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Disciplining the practice of creative inquiry: The suppression of difference in teacher education

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gail Edwards, Dr Anthony Blake



In this paper we suggest that the pursuit of ahistorical, universal truths in education is antithetical to creativity, learning and motivation in preservice teachers. We argue that learning to teach is a dynamic process embedded in networks of power in which educational truths are politically accomplished rather than innocently discovered. We identify regulatory discourses in education which we believe encourage conservatism through claims to ground practice in apolitical notions such as 'best practice', scientific evidence or ahistorical reason. We claim that these are merely attempts to privilege or naturalise existing configurations of power and knowledge. Furthermore, we claim that such disciplining encourages a dependency and inflexibility in new teachers since it claims to absolve them of their responsibility for judgements made in the teaching moment. We draw upon examples from our own research to illustrate how such discursive mechanisms serve to foreclose students' creativity and argue that inventiveness cannot occur through rational inquiry alone. We suggest instead that competing discourses of teacher identity and practice are required for change and that this calls for a culture in teacher education wherein students' courage to act on conviction and undertake creative inquiry is valued.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Edwards G, Blake A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Research and Method in Education

Year: 2007

Volume: 30

Issue: 1

Pages: 33-55

Print publication date: 01/04/2007

Date deposited: 25/02/2010

ISSN (print): 1743-727X

ISSN (electronic): 1743-7288

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/17437270701207710


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