Beyond the Muskeg: Poetic Expressions of a Narrative Inquiry Into Curriculum Making and Identity Making On the Edges of Community
Clarke, Cynthia Lynne 1963-
This dissertation focuses on identity making and curriculum making on the edges, or margins, of community. Through a narrative inquiry using poetic expression of research, I explore the lives and learning of five participants, three of whom were teachers, all of whom were positioned on the edges of a dominant community. Methodologically, I work within a narrative inquiry framework utilizing personal and participant narratives to understand experience. I employ poetic expression of research as part of my methodology in order to create possibilities for the readers to fill in the gaps of interpretation with their own experience. Poetic expression of research provides multiple opportunities for interpretation and suggests an open-endedness to analysis that prose at times struggles to replicate. Through a focus on the participants’ experiences, I examine the possibility of shifting our understanding of spaces conventionally considered marginalized, particularly with respect to the educational value of the experiences lived on the edges of community. The experiences of the participants in this inquiry suggested that those spaces conventionally thought of as peripheral, or the edges, were actually the defining features of communities. By focusing on the experience of the five participants in this narrative inquiry, this dissertation unpacks the metaphor of marginalization and suggests alternate ways in which to conceptualize positioning within community. Furthermore, the experiences of the participants in this inquiry suggested positioning within community is less important than the relationships we share as teachers with the children and youth we support. Entering into relationship requires a restructuring or reframing of community. Our classrooms, then, become knowledge spaces nested within whatever larger found communities the children and youth we teach experience. Through the research detailed in this dissertation, I argue that rather than attempting to transform the found communities of the children and youth we support, our energies are better directed toward listening to, retelling, and recomposing stories of experience with those children and youth. This dissertation argues that if we thought of each child or youth as central to a community nested within many communities, all of these communities become a source for supporting their learning.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeKalyn, Brenda; Glanfield, Florence; Renihan, Pat
Copyright DateApril 2017