Narrative & Experience in Multicultural Education


Edited by: Joann Phillion, Ming Fang He & F. Michael Connelly

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  • Dedication

    Narrative and Experience in Multicultural Education is dedicated to all the participants who have engaged in inquiry with us over the years—teachers, administrators, community workers, parents, and students—in Bay Street Community School and in other contexts. We are grateful to them for all we have learned about narrative inquiry, multicultural education, and life.


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    Narrative and Experience in Multicultural Education explores the untapped potential narrative and experiential approaches offer for understanding multicultural issues in education. The research featured in this book reflects an exciting new wave of social science thinking about human experience. The authors bring their personal experience to the inquiries, actively participate in the lives of the people with whom they work, care deeply about the concerns of their participants, and search for ways to act on these concerns. The studies focus on the lives of students, teachers, parents, and communities and bring forward experiences seldom discussed in the literature. The inquiries are far ranging in terms of content, ethnic groups studied, geographic locations, and other contexts.

    As you read you will encounter work from different locations in the United States on African American concerns, Native American community and education issues, Latina/Latino parental concerns, multicultural teacher education issues, and more. You will also encounter work from various locations in Canada on teaching, inquiry, multicultural classrooms and schools, and links to a democratic vision, as well as work from Israel on teaching across great differences and historical divides. Several chapters deal with the methodology and background of this experiential research. Much of the work in this book reflects global considerations of increasing importance in multicultural education and teacher education. The special quality of this work that distinguishes it from other work in multicultural education is the emphasis on understanding experience and transforming this understanding into significant social and educational implications.

    The work featured in Narrative and Experience in Multicultural Education is the culmination of more than ten years of inquiry by the editors. We have explored the potential of narrative inquiry and other approaches for understanding the meaning of human experience in the field of multicultural education and for understanding multicultural issues in society. Current multiculturalism research in education tends to stress theoretical approaches that yield generalizations. This effort has been important and has advanced the field; indeed it has made multicultural education a legitimate field of inquiry (see Banks & Banks, 2004). This book, however, has a different focus; it draws together new work that focuses explicitly on individual and group experience and explores the nuances of multicultural life. The origins of this approach primarily can be traced back to John Dewey's influential work, in particular to his theory of education and experience (1938). The significance of this new work is that it provides the nucleus of a complementary, new way of understanding the complexity of multicultural issues in education.

    There are many texts that provide theoretical orientations to multiculturalism. New conceptual approaches in this book—reflexive, experiential, and practical—complement these texts with narrative accounts that offer specific research examples and a critique of the standard texts. This book provides research studies that offer new insights into particular multicultural topics, and the studies offer explicit methodological examples for researchers interested in each area. The exemplary work presented in this text has been provided by experienced qualitative researchers.

    Instructors will find this book useful for studies of diversity because the research is conducted with different ethnic groups and takes place in diverse contexts, nationally and internationally. Students will find it useful, as it allows them to challenge their assumptions about multiculturalism and helps them link theory with practice and inquiry with life. It will also encourage readers to develop a critical, reflective view of how theory can be applied to particular contexts.

    This book would not have been possible without the efforts of a great many people. We thank all the participants in our inquiries, the participants in the authors' inquiries in the book, and the authors themselves. Thanks to the support staff at the University of Toronto, Gary Pyper and Frances Tolnai, who helped organize the numerous manuscripts drafts we received throughout the two years of this project. We also gratefully acknowledge the suggestions provided by the reviewers of our prospectus and the draft of the book:

    Jon G.Bradley, McGill University
    Valerie-LeeChapman, North Carolina State University
    Cheryl J.Craig, University of Houston
    Edmundo F.Litton, Loyola Marymount University
    JoannaMensinga, Central Queensland University
    FranciscoRios, University of Wyoming
    Frederick L.Yeo, Southeast Missouri State University

    We hope this book provides you with fresh experiential ways of thinking about multicultural life and education.

