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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.44

Doing teacher-training and ethnography in Moroccan state schools: working with teachers on their representations on knowledge and teaching methods



Primary authors


This paper explores to what extent it is possible to ethnographers to participate in helping teachers to develop awareness of their own representations on what they value as knowledge, teaching methods and pupil achievements. As a case study I will use my own experience in the Moroccan state school system where I have had multiple roles for the last 4 years: as a researcher conducting ethnography in language classes (Arabic, French, English and Spanish) in 9 primary and secondary schools in different regions of the country; as a teacher-trainer for Moroccan teachers of French in other schools; as a self-employed French resident in Morocco. From this experience, it appears that a teacher-trainer does have some sort of intellectual authoritative position with trainees that the ethnographer does not with informants. Hence the latter has to find alternative ways if one wants to help teachers reflecting on their own representations and practices. Teachers are often quite ambivalent with both trainers and researchers as they feel scrutinized and evaluated (Becker 1983*), all the more so in a postcolonial country where the trainer/researcher is native from the former colonial power. However ambivalence and reluctance can be partially overcome if the ethnographer distances oneself from one’s role as a trainer and is open to using a form of maieutic method so that teachers themselves articulate, question and reflect on their own narratives. *Becker H. S., 1983, « Studying Urban Schools », Anthropology and Education Quaterly 14: 2, 1983, p. 99-108.