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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3WW4D
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A narrative inquiry into children’s experiences of composing their identities as citizens Open Access
- Other title
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
- Supervisor and department
D. Jean Clandinin (Elementary Education)
- Examining committee member and department
Linda Phillips (Elementary Education)
George Buck (Educational Psychology)
Vicki Ross (College of Education, Northern Arizona State University, USA)
Florence Glanfield (Secondary Education)
Randolph J. Wimmer (Educational Policy Studies)
Department of Elementary Education
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
- Degree level
My research puzzle focused on understanding the ways in which children compose their identities as citizens in curricular situations through telling and inquiring into the stories of who they are in their multiple life contexts.
I conceptually framed citizenship education as linked to identity-making and making a curriculum of lives. I conceptualized citizenship education as children’s identity-making, which involves a process of becoming through inquiring into children’s stories of experience in multiple life contexts. This process engages teachers in the curriculum-making of citizenship education within the tension between planned and lived curricula contexts in order to create educative curriculum situations.
By adopting a methodology of narrative inquiry, I negotiated the participation of a grade four teacher and three children. I worked with them in a classroom for the participation period (September 1, 2007–December 31, 2007). My field texts consisted of: field notes on my in-class participant observation, transcripts of one-on-one research conversations with children, field notes on those conversations, children’s diaries, children’s work samples, transcripts of conversations with family members, transcripts of conversations with the teacher, and field notes on those conversations. Moving from field texts to research texts, I composed narrative accounts of three children to identify resonant experiences around each child’s identity-making as a citizen. In each child’s narrative account, I saw how I engaged in curriculum-making with each child to help her/him shift her/his stories of who she/he was as a citizen.
Looking across the three narrative accounts, I found resonant experiences around children’s identity-making as citizens by attending to how their stories to live by shifted as curriculum-making happened in the classroom. In my research I reconceptualize how we teach citizenship education by creating educative curriculum situations as shared inquiry spaces in which teachers begin by getting children to tell the stories of who they are in their multiple contexts and working with them to inquire into those stories in order to understand who they are in relation with others. In this sense, citizenship education is a process of inquiring into who children are in relation with other members in their immediate, multiple life contexts, and in relation with events and circumstances in order to help them position themselves as active agents and as citizens.
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