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"Once you win their hearts and minds, what are you going to do with it?" : exploring the cultural repertoires… Frohard-Dourlent, Hélène 2010

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“ONCE YOU WIN THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS, WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO WITH IT?” EXPLORING THE CULTURAL REPERTOIRES OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN FRANCE AND CANADA by HÉLÈNE FROHARD-DOURLENT B.A. (Hons.), Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2007  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Sociology)  The University of British Columbia (Vancouver)  August 2010 © Hélène Frohard-Dourlent 2010  ABSTRACT Although education is heralded as a national priority in France and Canada, previous research has suggested that the experience of schooling is very different in both countries. This can be noticed as early as elementary school, where teachers in both countries work towards similar goals of literacy, but with different techniques and conceptual tools. Drawing on classroom observations and thirty-five interviews with elementary school teachers in France and Canada, this study explores the way that educators talk about their roles, responsibilities and everyday practices to illustrate how their discourses are shaped by the national educational repertoires available to teachers. Through focusing on the contrasting ideologies of social pluralism that are multiculturalism and républicanisme (in Canada and France respectively), this research illuminates in particular the influence that national projects of diversity have over teachers‟ discourses and practices when it comes to conceptualizing the role that diversity can play in the classroom. This difference in how diversity is imagined closely interacts with differing ideas about effective teacher techniques to create dissimilar learning environments in France and in Canada in terms of the teacher-student relationship, classroom space, and the value of student diversity.  ii  PREFACE This research project received a certificate of approval (minimal risk) from the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board on Febrary 17, 2009. The reference number for this study is H0900044.  iii  Table of Contents ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................................... ii PREFACE ..................................................................................................................................... iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................ iv LIST OF TABLES ...................................................................................................................... vii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ......................................................................................................... viii CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................1 Overview of research on teaching ................................................................................................3 Teacher ideology ......................................................................................................................3 Teaching techniques .................................................................................................................5 Different approaches to education ................................................................................................7 Overview of differences ...........................................................................................................7 A brief history of Canadian multiculturalism ...........................................................................9 French républicanisme and schooling ....................................................................................10 Project overview .........................................................................................................................13 Sample ....................................................................................................................................13 Recruitement...........................................................................................................................15 Data collection ........................................................................................................................15 Data analysis ...........................................................................................................................17 Cross-national comparative research ......................................................................................18 CHAPTER 2 – EXPERIENCING THE CLASSROOM ..........................................................20 Introduction ................................................................................................................................20 Classroom organization and atmosphere....................................................................................20 The classroom space ...............................................................................................................21 Defining a good atmosphere ...................................................................................................24 Classroom rules ......................................................................................................................28 Teachers: roles and responsibilities............................................................................................32 What it means to be a (good) teacher .....................................................................................32 The goals of teaching..............................................................................................................36 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................39 CHAPTER 3 – THE TEACHER-STUDENT RELATIONSHIP ............................................41 Introduction ................................................................................................................................41 iv  Teaching styles: learner-centered vs. teacher-centered ..............................................................41 Bringing personal lives to school ...............................................................................................44 The role of teachers‟ personal lives in the classroom.............................................................44 Listening to children talk about their lives .............................................................................46 Métier d’élève .........................................................................................................................49 Warmth and authority v. trust and respect..................................................................................51 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................56 CHAPTER 4 – DEALING WITH CLASSRROM DIVERSITY ............................................58 Introduction ................................................................................................................................58 Defining diversity .......................................................................................................................58 Diversity in the context of learning ........................................................................................59 Diversity of social and cultural backgrounds .........................................................................61 The meaning of diversity ........................................................................................................63 Integrating diversity in the classroom ........................................................................................66 Diversity and the institution .......................................................................................................70 Thoughts on the school system and teacher training ..............................................................70 Multiculturalism/républicanisme: conscious and unconscious links .....................................72 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................75 CHAPTER 5 - CONCLUSION...................................................................................................77 Summary of findings ..................................................................................................................77 Analytical summary ...................................................................................................................80 Study limitations ........................................................................................................................85 Future research ...........................................................................................................................86 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................87 REFERENCES .............................................................................................................................90 APPENDICES ..............................................................................................................................97 Appendix 1: Methodology .........................................................................................................97 Appendix 2: Consent forms......................................................................................................103 Interview consent form (Canada) .........................................................................................103 Interview consent form (France) ..........................................................................................105 Observation consent form (Canada) .....................................................................................107 Observation consent form (France) ......................................................................................109 Appendix 3: Interview guides ..................................................................................................111 v  In-depth interview guide (Canada) .......................................................................................111 In-depth interview guide (France) ........................................................................................114 Appendix 4: Recruitment letters ..............................................................................................119 Recruitment letter (Canada) .................................................................................................119 Recruitment letter (France)...................................................................................................120 Appendix 5: University Ethics certificate ................................................................................121 Appendix 6: School district authorization letters .....................................................................123 Vancouver School Board ......................................................................................................123 Académie de Rennes ............................................................................................................124  vi  LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Demographics ................................................................................................................. 14 Table 2: Data collection ................................................................................................................ 16  vii  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  A number of people have helped make this thesis possible over the course of the past two years. I would like to thank the professors at the Department of Sociology. I am especially grateful to Dan Zuberi and Wendy Roth for their insights, encouragements, and continuous support throughout this process (as well as speedy replies to my moments of uncertainty). I would also like to thank Sylvia Fuller, who first made me realize that my interest lies with the social sciences, and without whom I would not have decided to apply to this graduate program. This study would not have been possible without the tremendous help that I received from Grégoire and Marie Salaün, who helped me navigate the muddy waters of the Académie de Rennes and gain access to schools in the Rennes area. Even nearly twenty-five years of knowing each other does not warrant the patience and dedication that they showed me in this project, and I hope not to have to ask so much of them again for the next twenty-five years. I am also thankful to the Vancouver School Board and the Académie de Rennes for approving this project, but more importantly, I am extremely grateful to all my participants for taking the time to talk to me and for sharing their thoughts on their job with eloquence and passion. They reminded me that teaching incurs both hardships and incredible rewards, and I admire the energy that they bring to their job every day. Finally, I would like to thank my fellow graduate students for their advice and insights these past two years. In particular I want to extend my thanks to Fang Xu, Mike Halpin, Biorn Ivenmark, Sharon Lebenkoff and Natasia Wright, who have been both wonderful colleagues and essential friends. More personally, I am grateful for the silent comfort that my wobbly cat MeiMei was always happy to provide, for the continuous support from my family in spite of time viii  difference and very busy lives, and most of all I am thankful for the support of my girlfriend, Allie Slemon, who was there to encourage me, remind me that this thesis was not an impossible task, and make me laugh and relax when I needed it most. Her companionship and enthusiasm have been invaluable, and I cherish the thought that she will be at my side as I head into the PhD program.  ix  CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION  Introduction Western nations are unanimous in heralding education as a top national priority. In Canada as well as in France, discourses on education emphasize schools as social equalizers that give all students an equal opportunity to learn and succeed in life; schools are perceived as meritocratic institutions, where intelligence and hard work are rewarded independently of a child's background. Yet despite these foundational similarities, educational cultures differ notably, and the language used in educational policy on each side of the Atlantic stress different processes to reach similar outcomes: while Canada underscores multiculturalism and individualism, France chooses to speak of humanism and universalism (Corbett & Moon, 1995; Pépin, 1998). Teaching styles also supposedly differ in the two countries, with France putting a premium on discipline and distance, while Canada focuses on warmth and interpersonal connection. These established cultural differences constitute the background upon which my research questions were formed. It would be simplistic to ask if official discourses and educational cultures influence teachers' beliefs and their practice; obviously they do. But it would be naive to think that official discourses make their way into the classroom unmediated. My interest is thus not in the outcome of different educational cultures, as much as it is in the process of their formation. Specifically, I am interested in the way in which teachers negotiate national educational discourses in their conceptualizations of themselves as educators. Borrowing from Lamont (1992, 2002), I use the term “cultural repertoires” (or educational repertoires) to emphasize the process of culturally-specific meaning-making in the context of teaching. 1  Much has been written about teachers and their belief systems, particularly about the way in which a teacher's ideology influences their classroom style (Opdenakker & Van Damme, 2006; Pape, 1992; Clark & Peterson, 1986). In contrast, I am interested in how teachers construct their understanding of their own practice, and what this reveals about the legitimization of certain cultural ideals over others. My attention is thus first and foremost on the discourses developed by teachers around their work, and how these discourses are influenced by the availability of certain cultural repertoires over others. This emphasis on discourse takes root in the idea that our world is made intelligible through language, and that the words that we use (or do not use) both shape and reflect how we conceptualize the world. The use of cross-national comparison helps make valued cultural traits salient precisely by calling attention to what is absent in one cultural setting as compared to the other. One particular point of tension in the two countries that I have chosen to examine, France and Canada, is the place of diversity in the school environment. France and Canada's respective national ideologies, républicanisme and multiculturalism, conceptualize social pluralism in distinct ways, which participates in creating different sets of cultural repertoires for teachers to draw on. Although this affects most directly the way that teachers think about classroom diversity, I argue that these ideologies also interact with ideas that circulate about classroom practice and the teacher-student relationship. Consequently, I explored the interconnectedness of these three topics which are fundamental to creating a comprehensive image of teaching is about. This thesis will contrast the discourses of elementary school teachers in France and Canada to illustrate how the meaning of teaching is influenced by, and influences, the cultural repertoires legitimized in the space of the classroom. Two primary research questions underpin this project: 1. What are the different cultural repertoires that teachers in France and Canada draw on 2  when they are asked to talk about their everyday work and practices? 2. How do these cultural repertoires interact with official educational discourses and national ideologies of difference? Drawing on thirty-five in-depth interviews with elementary school teachers in France and in Canada, this thesis will analyze the similarities and differences in the discourses of both sets of teachers. By paying attention to both the teachers' personal experiences and their perception of the educational culture in which they teach, this thesis paints a multi-layered, nuanced picture of teachers' imaginaries around teaching and demonstrates how official discourses are both contested and accepted by teachers.  Overview of research on educational culture Teacher ideology1 Ideology, which is described by Giroux (1988) as the active production of meanings embodied in images, gestures, linguistic expression, social practices and cultural experiences, constructs knowledge, but also feelings and desires (McLaren, 1988). The idea of “teacher ideology” supposes that anyone who teaches necessarily possesses beliefs that guide their practice (Pape, 1992; Clark & Peterson, 1986; Pajares, 1992; Beijaard et al., 2000; Opdenakker & Van Damme, 2006). Teacher ideology constructs and is constructed by personal experience, but also by social context and historical tradition (Beyer, 1992; Zeichner & Liston, 1996, McLaren, 1988). Research by Pépin (1998), Broadfoot et al. (1993) and Osborn (1999) has demonstrated that national cultural traditions in particular are a major determinant of educational cultures and teachers' ideologies, making cross-national research a powerful tool for studying teachers' ideas 1  Although numerous other terms are used (including teacher beliefs, teacher thinking and teacher theorizing), all are concerned with teachers' sets of beliefs about the world and how it is demonstrated in actions and in speech.  