Teaching English Language Arts in a Northern Canadian Community: Four Teachers' Voices

  • Author / Creator
    McKay, Marlene
  • This qualitative case study helps fulfill the need for research into the influence of the Northern Canadian contexts. It explores, through the eyes of four participating language arts teachers who teach in the same northern community, how the northern contexts influence their personal practical knowledge (Connelly & Clandinin, 1988, 1992) and their language arts classroom curriculum. My study is situated in an area of inquiry that involves questions about what teachers know, how they know, and how they continue to develop their practice over time. This study determines that the classroom language arts curricula of participating teachers have several key elements in common and that teachers in this study view themselves as curriculum makers who enact a classroom language arts curriculum that is primarily based on social constructivist principles. These northern teachers view language arts as more than just reading and writing and consider that the power of language extends into the arts and technology as well. Living and teaching in this northern community presents opportunities and challenges for these teachers. Relationships both inside and outside of the classroom are important considerations for them. Their knowledge of and connections to the school and the community are particularly important in developing these relationships. Finally, this study reveals that part of the teachers’ understanding of self is influenced by their sense of belonging or not belonging in the community.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • 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
    • Elementary Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Leroy, Dr. Carol (Elementary Education)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Wiltse, Dr. Lynne (Elementary Education)
    • McClay, Dr. Jill (Elementary Education)
    • Glanfield, Dr. Florence (Secondary Education)
    • Clandinin, Dr. D. Jean (Elementary Education)
    • Stagg-Peterson, Dr. Shelley (OISE/University of Toronto)