Original Research

We are workshopped: problematising Foundation Phase teachers’ identity constructions

Lorayne Excell
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 4, No 1 | a60 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v4i1.60 | © 2014 Lorayne Excell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2014 | Published: 01 July 2014

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Lorayne Excell, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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The new Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications document envisages a particular type of teacher (DHET, 2011). These teachers need to be, amongst other things, reflective, committed, critical practitioners with sound content knowledge (DHET, 2011).  It is with this in mind that a remark made by Foundation Phase teachers in Limpopo raised several questions for the research team investigating communities of practice in the Foundation Phase.  The fact that teachers considered themselves to be ‘workshopped’, where something is done to them, is in opposition to the kind of teacher envisaged by government which sees teachers as pivotal to educational transformation. This paper unpacks the implications of teachers constructing themselves as ‘workshopped’ and its relation to workshops as vehicles through which knowledge is acquired. Using a critical discourse analysis of interviews and classroom observations conducted with Foundation Phase teachers, we explore the extent which the practice of the workshop is inimical to knowledge acquisition and even, possibly, negatively impacts a teachers’ ability to reflect on pedagogical gaps.


Workshopped; Foundation Phase Teachers, Agency, Identity Construction , Lexical choice


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