3  about their practices. This research locates itself in this tradition of educational research by thinking critically about the role that educational repertoires available in a given culture play in shaping teachers‟ beliefs about their practices. As it is through discourse that particular ideologies, behaviors and narratives are legitimized (Giroux, 1988), we could expect the study of discourse to be central in literature about teacher ideology, and the approach to be inductive, similar to Lamont‟s (1992) research on symbolic boundaries. Yet while purely quantitative methods are not dominant in this literature, much of the existing research relies on questionnaires and pre-determined categories that impose a classification scheme onto teachers (Opdenakker & Van Damme, 2006; Osborn, 1999; Broadfoot et al., 1994; Brophy & Good, 1974).2 Research on teacher ideology has not utilized the cross-national comparative method with an inductive, qualitative approach that relies on elementary teachers' own words to inform their perspectives on teaching in different cultural contexts, despite the fruitfulness of this perspective to illuminate processes of meaning-making (Lamont & Thévenot, 2000). This is a gap that this study participates in filling, by focusing on teachers‟ discourses about their practice rather than attempting to classify their actions according to “objective” criteria. Part of the reason why the educational literature is focused on teacher ideology is that there is evidence to show that the beliefs held by teachers have an influence over their classroom practice (O'Connor, 2008; Brophy & Good, 1974; Zahori; Tobin & LaMaster, 1992). Much of the research examines the links between teacher ideology and teaching methods in an attempt to 2  Some studies put a premium on contributions by teachers so they can articulate their personal objectives and ideology (Ross et al., 1992). Lortie's Schoolteacher (2002) and Nias's Primary Teacher Talking (1989) have also attempted to paint a comprehensive picture of teachers' ideologies by 'giving voice' to teachers through qualitative methods of observations and open-ended interviews. It is interesting to note, however, that these studies usually open by lamenting the lack of research based on elementary school teachers and their insider perspective on teaching. Additionally, this research does not draw on the insights of cross-national comparisons.  4  establish what is the best, or better, way to teach.3 There is a need for cross-national educational research whose primary objective is not to determine “better” teaching techniques and outcomes, but rather, in the footsteps of Lortie (2002) and Nias (1989), to explore divergent teachers' ideologies, the process of their maintenance, and their effect on the classroom. This has the potential to shed light how certain ideologies are reproduced within specific national contexts, and to explain how cultural values (such as the significance of social difference) are legitimized.  Teaching techniques The question of teacher ideology is closely linked to that of teaching techniques4. Teaching techniques have traditionally been divided between teacher-centered (or content-centered), which is typically associated with the French style of teaching (Corbett, 1995), and learner-centered (or child-centered), which has become more common in the North American context (Cuban, 1984). Research shows that learner-centered approach has a positive influence over both instructional and relational outcomes, and some argue that this style is particularly beneficial for students who are disadvantaged, whether because they struggle academically (Opdenakker & Van Damme, 2006) or because they are targets of prejudice (Brophy & Good, 1974).5 As a result of this dichotomous understanding of teaching techniques, the literature often  3  This is true of both radical perspectives (Giroux, 1988; Ellsworth, 1992) and more conservative ones (Liston & Zeichner, 1996), as well as of empirically-based writings (Cheong Cheng, 1994; Opdenakker & Van Damme, 2006). 4 Brophy & Good's (1974) provides a good overview of teaching techniques and identify three foundational styles: authoritarian, which puts a premium on discipline; democratic, which involves students in decision-making; and laissez-faire, which leaves students to their own devices. Democratic is found to have the most positive outcomes. 5 While Cheong Cheng (1994) emphasized that the link between teacher belief, teaching technique and student achievement is not straightforward, he also showed that schoolteachers who develop friendly and trustful relationships to their students rather than use punishment create positive attitudes towards school and learning in children. This is another indication that the learner-centered style might be particularly appropriate for children who, for a multitude of reasons, are less likely to feel embraced by the school system (for discussion of inequalities amongst students based on class, see Lareau, 1987 and Lareau, 2003; based on race, see Tate, 1997 and LadsonBillings, 1998; based on sexual orientation, see Letts & Sears, 1999).  5  puts in tension the role of warmth and discipline in teaching. Discipline-based approaches, which are associated with teacher-centeredness are usually opposed to child-centredness and its focus on warmth (Zeichner & Liston, 1996).6 While warmth and enthusiasm have a positive association with good classroom atmosphere and student achievement (Brophy & Good, 1974; Sears & Hilgard, 1964; Baird, 1973)7, teachers often strive for discipline (or control), both as a measure of their teaching's success and as a necessary precondition for effective learning (Brophy & Good, 1974; Lortie, 2002). Because caring and personal investment are perceived to undermine efforts at student control, teachers tend to think of caring and order as mutually exclusive and requiring fundamentally different strategies (O'Connor, 2008). However, the manner in which teachers balance what the literature describes as two desirable but conflicting outcomes, has been under-explored. A few existing studies (Broadfoot et al., 1993; Sharpe, 1995) show that a cross-national perspective is particularly useful to explore this tension as a comparative approach highlights the way that teaching techniques are connected to varying conceptions of a teacher‟s role and responsibility. By paying attention to varying meanings attached to warmth and discipline in France and Canada, this tension also constitutes a fruitful example for understanding how teacher ideologies are created in connection to different educational repertoires. In the past, comparisons between France and the United Kingdom have been used to reflect on differences in teaching techniques. We turn to the differences between the French and Canadian educational system to show why a comparison between these two countries can be similarly productive, in particular for researchers who are interested in thinking critically about how teacher ideology and teaching techniques interact with diversity in the classroom. 6  A study by Harvey, Hunt, & Schroder (1961) showed that teachers who adopt a more authoritarian teaching style tend to be less warm. 7 The teachers in Lortie's (2002) study also gained psychic rewards (enjoyed good days) from good rapport and emotional bonds with students.  6  Different approaches to education Overview of differences On both sides of the Atlantic, public schools are founded on two principles: that all students should be treated equally, and that schools can benefit all students by working as equalizers (Lortie, 2002; Krueger, 2003). In English-speaking countries, such as Canada, this egalitarian outlook is balanced with an individualist approach which emphasizes differentiation – treating children as individuals, paying attention to different learning styles and encouraging student participation (Opdenakker & Van Damme, 2006; Osborn, 1999; Lortie, 2002).8 In contrast, France adheres to the idea that the child as 'student' is separate from the child as 'person', and emphasizes academic objectives as the primary concern of schools (Osborn, 1999, Pépin, 1998). Although recent years have witnessed a growing interest in the concept of différenciation pédagogique (pedagogical differentiation)9, teachers in France are still expected to have their class progress as a group during the school year. A 2006 report for the Éducation Nationale on the teaching of mathematics at the elementary level also found that differentiation is not currently applied in classrooms (Durpaire et al., 2006).10 Another indication that the French education system de-emphasizes students‟ individualities is that students often feel that they cannot express their personal opinions (Osborn, 1999). Finally, despite the fact that French teachers are increasingly being asked to attend to moral education (Asher & Malet, 1999), Broadfoot et al.'s (1994) study indicates that so far, this does not seem to have changed the way in which teachers in France understand their role. This foundational difference in how the  8  As a result, Pépin (1998) shows there is more insistence on pastoral care and thus students' personal, moral growth. The website of the Académie de Rennes lists it as a goal of its “project d‟académie” for 2007-2010. A project d’académie is a document which outlines the school district‟s goals for a given period of time. 10 The report noted: “teachers too often look for an average level which in the end does not satisfy the strongest nor the weakest students” (Durpaire 2006, p. 48). 9  7  objective of teaching is conceptualized on either side of the Atlantic works as a starting point of the research presented here. By examining how these differences are constituted in teachers‟ discourses, this study hopes to supplement existing cross-national educational literature by illuminating the processes that shape these cultural variations. Another aspect of educational culture functions as an important variation in how teachers imagine their work. Canadian multiculturalism, which encourages schools to recognize accomplishments of all cultures as a way to value each group and a step toward educational equity (Johnson-Bailey, 2002), stands in sharp contrast with French républicanisme, which is founded on the idea that unity comes from human commonality, since common culture is seen to function as 'civic glue' (Zeichner & Liston, 1996). Both these approaches have been criticized, but the notion of common culture has been particularly challenged as a language that looks to erase differences, so that students, especially foreign-born children, can integrate a set of 'correct' values (Beyer, 1992; Giroux, 1989). Differences may be recognized and tolerated, but only to the extent that they are ultimately subjugated to a common culture (established by the dominant group). Since both educational traditions reflect broader national philosophies (Corbett & Moon, 1995; Broadfoot et al., 1994; Osborn, 1999; Mackey, 1999; Fleras & Elliot, 1992), we turn to the historical development of these two concepts in order to see how they have come to operate at the level of the classroom, and to articulate why these national ideologies are important to take into account when studying the French or Canadian classroom.  A brief history of Canadian multiculturalism Multiculturalism became official policy in Canada when the national policy on multiculturalism  8  was announced in 1971 by the government, then led by Pierre Trudueau11. The Canadian Multicultural Act, passed in 1988, entrenched this new vision into the federal Constitution by recognizing multiculturalism as “a fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage and identity”. While education is not explicitly mentioned in this document, the Act calls the Government of Canada to “encourage and assist the social, cultural, economic and political institutions of Canada to be both respectful and inclusive of Canada's multicultural character” and to “promote policies, programs and practices that enhance the understanding of and respect for the diversity of the members of Canadian society.”12 Both of these recommendations implicitly make education a crucial component of the implementation of this policy. It is important not to uphold multiculturalism as a panacea: legislative change does not automatically translate into social change, and Canada continues to face educational underachievement amongst many of its minority populations, particularly black and Aboriginal youth (Cummins, 1997).13 Still, this ideology has shaped the “formal acceptance of diversity as a legitimate component of the educational system” (Fleras & Elliott, 1992, p. 183). Numerous books have been written on multicultural education in Canada and other English-speaking nations over the past thirty years (Korn & Burstyn, 2002; Kanpol & McLaren, 1995; Tomlinson, 1990), many of which are intended to be used by teachers as resource books as they seek to “introduce preservice and practicing educators to the major concepts, principles, theories, and practices in multicultural  11  This policy focused primarily on French/English bilingualism, but it acknowledged the reality of pluralism in Canadian civil society and initiated government rhetoric on “transforming dominant society” (Mackey, 1999, p. 67). 12 As the Constitution Act of 1987 establishes that education is under provincial jurisdiction (Young & Levin, 2002, p. 28-32), it is important to note that the British Columbia version of the Multiculturalism Act contains similar language; in particular, it demands that government services and programs be carried “in a manner that is sensitive and responsive to the multicultural reality of British Columbia.” 13 The success of multiculturalism as a federal policy has been contested (Kymlicka, 2009). Reitz et al.‟s (2009) recent research on social cohesion points out that the benefits and limitations of multicultural politics are more complicated than previously suggested. The authors show that ties to one‟s ethnic community facilitate only some aspect of social integration, and that the continued existence of discrimination also hampers social integration.  9  education” (Banks, 1999, p. viii).14 This literature encourages “the development of learning materials about various cultures in order to increase students‟ awareness of these cultures and appreciation of their value, both in themselves and as a contribution to the Canadian mosaic” (Brummet, 1986, p. 14) and points to the need to address issues of textbook bias (Pratt, 1981). In British Columbia, individual school boards and the teachers‟ federation also work with teachers to increase awareness of these issues throughout their careers (Vancouver School Board, 2010; BCTF, 2006). These concerted efforts to help teachers develop an awareness of issues of diversity in the classroom illustrate the fact that multiculturalism as a national ideology has significant implications for the Canadian classroom. However, very little research has been done on the links between this overarching ideology and the way that teachers conceptualize their role in the classroom. I will demonstrate that this conception of diversity is connected to the teaching practices of Canadian teachers, even when these practices seem unrelated to minority students, suggesting that in Canada, teachers‟ practices can only be fully understood when put in the context of multicultural policies.  French républicanisme and schooling In contrast with Canada, France has had a more conflicted relationship with the growing social pluralism of its population, which has been reflected in its educational ideology. The country has no legislative document equivalent to the Multicultural Act, although its Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen does recognize the diversity of French citizens.15 The document is a good example of France‟s dilemma, caught between recognizing difference and vying for  14  See also Banks & Banks (2001). For an older version of this type of book, see McCreath (1981). The Déclaration begins with, “France is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It ensures equality in the eye of the law for all its citizens with no distinction of origin, race or religion. It respects all beliefs.” 15  10  “indivisibleness”, which supposes minimizing difference.16 Instead of multiculturalism, what is being articulated is an ideology centered on national cohesiveness, which rests upon the ideal of the République and the (universal) values for which it stands. French citizens are expected to value these values above their “private interests” (Duchesne, 2005). Where the federal Multiculturalism Act “acknowledges the freedom of all members of Canadian society to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage”, French society lives in constant fear of a rise of communautarisme17 amongst its multiple minorities. This tension is particularly visible in the school environment and shapes how teachers react to discussions of diversity in the classroom.18 Just as multiculturalism shapes educational policy in Canada, the national ideology of républicanisme in France has important implications for schooling. The code de l’Éducation‟s very first article states that “besides the transmission of knowledge, the Nation states as its school‟s first mission to share with students the values of the République.” Although these values, summed up in the national motto liberté, égalité, fraternité [liberty, equality, fraternity], may seem to strive for a similar ideal as the BC School Act‟s call for a “healthy, democratic and pluralistic society”, the absence of reference to social pluralism in the French version is significant. Diversity is only implicitly involved in defining educational objectives in France, just as it is only minimally called upon in the national project of identity. As Alexander (2000) points  16  Wieviorka‟s 2008 report on diversity in France articulates this same tension when it announces as its primary objective as “the search for a middle way, which can articulate the universal values of law and reason, and the respect of differences” (p. 9). 17 This concept is key to understanding modern French society, yet particularly hard to translate in its subtlety. Broadly translated as clannishness, it refers to a supposed tendency of minorities to interact with its own members, to the exclusion of broader society. 18 Although it is beyond the scope of this project to discuss the implications of this particular issue, the struggle of the French school system with girls seeking to attend classes while wearing a Muslim headscarf (which resulted in France banning in 2004 all “ostentatious” signs of religion on school grounds) illustrates the difficulty of accommodating difference when educational ideals are tied to principles of universality and indivisibleness, thereby making diversity a potential danger, rather than an integral part of the national educational project. For an in-depth discussion of the headscarf debate, see Limage (2003).  11  out, “the close articulation of identity, culture and language within a centrally-determined curriculum can never sit other than uncomfortably with pluralism” (p. 62). There is no French equivalent to the concerted efforts in Canada to make teaching materials inclusive of various minorities, or to familiarize teachers with the cultural diversity of the children with whom they will work. In recent years, the traditional one-size-fits-all transmission model of French education has been contested, but the concept of individualization (or différenciation [differentiation]) which has arisen as a result takes a very limited approach to students‟ diversity. For example, teachers are increasingly encouraged to work in small groups in order to adapt the material according to the academic needs of individual students, but this greater focus on individuals and their different learning skills has not led to a greater reevaluation of the place that children‟s social diversity plays in the classroom. This study shows that teachers are now integrating students‟ individual needs into their conception of teaching, and how their everyday teaching practices continue to be shaped by republican ideals despite this effort to individualize teaching. With their distinct approach to teaching objectives and the place of diversity in the classroom, France and Canada provide an effective contrast for research which explores the interactions between cultural repertoires and the way that teachers articulate their role and responsibilities. In particular, the distinctive conceptualization of difference in each country allows the researcher to explore how ideas about diversity shape how teachers think about their practices and interactions with students in the space of the classroom.  12  Project overview19 This study compares the experiences of elementary school teachers in France and Canada by focusing primarily on their discursive universe. I aim to contribute to the literature on models of teaching by examining how teachers talk about their everyday classroom practices, and fill a gap by exploring how teachers‟ imaginaries about their practices are shaped by the relative availability of certain educational repertoires over others. (These repertoires shift depending on the national context in which these teachers work.) I briefly describe the methods used for this study below, and provide information on my sample of respondents, the process of their recruitment, and the manner in which the data were both collected and analyzed. Finally, I reflect on the cross-national qualitative methodological approach that guided my research.  