Researching an everyday teacher in 1940s New Zealand: new liaisons - new stories

2016-11-07T23:32:35Z (GMT) by Bethell, Kerry Sewell, Alison
The growth of interest in historical research into the commonplace provides opportunities to explore the different means through which we can understand the everyday world of teachers. Unlike the 'well-known' in education past, where significant traces of their lives remain in archives and official records, little such evidence exists of the lives and work of 'ordinary' teachers. Traditional biographical approaches are of limited use. Alternative approaches are needed to find teachers' stories of their everyday work. This paper explores our dynamic research process to piece together a partial story of the work of Miss Audrey Newton, a New Zealand kindergarten teacher in the 1940s. Fragments of evidence including photographs and other personal sources provide previously unknown evidence of Audrey's life over this time and glimpses into her experience of teaching. Also significant was our collaborative relationship that evolved bringing together historical and dialogic methodologies. These newly found sources of data, and our collaborative analysis of them, reveal a fuller and more complex picture of Audrey and of the context in which she taught than first considered.<div><br></div><div>International Research in Early Childhood Education, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 13-28</div>