Learning to teach in unfamiliar lands : a wandering educator's autoethnography on the influence of place
Lorusso, Nicole Christal
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Using reflexive narrative autoethnography, I explored the influence of living and teaching in unfamiliar places on ecologically-minded teachers. I collected data through personal reflections and interviews with four teachers employing Wengraf's Biographic-Narrative Interview Method. Following Richardson's creative analytic practices, I used writing as both inquiry and analysis. I discovered that relationships with biophysical places were important to all participants. My findings reveal the complexity of participants' sense of place, which can be influenced by attachment to prior places, fear, adventure, time and access to biophysical places. Sense of place was related to the wellbeing and resilience of all participants. Sociocultural conduits also contributed to these teachers' evolving senses of place in new environments. Additionally, I found that sense of place related not only to biophysical surroundings, but also to spirituality and a teacher's perception of their inner wildness-a place within oneself and a sense of oneness with non-human world.
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