Sample I interviewed thirty-five teachers (see Table 2 for a summary of the demographics of my sample) with particular attention paid to the diversity of the sample. Specifically, I sought to interview individuals with diverse experiences, in terms of seniority in their teaching job, the grade level at which they taught20, and the type of school at which they worked.  19  For a more personal account of the methodology used in this study, see Appendix 1. Numbers in this category do not add up to the total number of respondents (35). In the French sample, two respondents are not counted because they had non-teaching principal appointments that year, and one respondent is counted twice because she taught grade 1 and grade 5 half-time. In the Canadian sample, three teachers are not counted because their schedule was split between all primary grades. Originally, I cared about recruiting participants across grades because I expected teachers‟ discourses might shift based on the age of the children that they taught. While this is true to some extent, a classification according to grade taught is rendered complex since most teachers work with both younger and older grades in the span of their career. I keep this category in the table as an indication that my respondents did teach a wide range of grades at the time of the interview. This shows in one glance that this research does not concentrate on teachers of younger or older grades, but on the general elementary school setting. 20  13  Gender (Female) - (Male) Experience ( less than 5 years) - ( 5 to 15 years) - ( over 15 years) School type (high-SES) - (mixed) - (low-SES) Grade taught (1-2) - (3-4) - (5-7) Total participants Table 1: Demographics  France 10 10 3 7 10 5 5 10 9 4 6 20  Canada 9 6 3 5 6 6 3 6 4 4 4 15  Total 19 16 6 12 16 11 8 16 13 8 10 35  In terms of gender, I attempted to interview a similar proportion of men and women in each case. The teaching profession is dominated by women in both countries, yet I had more success recruiting male teachers.21 As I (correctly) assumed that most of my respondents would be white and middle-class, I wanted to make sure that I could speak to teachers who worked in neighborhoods with an ethnic and social class make-up different from their own. Division along the lines of socioeconomic status (SES) generally reflect ethnic divisions, with non-white students being much more likely to be represented in low-SES neighborhoods. This is especially true in France. Thus I actively sought to recruit teachers from schools that I label “low-SES” based on the economic information available about the neighborhood, as well as schools where social backgrounds of children were more likely to be mixed (with part of the students coming from middle-class  21  It is possible to speculate on why a large number of male teachers agreed to participate in this study. In the case where I was introduced to teachers by principals, principals may have (consciously or unconsciously) privileged male voices precisely because they are aware that male teachers are the minority in elementary schools. For that same reason, male teachers may have been eager to share their thoughts on being a teacher. Either way, the number of male teachers included in my sample is a strength of the study. Because the job of elementary teachers tends to be seen as feminine, principally because of its association with caring (Coulter & McNay, 1993; Acker, 1983), the inclusion of numerous male voices allows me to examine discourses of caring in France and in Canada without the risk of making claims that are specific to a certain gender.  14  families, and part of the students coming from more disadvantaged families).22  Recruitment I recruited French participants in the city of Rennes, which is overseen by the Académie de Rennes, and Canadian participants in schools that are part of the Vancouver School Board.23 In France, most teachers were recruited with the aid of two Inspecteurs de l’Éducation Nationale [inspectors for the Ministry of Education]24 and principals, who introduced the project to teachers and gave my contact information to those expressing interest. In Canada, I sent a letter of recruitment in a number of schools, and was allowed to publish an announcement in some school newsletters as well as on the BCTF email list. Finally, snowball sampling was used to recruit additional participants.25  Data collection I completed the data-collection phase for this study between May of 2009 and December 2009. Teachers in France were interviewed in May and June, 2009, while Canadian teachers were interviewed between September and December, 2009. Thirty-five qualitative, in-depth, semistructured interviews were the primary source of data (Lofland &Lofland, 1995; Weiss, 1994) (see Table 1 for break-down by country). All the interviews were conducted in person at a time  22  The socioeconomic gradient thus ensured that I talked to teachers who worked with many children who belonged to cultural or ethnic minorities. Although this was less true of Vancouver (my high-SES school had a large Asian population), in both countries low-SES schools welcome greater numbers of children from marginalized populations, such as non-white immigrant families and, in the case of Canada, Aboriginal families. 23 Both school districts were asked for permission to conduct interviews with their teachers and to conduct nonparticipant observations. 24 The principal role of the inspector in a school district is to observe primary school teachers during their duty, every few years, and grade them, based on their application of the national curriculum (and, to a degree, their pedagogical practice). This grade which may matter to the teacher for future job placements. 25 See Appendix 1 on Methodology for a more detailed account of the recruitment process.  15  and place chosen by the respondent.26 Most interviews lasted an hour, with some lasting closer to forty minutes, and one lasting over two hours. Interviews were conducted both in French and English, depending on the language of choice of each respondent.27 France  Canada  Non-participant observations  8  5  Interviews  20  15  Table 2: Data collection During the interviews, teachers were encouraged to describe their own experiences as well as their broader perceptions of what the educational expectations are in the country in which they teach. This style of open-ended in-depth interviews was chosen because it constitutes the most appropriate method of data gathering to explore meaning-making. In the hour of interview, teachers were able to narrate in great detail (Weiss, 1994), how they make sense of their work, their responsibilities and their relationship with students. The fact that teachers were encouraged to use their own words rather than choose amongst pre-defined categories is a crucial component of the project.28 As this research explores the ways in which teachers negotiate official  26  With one exception in Canada, this was at their school, during a break or at the end of the day. All interviews in France were conducted in French, and all but three interviews in Canada were conducted in English. The four Canadian teachers who were interviewed in French were native French speakers of varying background (one of them was French, one was Canadian French, and one was Iranian). A brief methodological note on bilingualism must be made. Although feedback on the interview guides was sought out prior to interviewing, time and money constraints limited the possibility of developing the interview guides with flawless conceptual and linguistic equivalence (Broadfoot and Osborn, 1992). Bilingual research is challenging because of the difficulty of transferring certain concepts from one language to another: ideas such as “safe space” or “social justice” are hard to translate not only because there is no equivalent expression in French, but because the concept behind the expression is unfamiliar in French culture. This difficulty is not unproductive, however, and this absence of equivalence is used in the analysis to highlight how language shapes the conceptualization of teaching. Canadian interviews conducted in French were particularly helpful in this respect, as they confirmed that different expressions are not born solely out of linguistic difference, but rather speak to culturally-specific educational repertoires. For example, while the idea of justice sociale would usually mean little to a French teacher (and did not figure in French transcripts), it naturally came up in answers provided by Canadian teachers whose interviews were conducted in French. 28 Criteria of evaluation appear most clearly at the discursive level and interviews “facilitate access to a more nuanced understanding of the interviewee's worldview” (Lamont, 1992, p. 15). Though Lortie (2002) warns against 27  16  educational discourses, ideological responses were as interesting to me as beliefs embedded in more personal narratives: both are products of the interaction with public discourses on education. In addition to these interviews, thirteen half-day non-participant observations were conducted in classrooms of all grades (see Table 1 for break-down by country). With one exception, these observations followed the interview, typically within a week. I was usually introduced to the classroom by the teacher at the beginning of the observation, and often gave a brief explanation of my project to the children before sitting down at the back of the class.29 Despite my focus on the discursive level, it seemed important to supplement in-depth interviews with classroom observations. The aim of these non-participant observations was to complement the narratives of the participants with an experience of the material reality of their classroom and teaching.30 The aim was to give me a sense of the divergent realities of elementary school classrooms in Canada and in France so that I could better understand my teachers‟ contexts and so that I could take them into account as I proceeded to analyze teachers‟ discourses.  Data analysis This research design borrows from the grounded theory approach developed by Glaser & Strauss (1967) in its interpretivist approach, but with important differences. The analysis focused on process and was by nature inductive: indeed, I do not believe there is one way to make sense of overtly discussing objectives with participants in order to avoid ideological responses (p. 110), my approach was to combine abstract questions with more concrete, experience-based questions. 29 Teachers sometimes took my presence as an opportunity to show students where I came from on a world map, but this was usually the only disruption to the schedule that my presence incurred. Although a few children sought to interact with me during breaks, they were unperturbed by my presence during class time and I did not engage with them unless they had initiated contact. 30 While dissimilarities between a teacher‟s ideology and their teaching technique would undoubtedly be interesting, my goal was not to document the similarities and differences between discourse and practice, or to establish a casual relation between certain ideologies and certain classroom practices.  17  teaching. While I did go into the research with clearly-defined objectives and theoretical tools, I did not have pre-defined categories in the first moment of my data analysis. Instead I built my list of codes as I analyzed the interviews with the help of the qualitative software Atlas.ti. From descriptive codes, which allowed me to distinguish themes, I then went through the transcripts a second time for analytical coding (Hey, 2005). In that second round of coding, following Strauss and Corbin's (1998) idea of open coding, I made sure to draw on the language used by the teachers themselves in the course of the interview, as this process limits the risk of imposing theory onto data and permits patterns to emerge from the data itself. This is a much more productive approach when the goal is to document the process of meaning-making in different cultural contexts. Once the process of line-by-line coding was complete, I proceeded to compare the datasets across countries, with attention to the variables described in Table 1 on page 14.  Cross-national comparative research Traditionally, most cross-national literature has been quantitative in nature and has focused on macro-economic, political and institutional differences (Kohn, 1973; Lamont & Thévenot, 2000). In contrast, my approach has its roots in a more recent qualitative comparative tradition which draws on symbolic interactionism by focusing on some micro-social processes that can be “illuminated through comparative analysis” (Lamont & Thévenot, 2000, p. 9). In light of the tensions between educational cultures and building on the work done by Lamont (1992, 2000b) in the area of symbolic boundaries between people of different race and class, a comparative approach is particularly productive to explore teacher ideologies and their reliance on certain cultural narratives. This method also sheds light on the reasoning and processes that teachers use in thinking about themselves as educators and complements existing outcome-oriented research. 18  Additionally, as noted by Lortie (2002), comparative method is particularly helpful when studying a domain as familiar as that of education. The vast majority of us have gone to school and we think we know what teaching is about; we are familiar with our country's educational culture and with the teaching styles of teachers that we have had. This familiarity with the process of schooling can work to render invisible the cultural biases that are reproduced in schools when we define educational success, failure, and expectations. A comparative approach makes cultural values more conspicuous to the researcher by emphasizing the variation in choices – and the varying justifications for these choices – made by actors in different locations and by uncovering the processes at work to normalize certain understandings of teaching. Finally, relying on the notion of cultural repertoires in the study of teachers' imaginaries is helpful to avoid oversimplified explanations for cultural differences, a common critique made to cross-national comparisons (Lamont, 2000b). By talking of cultural repertoires as relatively available depending on cultural contexts, this approach leaves room for intra-national variations and the influences of other structural factors such as class, race/ethnicity, and gender. It does not assume that citizens of a particular country will have homogeneous views; rather it suggests that depending on context, certain cultural narratives are more readily available for people to make sense of their experiences and conceptualize their identities (Lamont & Thévenot, 2000).  19  CHAPTER 2 EXPERIENCING THE CLASSROOM  Introduction This chapter presents the findings of how teachers experience the classroom – both as a physical and cognitive space – in both France and Canada, based on interviews and observations.31 Different aspects are considered in order to paint a comprehensive image of the classroom experience, including how the classroom as a physical space is organized as well as how teachers understand their roles and responsibilities within the space of the classroom, which will draw on teachers‟ definition of a „good‟ teacher and their career history. This chapter sets the stage for the exploration of the teacher-student relationship and classroom diversity by establishing that, although many similarities bring French and Canadian teachers together, the classroom space is imagined differently in both countries, which has consequences for how relationships are conceptualized within this space.  Classroom organization and atmosphere What does a classroom look and feel like in France and in Canada? While the question may sound superficial, the answer has important implications for students and teachers alike. French and Canadian seven- or nine-year-olds are just as likely to be boisterous, talkative, and curious,  31  A full ethnographic approach such as the one employed by Sharpe (1995) in France or Lortie (2000) in the United States is ideal when supplemented with formal interviews, as extended periods of observation give the research ample opportunity to examine the interactions between discourse and practice. Because the primary mode of datagathering used was in-depth interviews, this study‟s examination of the classroom experience in France and in Canada draws primarily on teachers‟ discussion of their vision for the classroom and their classroom practices. This chapter also outlines differences and similarities in the experiences that shape the classroom based on nonparticipant observations, which work to supplement teachers‟ accounts by situating them in specific physical environments.  20  but teachers‟ expectations of how the children‟s energy will be channeled creates very different classroom environments. This section explores the different aspect of the classroom environment by discussing how the space of the classroom is organized, what teachers consider to be a “good classroom atmosphere”, and finally how classroom rules are devised and implemented.  The classroom space Sean‟s classroom is what I‟ve come to expect of Canadian classroom, but it still surprises me in higher grades. Each student has their individual desk, but the desks are arranged in clusters of four or five around the teacher‟s desk, which is at the front center of the classroom. That means that most of the children are not facing Sean‟s desk. There are three white boards, one behind Sean‟s desk that seems to be used for lessons, and one on the side where the day‟s schedule has been written out, as well as the homework for the coming week. The room is bright, with windows lined up on the one side that does not have a board. There are two computers and one printer near the windows, as well as a display of books related to social justice. On the wall space that is left, Sean has hung up a “Life on earth” poster made by the students, a list of “scoring guides” on a number of topics relevant to classroom work such as organization or sentence fluency. There‟s also a poster on how to build community near a couple of bookshelves from which children can pick up books at their leisure. There‟s a board so that if children want to go to the bathroom, they only have to sign out on this paper (which is separated into two columns, boys and girls). Once the bell has rung, children start trickling in. They are expected to immediately pick up a book and start reading quietly, which Sean reminds them a couple of times in whispers. (Observation Notes Grade 6 classroom, high-SES school, Canada) Laurent‟s classroom is exactly what I remember a classroom to be like from my elementary school days. Student desks take up almost all the space. They‟re arranged individually into five rows, and they all face the black board at the front of the room. The desks are completely clear except for the occasional pencil case, and the black board still has notes from earlier lessons on it: a math problem about a pool, and a note on the pronominal voice. Laurent‟s desk is at the front of the classroom, but set to the side, and it is covered in papers; there‟s a stool right next to it which he sits on during lessons. At the back of the classroom, there‟s a computer for Laurent's use – there‟s a draft of a letter to a parent open when I get settled near it. In terms of decoration, the walls are busier than I‟d expect. There are two maps, one of France‟s physical geography and one of Europe, a bilingual poster on salt water made by the students, class photos going back a few years, a poster on muscles in the human body and one of a rowing competition. There are also portraits painted by the students. I sit at the back of the classroom while Laurent goes to get the students from the playground, who come in (relatively) quietly under his supervision. (Observation Notes: Grade 5 classroom, high-SES school, France) 21  These two portraits of a French and a Canadian classroom provide insight into two very different school environment.32 The classrooms are visibly distinctive, and this shapes the experience that teachers and students can (and are able to) have in school. The vast majority of the space in a French classroom is occupied by desks. Walking through schools past the doors of many classrooms, the resemblance in organization from one classroom to the next is striking. In most cases, desks are aligned in rows, either by pairs or left on their own, and are facing a black or white board, a finding that is congruous with Sharpe‟s (1995) findings in the early 1990‟s. Only a handful of French teachers had decided to organize their classroom space differently: Loïc and Emmanuelle, who both teach grade 1, had made the very unusual choice of grouping desks by four or five, while Alain and Gaël had arranged desks in a semi-circle. Alain was the only cours moyen33 teacher who had not chosen the rows-of-desk model, and this was a conscious decision on his part. He explained, In my classroom, I‟ve organized the students according to, they‟re in a circle, well, not in a circle but there‟s an arc, with gaps between the table so that the relationship – so that information can circulate in my classroom, it works as a whole. I‟m not frontal in my teaching. So I, in my classroom there‟s two semi-circles with tables in staggered so that students can talk to one another. The teacher, since I move in the classroom, is a little bit in the center, he‟s at the same time at the crossroads of information but also he has a role of mirror, since he reflects to students, but I can circulate by going behind as well, so well there are moments for the relationship solely with the teacher as a regulator, moments of regulation where the teacher is the central element, moments where the teacher is circulating so he‟s more of an individual advisor. Alain is at least unconsciously aware that his choice is unusual.34 Yet even with an uncommon  32  With its focus on discourse, this study cannot be an in-depth examination of the classroom as a dynamic space that is continually being constructed by the teacher and the students. However, it is important to acknowledge that there exists a relationship between how the space of the classroom is conceptualized, the type of activities that are allowed in that space, and the relationships that can be imagined within this framework. 