Being in Brazil: An Autoethnographic Account of Becoming Ethically Responsible as a Practitioner-Researcher in Education
Blair, Andrea Jane
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis explores an autoethnography which is written in the spirit of ubuntu, with and through others. Viewing this as an ethically responsible methodology for educational research conducted in and between the Global North and the Global South, this autoethnography foregrounds both self and other. The story of a practitioner- researcher unfolds around a move from disillusionment with the examinations factories of the English education system into exploring a human ethic of essential care (Boff, 2005) and a pedagogy of unconditional love (Andreotti, 2011) in a Brazilian non- government organisation. In these shifting contexts, the writer shares a journey of critical reflection (Brookfield, 1995; 2000) on ethical relationships in research and education, deconstructing the hegemonic assumptions underpinning her worldview. Borrowing insight from postmodern philosophy for education and actionable postcolonial theory in education, a journey of (un)learning unfolds as the author grapples with taken-for-granted assumptions about and in the Global South. The aims of the study emerge from a life lived forward (Muncey, 2005) through critical reflection on the ends of education and the role of the practitioner-researcher. As such, the nature of data collection becomes a process of data creation incorporating a rich tapestry of research conversations, images, sounds and other embodied memories. As ethical relations become a central focus of the author’s critical reflection, the author has sought to minimise her inflection on the data and in doing so includes many of the original contributions gifted to her throughout a two year period. Through critical self- scrutiny and reflection the author has been able to examine her own educational and cultural assumptions through a different lens in the Global South. The beauty of this autoethnography lies in exploring the kinds of intercultural spaces the author and others inhabit in twenty-first century research and classrooms.
EdD in Education