Teachers performing gender and belonging: a case study of how SENCOs narrate inclusion identities

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Abstract

This paper investigates how the narratives Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) tell can be framed as social, discursive practices and performances of identity by analysing accounts offered in focus groups and life history interviews. I explore how the narratives deployed demonstrate an engagement with a rhetoric about who works in inclusive education. I argue this rhetoric informs the materialisation of what Butler terms an ‘intelligible identity’ (1993, 2004), one which might be identified as a SENCO identity because it is gendered as feminine and caring. However, I explore how some of these narratives simultaneously negotiate and refigure rhetorical constructions of intelligible identities by invoking a child centred warrior persona to alternatively iterate belonging to the SEN community. Thus my analysis considers the potential for personal narratives to decouple gender from a rhetoric of caring and identifies potential alternatives for claiming a SENCO identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-147
JournalGender and Education
Volume27
Issue number2
Early online date20 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

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special educational needs
inclusion
gender
teacher
narrative
rhetoric
interview
community
performance
education
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Teachers performing gender and belonging: a case study of how SENCOs narrate inclusion identities. / Woolhouse, Clare.

In: Gender and Education, Vol. 27, No. 2, 03.2015, p. 131-147.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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