33 Cours Moyen 1 (CM1) and Cours Moyen 2 (CM2) are the highest elementary grades in France and are the equivalent of grade 4 and grade 5 in the Canadian school system. 34 Alain provided this explanation without any probing on the part of the interviewer regarding classroom organization. Teachers who organized their classroom more traditionally saw little reason to mention their choice,  22  seating plan, this respondent sought to maintain the teacher as a central figure in the classroom. This coincides with the central location of the board, which students in France invariably face. Classrooms in France were not quite the outdated, drab environment described by Sharpe (1995). Most classrooms featured numerous wall decorations, many of which were colorful and relatively new. Some classrooms even featured work by the students, although this was likely to be the product of academic work (a poster on a physics experiment, for example) rather than of a creative endeavor.35 With only a few exceptions, most displays in French classrooms were atemporal, teacher-created, and academic-oriented: the walls of younger grades featured the alphabet, numbers, basic grammatical reminders, and maybe a map of the world, while the walls of older grades would display historical frieze, maps of the world, Europe, and/or France, reproductions of well-known artwork. There was no effort made to feature human diversity of any sort in these classroom displays, and the local particularities of the school and its neighborhood also went unmarked: as a rule, you could walk into any French classroom and expect to find a similar learning environment.36 The Canadian classroom offers a stark contrast. Fewer teachers in Canada organized the students‟ desks in rows, preferring a cluster model, especially in the younger grades. Desks could be set up in rows in older grades, yet the learning environment felt different because tables did not occupy all the classroom space. Canadian classrooms featured at least a small library corner, and, until grade 5, a rug area for story-telling or the occasional class gathering. Although Canadian teachers often taught from one spot in the classroom, movement was more likely than  let alone provide a rationale for it. 35 This study thus concurs with Sharpe‟s (1995) verdict that the French classroom environment is “concerned only with scholastic matters” and “ignores life outside school” (p. 221). 36 This has implications for (and is indicative of) a broader attitude towards the role of diversity in the classroom, as will be discussed in Chapter 3.  23  for their French counterparts even during moments of direct teaching – some teachers had multiple boards, sometimes invited the students to move to the rug area, etc. These movements were facilitated by the fact that Canadian classrooms were often slightly bigger, and that their physical organization made them movement-friendly. The Canadian classroom also stood out in terms of decoration because of their constant inclusion of students‟ work, most of it artistic creations.37 Although Canadian teachers also displayed academic visual aids such as maps or alphabets for younger grades, these worked in tandem with students‟ contributions to create a classroom space where students were included and human diversity was often acknowledged. When asked if she thought about diversity when she decorated her room, Claire responded, “nowadays retailers have a responsibility to feature diversity so now you wouldn‟t necessarily have to… I think it‟s a given now”. Whether the change first occurred on the supply (companies) or demand (teachers) side of the equation, this comment reveals much about the different cultural spaces within which teachers operate. For Canadian teachers – regardless of what they chose to put up on their walls – showcasing diversity was implicitly a goal of classroom displays, and it was something that they could assume would be included when ordering material. French teachers tended not to prioritize showcasing diversity, but they also have much fewer resources at their disposal to make it happen, should they choose to care.  Defining a good classroom atmosphere Despite stark differences in terms of classroom organizations that led to different uses of the space of the classroom, teachers in France and Canada talked in similar ways about the type of classroom atmosphere that they prefer, although from a slightly different angle. For example, 37  Only one participant (Matthew) expressed dislike for displaying students‟ work, because he was trying to create a particular atmosphere in his classroom that he felt artwork would take away from.  24  teachers in both countries emphasized that children should feel secure in the classroom. French teacher Isabelle said, Primarily by showing them we‟re a groupe classe [meaning all students plus the teacher form a cohesive group] … and that we‟re all here together and that we‟re going to try and move forward together in our learning. […] It‟s not by criticizing and it‟s not by mocking what a student may have done that we‟re going to achieve that. Similarly to Isabelle, Canadian teacher Duncan wanted to foster a safe environment: A good class atmosphere I think... yeah that's probably the most important, that children feel safe, not necessarily physically but they feel safe, they can raise their hands, they can say something and they won't be reprimanded or scolded or mocked by saying something that's wrong, they can take a risk and answer something even if they're not certain that it's right. This sense of security had an academic component, especially in France where it was explicitly linked to what Sébastien called le droit à l’erreur [the right to make mistakes]. For French teachers, it was primarily important that their students felt that the classroom was a space where they could make mistakes, as this facilitated learning. In Canada, teachers also emphasized the importance of the classroom being a space where children felt safe enough to make mistakes. However, the notion of safety was not limited to the academic realm, but was often broadened to include social factors. A number of teachers expressed the belief that children should feel comfortable “[being] themselves” in the classroom, which could take the form of being able to play or move around the classroom, or feeling loved and cared for by their teacher.38 This French focus on making children feel secure primarily from an academic perspective is indicative of a larger pattern in French interviews, wherein work was a central notion to how 38  This reflects North American concerns about the classroom being a “safe space”, which is generally understood as a space where students can expect not to “feel hurt, alienated, silenced, or misunderstood” (Redmond, 2010, p. 3). This is by no means a neat, unproblematic construct; in fact it has been challenged by numerous scholars (Boostrom, 1998; Ellsworth, 1992). What is interesting about it in the context of this study, however, is that it has no equivalent in French and did not come up in interviews conducted in France. Even the translation of this expression, which was used by Canadian francophone respondents, espace sécuritaire, evokes national security in France, rather than a space where one should feel secure about not only about their physical integrity but about their very person.  25  teachers defined a “good classroom atmosphere”. Sandrine put it most clearly: “a good classroom atmosphere is a work atmosphere”. Travailler [work], progresser [progress] and apprentissage [learning] (or variants of these words) were systematically included in French teachers‟ answers on classroom atmosphere. The equivalent English words were less likely to be used by Canadian teachers, or it was less from an individual perspective, for example when Anna spoke of the need for children to “work collaboratively together” for there to be a good class atmosphere. With only a couple of exceptions in each country, most teachers reported that they do not expect their students to be quiet most of the time, and that silence is not in itself a pre-requisite to a good class atmosphere. French teacher Sébastien went as far as saying that too much silence could be “suspect” and reveal an excess of authority on the part of the teacher. Instead, both French and Canadian teachers spoke of the importance of alternating between moments of quiet (for example silent reading or work on individual exercises) and moments where talking is encouraged because the activity requires it (for example group work or brainstorming about a new concept). Canadian teacher Patricia explained, “[The classroom] can be quiet, at times, when it needs to be, but it‟s usually pretty chatty… „Cause you have to have lots of conversations for them to work things out and to work together.” French teachers were more likely to emphasize that when allowed, noise had to be productive. Gaël said, “I‟m convinced that there can be some noise in the classroom. As long it‟s noise from working, it doesn‟t bother me. So complete silence, that worries me more than anything actually. Even if sometimes, you need some quiet time.” What was a prerequisite for a good classroom atmosphere in France was for students to  26  be able to maintain a certain amount of control39 or “serenity” while they work, either on their own or in collaboration with others. For some French teachers, this control – and thus, work in general – is explicitly facilitated by classroom rules: Pascal explained, “it‟s this effort on abiding by the rules that allows the group and the individual to go forward.” In contrast, no Canadian teacher mentioned rules in their discussion on classroom atmosphere. Instead they spoke of creating a good classroom atmosphere in other ways: a few respondents brought up “positive reinforcement”, and others mentioned the need for teachers to model the desired behaviour.40 The overall impression is that in France, a good class atmosphere is intimately linked to how much this atmosphere facilitates work, whereas in Canada a good class atmosphere has a broader meaning. It has to do with work, of course, but it is not limited to that: it also has to do with children learning to collaborate and respect others around them (this was consistently brought up in Canadian interviews as a sign of a good atmosphere). These concerns were not absent in France, but they were usually secondary or subordinated to the idea of work, as Catherine illustrated: A good classroom atmopshere, it‟s a classroom… where children are working. Because that‟s what they‟re here for. For starters. Then, a good classroom atmosphere, it‟s a classroom where everyone respects each other. […] So it‟s a classroom where work gets done, a classroom where children respect one another, where everyone feels the satisfaction of hard work. Respect, in Catherine‟s vision, serves to promote efficient work amongst all students, rather than serving to teach students‟ to respect each other‟s individuality, which was usually the meaning that Canadian respondents attached to the word. 39  French teachers discussed children being able to control themselves by easily switching between work and relaxation. This contributed to a good class atmosphere in France, whereas this theme was almost absent from Canadian interviews. For example, Christine said, “[A good class atmosphere] is a time where there‟s work, it‟s a time when you go quickly from moments of straight laughter to moments of work.” 40 One teacher, Sean, taught her student active listening in order to give them tools to then act appropriately.  27  Classroom rules On the topic of classroom rules again, there are a number of similarities between respondents in both countries. In particular, the basic classroom rules that teachers require were almost identical in France and in Canada, and were self-evident for many of the participants: be quiet and listen when others are talking (by far the rule most often mentioned by teachers in this study), raise your hand, don‟t steal, don‟t hurt others. Rules that came up more often in France tended to be less related to behavior and more geared towards work (such as keeping notebooks neat), which is consistent with the higher expectations that French teachers had in terms of work attitudes41. Overall, classroom rules outline desired social behaviors that children should master in order for the classroom – with its 20 to 30 children – to run smoothly. Since classroom rules often coincide with broader expectations of social behavior, and change little from grade 1 on, teachers in higher grades were more likely to assume students were familiar with these basic rules prior to entering the classroom, as French teacher Soizig said: It‟s true that in grade 5 they already know the school‟s code of conduct really well, they‟re generally aware of what you can do, what you have to do, but also what they can say, they already know well how they‟re expected to behave. Behavioral expectations were comparable in both countries, but some small differences can be noticed. Only Canadian teachers tended to subsume individual rules under the overarching concept of respect. Mary explained, At the beginning of the year we brainstormed a number of things that we expected as a class, that we expected in the classroom, and a lot of it in the end came down to respect. Be respectful of others, be respectful in terms of their desks, their personal space, don‟t go on their desk, be respectful of their cloakroom area, they don‟t have a right to touch anyone else‟s stuff [chuckles]. Be respectful in terms of not… yelling out in the classroom, so putting their hand up, taking their turn, asking permission. The notion of respect was not quite used in that way by French respondents. 41  This will be discussed in Chapter 3 with the notion of métier d’élève that arose in French interviews.  28  Additionally, the large majority of teachers, both French and Canadian, constructed their classroom rules with the input of their students. A few teachers on both sides of the Atlantic expressed some skepticism about the process42, most often because they were unconvinced by the usefulness of the process. French teacher Sylvie noted, “I feel like it‟s almost fake democracy, y‟know, because in the end you always end up with the rules that you wanted, you could say it‟s a little bit of an illusion.” But the teachers who come up with classroom rules in collaboration with their students are well aware that the rules will often end up looking similar from one year to the next. Canadian teacher Béatrice noted, “but you know, it‟s rules that … that they tell us when we talk about it, but it‟s the same ones we have anyway,” and French teacher Anne-Sylvie reflected similarly, “of course when we think about rules, I guide them.” For these teachers, the value of involving the children in the making of classroom rules was not in their capacity to reinvent the wheel and come up with entirely new rules. As noted at the beginning of this section, all teachers have similar expectations for what rules the students will have to follow anyway, and these fundamental rules are never questioned. The value of discussing classroom rules was thus found somewhere else, in the process itself. Canadian teacher Anna explained, I think that‟s more the family thing, we came up with it together. They have way more ownership over it then when it was - I write it in their language up on the wall. Canadian teachers had multiple ways of expressing the fact that collaborating with children on classroom rules had a positive impact on the dynamics in the classroom. Teachers perceived that this process encouraged the students to follow the rules because, as Anna describes above, it allowed students to take ownership of the rules. Teachers also saw this process as participating in creating an “inclusive” and “meaningful” classroom space, which children can feel is theirs as 42  Matthew (who teaches grade 3 in Canada) went as far as to suggest that children do not have the tools to contribute to a conversation about rules: “I think at this age, they need to have the guide telling them what the expectations are. They‟re not mature enough most of them, to be able to do that themselves.”  29  much as the teacher‟s. For these teachers, the rule-making exercise gives children ownership both over the rules themselves, but also over the space of the classroom. In France, teachers tended to be slightly less eloquent about the benefits of collaborating on classroom rules. Loïc is the participant who most obviously echoed the kind of rhetoric used by Canadian respondents43: If you walk in at the beginning of the year and say, all right, that‟s the way it is, here are the rules, the kids didn‟t have a say in it at all, so they can‟t take ownership of it at all, and so instead it has the pernicious effect of turning the teacher into a kind of… cop that makes sure that the kids are following the rules. But if you build that with the kids, in the end they almost self-manage. Other French teachers were convinced of the benefits of collaborating with students on classroom rules. They identified the process as “essential” and gave explanations that similar to the ones developed by Canadian teachers. Michel explained, “I think it‟s important that they participate in creating them because it‟s their classroom rules. They can be modified or amended during the year if a problem comes up. I think this way they obey it more easily, it works pretty well.” Previous research on French elementary education had showed that teachers do not use to articulate these types of considerations when discussing their classrooms. The testimonies from French teachers in this thesis suggest a slight departure from traditional teacher-centered approaches. Compared to their Canadian counterparts, however, French teachers did not discuss the rule-making process as contributing to a safer, more welcoming class environment. Beyond the benefits of discussing specific rules with students, a number of Canadian teachers saw this conversation as an opportunity to engage the students on broader reflections about the classroom and the social world: “we talked about what makes a safe atmosphere or community in the classroom, what makes you feel not safe, what makes you feel uncomfortable” 43  It is maybe not a coincidence that Loïc was also the teacher who most overtly claimed to be interested in the Freinet school of thought, which promotes enquiry-based and collaborative learning.  