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Pedagogies: Storylines and storyspaces

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Product Description

By Jennifer M Nayler

Published: 2006
ISBN: 978-1-876682-74-3
Pages: 189
Imprint: Post Pressed


The central focus of Welcome to Pedagogies: Storylines and storyspaces is learning: my learnings as the author/compiler of these materials, the learnings of the teachers and other educators whose stories and commentaries are “spoken” here and, most importantly, your learnings as a participant in these materials.

This work aims to support your learnings about:

  • what pedagogy might mean
  • the ways in which teachers’ subjectivities, that is, their “conscious and
  • unconscious thoughts and emotions” along with “their sense of
  • [themselves and their] ways of understanding [their] relation to the world”
  • (Weedon, 1997, p. 32), influence the pedagogies they practise
  • the ways in which your subjectivities might influence the pedagogies
  • you practise
  • the discourses that might support socially-just pedagogies
  • the discourses that might inhibit socially-just pedagogies and
  • what socially-just pedagogies look like in particular contexts

As a participant in these materials, you will be invited to consider what is
meant by the term “pedagogy” and what might constitute “socially-just
pedagogies.” Any explicit exploration of these terms is purposefully delayed
in these materials to encourage your consideration of these terms.

Narratives from each of four teachers, known in this text as Jemma, Monica,
Tina and Alice are used throughout this text to support your reflection of some possible meanings of pedagogy generally and of your own pedagogies in particular.

Table of Contents


Chapter One

A little bit of theory goes a long way

  • Are these materials right for you?
  • Danger: proceed with caution
  • Socially-just pedagogies: haven't we got them already?
  • What have we been re-forming in Australian education?
  • Ain't it a grand story!
  • Particular stories about particular people
  • Understanding the "I" in the text
  • Some key messages in this chapter and beyond

Chapter Two

The big Picture: Theories that frame these materials

  • Meaning systems in our lives
  • European pre-humanist meaning systems
  • How enlightening was the Enlightenment?
  • Some key messages in this chapter

Chapter Three

The research process:

  • Social justice in action
  • A framework for interrogating research
  • Describe: What did I do in this research process?
  • Inform...What does this mean?
  • Confront...How did the research come to be like this?/ How did I come to be like this as a researcher?
  • Reconstruct...How might such research be done differently?
  • Some key messages in this chapter

Chapter Four

Socially-just pedagogies:

  • Teachers' narratives
  • Pedagogies of belonging: Jemma's story
  • Voices-mysterious and revealing: pedagogies for social justice: Monica's story
  • Pedagogies with students centre stage: Tina's story
  • Pedagogies of learning: Alice's story

Chapter Five

Storying the stories: Exploring spaces for socially-just pedagogies

  • Pedagogies of belonging: Jemma's story
  • Voices-mysterious and revealing: pedagogies for social justice: Monica's story
  • Pedagogies with students centre stage: Tina's story
  • Pedagogies of learning: Alice's story

Chapter Six

Storylines that constitute pedagogies

  • Towards a definition of pedagogy
  • Pedagogy as science
  • Pedagogy as an art
  • Pedagogy as discursive activity

Chapter Seven

Storyspaces for socially-just pedagogies

  • Regimenting discourses not recognised or resisted by teachers in these narratives
  • Some regimenting discourses recognised and resisted by the teachers in these narratives Generative discourses taken up in place of regimenting discourses
  • Some understandings related to socially-just pedagogies
  • Action for socially-just practice

Chapter Eight

From reflection to action

  • Pedagogy: more than TEACHing
  • Working through the TEACH activities
  • Tune into understanding and enhancing your pedagogies
  • Explore your own and others' pedagogies
  • Analyse your own pedagogies
  • Challange your own pedagogies
  • Hone your own pedagogies

Chapter Nine



BOOK REVIEW: Gill Best, PhD, Victoria University (December 2009) Journal of Family Studies

This book is based on the presentations of four teachers' narratives as they explore the principles on which they base their teaching. Referred to by the pseudonyms of Jemma, Monica, Tina and Alice, all four teachers are employed in Queensland schools. Jemma teaches Year 2, Monica teaches English at a Catholic boys high school, Tina teaches Year 7 in a state primary school and Alice teaches year 7 in a Catholic primary school. The author invites the reader to participate in a journey of reflection and action about the term 'pedagogy' and uses the four narratives to help the reader challenge orthodox views of the term and commit or recommit to the practice of socially just pedagogies.

The book is made up of eight chapters. The first three chapters set out the rationale for the research on which the book is based and the methodologies used. Chapter 4 presents four narratives based on interviews with the four school teachers. For readers who like to learn what makes other teachers get up in the morning, this chapter is particularly engaging. Chapter 5 is the most complex chapter both in terms of content and style. The author presents a complex analytical approach to the narratives in which the author's analysis and comments are presented in a split-page format next to the individual teacher's narrative. By placing as much emphasis on her collaborators' comments and viewpoints as on her own, the author aims to be socially just in form as well as content. The narratives can be enjoyed without reading associated analysis, although much of the intellectual journey would be lost. Some personal revelations are included, but they are not indulgent and are appropriate in emulating the personal narrative approach and the importance of 'the personal' that the author espouses and supports.

Chapters 6, 7 and 8 use the narratives and analysis in the previous chapters to try to make sense of the term pedagogy and to encourage the reader to create their own meaning of the term. Chapter 7 reflects on the ways in which the four teachers find space to carry out their socially just pedagogies, and Chapter 8 presents a variety of activities that the reader can attempt in order to explore their own socially just pedagogies.

The book began life as a doctoral thesis and occurring throughout are formal thesis-style sub-headings such as 'Acknowledgement of the reader as part of the process, but the format occasionally reads as a blend of academic thesis and self-help guide with other sub-headings written in a more journalistic or colloquial style (e.g. 'Danger: proceed with caution' and 'Worth thinking about'. The two styles sometimes sit awkwardly together, but the author's clear intention is for teachers to take what they have learned into the classroom; the blend of styles thus make sense. Situated within critical and feminist post-structural theories, the book is not a light read, and therefore not much would be gained from a casual flick through its pages. Indeed the author advises the reader to read the book from beginning to end. For readers in search of an engaging intellectual journey which has significant practical applications and implications for teachers and students alike, the book has much value.


Pedagogies: Storylines and Storyspaces compels us to engage with and critically examine the complex and multi-faceted social practice that is pedagogy. Theoretically driven but practice oriented, this resource is framed by a commitment to teaching in socially-just ways.

Dr Amanda Keddie
The University of Queensland

This is a particularly important book, not only because of its focus on the power of narrative as an avenue for professional development, but because of the manner in which the author links the narratives that 'call us into being' with the invitation she extends to the reader to reflect upon her or his own concrete personal/professional experiences. It is a significant addition to the body of literature whose intent is to inspire to act.

Dr Jon Austin
University of Southern Queensland

Nayler introduces the reader to post-structural feminist theorising in an easily accessible way that encourages teachers to theorise their practices and experiences.

Associate Professor Martin Mills
The University of Queensland

This research has really empowered me as a teacher. 'Jemma' (a teacher whose narrative is featured in this book)

Nayler engages the reader in innovative ways by inviting her/him to illuminate and articulate personal positionings and consider them in relation to those articulated by the author as part of her learning journey.

Professor Diane Mayer
University of California at Berkeley

I highly recommend this compelling book to any educator regardless of experience.

Lyn Winch
School Principal

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