    The Editors:

    Ming FangHe
    F. MichaelConnelly
    Banks, J. A., & Banks, C. A. M. (Eds.). (2004). Handbook of research on multicultural education (
    2nd ed.
    ). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Collier Books.
  • About the Editors

    F. Michael Connelly is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Centre for Teacher Development and Chair of the Department of Curriculum, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto (OISE/UT). He is Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education/OISE/UT doctoral program and a Founder and Editor of Curriculum Inquiry. Professor Connelly was the recipient of the 1987 Outstanding Canadian Curriculum Scholar Award of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, the 1991 Canadian Education Association Whitworth Award for Educational Research, the 1995 Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Outstanding Teaching Award, and the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award in Curriculum Studies from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He has written widely, with his collaborator D. Jean Clandinin, in science education, teaching and teacher knowledge, curriculum, and narrative inquiry.

    Ming Fang He is Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies at Georgia Southern University. She received her Ph.D. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto at the Centre for Teacher Development with F. Michael Connelly. She taught English as a Foreign Language in the People's Republic of China and English as a Second Language to immigrant adults and children in Toronto, Canada. She currently advises doctoral students, directs doctoral dissertations, and teaches graduate courses in curriculum studies, multicultural education, and qualitative research methods. Her preservice teacher education courses are in foundations of education. She has also taught doctoral level courses in Hong Kong and currently advises doctoral students and serves on dissertation committees for the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education's cohort-based doctoral program for Hong Kong Institute of Education faculty members. Her work is on cross-cultural narrative inquiry of language, culture, and identity in multicultural contexts; cross-cultural teacher education; and curriculum studies. She has also written the book A River Forever Flowing: Cross-Cultural Lives and Identities in the Multicultural Landscape. She is Professor of Curriculum, an Editor of Curriculum Inquiry, and an Associate Editor of Multicultural Perspectives.

    JoAnn Phillion is Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto at the Centre for Teacher Development with F. Michael Connelly. She was awarded the AERA Division B Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2000. She was past Chair of Division B Equity Committee and member of AERA Affirmative Action Council. She is an Editor of Curriculum Inquiry. Her research interests are in narrative approaches to multiculturalism, teacher knowledge, and teacher education. She teaches graduate courses in curriculum theory and multicultural education, and an undergraduate course in preservice teacher development. She is involved in international teacher development in Hong Kong and Honduras. She published Narrative Inquiry in a Multicultural Landscape: Multicultural Teaching and Learningin 2002.

    About the Contributors

    Angela Anselmo was born of Puerto Rican/Dominican parents in New York City. She was raised in the south Bronx as well as in Puerto Rico. She graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the City College of New York in 1972, where she majored in psychology. A year later, she received her first master's degree in the area of guidance and counseling from the Consortium for Bilingual Counselor Education (a consortium of colleges involving CUNY and the University of Puerto Rico). Angela received two other degrees from Yeshiva University—a master's of art in psychology in 1988 and a combined doctorate in psychology and linguistics in 1991. While writing her doctoral dissertation, Angela attended The New Seminary in New York City and was ordained as an interfaith minister in 1990. She has worked for 29 years at Baruch College as a counselor, Director of Counseling, and Director of the SEEK Program. Angela enjoys lecturing in the areas of spirituality, bilingualism, and cultural diversity.

    Chris Liska Carger is Associate Professor in the Department of Literacy Education at Northern Illinois University. She received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her area of concentration was reading and English language learners. Her research interests are literacy development for bilingual children, integrating multicultural children's literature and the arts, ethnographic research, and narrative inquiry related to teacher education.

    D. Jean Clandinin is Professor and Director of the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development at the University of Alberta. She is a former teacher, counselor, and psychologist. She is the coauthor with F. Michael Connelly of four books and many chapters and articles. Their most recent book, Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research, was published in 2000. She is part of an ongoing inquiry into teacher knowledge and teachers' professional knowledge landscapes. She is past Vice President of Division B of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and is the 1993 winner of the AERA's Early Career Award. She is the 1999 winner of the Canadian Education Association Whitworth Award for educational research. She has worked closely with Janice Huber and M. Shaun Murphy on research projects on teacher knowledge.