30  (Beth); “we talk about what‟s going to be important for us throughout the year, what makes a good student, what makes a good teacher” (Claire); “we already talked about the fact that there are rules in society, there are rules at school as well, and we talked about why, what happens when there are no rules” (Béatrice). Taking the time to start such a discussion was much less common in France. Once the rules have been laid out, what happens students do not follow them? The most common response from Canadian teachers was a variant of “I have a talk with them”, with some participants taking the idea to the larger level and organizing regular “talking circles” to discuss problems that arise. A few respondents discussed specific response strategies to students breaking the rules, which included having a warning system (such as writing students‟ name on the board if they misbehave), implementing token economies, or not allowing a disruptive student to participate in a fun activity. However, some Canadian teachers explicitly expressed dislike for punitive measures and avoided them as much as possible. They preferred to reward rather than to punish, and thought it important to focus on the problematic behavior in order to avoid “[making] the person feel bad”, so that there is a clear concern for the self-esteem of the child. Other teachers also explained that too many rules and punitive measures fail to give children a sense of responsibility: “I want them to act like that because they should, not because they‟re going to get in trouble if they don‟t.” (Anna) All these elements add up to create a sense that enforcing classroom rules is not simply about maintaining a correct work environment in the classroom: the long term matters and that children are learning how to behave in the world, not just in the classroom. Teachers in France also valued the fact that rules can teach children appropriate social behavior beyond the classroom, such as collaboration. But the majority French teachers did not 31  express disinclination to enforce rules, and were much more detailed about their discipline techniques. Teachers usually had a warning system in place to keep track of children misbehaving, and they spoke of isolating disruptive students, for example by keeping them away during a story-telling time, or asking them to stand outside in the hallway or in another classroom. Children could be asked to do extra exercises, write lines or draft a letter of apology in case they had insulted a peer. French teachers also talked about involving their students in helping them decide what the repercussions to breaking the rules should be, a process that no Canadian respondent mentioned. Jérôme explained, “I ask [the students]: can we let him do that ? No, he‟s in orange so he‟s still not part of the class, why should he have the same rights and freedoms if he doesn‟t have the behavior of a grade 1 student.” There was little talk amongst French teachers of favoring reward over punishment.  Teachers: roles and responsibilities Descriptions of the classroom space and how teachers expect that space to function begin to show that, in spite of many similarities, the classroom is conceptualized and thus experienced differently in France and in Canada. We now turn to the topic of teachers‟ roles and responsibilities to complete this picture. It is important to explore the way that teachers understand their function as educators as it has an effect on how the space of the classroom is conceptualized and utilized in everyday teaching.  What it means to be a (Good) Teacher Asking teachers why they decided to go into teaching is a good way to start locating what is different about the meaning of teaching in France and in Canada. Participants‟ descriptions of 32  what a “good teacher” further fills out this picture. While teachers decide to go into teaching for a variety of reasons, they identified two main aspects of a “good teacher”: being a good teacher was about having knowledge (and effectively transmitting this knowledge), but it was also about having the skills to interact positively with students44. The latter was partly associated with being enthusiastic about coming to work, with French teacher Pascal commenting, “the only flaw [for a teacher] that I see as really insurmountable, it‟s not wanting to be there.” French teacher Audrey connected a teacher‟s enthusiasm (or lack thereof) to his or her capacity to stimulate the students: [A bad teacher] is someone who doesn‟t want to go to work … it‟s someone who doesn‟t want to get up in the morning to go back to work. So everything that flows from that… bitterness, “I don‟t care anymore”… I imagine that it has an influence over his attitude and his motivation and so the atmosphere is not as good so the learning process isn‟t as good, they‟re connected. Canadian respondents similarly valued being “excited about learning” (Sean) and keeping the students “interested and motivated” (Jim), but they put even more emphasis on the ability to engage their students. This notion that teachers should be enthusiastic about their work and students was also reflected in the premium that respondents put on flexibility in their work. Participants in both countries valued the ability to adapt one‟s teaching practices to the students in the class. This flexibility was also mentioned in relation to the capacity to quickly change a lesson plan if something unexpected comes up or if the lesson is not achieving what you anticipated that it would.45 This aspect was particularly central for teachers in France, who underlined the importance of not “doing the same thing for twenty years” (Annie) and of reflecting on one‟s own teaching practice. They stressed that a good, competent teacher should be able to adapt their 44  As may be expected of professionals who work with children, respondents in both countries emphasized that a good teacher should care about their students. I develop this in Chapter 2 on the teacher-student relationship. 45 In Canada, adaptability was sometimes associated with the capacity to go beyond core learning objectives (set by the curriculum), while French teachers focused on curriculum goals.  33  methods to the students, instead of blaming them for failing to understand a lesson. “[A bad teacher] is someone who thinks knowledge is the priority, and it‟s up to the students to work out this knowledge and figure out how to learn it,” Christine explained. However, French teachers were vague on how exactly this could be achieved, and did not associate “good teaching” with specific teaching methods.46 The profession‟s general agreement on new teaching methods that some Canadian teachers reported47 might explain why respondents in Canada were much more likely than their French counterparts to make references to teaching style in describing what a teacher should be like. Canadian participants commonly described imposing a single point of view as a definite sign of a bad teacher, as Béatrice illustrated: “For me a bad teacher is someone who says, there, it‟s my way of thinking, you‟re going to memorize it and for the tests you‟re going to spew out what I tell you to spew out, and that‟s it.” Many respondents in Canada emphasized that a good teacher should be helping the students to develop critical thinking skills and to use those skills to connect different types of knowledge. Canadian teacher Anna explained that “[the students] would bring perhaps their writing and their reading and their math skills, to put together a huge science project”. This was seen as much more beneficial than drilling methods that many had experienced in their own childhood. Finally, a bad teacher was described as someone who “can‟t look away from his books.” But it is also someone for whom “everything is based on your books and your lessons and you don‟t bring any of your personal experience in” (Matthew). To summarize, a bad teacher in Canada was described as someone whose teaching technique relies 46  Respondents in France were actually often reluctant to define a “bad teacher” because they perceived this expression as a value judgment (Christine reformulated it as “an inefficient teacher”). Few respondents were willing to express explicit approval or disapproval of some teaching methods over others. 47 Canadian teachers were more likely to assume consensus in the teaching profession about moving “away from lectures and work sheets” (Anna)47, two methods emblematic of times past. Even the couple of respondents who partially disagreed with these new methods of teaching explicitly viewed themselves as departing from what they perceived to be a consensus amongst Canadian teachers.  34  on memorization and textual knowledge, leaving children without higher thinking skills. A good teacher, by contrast, was someone who could bring in the students‟ opinions and personalities into their teaching, and who also invested their own personality in their lessons.48 Another difference between French and Canadian transcripts is that participants in Canada were more likely to bring up the importance of teachers‟ interactions with students.49 Sean, for example, insisted that a good teacher should always be “thinking about his or her relationship with each individual student”. Consequently, Canadian teachers often emphasized personality traits that should be found in a good teacher: a capacity for humor and laughter (Duncan), or an ability to be sensitive, patient, and have “a lot of empathy, too” (Patricia). In Canada, what makes a good teacher is not solely how they teach, but who they are and what they bring to the classroom as individuals. This was also reflected in the idea that good teachers are role-models, a notion which was absent from French transcripts. For example, Canadian teacher Matthew remarked, “The first thing they‟re going to learn is – what kind of example are you?” Being invested in this idea may explain why respondents in Canada also cared more about a good teacher to keep classroom a safe space.50 Mary explicitly linked the idea of safe space to better learning, “because if they‟re not comfortable with where they‟re at and what they‟re learning then they‟re not going to learn anything from it”. In addition to using the right teaching methods, a good teacher in Canada was defined by his or her capacity as an individual to create a pleasant environment where children can learn but also enjoy themselves.  48  This will be discussed more at length in Chapter 2 French teachers, with two exceptions, focused on the academic realm when discussing the idea of “good teacher”. 50 Even self-avowed traditional teachers emphasized that a good teacher is one that creates an environment where children feel secure: “of course you're able to make a child comfortable in the class” (John). 49  35  The goals of teaching Examining how teachers talk about their goals constitutes a final element of the classroom imaginary in France and Canada. When asked to describe the values that they try to transmit to their students, French and Canadian teachers gave partially overlapping answers. Respect, for example, was repeatedly brought up by both sets of participants, with an emphasis on respecting others, but also respecting oneself and one‟s teacher.51 Another recurring value in all interviews was the idea of cooperation, or entreaide [mutual help]. Teaching the children to work together and help each other was highly valued in both countries, and sometimes connected with teaching the children to respect each other‟s differences. Generally, Canadian teachers seemed more aware that as individuals, they actively shape the kind of values that they transmit to students: “You can‟t take your own values out of your teaching,” Patricia remarked. This type of reflection was absent from French responses, despite the fact that many respondents recognized that they have an important role to play in terms of transmitting values. As a result, French teachers were sometimes more surprised by this question about which values they hope to transmit and did not always have a ready answer. Yet after this initial hesitation, French teachers were quick to bring up the “Republican triptych” (Christine). Catherine used to this trio of liberté, égalité, fraternité to organize her answer: Values… I would say that they‟re the one that are engraved at the front of every school, liberté égalité fraternité. You can‟t be free if you don‟t have knowledge, fraternité, that‟s the notion of citizenship, and égalité, that means that wherever the child is, whatever his origin, his race, where he comes from, he has the right to be taught the same thing as any other child, and I think these are strong values. In fact, almost all respondents in France brought up the French motto at some point of the interview. 51  Respect for one‟s teacher was specifically mentioned by respondents in France.  36  This direct reference to a national symbol was a first indication that French teachers have a stronger sense than their Canadian counterparts that they are representatives of the nation. A few French respondents, when asked about their goals in the classroom, noted that they are first and foremost fonctionnaires [civil servants] with a mission to carry out.52 Laurent explained, Concerning the children, I‟m pretty attached to the idea that as a civil servant to the state, I have to put in place an educational policy defined by the state and what I personally think of the value of this education for the children doesn‟t necessarily have to do with what I do in the classroom. I‟m not paid to put in place what I feel like doing, I‟m here to put in place a policy. While respondents in France were attached to their liberté pédagogique [pedagogical freedom]53, they were equally attached to the idea that they are there to transmit what the Éducation Nationale expects them to. Compared to IRPs in British Columbia, the French curriculum is as precise, and sometimes even more precise, about the specific academic objectives that each child should have reached by the end of a given grade. On the other hand, the French curriculum is almost silent on the type of social objectives that is an integral part of Canadian education. This difference was reflected in the fact that more French teachers discussed transmitting academic content as their primary objective in the classroom: What I‟m trying to achieve is, how do I best put across the skills that I have to teach the children. So that‟s my primary objective, I mean really making sure that by the end of the day the children have absorbed what I was trying to teach, that‟s the primary objective. […] I‟m not here primarily to teach values, I teach content, there you go. (Sandrine) Only a couple of Canadian respondents were willing to answer this unequivocally that transmitting content was their primary goal. Other participants did not dismiss content, but they  52  This was the case even when if they sometimes disagree with the specific angle that the institution takes (a number of participants mentioned being disgruntled by the newer version of the curriculum published by the Ministry). 53 French and Canadian teachers mentioned their liberté pédagogique (teacher autonomy) as a strength of their educational system. Yet in practice, French teachers were much more likely to follow traditional expectations of teaching, while Canadians often chose to use their personal characteristics to teach in creative ways.  37  prioritize other elements. Canadian teacher Sean, for example, described his “number one” goal as encouraging students‟ curiosity: “I want them to get a little bit of what I‟m talking about, and all of my enthusiasm. I want them to go home and go, oh Mr. Clark showed us something and I want to learn more about it.” Even when they echoed French teachers‟ concern with following the curriculum, Canadian teachers put this commitment in a broader context that was not focused on transmission of content but rather love for learning. Claire explained: My role is to educate the children, so I have to teach them according to the curriculum of British Columbia, to all the objectives that I have to meet throughout the year, so my goal is to educate them but to do it in a way so that they can enjoy learning the content too. The idea that “ultimately” school is about learning to love to learn was not as present in France as a primary objective, but many teachers were committed to this aspect of their work as well. French respondents who are currently teaching grade 1 were particularly likely to highlight love for reading as a crucial objective. Although some French teachers stressed that interesting their students was an important goal of theirs, Canadian teachers were even more articulate about the link that they see between engaging the students and children learning the material. Alice believed that if the students are “really passionate about it, and they're engaged, then they're going to get a lot more out of it,” and Matthew concurred: “I figure if the students aren‟t wanting to be here, if they‟re not interested, if they don‟t want to learn, if they‟re not inspired… if they don‟t really like being here and love the classroom, and love the environment, we can‟t start… I can‟t even start until that‟s there.” In other words, the difference between France and Canada is one of emphasis rather than orientation. Teachers in both countries valued engaging the students in the process of learning, but while Canadian participants perceived that interesting the student was fundamental to what the work that they are doing in the classroom, French teachers tended to see this interest as a tool 38  for learning, rather than a goal in itself.54 Finally, a number of respondents in France as well as in Canada underscored the role that they play as teachers in helping the students grow. This notion was developed on two axes. First, teachers expressed the idea that schooling is children‟s first institutional environment so it is a key place for children to learn how to operate in a group. French teacher Catherine even saw teachers‟ role as helping the children “go from child to student and from student to citizen.” This overlaps with the second axis of this notion of “making students grow” that appeared in interviews: that of personal growth. This was often articulated by French teachers, but they usually put this objective in the context of academic learning: “little by little, the child has to learn to work without being forced to do so” (Anne-Sylvie). In contrast, Canadian teachers who underscored the importance of teaching students to be autonomous was connected to broader social skills, such as learning “to make good choices for themselves” (Sean).  Conclusion This chapter is a portrait of the French and Canadian classrooms through an observation of the space of the classroom and teachers‟ discourses about their role within that space. Findings reveal that Canadian and French teachers, despite organizing their classrooms differently, shared similar ideals in terms of what they were hoping to achieve with their students. Both sets of respondents cared deeply about engaging the students in the process, and about transmitting their enthusiasm and love of learning to the children. However, teachers in France and Canada differed in their vision of how this could be accomplished, in a way that reflects the different  54  Sandrine illustrated this nuance: “The fact that children want to learn, that they enjoy learning… of course you have to find the best way to operate. So my primary objective is to manage to pass on knowledge and my secondary objective is to find the best way to operate the classroom to make that possible. “  39  orientations of the curriculum in each country. French teachers conceptualized their role as one focused on academic objectives and learning, so they organized the classroom space accordingly, showcasing work on their walls and emphasizing a good classroom atmosphere as one that is conducive to work. Canadian teachers, on the other hand, had a broader vision of their responsibility as teachers. They highlighted role-modeling and the need to make the classroom a safe space in which social interactions are valued for their own sake. The next chapter turns more specifically to these interactions, specifically to the relationship between teacher and student, in order to explore how these imaginaries about the classroom affect the connections that teachers share with their students in France and in Canada.  