Are You Happy Now? A Fictional Narrative Exploration of Educator Experiences in Higher Education during the Time of #FeesMustFall

Marguerite Muller

Abstract


In this performative text a narrative arts-based approach is used to explore the connections between educator identity and the current issues arising in the broader South African higher educational landscape. Written as a fictional narrative it is an exploration of some of my experiences at the University of the Free State between 2014 and 2016. The post-qualitative, arts-based narrative serves to connect research practice with educator experience in higher education. As the traditional, patriarchal and colonial nature of institutions of higher education is being questioned by student movements like #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall, we have to ask how our research practices are responding to these movements. The idea of knowledge as a process is an important aspect that arts-based research illuminates in relation to social change. In this article I connect the idea of knowledge as process to the idea of pedagogy as a process which ties in with our lived experiences and interactions. As such, this text uses art as a way to illustrate the continual journey and process of moving towards socially just pedagogies. The “fictional” narrative is used as a creative exploration of innovative methodologies in trying to find a way forward into messy and uncertain spaces that characterise the complexity of the current higher education landscape in South Africa. 


Keywords


arts-based research; fiction; narrative; social justice; socially just pedagogies; performative text; post-qualitative research

Full Text:

PDF

References


Barnett, M. 2014. “Why a Good Book Is a Secret Door.” TED video, 16:59. https://www.ted.com/talks/mac_barnett_why_a_good_book_is_a_secret_door?language=en (accessed December 1, 2016).

Chipp, H. B. 1968. The Theories of Modern Art. A Source Book by Artists and Critics. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Clough, P. 1999. “Crises of Schooling and the ‘Crisis of Representation’: The Story of Rob.” Qualitative Inquiry 5 (3): 428–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/107780049900500308

Clough, P. 2002. Narratives and Fictions in Educational Research. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Cohen, R. 2013. “A Dangerous Interregnum.” The New York Times, November 18. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/opinion/cohen-a-dangerous-interregnum.html (accessed November 20, 2016).

De Oliveira Andreotti, V. 2016. “(Re)Imagining Education as an Un-Coercive Re-Arrangement of Desires.” Other Education: The Journal of Educational Alternatives 5 (1): 79–88.

Eisner, E. W. 1997. “The Promise and Perils of Alternative Forms of Data Representation.” Educational Researcher 26 (6): 4–10. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X026006004

Fanon, F. 1965. The Wretched of the Earth. London: MacGibbon and Kee.

Honan, E., and D. Bright. 2016. “Writing a Thesis Differently.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 29 (5): 731–43.

Kumashiro, K. K. 2000. “Toward a Theory of Anti-Oppressive Education.” Review of Educational Research 70 (1): 25–53. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543070001025

Kumashiro, K. K. 2002. Troubling Education: Queer Activism and Antioppressive Pedagogy. New York: Routledge Falmer.

Lather, P., and E. A. St. Pierre. 2013. “Post-Qualitative Research.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 26 (6): 629–33. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2013.788752

Leavy, P. 2009. Method Meets Art. Arts-Based Research Practice. New York: The Guilford Press.

Leavy, P. 2013. Fiction as Research Practice. Short Stories, Novellas and Novels. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Mati, T. 2016. “Understanding the Struggle Songs of Fees Must Fall.” Media for Justice, February 2. https://www.mediaforjustice.net/understanding-the-struggle-songs-of-fees-must-fall/ (accessed April 4, 2017).

Mbembe, A. 2015. “Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive.” Lecture presented at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER). http://wiser.wits.ac.za/content/achille-mbembe-decolonizing-knowledge-and-question-archive-12054 (accessed November 1, 2016).

Nhlengethwa, S. 1990. It Left Him Cold—The Death of Steve Biko. Collage, pencil and charcoal. http://artthrob.co.za/03oct/artbio.html (accessed April 7, 2017).

Richardson, L., and E. A. St. Pierre. 2005. “Writing: A Method of Inquiry.” In The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 3rd ed., edited by N. K. Denzin and Y. Lincoln, 959–78. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Van Manen, M. 1991. The Tact of Teaching: The Meaning of Pedagogical Thoughtfulness. New York: State University of New York Press.

Vladislavic, I. 2011. The Loss Library. Cape Town: Random House Struik.

Zembylas, M. 2007. “Risks and Pleasures: A Deleuzo-Guattarian Pedagogy of Desire in Education.” British Educational Research Journal 33 (3): 331–47. https://doi.org/10.1080/01411920701243602


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Marguerite Muller

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.