Theoretical Incompatibilities in Teachers' Selfunderstandings of Educational Practice: An Examination Using Q Methodology

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Geoffrey Madoc-Jones
Natalia Gajdamaschko


This study uses Q-methodology to investigate teachers' and student teachers'
theoretical perspectives concerning educational practice and their
possible incompatibilities, based on work by Kieran Egan. Q methodology,
as a small-sample, intensive methodology, assists in obtaining
understandings concerning the subjectivity of participants that are not
possible through more traditional means. It may also, as demonstrated in
this paper, provide evidence in support of theoretical work. Four
factors, though highly correlated, map closely to Egan's descriptions of
varieties of educational practices. The findings are considered in the
light of Charles Taylor's work, which provides a way to theorize the
relationship between thought and action. Taylor maintains that there is
always a pre-theoretical understanding concerning what is happening in a
social practice, such as teaching, that requires the participants to
have self-descriptions that are constitutive of their involvement. Our
findings challenge teachers to reflect more deeply on their practices.

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How to Cite
Madoc-Jones, G., & Gajdamaschko, N. (2005). Theoretical Incompatibilities in Teachers’ Selfunderstandings of Educational Practice: An Examination Using Q Methodology. Operant Subjectivity, 29(1/2). Retrieved from