40  CHAPTER 3 THE TEACHER-STUDENT RELATIONSHIP  Introduction As discussed in the introduction, previous literature has shown that the French style of teaching assumes a certain distance between teacher and student, which contrasts with Anglo-American tradition in which teachers tend to develop warmer, closer connections to their students. This chapter examines to what extent these affirmations hold for the participants to this study by unpacking the question: how do French and Canadian teachers define and talk about their relationship with their students? In order to give a comprehensive answer to this inquiry, a variety of aspects are considered in this chapter, including differences in teaching-styles, the part that personal stories (from the teacher and from the student) play in the classroom, and the notions of warmth and authority, which previous research has used as opposite master categories to describe different types of student-teacher relationships. The findings challenge this opposition, and we explore how the participants in this study, both French and Canadian, instead discussed trust and respect as foundational to the connection that they try to establish with students.  Teaching styles: learner-centered v. teacher-centered Based on Cuban‟s (1984) classification of what constitutes a learner-centered and a teachercentered approach55, Canadian teachers scored higher on the learner-centered approach than  55  According to Cuban (1984), “Teacher-centered instruction means that a teacher controls what is taught, when, and under what conditions within his or her classroom. […] Student-centered instruction means that students exercise a substantial degree of direction and responsibility for what is being taught, how it is learned, and for any movement  41  French teachers on every item.56 This was true both based on classroom observations, but also on what teachers reported about their own practices. For example, teachers in Canada often favored group work over whole class instruction.57 This level of comfort with alternatives to whole class instruction, or direct teaching, was connected to the fact that a number of Canadian respondents encouraged students taking a leadership role in the classroom. Sean illustrated this most clearly: There needs to be a balance between… my power and their power so that they feel that when they want to lead, they can take that lead, when a discussion or a conversation over a topic that happens, that they can take a lead in that and feel comfortable doing that, it doesn‟t have to always be me at the front, it could be one of the other students as well. Giving students the opportunity to “realize that they are teaching every time they speak” (Mary) and to participate in creating learning opportunities was specifically Canadian. French teachers were much more likely to insist that they were the one expected to do the teaching and overall tended to describe their teaching styles as more traditional. Christine noted, I‟d say I‟m demanding. Structured. I have a lecture style in the sense that… I‟m the one teaching, and I know it‟s me doing it, there‟s no doubt about that. And I can‟t imagine for a second that students could teach instead of me or something. I know what I have to do. This more traditional approach to teaching is at least partly a consequence of national recommendations regarding pedagogy. Teachers in France were usually unapologetic about this teaching style, but they also recognized the need to balance it with more group work.58 Many  within the classroom.” (p. 3) Cuban also list observable measures of both teacher-centered and student-centered instruction, such as “teacher talk exceeds student talk during instruction” (teacher-centered), “the classroom is usually arranged in rows of desks or chairs facing a blackbloard with a teacher‟s desk nearby” (teacher-centered), “most instruction occurs either individually, in small or moderately sized groups rather than the whole class” (student-centered). 56 This does not mean Canada has fully adopted a learner-centered approach. On the contrary, the Canadian classroom retained many elements of the teacher-centered approach. For example, students do not help choose and organize the content to be learned, even though Canadian teachers were more open to having their schedule disrupted by student-generated conversations. 57 This could mean both group work where children are expected to collaborate and learn from one another, and group work where children are grouped according to their level, so as to allow the teacher to give more individualized instruction to each student. 58 Grégoire admitted, “I‟m old school. I started l’école normale [the former teacher training program in France] in 68, it‟s mostly lecturing a little bit, whole-class teaching, I use the black board a lot, which should be questioned.  42  respondents were aware of the limits of direct teaching, and noted that they try to shift back and forth between moment of lectures and moments where children were called upon to be more active in the learning process. Soizig provided a good example of this approach: I alternate. I try to do a little bit of everything. I try – sometimes I lecture because we need to sit down and refocus. We start by working all together for example, they‟ve tried on their own to come up with some concepts, and so at the end we write a little text. That‟s more lecture-style, I‟m in front of them and they copy what we‟ve done together. Yeah, I like to alternate. (Soizig) These nuances added to whole-class teaching show an evolution amongst French teachers from the findings of Broadfoot and Osborn (1992a). The majority of French participants in this study expressed desire to move beyond the old-fashioned model of direct teaching, but they were often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of curriculum material that they are expected to cover. Since many teachers felt a strong obligation towards the curriculum and national expectations, this may have participated in favoring a lecture style, which makes it easier to cover material faster. As a result of this move away from a lecture-type model of teaching, French teachers‟ classroom practices have evolved to emphasize group work59, a change that was noticeable during classroom observations. There are a number of ways in which the institution has tried to encourage these new practices, for example by pushing for group work and participatory learning (Feyfant, 2008). Although Canadian teachers were much more likely to use creative teaching methods60, French respondents still demonstrated dedication to group work by level of achievement in order to better work with the learning needs  […] I should be doing more group work, but well, I have trouble doing that, personally.” 59 Part of this shift is an institutional effort to favor individualisation and différenciation, two concepts that overlap to emphasize that children learn at different speeds, and therefore teachers should pay individual attention to the specific learning needs of each child. 60 Examples are Ducan using puppets and music, and Matthew structuring his teaching around a mystery tale.  43  of their students.61 This discussion of teaching styles may not seem to relate directly to the teacher-student relationship, teachers‟ decisions about how to teach sets the stage for their inclass interactions with students.  Bringing personal lives to school In the course of the interview, teachers were asked to comment on whether or not they bring their own personal life to school. They were also asked to talk about whether they encourage students to talk to them about their personal life. These inquiries led teachers to discuss a potential need for a public/private divide in their work, how they use details from their life in their pedagogy, and the connection that they share with students as a result of mutual sharing of details of each other‟s lives. Discussing the role that personal anecdotes play in the classroom helped to sketch out another aspect of the relationship that teachers establish with their students.  The role of teachers’ personal lives in the classroom The French teachers in this study confirmed that the private/public divide typical of the French polity (Lamont & Thévenot, 2000) also applies to the space of the classroom. This contrasted with Canadian teachers, who almost unanimously reported that they share personal anecdotes with their students, and admitted doing so with very little hesitation. Béatrice asked plainly, “Why hide my life if they‟re asking me questions? Why not tell them about it?” Respondents in Canada justified this act of sharing in multiple ways. Telling stories about oneself was seen as interesting to students, and a way to undermine students‟ feeling of isolation. In other words, teachers valued the use of personal anecdotes as a way to strengthen the bond between teacher 61  In Chapter 3, I will show that this is the main expression of diversity that teachers in France were willing to recognize and address in the space of the classroom.  44  and student, which fostered a better classroom atmosphere. In France, this sense of a divide between the public (school) life and one‟s private (home) life was articulated more clearly, with about half of respondents admitting that they “very rarely” share personal anecdotes.62 A few French teachers even expressed open dislike for this practice: “it‟s happened but I don‟t really like it” (Emmanuelle) or “it‟s not interesting” (Annie). This negativity and general restraint about talking about their personal life was sometimes contradicted by what teachers went on to say about personal anecdotes. Emmanuelle, who continued on to say that she felt she is not there “to flaunt my private life”, then admitted to answering questions about her pets and sharing more details occasionally. She explained: It helps bring you closer when you do that, to make you feel like them, to tell, you see… ah, yeah, occasionally I‟ve told them, when I was your age… I too did that, or I too – it‟s also to tell them that – because there‟s really this distance between teacher and student, I think they‟re at an age when they need to feel that there‟s some warmth in front of them. This type of contradiction was not unusual amongst French respondents. In fact, when French respondents replied that they shared very little with their students, they usually still recognized the benefits of this sharing act, which were similar to ones identified by their Canadian counterparts. The most notable difference between the two sets of teachers is that French teachers were much more likely to tell personal stories with an educational objective in mind. Most teachers contextualized their personal tales within a historical perspective: I: In what context do you tell personal anecdotes to your students? R: Historical. Not necessarily during a history lesson but historical because it‟s something we‟re reading, or we‟re doing civic education... for example I remember watching De Gaulle on TV make his speeches, etc. (Pascal) This quote illustrates that, for French respondents, sharing stories was in line with learning goals, which were always academic rather than social. Details such as children knowing about the 62  In contrast, all but one Canadian participants said that they share personal anecdotes with their students.  45  teacher‟s family situation (spouse, pets, children) were seen as inconsequential, but more importantly as unnecessary. This orientation fits with the broader conceptualization of the teacher-student relationship that emerged from French interviews, which is a relationship likely to be described as a “work relationship”.  Listening to children talk about their lives Canadian interviews revealed that it was even more common for students to talk about their life during class time than it was for teachers to share personal stories. This type of sharing from students was welcome, if channeled: teachers usually had a system which allowed for children to talk about their lives in a structured context: for example, writing a journal, or setting regular time aside during the week where children could talk about their life.63 Other teachers were more open to listening to the students at random times during the day, as long as it didn‟t disrupt work for everyone: “I know that they can always come and talk to me, any time, I always say that, it's always open” (Simon), and a few mentioned specifically checking in with students. Whatever form it took, almost all Canadian respondents said that listening to their students‟ stories was important to them, and they considered it part of their job as teachers. Two main reasons for this were identified, which Sean summed up in this excerpt: I: Why do you think it‟s important to give them the chance to talk to you? R: Just on an educational level, the more we can connect to what we learn, the more we learn. It‟s just a physiological thing. We‟re learning something and if we can connect it to our personal lives, the learning happens quicker, the retrieval happens and on a more philosophical place, it‟s that I want them to know that I care about them as people. As this testimony illustrates, students‟ stories help foster both learning and the teacher-student relationship. Claire explained that showing students that “the teacher is interested in them ” 63  For younger grades, this could be a daily ritual, such as Canadian teacher Anna‟s “Morning News”.  46  means that children “feel better, they‟re always comfortable asking questions, maybe they see me less as a teacher who‟s not approachable, I hope.” Much like the benefits that they saw to personal anecdotes, Canadian teachers felt that by welcoming the children‟s stories, they would foster the connection between teacher and student, which would help create a safer learning environment and facilitate the process of learning. Canadian participants also noted that it was important for them to know about what is going on in their students‟ lives because they saw it as connected to their life at school: “If they have emotional issues… there‟s no point in teaching a math lesson when they can‟t focus” (Anna).64 This was a feeling that was partially shared with French teachers who work in low socioeconomic neighborhoods, but even then, French respondents were less likely than their Canadian counterparts to view children‟s stories as contributing to their broader objectives for the class. When French teachers did have a sharing ritual (usually called Quoi-de-neuf, or What‟s new), it was only in younger grades, where children have not yet completely learned their métier d’élève [job of student]65 and do not yet know to control this urge of bringing their personal lives to school. French teacher Gaël, who still continues the practice of quoi-de-neuf with his grade 3 students, reflected on being told by an inspector that he should stop: I was inspected this year, the guy told me, the inspector, no quoi-de-neuf. I was like, oh, why? Well because it‟s useless. Well personally I think it‟s useful, it‟s important that the children… the children are not empty shells, y‟know? They have things to say, and it‟s important that they can say them. School isn‟t a place where they can‟t express themselves, on the contrary, I think it‟s a place where they should learn how to. Gaël‟s reasoning, more closely aligned with that of Canadian respondents, was rare in France. In  64  This type of discourse was especially prevalent amongst teachers who taught in inner-city schools, where paying attention to what is going on the children‟s lives was particularly crucial. 65 See below for a discussion of the meaning of this métier d’élève for teachers in France.  47  fact, rather than stressing the importance of making room for children‟s voice, a number of French teachers tended to emphasize that what is going on in a child‟s life “doesn‟t concern [them].” (Christine) When asked if students ever share difficulties that they might encounter in their home life, Alain replied, “So I‟m really careful, because you have to be careful not to establish too personal a relationship, because there‟s no reason for that. They have parents.” These statements reveal in a more limited understanding of a teacher‟s role in France. This does not mean teachers were insensitive to the way in which home life could have an impact on school life. Despite expressing reservations about listening to children‟s stories, Michel noted a little further in the interview that “if something‟s going on at home, without knowing exactly what, but knowing that for a few days, for example if someone in the family died, it‟s important for us to know so that we‟re not too harsh on the poor kid for being out of it because he‟s having some issues.”66 Consequently, a number of teachers also made it clear that, while they did not encourage students to share about their personal lives in a structured or regular way in the class, they would make themselves available to students if they needed to talk, and even approach students who they perceived to be encountering difficulties. This was often the approach favored by French teachers, who did not explicitly announce at the beginning of the year that they were available for this sort of conversation, but expected students to know they were available as a product of a good teacher-student relationship. Another consequence of the limited framework within which sharing happened in France  66  As mentioned at the beginning of this section, teachers in inner-city school were especially likely to be attentive to the role that this type of sharing can play in the classroom, and more sensitive to the fact that children may be coming to school weighed down by their home life. “If I have financial problems or someone in my family has a serious illness, the next daya t work I‟m not the same.” (Félix) These teachers sometimes saw this type of sharing as a good way to connect with children who may not see the institution of school and its representatives as allies.  48  is that teachers often felt that these conversations did not belong in the classroom.67 But transcripts reveal that there was somewhat of a contradiction in some French interviews, where teachers who did not value children‟s stories also talked about the importance of knowing the children and their life: “Being in the know helps you better understand the students and to better get things across.” (Isabelle) Many teachers maintained clear boundaries within the space of the classroom while recognizing some benefit to the more personal conversations that they can have with students.  Métier d’élève Discussions on the place of personal stories (the teacher‟s and the childrens‟) was not the only indication that French respondents drew clearer boundaries between school life and home life. One construct was scattered throughout French interviews yet completely absent from Canadian interviews: that of the métier d’élève [job of student]. Félix explained what he means by this: I often talk to them about their métier d’élève. They‟ve got a job on top of the subjects, areas and skills that they have to learn. They also have to have good reflexes in their work attitude, regarding the material that they use in class, regarding where they need to be in the classroom, regarding when they need to listen, regarding when they‟re supposed to be where, regarding lots of things. The métier d’élève is thus more than learning what is being taught. It is about an attitude that the student must have towards learning.68 However, this expectation did not mean that teachers considered it an automatic or natural transformation for children: “the child is not a student right away, you need to really work on that.” (Anne-Sylvie) Children must work at becoming a 67  Indeed, this type of sharing from students was often seen as a punctual occurrence, but was rarely institutionalized or seen as a fundamental part of how teacher and student were expected to interact during class time. For example, although she is interested in hearing about them, Isabelle only welcomes her students‟ stories during breaks: “they want to talk about what they did on the weekend so I tell them, that‟s a playground conversation.” 68 The métier d’élève was often emphasized by teachers in grade 1, as the transition from kindergarten to elementary school is when this shift from child to student is first expected from children.  