Dialogical habitus engagement: The twists and turns of teachers’ pedagogical learning within a professional learning community
The focus of this article is on the pedagogical learning of five teachers in a professional learning community (PLC). The PLC was conceptualised as a means of generating pedagogical learning and change among the participating teachers in consonance with a socially just educational orientation. The two authors of this article participated in the PLC as participants and facilitators. This article discusses the difficulty that the PLC encountered as it engaged with the ‘hardness’ of pedagogical change among the teachers. We suggest that the dialogical approach of the PLC, as a form of ‘habitus engagement’, has the potential to capacitate the form of adaptation and change required by the teachers. The article discusses the twists and turns involved in the PLC’s struggle to deliberate productively about pedagogical change. It describes an absence of a didactic language and pedagogic reflexivity among the teachers that caused the PLC conversations to remain ‘stuck’ in discussions that revolved around issues external to pedagogical knowledge transfer, mainly regarding keeping order and discipline in their classes. We describe how introducing a pedagogical tool into the PLC deliberations enabled the teachers to move towards a more participatory approach in their teaching practices. The exemplifying basis of our article is our deliberations with the five teachers in the PLC and the article describes the ‘methodo-logic’ of the PLC process that incorporated an emphasis on reflexive dialogue and ongoing interaction to establish a generative pedagogical platform for social justice pedagogies.