    Carola Conle teaches courses in cross-cultural education, foundations of curriculum, and narrative inquiry at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Her work has been published in American Educational Research Journal, Teaching and Teacher Education, Educational Theory, and other journals. She received an Outstanding Writing Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in 1997 and is currently engaged in funded research on ethics and the imagination.

    Donna Deyhle is an educational anthropologist at the University of Utah, where she holds joint appointments in the Department of Education, Culture, and Society and the Ethnic Studies Program, as well as an adjunct appointment in the Department of Anthropology. Deyhle has worked with such diverse groups as the Karaja in the Brazilian Amazon, street youth in New York City, and among preservice teachers at Acoma and Laguna Pueblos and the Navajo Nation. Deyhle has worked with one Utah Navajo community—San Juan County and the Navajo Nation—and its schools for almost twenty years. Deyhle's early research was framed by a “cultural difference” perspective, which argued that much of the conflict and failure experienced by these youth was due to cultural differences between the home and the school. Deyhle has published articles on testing in Curriculum Inquiry, the Journal of Educational Equity and Leadership, and the Peabody Journal of Education, on culture and child development in Theory into Practice, on parent involvement in the International Journal of Qualitative Research in Education, break-dancers in the Anthropology & Education Quarterly, and dropouts in the Journal of Navajo Education. Deyhle's current research examines how power and racial relations contribute to the academic struggles of Navajo youth. She has published articles focused on cultural integrity and racism in the Harvard Educational Review, on Navajo mothers and daughters in the Anthropology & Education Quarterly, on break dancing and heavy metal in Youth & Society, cultural identity and dropouts in the Journal of American Indian Education, and in a review of the field of American Indian Education in the (AERA) Review of Research in Education.

    In 2002, Deyhle received the George and Louise Spindler Award for Distinguished Career in Educational Anthropology from the American Anthropological Association. In addition, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of American for her article “Cultural Differences in Child Development: Navajo Adolescents in Middle Schools.” She has also been the recipient of three faculty research awards from the University of Utah and two Spencer Foundation research grants as well as a Spencer Fellowship from the National Academy of Education at Harvard University. At the University of Utah, Professor Deyhle teaches undergraduate courses in multicultural education and American Indians in the American experience and graduate courses in qualitative research, ethnographic research, crosscultural education, and anthropology and education.

    Freema Elbaz-Luwisch is Associate Professor in the Department of Education, Haifa University, in Haifa, Israel. She teaches teachers and postgraduate students in narrative methods and multiculturalism. She is especially concerned with the mixed Jewish Palestinian student body at Haifa, which has an open policy on admission and encourages a mix of students.

    Grace Feuerverger is Associate Professor in the Centre for Teacher Development, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE/ University of Toronto. As the daughter of immigrants and refugees, Feuerverger grew up in a multicultural and multilingual home in Montreal and brings her personal and professional experiences to bear on her teaching and research work. Feuerverger was educated at a variety of institutions—McGill University; the Università per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Alberta; the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; and the University of Toronto. She was a French immersion teacher in Alberta and Ontario before she began her university career, and her heart is never far from the classroom. Her research interests focus on theoretical and practical issues of cultural and linguistic diversity, ethnic identity maintenance, and minority language learning within multicultural educational contexts, as well as on conflict resolution and peacemaking in international settings. Her courses at OISE/University of Toronto and her research projects explore the personal and professional texts of those who live within and between various cultural worlds, struggling to find voice, meaning, and balance in their lives and their implications for teacher development. She continues to direct a multicultural literacy project in various schools in Toronto where she has developed an inservice teacher's guide and video programs. Feuerverger is also principal investigator of an individual large-scale Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council research study, which focuses on the school experiences of immigrant and refugee students in Toronto and Montreal. Her recent book Oasis of Dreams: Teaching and Learning Peace in a Jewish-Palestinian Village in Israel (Routledge/Falmer) is a reflexive ethnography about an extraordinary bilingual-bicultural educational endeavor.