49  student, and while this is something that teachers are expected to help with, it is the children‟s responsibility to learn to behave appropriately. This notion of a métier d’élève has an impact on the student-teacher relationship, as it participates to framing this relationship as a work relationship and conceptually separating the child at home and the child at school. A few French teachers explicitly articulated that one of the behaviors expected of a student (aka a child who has successfully taken on the student persona) is to be able to separate home life and school life. Loïc explained, I ask of them that, that they come to school and become students. That‟s what I ask of them in grade 1. So I know they‟re going to have to – it‟s going to be an effort, they‟re going to have to force themselves, they have to tell themselves, that‟s it … I‟m leaving behind what‟s going on at home, I‟m at school now. A little later in his interview, Loïc returned to the topic to nuance his answer. Like other French teachers who work in low-SES neighborhoods, he also recognized the difficulty that it can be difficult for children to live their home life behind: See, the problem with what I‟m saying about cultural integration, that‟s what you have to be careful about, I mean not – that the kids can become students without denying who they are, beause that‟s impossible, they‟re going to go crazy if… you can‟t be schizophrenic, yeah. But it‟s a pretty hard balance to find. Still, very few French teachers did not have the expectations that the children in their classroom should adopt this métier d’élève. The absence of a similar notion in Canadian transcripts does not mean Canadian respondents did not expect their students to behave in specific school-appropriate ways while in class69, but Canadian teachers did not frame these expectations as a job that is expected of children, in which they take on a different persona from the one that they presumably have at home. Conversely, the fact that French participants rely on this concept of métier d’élève should 69  The discussion of classroom rules in Chapter 1 showed there are clear expectations for Canadian children as well.  50  not be taken to mean that teachers have little affection for their students. The point is compared to their Canadian counterparts, French respondents conceptualized their relationship to students from a different perspective. In order to flesh out this perspective, we now turn to the vocabulary that teachers used to describe their relationship with their students.  Warmth and authority vs. trust and respect Warmth and authority have traditionally been used as a foundational axis to the teacher-student relationship.70 Past research has also underlined teachers‟ struggle to find the right balance between warmth and authority, treating the two as irreconcilable. While this image of a fine equilibrium between being „friendly‟ and having authority in the classroom was present in some interviews for this study, most teachers in France and in Canada felt that warmth and authority were not contradictory, but rather that they complemented each other to create the right connection between the students and their teacher (and thus the right learning atmosphere). French teacher Annie remarked, “Both are equally important. You can‟t have trust if you don‟t have the authority. Yeah, I think the two complement each other. Because I‟m not their friend either, I‟m not their mom, I‟m still the teacher.” Teachers did not always find the words to explain how they find the right attitude to convey both authority and affability, but a number of them noted that they had gotten more comfortable finding this attitude with years of experience. Although overall Canadian and French participants held similar views about authority and warmth reinforcing each other rather than undermining one another, there were some differences in the two samples. French teachers generally associated more markedly with the role  70  Brophy & Good's (1974) review of the literature on teaching styles shows that these notions tend to be used as two opposite ends of one spectrum on which teacher navigates, reflecting the opposition between student-centered and teacher-centered teaching styles.  51  of authority figure in the classroom. This authority was described as distinct from authoritarianism, which would earn one the students‟ obedience but through fear rather than mutual respect and trust.71 For French respondents, the use of authority helps students take on the métier d’élève discussed above because it establishes clear boundaries. However, it does not deny the expression of caring, since it is tied to trust and respect. This shows that the warmth/authority dichotomy is not the most useful analytical tool to describe how teachers understand the teacher-student relationship. Instead, the notions of trust and respect were much more central to teachers‟ description of what they strive to achieve in the classroom. In France especially, the most common answer to the question, “how would you describe the relationship that you try to establish with your students?” was a variation of this answer (given here by Beth, a Canadian respondent): “one of trust. Yes. Trust and respect I would say would be the big thing”.72 For participants in this study, the notion of trust essentially replaced the notion of friendliness or warmth. This was especially true for French respondents. Michel described the relationship of trust as being one that is “beyond friendliness. It‟s a relationship that allows you to open up, say things and not be afraid. That‟s important.” In France, the emphasis on trust participated in strengthening the teacher-student relationship as a work relationship. Annie described this explicitly: “I try to establish trust like I would have with a colleague. I mean I can trust, I can ask something of a teacher because we work together and we‟re working towards the same goal, like with the students, but the teacher‟s life just like the children‟s lives, that‟s of no interest to me.” This is where trust in the sense that French participants used it departs from the 71  Emmanuelle distinguished the two: “[Authority] doesn‟t get in the way of a friendly bond, a relationship… no, no, not at all, not for me. Because it‟s not authoritarianism, it‟s really authority, where everybody knows their place. Authoritarianism would be yelling for no reason, being unjust… then yeah, it could make students afraid and so they wouldn‟t come… but no, that‟s not what I‟m talking about here, I‟m talking about a framework to work. To work, to talk, to chat, but it‟s… it doesn‟t stop you from having close relationships with them.” 72 The role of trust is crucial to both the teacher-student relationship and the idea of “good teacher” discussed in Chapter 1. This is because a good teacher is one who establishes a healthy, trusting relationship with students.  52  notion of warmth or friendliness: trust can (and according to some, should) be separate from a type of caring for, of interest in a student‟s life, which is more appropriate in a friendship or a kin relationship. Respect was the other major notion that was brought up on both sides of the Atlantic when discussing the teacher-student relationship. A trustful relationship was almost always associated with respect, although this meant slightly different things in both countries. In Canada, respect was emphasized as respect for others as much as respect towards their teacher. Additionally, when respect was discussed as a central element to the teacher-student relationship, respondents, such as Claire, insisted on it being mutual: “We talk about respect a lot, so I respect them, and I expect that they‟ll respect me in return”. In France, respondents who referred to respect were more likely to use it to indicate a desire to see the students respect the teacher and, consequently, the rules established in the teacher‟s classroom. French teacher Félix explained, “[I try to establish] a relationship of trust, first of all, of trust and respect. You can trust me and I‟m there to serve you. You, as a student, you also have responsibilities. A responsibility to show respect and to be good at your métier d’élève.” Compared to Canadian respondents, there was less often a sense from the teachers in France that the students‟ respect of the teacher was linked to the respect that they showed towards the student. This implicitly created the impression of a slightly more unequal relationship where students had obligations towards a figure of authority in a way that was usually absent from Canadian transcripts. Another indication that respect was more likely to be linked by French respondents to respect towards authority figures is the way that it was connected to the use of the tu or vous form in the class.73 A number of teachers were still attached to the vous form as a linguistic sign 73  Both translate to the “you” pronoun. In French, the vous form is associated with respect and politeness. Its use is  53  of respectful distance: “When you say tu to someone, when you only call them by their first name, you‟re a friend, or a buddy, and there‟s a point where [the students] don‟t know, they have to know, I‟m going back to the status thing, they have to know that the teacher is the teacher, and I think that‟s signified through social signals” (Alain). But most French teachers challenged a conception of respect that relies on the use of vous by downplaying its importance: To me it doesn‟t matter at all. […] It doesn‟t matter in the sense that to me it doesn‟t help or hinder respect. Respect is something else entirely, let me tell you. [She chuckles.] Anyone who‟s been a student knows very well, how many teachers did we say vous to while we had in mind all the… adjectives that we would have liked to call them and that were not respectful at all. So the use of vous doesn‟t imply respect at all. (Christine) It was important for a number of respondents to insist that they created a respectful relationship between themselves and their students through other means, which they considered less artificial.74 It should be noted that even though a lot of French participants were open to the use of tu in the classroom, or let their students fluctuate between tu and vous, very few respondents reported letting their students use tu and also being called by their first name. The use of one‟s first name was unusual in France, and some teachers felt very strongly about it: “I can‟t imagine them calling me by my first name.” (Pascal) By grade 3, students were expected to use at least maître/maîtresse [teacher] and the teacher‟s last name when addressing them, so that even teachers who minimized the importance of the vous form introduced some formal distance with  expected of someone whenever they are addressing a stranger or colleague, especially if there is a significant age difference or a hierarchical inequality. The use of the vous form is actually mentioned in the curriculum as something that grade 1 students should be learning to use as part of the règles de vie collective and politeness. (For the full French curriculum for grade 1 and 2, see the Bulletin Officiel, hors-série n° 3 du 19 juin 2008.) 74 Sometimes other factors played into this choice of tu or vous. For example, Loïc, a grade 1 teacher in an inner-city school, noted that his choice to let their students use the tu form stemmed from the socioeconomic context: “I mean there‟s such a language gap between how we express ourselves, how we ask them to express themselves at school, and their own language so if on top of that I add the use of vous… It would seem… I don‟t need that, y‟know.” Teachers in inner-city schools usually referred to the context of their school to explain their choice either way: either they preferred the vous form because they felt the children needed more “reference points” or they opted for the tu form because requiring the use of vous would be an added, unnecessary difficulty.  54  their students through the use of the last name.75 With so many options, French teachers all navigated the question of how students addressed them very differently from one another, but the pushback against the notion that there is a link between the vous form and respect was a trend strong enough to be noted, especially in a context where the Ministère has recently chosen to reemphasize formal displays of respect towards the authority.76 In Canada, where the tu v. vous debate does not apply, the attitude towards how students are expected to address their teacher was more split between participants who required their students to use their last name and participants who did not care. Only a couple of participants used their first name in the classroom77, but half of the teachers who were currently using their last name in the classroom only did so because they were working at a „last-name school‟. Echoing French debates on tu v. vous, most teachers in Canada felt that the use of first or last name had little implication for the relationship that they had with the students, in that it neither prevented nor facilitated respect in the classroom: “Sometimes they figure my first name out and they call me by my first name. I really don‟t care. I say to them, if you address me in a respectful way, how you do that, the name that you attach to it [doesn‟t matter]…” (Sean)78 It should be noted as a final note that both in France and in Canada, gender did not seem to determine the likeliness that a teacher would be striving for a “warm” relationship with their students, as common sense would have it, and as previous research has suggested (Haase, 2008).  75  Interestingly, a number of French teachers preferred to use their last name in the class not because of how it could influence the relationship with their students, but rather because of how it could influence the relationship with the students‟ parents: “[I chose to go by last name] in part to clarify things with parents. It‟s more about the parents in the end than it is about the children. Respect and all that. To them it‟s their children but I‟m there as a professional, I‟m not the parents‟ friend and I don‟t see their child. To them it‟s their child and to me it‟s my student.” (Isabelle) 76 See Bulletin Officiel Hors-Série no3, 2008. 77 However, they usually felt strongly about that choice than any other teacher. 78 Some teachers in Canada were still attached to the use of the last name as a boundary that establishes them as an authority figure and confers some kind of formal respect, but even they recognized that it may be seen as, in Beth‟s words, “a real old-fashioned idea.”  55  Teachers who describe their ideal of relationship as a mothering relationship were very few, they were found primarily in the younger grades, and they included males. Similarly to Osborn and Broadfoot‟s (1995) and Sharpe‟s (1995) findings in their study of English and French elementary school teachers, the most similarities were found across nationality.79 Influenced by the very different environments in which they work, respondents in France and Canada often discussed the teacher-student relationship in dissimilar ways. There were definite echoes in French interviews of a well-documented tradition of direct teaching and teacher distance, but respondents of this study also revealed a much more complex picture: refusing clear-cut classifications, French teachers spoke about connecting with their students with nuance and dedication. They may have emphasized their relationship with their students as a work relationship, but this did not take away from the effort that they put in building a respectful, trustful connection with their students.  Conclusion Rather than dividing themselves between proponents of authority and proponents of caring, both sets of teachers emphasized that the teacher-student relationship should be one of trust and respect (understood to be more conducive to learning). However, I find that the concept of trust and respect took on different meanings depending on the national context. In Canada, teachers strove to achieve this trust by emphasizing interpersonal connections, which they valued in and of themselves: fostering the teacher-student was integral to their teaching goals. In contrast, French teachers generally saw little point in talking about themselves and instead discussed the  79  This does not mean that gender had absolutely no influence in how teachers conceptualized the relationship with their students, rather that this was not a salient element in this particular study; additional research on this specific topic would be needed in order to determine this.  56  métier d’élève that children are expected to take on. Despite efforts to steer away from the transmission model of teaching, they maintained a class environment where boundaries between work and play, school and family, student and teacher, remained distinct, and the trust developed in the teacher-student relationship was defined, first and foremost, as one that facilitates the learning process.  57  CHAPTER 4 DIVERSITY IN THE CLASSROOM  Introduction The previous two chapters have established that despite some similarities, there are fundamental differences in perspectives to how French and Canadian teachers organize their classrooms and establish meaningful relationships with the children who fill these classrooms. This chapter turns to the topic of classroom diversity80, and seeks to examine connections between diversity and teachers‟ use of the classroom space and their interaction with their students. After looking at how teachers defined diversity and talked about integrating it (or not) in their classroom practices, I discuss connections between teachers‟ discourses about their own classroom and what they had to say about the institution(s) within which they work, including the organizing ideology in each country, multiculturalism in Canada and républicanisme in France.  Defining diversity When asked to reflect on the topic of diversity, two main types of difference were identified and discussed by the participants of this study: differences connected to learning patterns, and “cultural”81 differences. Other sources of diversity and difference were punctually identified by  80  The meaning of “classroom diversity” is left for the teachers to define, and will be discussed in the first section of this chapter. In follow-up questions, I focused on visible markers of difference, such as a racial identity or ethnic origin different from the country‟s majority population. This focus on ethnic/racial diversity is not rooted in assumptions about inherent biological differences, but rather understands difference as socially constructed and socially significant. The attention to visible markers of difference was a consequence of national discourses on social pluralism which tend to focus on cultural and ethnic diversities over other types of diversity. 81 The term “cultural” is used here as an umbrella term for a variety of differences, primarily religious, ethnic, racial, and class-based. I use this umbrella term mainly as a result of the slippages of meaning of my respondents, who used culture as an signifier for a variety of differences. This was particularly true of French respondents, where the stigma  58  some of the teachers, such as sexual orientation (and implicitly more often than not, gender performance) and handicap, but they were not discussed at length. This section explores how teachers framed difference, as well as the significance that they attributed to particular types of diversity and more broadly, to the idea of diversity amongst their students.  Diversity in the context of learning Although the interview guide did not inquire directly about the diversity of learning in a classroom, almost every respondent brought this up in the course of their interview. In Canada, learning styles, or the different way in which children learn, was identified by many teachers as an essential difference amongst their students. Canadian teacher Amira described, During lessons I try to have a little bit of kinesthetic, a little bit of visual stuff, a little bit of… spatial stuff, a little bit of this and that. You can‟t always do it but a little bit of… of reading, of doodling, a little bit of coloring, so giving them different kinds of aids, because well people are different, children are very different in the way they learn. Being aware that there are differences in how students‟ “particular brain likes to learn” had implications for these teachers‟ practice, as this led them to diversify their teaching techniques. The onus is on the teacher to facilitate learning by catering to the different learning needs, which gives all students a chance to learn in a way that is most natural for them.82 Participants often pointed out that these efforts to adapt to various learning styles made their work more timeconsuming and difficult, but also more rewarding, as it helped students acquire knowledge, but  that still affects discussions of „race‟ makes the topic difficult to address openly. See Essed and Trienekens (2008) for a discussion of the meanings of race, culture and whiteness in the European context. 