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Pure blue sky: A soulful autoethnography of chemistry teaching in China

Song, J. and Taylor, P.C. (2005) Pure blue sky: A soulful autoethnography of chemistry teaching in China. Reflective Practice, 6 (1). pp. 141-163.

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In this article we portray an inquiry into the problematic impact of the Chinese National Examination system on Chinese chemistry teaching and learning. The inquiry was conducted as a soulful autoethnography, illuminating the first‐hand experiences of a Chinese chemistry teacher struggling to reconcile contradictions between his humanistic ideals (of ‘loose’ teaching) and the technical forces (of ‘strict’ teaching) prevailing in his professional culture. This narrative inquiry yielded a mix of short stories and reflective commentary. In this article, selected stories present vignettes of the teacher's enactment of the national chemistry curriculum at critical periods early in his career. The article demonstrates the value of adopting soulful autoethnogaphy as a form of professional development, illustrating how multiple modes of inquiry can open up spaces for practical moral reflection (phronesis), soulful attunement (poesis) and contemplative thinking (theoria) which, taken together contribute to a loving praxis of transformative education. Consistent with the narrative representational form of the research, this article has a diachronic storied structure, which mirrors the process of the inquiry.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Copyright: © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd
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