The currency of intercultural education has risen worldwide in response to increased diversity within societies resulting from migration and global flows of populations. As intercultural education becomes a core responsibility of schooling, critical, detailed analysis of pedagogies for teachers’ own intercultural learning is largely absent in education research, in contrast to attention to developing students’ intercultural capabilities and theoretical and policy analyses. In beginning to address this limitation, this article offers a critical, reflexive analysis of our use and the efficacy of using autobiographical narrative for teachers’ intercultural learning. Framing theories include interculturality, autobiographical narratives for teachers’ professional learning, reflexivity, and the effects of silence and silencing in relation to diversity and intercultural relations in schools. Three instances of teacher autobiographical narrative elicited as part of a large-scale, longitudinal study of intercultural education in Australian schools are deconstructed to elucidate their explicit and hidden meanings and effects. The analysis reveals that while autobiographical narrative has productive potential as a strategy for stimulating teacher reflexivity about cultural identities and intercultural relations, it also contains hidden dangers and traps that caution against viewing it as a pedagogical cure-all in the development of teachers’ intercultural knowledge and skills. Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationCloonan, A., Fox, B., Ohi, S., & Halse, C. (2017). An analysis of the use of autobiographical narrative for teachers’ intercultural learning. Teaching Education, 28(2), 131-144.
- Intercultural learning
- Autobiographical narrative
- Teacher reflexivity