According to Denzin and Lincoln “every text that is created is a self-statement, a bit of autobiography, a statement that carries an individual signature” (1998, p. 184), therefore, in view of this, this reflection is a piece of my autobiography, it is a chapter related to my first year as an MPhil/PhD student. It is also an exercise of reflection towards the challenge to be a reflexive researcher, because I am among those who embrace reflexivity as “the primary methodological vehicle for their inquiry.” (Etherington, 2004, p. 31)
The main purpose of this reflection is to transform my experiences into learning, and I do not know another way to achieve this but by writing. In other words, writing is the only means I am able to reflect upon experiences and learn from them. Additionally, writing is in the heart of my methodological intentions, and was a point of struggles in this first year, as I discuss later. This analysis is also a sort of debriefing exercise, aimed to understand my own actions, and the context that surrounded them.
I divided the analysis into several parts accordingly to the “path” of them. The first part presents my autobiographical account at present on the journey which led me to my research topic and methodological preferences, comprising my early days as a primary teacher and the last years before the beginning of the course. The second part comprises a contrast between my expectations and the reality of becoming a student again. The following section analyses the research training programme, namely its units and the analysis ends with a reflection upon my study.
The autobiographical side of the analysis
Prior to my degree in Education, I finished a formation for primary teachers at a second level, which was then the minimum requirement to have a qualified teacher status in my country. Therefore, I started teaching at the same time that I started university. It was a paradoxical learning experience, because at the same time that the theoretical part was enchanting me, the school reality was a frustrating experience for me both as a human being and as a professional. At those days the behaviourist practices were the leading pedagogy and the practicalities of this in a daily basis almost put me out of the education ground. On the other hand, I started reading the ideas of Paulo Freire and the fundamentals of Vygotsky, which seduced me profoundly. At the end of that first year I decided to work in another school, where the behaviourism was not the law and the Vygotskian thought had a place. Since then, my teacher education at degree level was always accompanied by my teaching experience in a flexible school, which allowed me to be innovative, creative and able to contribute together with other teachers. As part of this process, I was nominated educational supervisor after four years as primary teacher.
During the ten years that I worked as an educational supervisor, coordinating, advising and supporting teachers, I gradually …