Teachers’ beliefs and pedagogy on economic justice education

  • Author / Creator
    Kim, Jaegeun
  • This study examined the relationship between social studies teachers’ beliefs about economic justice education and their pedagogy on economic justice. Prior to the actual empirical research, I discussed what I have called the ‘mainstream Subject-oriented approach’ to economic justice and the alternative ‘Others-oriented approach’ to construct a theoretical framework through which the study could explore teachers’ beliefs and pedagogy. In doing so, this study suggested an economic justice education to respond to the vocation of the Others, and citizenship education to attend to the alterity of the Others. To determine the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and pedagogy, an ‘explanatory-convergent’ design of mixed methods research was employed. The first stage of quantitative research identified six clusters based on cluster analysis, and the analysis of variance showed that social studies teachers’ beliefs on economic justice education differ according to the clusters. For the second stage of qualitative research, three particular clusters were selected: an Average-group, a Subject-oriented group, and an Others-oriented group. Three teachers (one from each cluster) were sampled from the three clusters to represent each, and a multiple case study was conducted with them. The qualitative examination of three teachers’ worlds revealed diverse but complicated relationships between beliefs and pedagogy. However, with all the quantitative and qualitative explorations and the detailed research findings, I could not convince myself that the findings fully explored the research question, and I had to return to square one to address the question of what the deeper relationship between teachers’ beliefs and pedagogy is. This question pushed me towards an ontological exploration. Deleuzian ontology was an essential lens to re-interpret the collected data. From the Deleuzian perspective, teaching is an event, an event of surge. Potential changes which have been unnoticed suddenly soar up into the classroom. This surge is the actualization of what was subsisting/insisting at the level of virtuality. As we understand the ontology of teaching as an aleatory point, empty place, singularity, and an event of surge, we can eventually reimagine the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and pedagogy as ‘event of surge.’ As teachings arise into the classroom, a teacher’s beliefs also surge into his/her teaching. In the springing up events of teachings, beliefs reveal and expose themselves tearing off the ontological rigidity. This ontological understanding of teachers’ beliefs and pedagogy presented the significance of teachers’ beliefs: they keep pedagogy active and alive. The moment teachers’ beliefs stop moving around and being alive, pedagogy remains virtual and fossilized. The importance of teachers’ beliefs in pedagogy and the significance of an ‘event of surge’ is that without it, pedagogy is no better than dead. But the empty place cannot remain ‘empty’ for long. As Levinas (1969) reminds us, the metaphysical desire for the Other awakened by the face of the other should be situated in the aleatory points and empty places that will move around the structure. The reconciliation of soaring up events of teachers’ beliefs and pedagogy with Others-oriented approach to economic justice education occurs here. The pedagogy to respond to the vocation of the others, and to attend to the alterity of the Others, can gain a life when the beings and beliefs of teachers soar up and permeate the classroom, and thereby affect students, and therefore hopefully, change the world.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2017-06:Spring 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Secondary Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Richardson, George(Secondary Education)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Watt, Bonnie(Secondary Education)
    • Peck, Carla(Elementary Education)
    • Cho, Youngdal(Seoul National University)
    • Sears, Alan(University of New Brunswick)
    • Wallin, Jason(Secondary Education)