Métis teacher, identity, culture and the classroom
This thesis is a study of Métis teacher practice. Teacher practice evolves from experiences that teachers had as students. In a hegemonic educational system, certain practices are more valued than others. Minority teachers have been schooled in this same hegemony. The struggle for many minority teachers is to fully integrate their cultural identity into their teaching practice. They need to resist the established dominant norms and the pressure to conform in their classrooms. There are very few supports for teachers who challenge the status-quo. Four Métis teachers were the participants in the study along with the researcher who became a co-participant. The study investigated how the participants viewed the role of Métis culture in their professional and personal lives. Using a voice as a Métis woman and teacher, the researcher used narrative to analyze and reflect on the data. It was found that the participants’ cultural identity influenced their teaching practice. The standards that guided their classroom choices and behaviours have been shaped by their own experiences. The participants realized that it was their task to teach for social change and support their minority students in learning how to function in an oppressive society. The participants taught for social justice through critical pedagogy and their choice of teaching methodologies. They taught their students how to question power, privilege, inequality, knowledge and ideas. Using the teaching methodologies of storytelling and dialogue allowed these teacher participants to honour themselves and the uniqueness of each student. They created an environment that respected diversity and affirmed their students’ identities. In this thesis the researcher provided a voice of Métis that is distinct, yet can be viewed alongside other Aboriginal cultures. It is believed that this study can assist other teachers in analyzing their own practice as well as demonstrate how teaching for social justice benefits all students.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
CommitteeLemisko, Lynn; Bouvier, Rita
Copyright DateSeptember 2004