Seeing Through Serpent and Eagle Eyes: Teachers as Handlers of Memories


by Cristina Cammarano & Erin Stutelberg - 2020

Background/Context: This paper is part of the special issue “Reimagining Research and Practice at the Crossroads of Philosophy, Teaching, and Teacher Education.” We propose that there is a vital connection in teaching between curriculum and memories that should be fostered in our classrooms. Because memories are alive and bring meaning to our lives, they need to be handled with care. Unfortunately, however, much of teaching risks to simply embalm what is already dead. We examine how the living work of teachers might reposition curriculum as a body of dynamic memories: a constellation of struggles and belongings, failures and accomplishments. The role of the teacher, in this context, is as a handler of those memories.

Research Design: Our approach derives from sustained interaction as we have sought to bring our scholarly backgrounds in philosophy of education and English teacher education, respectively, into dynamic contact. The methodology of the inquiry is mixed in that it combines teacher narratives (our own) with critical conceptual analysis, collective memory work, and phenomenology. Drawing on a bibliography of texts organized collaboratively by the larger research group, our main authors of reference are Freire, Gramsci, Anzaldua, Style, and Britzman. We also feature several fine-grained narratives that illuminate what we mean by “handlers of memory” in the educational setting.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Our shared philosophizing in this paper is a response to the concern that classroom teaching contributes to the deadening of curriculum as a source of meaning and an avenue for students and teachers to learn about themselves. In response, we propose the image of teachers as handlers of memory who work to cultivate and keep memories alive and central to learning. We recommend that teachers explore collective memory work (Haug, 1999) and reflective teaching narratives (Furman, 2015) as ways to get a handle on their own powerful memories of teaching.



To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Sign-in
Email:
Password:
Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
 
Purchase this Article
Purchase Seeing Through Serpent and Eagle Eyes: Teachers as Handlers of Memories
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
$12
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
$25
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.
$210


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 122 Number 4, 2020, p. 1-24
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23077, Date Accessed: 9/23/2020 10:58:54 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review