper’ teaching The phrase ‘actually’ teaching is interesting. The trainees have a view of what is ‘actual’, ‘proper’ teaching, the formal role that attracted them to the profession. Concern is expressed when ‘actual’ teaching maybe replaced by other activities e.g. fieldwork. There is a tension for geography trainees who themselves refer in their life history drawings, as they reflect at the start of the PGCE course on why they want to be geography teachers, their own engagement with fieldtrips, travels and non formal classroom situations are highly valued. During the PGCE course trainees express concern from being taken away from the ‘actual’ teaching, referring to formal classroom situations.

17 Prior Experience Activity – Discuss What prior experience do your trainees have that prepares them for the intense PGCE year and beyond?

18 Sleep? Preparation for PGCE? MH e:m like HV I was a TA like for my last year at uni so. that I think it must have been beneficial for me before I started my PGCE year I think it probably was one of the main reason why I got onto the PGCE course as well because you have to have that initial experience otherwise it is really hard to get onto a PGCE course so, yeh knowing the structure of a school e:m how a school works you know e:m even when you are a TA you are observing how a teacher works e:m what she or he might include in their lesson and so just having that knowledge. And in terms of like work ethic because as well like, just being able to cope with the pressure and everything. I did 2 years in army before I came e:m yeh that was something really different for me in you do have, you are deprived of sleep like you are put through your paces sort of thing I’m not saying the PGCE course is like the army and that but [HV yeh] it’s a similar vein in terms of like. the amount of pressure you have on you like mental pressure if you like and physical pressure as well it is tiring, a tiring job like, I think that has definitely stood me in good stead before I started the course definitely [whispers definitely]

19 Exit 2009 Reflecting over the year, emotional crunch points are remembered MH you (referring to tutor) know how I felt like before Xmas, I didn’t feel too great, I didn’t think I’d get to the end and now that I am here I just feel more relaxed about everything I feel. fairly good

20 Deeper analysis Wolcott (1994, page 36) heralds interpretation as the threshold in thinking and writing “at which the researcher transcends factual data and cautious analysis and begins to probe into what is to be made of them.” quoted in (Coffey and Atkinson 1996):9

21 Space, Place & Time At a PhD Student Conference in 2011, I was asked a question from a member of the audience, What is my definition of Space? Since that conference, I have been pondering, regularly revisiting the key geographical concepts of Space and Place, and more recently also being perplexed by the concept of Time as I analyse my data.

22 Time Is my view of time something that can be tamed, captured, polished into transcripts saved within computer memory space, and printed onto A4 sheets and stored physically in plastic wallets within my home office, thus moments of time frozen, reduced to spatial artefacts? As a fan of the 2011 BBC series Frozen Planet, I am reminded of the image of the frozen ocean sending a twisting finger of ice down to the ocean floor and in the split second of impact capturing and freezing any living life form to a frozen, dead window of ice to peer through at what lives (or did live) on the ocean floor. Does the frozen ice represent my actions, my view of time reduced to spatial artefacts? Am I working with the transcripts as I would with fossils? Am I guilty of ‘… the intellect can never help us reach what is essential because it kills and fragments all that it touches’ Gross (1981-2) quoted in (Massey 2005:24).

23 Reflections - Time Reflections, the active engagement with prior thoughts and experiences is valued and encouraged during the case study PGCE course. The reflexive action, I am arguing as an active engagement with time. During the paired interviews there were moments when individual trainees made new connections, their active reflection was shared. The interview itself became a process, a learning experience for each of the three trajectories (interviewer & interviewees). The active listening to another’s story- so- far resulted in murmurs of agreement, validating shared common experiences, as well as opportunities to share different experiences and in some situations to compare and contrast experiences, leading to new understandings.

24 Thinking like a teacher Teachers in the early phase of their training become inducted into a cycle of plan, teach, assess, evaluate, plan … This ongoing cycle of thinking, facilitating and planning leads to a very ‘busy’ brain. This busyness of the teachers brain asking questions of the past experiences, whilst facilitating present experiences and planning for future classroom experiences was cited by one trainee during her Exit from the PGCE interview as she withdrew from the course Oct 2012, she said her brain was so full of on going questions. Is this one of the factors affecting trainees in particular their lack of sleep, an inability to switch their brains from full teacher mode to relaxing? Is this a work life balancing skill for a trainee teacher to develop, can ITE courses assist further?

25 Exemplar yeh cos you might, I couldn’t sleep for about the first 4 months cos you are, minds always working [HV laughs] At the start of the course your mind [HV overlaps] is always thinking [HV laughs] you are always thinking about what you have got to do for tomorrow, your lessons cos when you first start the course your lesson planning is not as efficient as it is in Block B you know, you are thinking how am I going to plan that, it takes you ages to plan a lesson, you think I’ve got to do something new and different your mind is always working, that like really messed up my sleep pattern, I wasn’t sleeping really well, sleep and the PGCE course its not good for you MH June 2009

26 Discourse Analysis Binaries e.g. “wanting to teach” rather than others “easy option” using binary to construct own identity claim Work in progress … growing into my PhD!!

27 Thought for today Teachers should have a sense of their own history in order to help mediate the dominant and often derogatory discourse surrounding their profession. Apple, 1986:187 quoted by (Persaud 2011). This quote provides a useful reminder of the tensions teachers grapple with i.e. they arrive on a PGCE course as creative, passionate geographers, keen to inspire the next generation into their discipline. Keeping afloat their life history, during the busy training year and beyond, is an immense challenge, whilst being inducted into educational structures and prevailing discourses that promote sameness over individuality, accountability over creativity etc.

28 Advice / comments? I am always so pleased to receive comments in any form…. Post it’s? email? Over coffee

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