Affect, Ethics and the Poetics of Relatedness
My research project is nested within a broader inquiry into quality pedagogy being undertaken in the Faculty of Education at the University of Sydney. It takes the form of a case study of a teacher of creative arts pedagogy recognised as outstanding by both faculty and students. Grounded in co-inquiry and constructivist understandings of knowledge, the project uses focus groups, classroom observations, explorations of videotaped lessons, and cycles of discussion and reflection to explore the ways in which this teacher engages with the students and engages them in the subject. It specifically explores the links between the teacher’s presence, her ways of engaging students, and the affective dimensions of participating students’ experience. In order to identify salient themes that emerge in focus group discussions, classroom observations, and discussions with the participating teacher, I draw on the NSW quality teaching framework (DET, 2003) which provides evidenced based indicators of quality learning environments. A preliminary analysis of emerging themes reveals inclusiveness, positive acceptance of all students’ ideas and engaging students in a range of collaborative, multi-sensory, and embodied encounters with the subject emerge as pivotal dimensions of this teacher’s pedagogy. I posit a mutually constitutive correlation between this teacher’s pedagogical practice and a caring, non-intrusive, yet supportive and authoritative teaching presence. The experience of such a presence is considered an integral and enabling dimension of quality pedagogy. This makes visible the interconnections between the emergence of creative and collaborative ways of knowing and relating, and the teacher’s commitment to and students’ experience of empathic ways of being.
Keywords: Quality Teaching, Affect, Creativity
PhD Candidate, The University of Sydney, Australia