Department of Chemistry Education, Universitas Negeri Jakarta
Peter Charles Taylor
School of Education, Murdoch University
Cultural Studies of Science Education Issue 2/2018
“The fish becomes aware of the water in which it swims” is a metaphor that represents Yuli’s revelatory journey about the hidden power of culture in her personal identity and professional teaching practice. While engaging in a critical auto/ethnographic inquiry into her lived experience as a science teacher in Indonesian and Australian schools, she came to understand the powerful role of culture in shaping her teaching identity. Yuli realised that she is a product of cultural hybridity resulting from interactions of very different cultures—Javanese, Bimanese, Indonesian and Australian. Traditionally, Javanese and Indonesian cultures do not permit direct criticism of others. This influenced strongly the way she had learned to interact with students and caused her to be very sensitive to others. During this inquiry she learned the value of engaging students in open discourse and overt caring, and came to realise that teachers bringing their own cultures to the classroom can be both a source of power and a problem. In this journey, Yuli came to understand the hegemonic power of culture in her teaching identity, and envisioned how to empower herself as a good teacher educator of pre-service science teachers.
Keywords: teaching identity, cultural identity, religion, auto/ethnography, transformative research