A narrative inquiry into children’s experiences of composing their identities as citizens

  • Author / Creator
    Kim, Byung-Geuk
  • 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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  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
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  • 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.
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  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Linda Phillips (Elementary Education)
    • Florence Glanfield (Secondary Education)
    • Vicki Ross (College of Education, Northern Arizona State University, USA)
    • Randolph J. Wimmer (Educational Policy Studies)
    • George Buck (Educational Psychology)