oa Journal of Education - In search of home - practices of the self in selected teacher narratives

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



In this paper we offer glimpses of the way some teachers may work creatively within the constraints of our South African education system.There are many studies that focus on issues such as teacher attrition, low morale, work load, job security, and teacher migration, all suggesting something of the dire straits in which education is located in the postapartheid era (Hall, Altman, Nkomo, Peltzer and Zuma, 2005; Ramrathan, 2002; Singh, 2001; Manik, 2005; Hayward, 2002). Against these negative impressions, we wish to present counter-narratives of teacher success, resistance and inventiveness, exploring teachers� lives and their narratives through the theme of home. The theme of home [and homelessness] has been an important one in post-colonial experience, and a variety of genre of writings have shown how dislocation and unhomeliness [unheimlich], and the attendant �dis-ease� that results, are experienced, managed and contested. We begin the paper by providing a brief theoretical perspective on the theme of home� and �homelessness� drawn from post-colonial literature. We then provide an analysis of the teachers� narratives, extracted from a larger research study, connecting this to the theme of �home� and �homelessness�. Finally, we show how teachers creatively resist the constraints of �the school� to reconfigure what it means to �be teacher�.

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