This paper uses a dialogic approach following duoethnography to report on a research study conducted in a charter school offering a locally designed social justice course. This narrative approach involves a critical dialogue between two people, each of whom pushes the other to further insights and understandings. The urban prairie school under study focused on gifted learners and was funded as a public school. Multiple methods of data collection included document and policy analysis, field observations, and open-ended interviews with administrators, teachers and students who were directly involved with the social justice program. The results and discussion focus on student engagement in schools on issues of human rights and social justice, inquiry-based approaches to the curriculum, and include implications for educational policy and practice.
Keywords: alternative school programs, social justice, duoethnography, inquiry learning
As three professors working collaboratively in teacher education, we reflect on our participation as former graduate students in narrative research circles facilitated by Dr. Jean Clandinin (University of Alberta) and Dr. Michael Connelly (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto). By drawing upon the stories that we carry from institutions outside Brock University, we inquire into how our narrative experiences inform our current positioning within a teacher education community. Situating our work within social constructionism and narrative inquiry honours our relational, co-constructed work. Reflecting on three central questions regarding our individual research circle experiences assists in understanding how our narratives overlap with our current community. We draw attention to unspoken tensions that are embedded while working in relation. We invite other scholars to consider how collaborative research circle experiences can be a powerful form of living in community and a means of enhancing scholarly writing and practice.
Keywords: research circle, research writing, teacher education, narrative inquiry, social constructionism, self-study
This research draws on the experiences of a Grade 1 delayed reader, his parents, and his teachers, to show his lived curriculum across his home and school contexts. This narrative inquiry is situated in the literature of curriculum studies, in the notions of the lived curriculum and curriculum-making. Field texts include field notes from the classrooms, transcripts of conversations with the child, his parents, and his teachers. For this paper, I illustrate the child’s experiences at the end of Grade 1, among the tensions created between the lived curriculum of a struggling reader, and the expectations of the mandated curriculum, which are shaped by institutional and sociocultural narratives. My goal is to provide insight into making curriculum in schools that accounts for the lived curricula of all children.
This paper was written to complement the book review; "What’s Your Story? A Book Review of Leah Fowler’s A Curriculum of Difficulty: Narrative Research in Education and the Practice of Teaching" (2006), which can also be found in this issue of in education. This paper challenges teacher-education professionals to consider the benefits of creating and facilitating meaningful mentorship opportunities between teacher-candidates and education graduate students. This paper discusses Fowler’s (2006) model for narrative inquiry and its relationship to the formation of teacher identity and explores whether or not this particular model can support the creation of sustainable and effective mentoring relationships in current teacher-education programs. Teacher-candidates and graduate students alike will both come to a “deeper understanding of the relationship among past, present, and projected senses of self” (Sumara & Luce-Kapler, 1996) as they engage in mutually beneficial, critically reflective learning practices. Purposeful construction of mentorship opportunities that honour the experiential stories of individuals may serve to further increase education students’ awareness of their dynamic position along a continuum of learning in both undergraduate and graduate contexts.
From the emulsion of images taken yesterday, we develop our engagement in time today—the then that is always changing into now. Weathered shutters close together. Driftwood shifts on rocky sand. Sedges grow among the seashells. Grasses ground a concert band. Seen through the sights of a stereoscopic viewer, the author uses both her word and image to travel through presents in retaken pasts—portals into the practice of her language arts classroom life. The thought of a carousel going round, turns writing into other ways for words to resound. The recollection of sepia on a rooftop at night changes voice into variegations of color and light. It is in these moments of remembered scenes that the author reconsiders what her teaching means.
In this paper we consider the ways the constructs of being a generalist and specialist in teaching have contributed to our stories to live by in mathematics teacher education. We employ narratives of experience to serve as frames for our discussion in this paper. We explore how our work in public schools contributed to our practice in teacher education and the ways this shapes our curriculum making with preservice teachers. Our stories to live by as mathematics educators highlight how curriculum is more than subject matter objectives and how we are shaped in our relationships with learners.
Keywords: mathematics, generalist, specialist, curriculum, stories to live by, narrative inquiry
In this paper we report on a collaborative self-study in which we reflect upon our practice as teacher educators through a critical multicultural and white studies framework. We developed a pedagogical tool for our own professional development as teacher educators, modeled on the type of narrative assignments we ask of our students. We wrote stories about difficult moments in our practice, shared these with colleagues and reflected upon their responses. In this activity, we aimed to practice what we preach, as we model our commitment to being life-long learners; our respect for the power of listening to others and considering multiple perspectives; and our constant desire to critique and transform our practice in ways that are more effective and contribute to the educational success of all students. Our analysis of our experience demands that we reconsider our assumptions about student learning, how we hold our students accountable, and how we are socialized as white women within the academy of higher education.
Keywords: narrative, teacher education, multicultural education
Based on an in-depth interview with a retired school principal, this paper explores questions around what it means to practice inclusive leadership in an Ontario school board from the mid 1970s into the 21st century. Using semi-structured interview questions, the investigation specifically sought to understand the practice of creating inclusive schools for students with disabilities. A narrative style using found poetry was used to give voice to the interviewee. Central to the practice was the need for a strong moral purpose and a vision of inclusion, as well as the ability to build relationships across parents, teachers, students, and other school staff. Additional insights included the need for the sharing of knowledge among all levels of school personnel. Instructional leadership, formal decision making approaches, and legislative procedures did not appear to be as important in ensuring inclusion.
Keywords: inclusion, inclusive leadership, disabilities, special education
Teacher education classes are contested spaces. Professors interested in reforming content, pedagogy and assessment must wrestle with their own internal tensions and the culture of their institutions in order to make a difference. In this paper, a teacher educator uses narrative inquiry to frame his efforts to become a constructivist professor of education law. Critical tensions are examined using a three-dimensional narrative inquiry space: looking inward, outward, backward, and forward. Critical reflections, written over several years, are used to situate the tensions experienced in this case into the broader context of the author’s career journey.
Eight orbitals of narrative analysis are presented as a long term interest in autobiographical inquiry, narrative methodology, and curriculum studies in education research. This is also an experiment in thought and play with technology in the journal, in education, in hopes that others in the scholarly and teaching communities will read, think and participate in other conversations about the reconceptualization, reconstruction, and use of narrative analysis, curriculum theory and pedagogic practice in education and research.
This paper is a philosophical examination of the role of narrative in moral education. We argue that narrative, conceived of as a moral educational practice and not as a method, is an indispensable element of both caring moral education and virtue education. We begin by explaining the distinction we make between moral educational method and moral educational practice. Then, we outline the concept of narrative, drawn from Ricoeur and Bruner, that we seek to draw upon. After briefly outlining both care theory and virtue education we demonstrate the value of narrative to these two divergent paradigms.
Keywords: Narrative, virtue education, care theory.
This is a book review of Leah Fowler’s (2006) book entitled, A Curriculum of Difficulty: Narrative Research and the Practice of Teaching. This review was written as a complementary piece for Lisa A. Mitchell’s (2010) paper entitled, A Continuum of Learning: Enhancing Connections Between Teacher-Candidates and Education Graduate Students Through a Narrative Framework, which can also be found in this issue of in education.