Narrative Inquiry in a Multicultural Landscape: Multicultural Teaching and Learning

Narrative Inquiry in a Multicultural Landscape: Multicultural Teaching and Learning

Narrative Inquiry in a Multicultural Landscape: Multicultural Teaching and Learning

Narrative Inquiry in a Multicultural Landscape: Multicultural Teaching and Learning

Synopsis

The heart of this study is a detailed narrative account of a teacher in an inner-city school. For two years, the author collaborated with an immigrant teacher from the Caribbean, studying her practice from three perspectives: place--the community and school landscape; temporality--the history of the school and current programs; and interaction--the teacher's relationship with the school, parents, and students. Current ways of examining multicultural issues focus on the analysis of broad factors affecting large groups of people. In the process, the individual is subsumed within catagories and the subtle nuances of experiences are lost. The narrative approach outlined in the book offers a new perspective on multiculturalism and research into multicultural education, one the author terms narrative multiculturalism.

Excerpt

Room 23, Bay Street School, in the spring of 2001, is culturally and linguistically alive. There are twenty-eight students, born in twelve different countries, speaking thirteen different home languages. Room 23 is a microcosm of Bay Street School, and Bay Street School, says JoAnn Phillion in Narrative Inquiry in a Multicultural Landscape: Multicultural Teaching and Learning, is a microcosm of Canadian society. Indeed, she shows that this school and its surrounding community have, since the school was built in the late 1800s, reflected Canadian immigration policies and immigrant settlement patterns. A narratively tuned walk of the neighborhood early in the book reveals the modern multicultural face of Canadian society, a society strongly influenced in recent years by Asian immigration, but carrying the knotted threads of immigrations past.

Who are the storekeepers, homeowners, and apartment dwellers in the neighborhood surrounding Bay Street School? Why are they here, and what do they want for the education of their children? How aware are Bay Street School teachers, administrators, and others of the lives and hopes, the ambitions and dreams, of those who send their children to the school? Do they know what parents want? What is it like

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