Narrative modalities, identity and the (re)contextualisation of self in teacher education in Papua New Guinea



Publication Details

Pickford, S. (2014). Narrative modalities, identity and the (re)contextualisation of self in teacher education in Papua New Guinea. Journal of Language Identity and Education, 13 (3), 171-194.


As a mode of professional socialisation, reflective writing in teacher education has long been a practice aimed at stimulating preservice teacher inquiry, self-knowledge, evaluation, and improvement. As method, it seeks to inscribe and appraise attitudes, observations, and experiences negotiated within the context of preservice teachers' fieldwork. This article juxtaposes accounts from two preservice teacher journals in an exploration of narrative modalities and associated identity work within the practicum of primary teacher education in Papua New Guinea. To follow Duranti (2009), it explores how each transforms the practicum into particular experiences and phenomena through specific narrative constructions that emerge as contrasting cultural models, reflexivities, and identity work. In doing so, the article calls for greater awareness of languages of practice by foregrounding challenges that reflective writing might pose to preservice teachers deeply engrained with oral narrative life-world orientations, such as the personal reflexive shifts that occur when ethnonarrative story worlds meet the more self-centring and appraisal orientations of reflective narratives of personal experience.

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