The Care of the Self: poststructuralist questions about moral education and gender.
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The relationship between poststructuralist theory and ethics or values in education is a complex and relatively unexplored one, yet in classrooms the ethical implications of theory are lived out daily in the relations between teachers and children. Teachers who are interested in bringing the insights of poststructuralist theory into their work with children still tend to refer back (consciously or otherwise) to the ethics of versions of liberal humanism in making value judgements. The incongruence which results can undermine changes that a teacher wants to bring about. One approach to this dilemma can be through narrative. Narrative, or story, is one of the "technologies of the self" most available to teachers and children for the construction, regulation and care of selves (as knowers, as learners and as moral agents), including the ongoing construction of values associated with feminine and masculine gender identities. Deconstruction of children's classroom and lived narratives can make this process visible. This paper will explore the specific and differing values made visible in one story told by five children.