    Meta Y. Harris is currently an Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University. She holds an Ed.D. degree from The University of Alabama in administration of higher education and a Ph.D. in women's studies from The University of Manchester, England. She is currently involved in research on mothering of daughters in the southeastern United States. Other research interests include gender roles in Europe and Africa, and she is beginning a new research on women's participation in politics in the African countries of Nigeria and Botswana. She is a mother of two children.

    Mary Hermes is a member of the Ojibwe tribe. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where she works in teacher development and teacher education. Her research is the area of language, culture, and identity, particularly as related to Native Americans. She also serves as Director of a bilingual school on a nearby reservation.

    Janice Huber is an Assistant Professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. She is a former elementary teacher. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Alberta in 2000 and has worked with D. Jean Clandinin and F. Michael Connelly on various research projects since 1991. She is the author of several chapters and articles. Her most recent article, coauthored with Karen Keats Whelan and D. Jean Clandinin, is published in the Journal of Curriculum Studies.

    M. Shaun Murphy is currently a doctoral student at the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development at the University of Alberta. He has been an elementary teacher for seventeen years. His research interests focus on students' knowledge of school contexts and teachers' professional knowledge.

    Saundra Murray Nettles is Professor and Chair of the Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading at Georgia Southern University. Her scholarship includes theoretical reviews to explore emerging fields (e.g., psychology of Black women, gender equity in schools, and community involvement in youth development), case studies of school improvement, program evaluation, and empirical studies in the psychology of Black women. Her work has appeared in American Educational Research Journal, Review of Education Research, Education and Urban Society, Feminist Studies, Social Psychology of Education, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Journal of Adolescent Research, and Peabody Journal of Education. In her book Crazy Visitation: A Chronicle of Illness and Recovery, she developed a narrative self-inquiry into the experience of risk and recovery from a brain tumor. She was Associate Professor of Human Development at the University of Maryland, Principal Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins Center for Social Organization of Schools, and Director of Field Services for a large antipoverty agency in Washington, D.C.

    Alma Rubal-Lopez is currently a faculty member at Brooklyn College, where she is the Program Head for a bilingual teacher education program as well as the Deputy Chair. Her research interests are in the fields of sociology of language, where she has written extensively on the global spread of English as well as on the sociolinguistic situation of the Puerto Rican in New York City. Her most recent research is in the area of multicultural education, where she has written various articles on bilingual education and multicultural teaching as well as her latest book on becoming Nuyoricans, a recollection of her and her sister's childhood experiences in the South Bronx.

    Lourdes Diaz Soto is a graduate of Hunter College and The Pennsylvania State University. Her publications include Language, Culture, and Power: Bilingual Families Struggle for Quality Education (SUNY Press) and two edited volumes titled Making a Difference in the Lives of Bilingual/Bicultural Learners and The Politics of Early Childhood Education (Peter Lang). Scholarship and collegial opportunities have taken her to Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Greece, Spain, and Uruguay. In addition, she has published numerous articles and book chapters examining issues of social justice and equity. She is currently involved in collaborative community action projects with her students in order to benefit linguistically and culturally diverse populations.

    Sofia A. Villenas is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies in Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a mother of four children and a former bilingual school teacher, and she currently teaches and researches in the areas of multicultural education and Latino family education. She is coeditor with Laurence Parker and Donna Deyhle of Race Is… Race Isn't: Critical Race Theory and Qualitative Studies in Education. She is also coeditor of Chicana/Latina Education in Everyday Life: Feminista Perspectives on Pedagogy and Epistemology in production with SUNY Press. Her work has appeared in Harvard Educational Review, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Anthropology & Education Quarterly, among other journals. She is currently finishing a book on her research with Latina mothers and race relations in North Carolina.

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