Reflexivity and Recognition
Dr Alex Ding
School of Education, University of Nottingham
This paper explores data from my thesis case study investigating teacher-as-learner collaboration and autonomy using blended learning technologies on an MA TESOL module. After a brief introduction of the participants (of many nationalities), aims and context of this study, this paper will focus on teacher participants’ accounts of why peer collaboration failed.
From, inter alia, interviews, analyses of online interactions, reflexive writing, and field notes, evolved a heuristic and (inter)subjective endeavour to understand the factors that impinged on the development and practice of autonomy. A series of divergent and competing teacher perspectives and assumptions (including my own) emerged regarding themselves, others, their values, the pedagogical tasks, the technologies, and their contexts that, combined, provide powerful indications of significant barriers to (collaborative and individual) autonomy. At the heart of barriers to collaborative teacher-learner autonomy, whether online or face-to-face, are perceptions, recognition and engagements with others.
Finally, I discuss the implications of this study in terms of articulating an intersubjective reflexive philosophical and pedagogical framework that might be able to begin to address many of this issues that emerged in this study. The question of whether reflexivity is a universal, accessible and appropriate means to frame and address issues related to pedagogy, autonomy and collaboration for culturally diverse cohorts of students is raised.