The bodily becoming of a teacher
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Student teaching is a time-honored rite of passage (White, 1989) into the teaching profession. With the field of education currently pushing for more surveillance of both students and teachers in combination with a desire for teachers to be doing similar things in the classroom, the bodies of student teachers (i.e. the ways that student teachers move in the classroom, talk to students, and set up interactions) are being greatly affected during this experience. If a student teacher chooses to do, say, move, or look different in the classroom, they risk being marginalized by an educational system that promotes sameness. This dissertation specifically focuses on the bodily becoming of five student teachers. That is, the study focuses on material-discursive entanglements involving student teachers having to do with the reproduction of narrow views of how bodies can be produced within the student teaching experience. The body has everything to do with the daily interactions of student teachers in their classrooms and their material-discursive practices that from moment-to-moment impact possibilities for change, equity, diversity, and justice. Using physicist Karen Barad’s (1996, 2003, 2007) work, in analysis, I look for material-discursive practices, or entanglements, taking place in moment-to-moment interactions both inside and outside of the classroom. The data collected is theorized to better understand how space affects bodily material-discursive practices, how nonhuman objects in the classroom work to limit and open up possible bodily practices, and the way that the student teacher and mentor teacher relationship is affected by material-discursive practices. The moment-to-moment material-discursive practices of the student teachers and mentor teachers are then connected to ideas of replication and innovation related to teacher bodies in the elementary school context. Material-discursive practices give student teachers the chance to change things they may not agree with; speak, act, and look an infinite amount of ways. Opening up material-discursive practices opens up the types of teacher bodies found in schools. This work has the potential to not only benefit students in classrooms across the country, but student teachers, and practicing teachers as well.