Pedagogical habitus engagement : teacher learning and adaptation in a professional learning community
CITATION: Feldman, J. 2016. Pedagogical habitus engagement : teacher learning and adaptation in a professional learning community. Educational Research for Social Change, 5(2):65-80.
The original publication is available at http://ersc.nmmu.ac.za
Situated within the context of teaching in post apartheid South Africa, this article discusses the establishment and functioning of a professional learning community (PLC) that was constituted to generate pedagogical learning and adaptation among practicing teachers in consonance with a socially just teaching orientation. Drawing on the thinking tools of Bourdieu, the article offers a view of PLCs as a form of “habitus engagement” that engages with teachers’ firmly established pedagogical identities, their “pedagogical habitus,” to effect adaptation and change in their classroom pedagogy. The exemplifying basis of this article is empirical data drawn from a 2-year PLC process where teachers from different school contexts collaborated to find ways to conceptually and pragmatically shift and change their pedagogy. The article highlights both the limits and possibilities of teachers’ pedagogical change and concludes by arguing that the ongoing, reflexive, and dialogical PLC process, as a form of habitus engagement, holds the potential to challenge, adapt, and shift teachers’ pedagogical habitus to conceptually and pragmatically include a more socially just teaching orientation in their classroom pedagogy.