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  • Author or Editor: Ruth Samuel x
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Implications for Reflective Practice
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Education in India concentrates on exam performance and consequently the teacher in India often acts as a disseminator of textbook material, as well as maintaining class discipline and respect. This book explores low-income female teachers’ speech and syntax as a crucial resource in which agency, freedom and empowerment is enacted within a strong oral tradition in India.

The book demonstrates how this socially and economically marginalised group overcome prejudices to develop relational agency and embed their authority. It shows how they establish their values and why their beliefs shape attitudes to aspiration, achievement and freedom of choice. It concludes with recommendations for policy and improvements to reflective practice in teaching.

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This chapter sets out ways in which female teachers are marginalised and continually displaced. Social, economic and education contexts of female teacher displacement examine restrictions placed on women’s work and income levels, educational opportunities for girls and their role within the household, as well as the impact of educational culture and policy on the teacher’s role. Chapter 1 concludes with an argument for the lived experiences of low-income female teachers to be taken into account to respond to a lack of representation within policy and education development within India.

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This chapter outlines teacher’s perceptions of their roles. This includes their social relationships with students and colleagues, expectations of behaviour from students, dynamics of the classroom and motivations to become a teacher. Family expectations and roles are also examined, as this provides a crucial foundation for understanding why women from low-income backgrounds choose to teach and how this contributes to their need to stay within the profession.

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This chapter examines the way teachers defined their social spaces in terms of who was part of their community and who was outside this. The definition of community itself is explored in this chapter in relation to teacher relationships that maintain social cohesion by avoiding internal conflict and protecting each other from external intrusion. This chapter also builds on teachers’ understanding of core neoliberal ideologies that have defined education policy in India, by commenting on what a meaningful life is for themselves.

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This chapter centres upon teachers’ understanding of Habermas’s notion of authentic knowledge and what teachers believe is transformation for their students and themselves. The chapter draws upon teacher responses to examine their social praxis, as defined by a form of distributed personhood, to pass on knowledge to their students.

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This chapter brings together key areas discussed in Chapters 2, 3 and 4 to focus on what they can tell us about female teacher agency. This discussion contributes to outlining recommendations to support effective reflective practice among teachers in India. Teacher values outlined in previous chapters act as the foundation for understanding female teacher agency and how reflective practice can be developed within teacher education. Specifically, Chapter 5 outlines the classroom as a space for female teacher empowerment and how reworking teacher effectiveness in India can support reflective practice.

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