A Narrative Inquiry into the Lived Curriculum of Grade 1 Children Identified as Struggling Readers: Experiences of Children, Parents, and Teachers

  • Author / Creator
    Houle, Sonia T.
  • My daughter’s experiences as a struggling reader awakened me to difficulties children live when they do not learn as expected in schools; she inspired this study. My research puzzle focused on the experiences of children identified as struggling readers in Grade 1 and on those of their parents and teachers who lived alongside them. This narrative inquiry explored how children, parents, and teachers experienced living in the midst of tensions created between the lived curriculum of a struggling reader and expectations of the mandated curriculum.
    This study is situated in the literature of curriculum studies, in the concepts of lived curriculum and curriculum making. Two boys identified as struggling readers by their Grade 1 teacher participated in the study along with their parents and their Grade 1 and Grade 2 teachers. I spent a total of seven months as a participant observer in the boys’ Grade 1 and Grade 2 classrooms. I had one-on-one conversations with the children, their parents, and their teachers to learn about their experiences. My field texts included field notes of my observations in the two classrooms, transcripts of one-on-one conversations with each participant, artefacts of the children’s classroom work and drawings, school documents, and a research journal. I wrote two narrative accounts of each child (one per grade) intertwined with their parents’ and teachers’ stories.

    Looking across the narrative accounts, I inquired into silences on school and home landscapes. Children, parents, and teachers kept silent some of their stories of experiences as they moved between landscapes. I examined these silences through the lens of sacred, secret, and cover stories. Additionally, I inquired into one family’s familial curriculum making around home reading, highlighting a mother’s knowledge of the four curriculum commonplaces (teacher, learner, milieu, subject matter).
    The relational ethics and multiple perspectives of this study provided information on children’s, parents’, and teachers’ experiences in school and at home that might otherwise have remained untold. Attending to relationships, tensions, and silences in school curriculum making and recognizing familial curriculum making in children’s lives helped me imagine forward looking stories as a teacher, a teacher educator, and an educational researcher.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Curriculum Studies
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Glandfield, F. (Secondary Education)
    • Wiltse, L. (Elementary Education)
    • Caine, V. (Nursing)
    • Goldstein, L. (Education, Santa Clara University)
    • Foster, R. (Educational Policy Studies)