Stories of Liminality: A narrative inquiry into the experiences of elementary teachers who taught a student with a chronic illness
This narrative inquiry explores the curriculum making experiences and stories of three teachers - Claire, an early childhood educator, Rita, a middle years teacher, and Leah, a primary grades teacher - who taught students with a chronic illness. The research wonders of this thesis asked the following questions: what does it mean to engage in the curriculum around chronic illness? How do the teachers influence such a curriculum? What is the teacher's position within it? Do they experience a shift in knowledge, awareness, perception, or practice while engaged in this curriculum making? Derived from individual semi-structured interviews ranging from 25 minutes to one hour, a narrative account of each teacher is presented and inquired into within the three dimensional inquiry space, defined to include temporality, sociality, and place. The concept of a curriculum around chronic illness is presented. This curriculum focuses on the active construction of lives shaped by a chronic illness. In this research, the curriculum around chronic illness required the negotiation, and sometimes renegotiation, of liminal spaces. Liminality, found in the making of a curriculum around chronic illness, brought the teachers of this research to the peripheries of their students' worlds, where they learned, in time, to perceive their students and themselves wholly. The three teachers, through their unique positioning of their stories to live by, created new forward-looking stories (Nelson, 1999) that guided their teaching; stories marked by inclusion, community, loving perceptions, and care.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
SupervisorMurphy, M. Shaun
CommitteeBalzer, Geraldine; Schaefer, Lee; McVittie, Janet
Copyright DateJuly 2013