Among School Teachers: Bearing Witness as an Orientation in Educational Inquiry

Educational Theory 67 (1):9-30 (2017)
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Abstract

In this writing, David Hansen illuminates the aesthetic, moral, and epistemic meaning of bearing witness to teaching and teachers by drawing upon a recently completed field-based endeavor that included extensive school visits. Hansen shows how bearing witness can bring the inquirer close to the truth of teaching. However, the witness must undertake ethical work to ready her- or himself for the task. Even such readiness, which must be continuously re-won on each occasion, guarantees nothing. The witness in the classroom must work with faith, hope, and a deep sense of the worthwhileness of teaching. Hansen suggests that the witness's practice as well as testimony regarding the work can have a valuable influence on the consciousness, and conscience, of all who concern themselves with teaching and teachers.

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