Ambiguous Presence: (Re)searching the Negotiations of Be(com)ing Teacher

Open Access
MacKenzie, Sarah Kate
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 19, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Miryam Espinosa Dulanto, Committee Chair
  • Marnina Gonick, Committee Member
  • Patrick Willard Shannon, Committee Member
  • Yvonne Madelaine Gaudelius, Committee Member
  • a/r/tography
  • pre-service teachers
  • teacher identity
  • narrative
  • arts-based research
  • spirituality
  • pedagogy
  • teacher education
The textual space of this dissertation is performative and fluid; using the metaphors of yoga and glasswork, I invite multiple voices and bodies to enter into the Om of a collective and tangled interrogation of the experiences of be(com)ing Teacher. By openly piecing the voices and stories of those be(com)ing Teacher, both my own and those pre-service teachers I work with, I offer opportunity for rearrangement and layering of the (un)broken windows of perception. I invite the reader to join me in the fluid fusing of insight – Sel(f)es melting into Other(s) as we move collectively across a landscape of the (un)known moment of be(com)ing. This (re)searching process is not meant to be comfortable as one negotiates across open and shifting spaces – but in the dis/comfort new ways of seeing are exposed. These spaces are pedagogical, offering one the opportunity to allow his/her voice to echo, reverberating experience until it can be viewed as a new and hopeful possibility belonging to all who journey through the textual space of living inquiry. Across the landscape of this dissertation I offer a/r/tographical methods (de Cosson, A., 2002; de Cossen&Irwin, 2004; Springgay,Irwin & Wilson, 2004; Springgay, 2003) as a means to shake up traditional notions of what it means to do (re)search. Awakening to the presence of the breath across moments of be(com)ing Teacher, I offer a space for collective and performative (re)search that exists in the openings and folds that evolve through dialogue. Moving through the collective dialogue, I consider the ways in which my/sel(f)es and my students negotiate across the landscape of the academy’s un/spoken demands for a named identity of character of Teacher to perform in the classroom and how I might I help them move through this space of dis/comfort so that they might find a sense of praxis amidst the emotional and political space of teaching? I do not seek to answer these questions; rather, I seek to acknowledge the pedagogical possibility that arises when one begins to open the spaces of the silent ordinary – happening everyday, but spoken of rarely - to the act of living and performative inquiry. Perhaps as we continue in our journey as educators, fused fragments of our blended and shifting stories might lead to a sense of acknowledgement or agency within structures that seek to silence the stories. It is through the Om of the (un)spoken dialogue that we are able to interrogate the movements of be(com)ing Teacher, letting go of attachments and acknowledging desires. Through the motions of a present and performative dialogue we create openings where multiple voices can begin to shift or disrupt meaning inviting us to embrace the possibility in what we have been and what we might be/come.