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Structural Dissonance, Enacted Hope and Initial Early Childhood Teacher Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand

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posted on 10.11.2021, 21:34 by Hannigan, Bradley Robert John

This thesis argues that there is structural dissonance in university-based initial early childhood teacher education programmes in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and suggests a pedagogy of enacted hope as a countermeasure. In this thesis, structural dissonance is constructed as a form of structural violence, which is based on the contradiction between socioculturalism in the content of IECTE programmes and individualisation in the context in which they are provided. This theoretical thesis uses Richard Rorty’s (1979, 1982, 1989, 1999) neo-pragmatic assumptions on truth, reality and knowledge to provide a coherent and consistent approach to the argument of structural dissonance and enacted hope. Distinctions between truth and justification, reality and appearance, found and made are rejected, and utility for social justice, language use, and an ironist approach to scholarship are adopted. This thesis uses philosophical hermeneutics as a methodology for interpreting the textual sources that make up the data drawn upon in this thesis. This methodology is linked to interpretive scholarship, research bricolage, and the constructivist paradigm in qualitative research. The methods used in this thesis are an ecological hermeneutic, ideal type method (converted into an interpretive method of textual analysis) and focus groups of student teachers. This thesis constructed two ideal types. The ideal type for socioculturalism is used to argue that the content of IECTE programmes is heavily influenced by socioculturalism. The ideal type for individualisation is used to argue that the context in which IECTE programmes are provided reproduces individualisation. Socioculturalism and individualisation are shown to be dissonant in the structure of a case IECTE programme in Aotearoa/New Zealand resulting in a situation of structural dissonance. A pedagogy of enacted hope is then proposed to counteract structural dissonance in the case study IECTE programme in Aotearoa/New Zealand. This pedagogy is constructed using a theory of hope developed through the integration of Ernst Bloch’s (1986) philosophy of hope, Rortyan philosophical assumptions and enactivist learning theory. Implications of using the pedagogy of enacted hope are then discussed in relation to the problem of structural dissonance.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education Policy and Implementation


Strathdee, Rob; Dalli, Carmen