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Teachers’ Work: Comparing Ethnographies from Latin America and the United States


This chapter compares studies of el trabajo docente, teachers’ work, conducted by ethnographers in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and the United States. It uses meta-ethnography as a tool to make comparisons more vivid and specific (Noblit & Hare, 1988), offering comparisons of specific studies from different countries that examine teachers’ thinking (los saberes docentes), the intervention of the state in teachers’ work, and the process of becoming a teacher. The chapter argues that in spite of some apparent similarities, ethnographers in different parts of the Americas do empirical work and offer theoretical explanations that are not identical, but rather tell different parts of a larger story.

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