American Dreams, Global Visions: Dialogic Teacher Research with Refugee and Immigrant Families

American Dreams, Global Visions: Dialogic Teacher Research with Refugee and Immigrant Families

American Dreams, Global Visions: Dialogic Teacher Research with Refugee and Immigrant Families

American Dreams, Global Visions: Dialogic Teacher Research with Refugee and Immigrant Families

Synopsis

This book presents the struggle for dialogue and understanding between teachers and refugee and immigrant families, in their own words. Central to the work is a rationale and methodology for teachers to conduct dialogic research with refugees and immigrants-research encompassing methods as once ethnographic, participatory, and narrative-which seeks to engage researchers and participants in dialogues that shed light on economic, political, social, and cultural relationships; to represent these relationships in texts; and to extend these dialogues to promote broader understanding and social justice in schools and communities. American Dreams, Global Visions is particularly appropriate for courses in foundations of education, multicultural education, comparative education, language and culture, and qualitative research.

Excerpt

Marcel Donovan dropped into this world of probes, bright lights, and injections on a Friday afternoon in February. the bravery of his mother, the aerobics instructor—like the sunny disposition of the midwife and the gently reassuring nature of the attending nurse—could not dispel the gnawing feeling inside me that something was wrong, and not with the baby: As I observed the nurses pinch and poke him, watched them take his footprints twice (too soon to start a file with the FBI), listened to the intermittent, high-pitched beeps coming from the “baby warmer” machine, and watched Marcel struggle and fight back like a born rebel, I began to understand that we have much to learn about welcoming newcomers to our world.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the setting for these postnatal experiments, is named for a Winnebago chieftain noteworthy for being alive when Europeans took control of his tribe's ancestral lands. Two statues of Chief Oshkosh can be found in Menominee Park. He stands, cast in bronze, in the middle of a picnic ground—young, strong, and good-looking, staring out with dark eyes toward Lake Winnebago. Nearby, in another representation, he slouches at the entrance to the popular “Little Oshkosh” playground, a stereotypical wooden Indian, broken, old, and ridiculous in a stovepipe hat and frock coat. He looks sad as the children rush past, and I want to speak to him, to hear his story, to ask him why:

Oshkosh, Why? Why did you choose the White Man's Road? Why did you compromise? Was it to save your people? For disease and despair claimed many . . .

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