82 Adapting to learning styles also included movement: “I found even as an adult, … having to sit in two- or threehour lectures, you just shut down, your brain just shuts down, so I can only imagine what it's like to be six-years-old and to have this giant monster head talking at you and you don't understand what they're saying, so I think it's really important to move every few minutes, get them moving, get them to touch something, like - it's far more interesting for a kid to say, OK what is une fenêtre? Would I rather have them write it in a book, or would I want them to touch it a bunch of times? And then get that total sensation. Of course it's good for different language learners as well, some kids needs to - sauter to learn the verb sauter, it's way better, it's way more interesting, yeah.” (Simon)  59  could also promote better self-esteem. In France, however, only one teacher (Sébastien) made a brief mention to a similar understanding of children‟s different learning styles. French respondents were aware that children can have different learning styles, but they only brought up it up abstractly: A good teacher… tries to use lots of teaching methods, it‟s not just keeping to one strategy but to try and give lots of different methods. I‟ve mostly seen that in grade 1, you could say. Try and do, reach for everything that could make learning easier. […] It‟s showing [students] that there‟s not one way to learn and that they have to develop their own way. (Sylvie) As a result, French teachers remained vague about how to address this reality of a diversity of learning styles. Instead, respondents in France tended to focus on the need to adapt to the different levels of ability in the classroom, echoing the growing institutional concern with différenciation. Sandrine said, “I would say the most important to me is adapting to the child that you have in front of you and so to adjust based on the child‟s level.” Instead of the abstract terms they used in discussing learning styles, French participants explicitly discussed how they could reach students with differing levels of achievement.83 Additionally, some teachers showed concern with how low-achieving (or high-achieving) children were treated by their peers, whereas participants tended to be unconcerned about racism, homophobia, and other types of prejudice. This concern for prejudice based on academic achievement was almost absent from Canadian interviews, even though a number of Canadian respondents expressed similar views on the necessity for teachers to adapt to the different levels of the students in their class. They did not discuss this at length in the manner of French respondents, which may simply be a consequence of the fact that Canadian participants embraced a broader meaning of diversity and thus did not delve into this one type of diversity as much as French teachers did. 83  In inner-city schools, this concern tended to be expressed in relation to students with academic difficulties, whereas in schools situated in wealthier neighborhoods a couple of teachers also mentioned gifted students.  60  Diversity of social and cultural backgrounds In both countries, the question “what does diversity mean to you?” most often elicited responses that included cultural differences; this primarily meant race or ethnicity (or „origin‟ as a number of French respondents put it) but also religion, and sometimes social class. While in Canada teachers openly discussed this topic of cultural differences, in particular racial/ethnic identities and the religious aspects associated with these identities, French respondents tended to minimize this initial mention of cultural differences in follow-up questions. Discussions of racial or ethnic differences regularly generated discomfort or reluctance amongst participants in France.84 Teachers were more comfortable addressing race indirectly; diversity of SES (“social heterogeneity”) as well as cultural and religious differences often worked in teachers‟ discourses as stand-ins for racial diversity, or as a way to minimize the importance of racial diversity: “Diversity makes me think of different social origins. For example I think I have two black kids in the class but I think diversity‟s mostly about social heterogeneity in the classroom. I think the core of the problem is there, in the classroom or generally in the school” (Michel).85 As a result of blending all these issues together, French teachers usually failed to acknowledge how they interact together in ways that significantly disadvantage nonwhite racial minorities.86 French interviews also revealed that teachers felt racism was generally  84  One teacher and principal, Laurent, went as far as to overtly challenge the concept of group difference: “Every time you talk about this I hear you bringing together groups of people, as if you were trying to differentiate between groups and batches of children who would be capable at any given time through an identification scheme to imagine a difference between them and the group next door. But for me these differences are individual differences and they multiply every time that you go into someone‟s personality.” (Laurent) As will be discussed in the next section, this unwillingness to recognize group distinctions coupled with an individualization of difference complicated French teachers‟ capacity to integrate their students‟ diverse identities (especially racial and ethnic) into their teaching. 85 Michel‟s understanding racial diversity as the presence of black students is problematic, since racism in France also functions around waves of immigration from (primarily non-black) Maghrebi Africans (Lamont, 2000a). 86 As Lamont (2000b) points out, statistics alone indicate the difficulty of broaching the topic of race-based  61  a non-issue in their school and that students were “completely neutral” (Félix) about racial distinctions.87 However, their understanding of racism was founded in “post-racial liberalism” (Wise, 2010), which perceives stereotypes and slurs to be the main expressions of racism, and does not implicate whiteness or question systemic inequalities, both in the school system and beyond.88 When asked how the school system could be more welcoming to children of minority backgrounds, Canadian teachers noted the importance for children to see their home culture validated to some extent in the classroom. French respondents, by contrast, emphasized the need for mixité sociale [social diversity]. This expression illustrates the slippery nature of the word social in France, as this mixité sociale primarily refers to socioeconomic diversity, but implicitly invokes ethnic and religious differences as well. This mixité of students was good for teachers89, but it was mainly identified as a positive aspect for children, as Isabelle explained: “The problem is that you don‟t get any [mixité] in the neighborhoods. [She means low-SES neighborhoods.] Personally I see for myself that mixité, that if you mix children from inner-city schools to a school where things are more or less stable, you can get excellent results.” Praising mixité sociale has its assimilationist overtones: mixité was framed as primarily beneficial to low-SES students, for whom the contact with middle-class children can help “fill a gap.”90 In Canada, this desire to see children from different social backgrounds mix so that low-SES children could be inequalities in France. Despite the request of some (but not all) anti-racist organizations, no statistical information on race or ethnicity is currently gathered. Thus even statistics on poverty only include recent immigrants, and does not necessarily capture an accurate picture of race-based inequalities in the country. 87 Many of the teachers in inner-city settings in particular noted that they expected to encounter racial tensions between racial minorities and were surprised to discover few. 88 Respondents in Canada were more comfortable discussing race, but they usually understood racism similarly. 89 Without this mixité of students, teachers reported concerns about getting bored and/or feeling superfluous (in high-SES schools) or getting burned out (in low-SES schools, where social and academic issues add to each other). 90 Low-SES children tended to be represented as lacking something (whether that was social skills to know how to behave at school, a “good” family environment, or something else) instead of the school system‟s middle-class values (Lareau, 2003; Lareau, 1987) being interrogated.  62  better integrated into the school system did not come up.91 Generally, Canadian teachers tended to be more at ease with discussing the different ethnicities and religions present in their classes, as well as defining their own racial identity.92 They also recognized the potential significance of this kind of diversity for the students, as well as for the teachers. Simon noted, “It's important [to have teachers of different ethnicities] because that's the student body, so - I mean if the student body is represented in all of those categories, then they should also have teachers that are represented in that category as well.” Class was often discussed alongside race/ethnicity, but unlike in France, recognizing the impact of SES did not mean dismiss the importance of racialized identities. Canadian teachers departed from their French counterparts by acknowledging challenges that non-white students could face: Because I think that‟s part of who they are, and I think that they should be proud of who they are. And I think when you look at our aboriginal kids and how displaced they are and how they‟ve got all this stereotyping and things like that, I think that we need to break down those barriers and bring out the strengths in kids and let them feel good about what their differences and diversity brings to society. (Beth) As a result, teachers in Canada saw racial and ethnic diversity as an element of children‟s lives that should be recognized, rather than minimized. While it was discussed in both countries, in France cultural diversity did not have the same legitimacy as diversity of learning.  The meanings of diversity (challenging and embracing it) In Canada, there was relative homogeneity amongst participants around the concept of diversity. As noted above, teachers fairly easily identified certain differences as socially significant and 91  In the Canadian school where the student population was a similar mix of students from low-income families and high-income families, teachers tended to mention this social diversity as a difficulty, as this meant negotiating the cohabitation of wealth and poverty in ways that could be uncomfortable, especially for poorer children confronted with the limits of their financial possibilities. Mary, for example, mentioned her discomfort when a child related a story about flying to China for a weekend when most of her Aboriginal students live under the poverty line. 92 French teachers were typically very surprised and unsettled when asked to describe their racial or ethnic identity. Many initially replied with nervous laughter and partially evaded answering.  63  discussed them openly. They recognized that their students could identify with particular group identities and validated these in the classroom.93 This framework made it possible to weave diversity into the pedagogical project, making the notion of diversity unproblematic for the respondents.94 Anna is a good example of how Canadian teachers embraced diversity: It can be a great learning opportunity so in all my classes I‟ve always encouraged my kids to share their different religious holidays, their different celebrations, their language… we try to incorporate it all. It‟s very authentic and it‟s right there and you can teach them right off the bat that it‟s something you can celebrate as opposed to being annoyed at or whatever. The recognition of difference relied on „celebratory multiculturalism‟, in opposition to a critical multiculturalism which focuses on systemic barriers (Jay, 2005; Graeme Chalmers, 2002; Kanpol & McLaren, 1995). This approach was shared by virtually all Canadian teachers, and could also be identified in posters that were commonly put up on classroom walls, featuring children from different racial backgrounds. France, on the other hand, had a somewhat conflicted relationship to the expression of diversity in the classroom. Some French teachers, echoing their Canadian colleagues, overtly expressed their desire to teach their students to respect the social pluralism of their world and society. Most often, social diversity was identified as “wealth”: “I think that the République makes do… with everything that‟s in the country and it makes do with all the cultures of the students, all the cultures of their parents, that‟s what creates wealth.” (Jérôme) Although this concept of wealth could be questioned95, it does acknowledge that minority group identities have value. Yet diversity was also discussed as containing the possibility of the dangerous 93  See section below on how teachers integrate diversity in their teaching. However, the various challenges of inhabiting a marginalized body in Canada today was rarely acknowledged by teachers. Two exceptions were Patricia, who harshly criticized still existing racism in Canadian society, and Alice, who was well-versed in the language of oppression and privilege. 95 This concept is embedded in white Frenchness, as French citizens (understand: the white population) are the subjects who benefits from this diversity as a source of wealth. What is left unmarked and unnoticed are marginalized identities and the way that they experience their “wealth” as a source of discrimination. 94  64  divisiveness that is le repli sur soi [withdrawal into oneself, isolation] and communautarisme [voluntary isolation within one‟s community]. Félix illustrated this concern: We‟re in classrooms where you have lots of different cultures. Personally I think it‟s a source of wealth, it‟s definitely not a flaw of French society. Except it‟s badly utilized since y‟know, we‟re going back to forms of communautarisme that alarm me. We‟re worried to go towards the other, to share our culture, or we protect it or we do it in small communities and sometimes it leans towards radicalization. And that I don‟t get. The world view illustrated in this passage is one that implicitly blames minority populations for failing to „share their culture‟ and „go towards the other‟, but fails to question the role that privileged identities might play in French culture in marginalizing these populations.96 Although Félix was one of the few teachers to address these issues so overtly, his reasoning was present implicitly in a number of French interviews.97 Additionally, teachers in France generally downplayed the significance of group identities. This was achieved primarily through individualization of difference, as Annie illustrated: We‟re here to welcome everyone like everybody else. And at the same time the child who belongs to a minority, whether that‟s social, ethnic, cultural, at first he‟s going to be regarded like everybody else, and depending on his personality he‟s going to find his place. At first everyone‟s treated the same and then it‟s up to us to adapt to the child‟s personality. The way that French teachers emphasized children‟s uniqueness made equivalent all types of difference. This approach functions to obscure the power relationships that order social 96  The same respondent earlier in the interview insisted on the necessity to teach his students not to take racist epithets too seriously: “In the picture book you have the words bougnole [insult directed at Arab populations], chintok [insult directed at Chinese populations] because the boy‟s dad is racist. It‟s a way to tell them, "these words are going to be thrown in your face one day or another, it could happen”. If we talk about it calmly and say that it‟s human stupidity and in the end it‟s not that important, afterwards you can react better when you hear these words. It‟s learning to detach yourself from some things.” In addition to delegitimizing the anger that one may feel at hearing these insults repeatedly, this approach naturalizes racism by portraying it as an inevitable reality, rather than a learned behavior that remains permitted. See Bonilla-Silva (2006) about the perpetuation of modern racism. 97 This happened, for example, when participants regretted the existence of „ghettos‟, or the lack of mixing between people of different origin in any situation. These commentaries never, or very rarely, discussed the way that (systemic as well as individual) racism in French culture may work to create these chiasms in society, but instead tended to put the burden of mixing on marginalized populations, whether that was religious minorities or immigrants.  65  identities, and that make some differences are more salient than others when it comes to one‟s interaction with society. By maintaining that all children are different, few participants recognized that some markers of difference have social consequences that others do not98. Much like the reproach of communautarisme, this reasoning participates in delegitimizing the importance that group identifications might play in the student‟s life. Instead, teachers were likely to insist that school is a space where these minority identities have little or no resonance; instead they were partial to the idea, developed by Annie in the above quote, that the system does justice to minority children precisely by treating them „like everybody else‟.  Integrating diversity into the classroom The philosophies that teachers developed around the meaning (and significance) of classroom diversity were clearly reflected in how respondents talked about integrating diversity into their classroom and teaching. French respondents who had minimized the very notion of cultural diversity earlier in the interview were likely to say that their students‟ diverse backgrounds did not impact their experience. When discussing the fact that he had moved from a rural school to a school where students from mixed socioeconomic backgrounds mixed, Sébastien remarked, “the only thing that‟s changed [since he started working in a school with a lot of student diversity] is that now I have to write down the number of meals without pork for the cafeteria.” Laurent was even more adamant, and stated that students‟ diversity should not impact his teaching: I shouldn‟t be looking to children for topics to bring up. I get the topics from the curriculum, so if we‟re going over the emergence of Christianity when the curriculum covers Antiquity, or the emergence of Islam at the very beginning of the Middle Ages, or on religious wars and the emergence of Protestantism, I don‟t care at all who are the 98  Additionally, it is interesting to note that the only time that teachers ever admitted to a lack of diversity in a school or classroom was in the context of inner-city schools. Teachers in relatively wealthy neighborhoods were much more likely to declare their students diverse, despite their relative social and cultural homogeneity.  66  children in front of me. What they might think isn‟t the same as historical legitimacy. It‟s just their idea of these things. Besides ignoring the biases of the curriculum, this quote evoked the previously mentioned concern in France that students‟ diversity may be a source of conflict if it was called upon. This perspective made it hard to articulate any legitimate space for diversity to exist within the classroom, even when teachers wanted to. Michel provided a good illustration of the contradiction that some French participants found themselves in: When I said earlier, "we must deny their differences ", I didn‟t mean deny them. It‟s making sure that they don‟t exist but you can lean on them. […] If we‟re talking about different religions, I‟ll say, "So, Hayoul, what do you do? Where do you do? It‟s called a mosque.” All that is part of their general knowledge, and that‟s important. We lean on their cultural difference more than we deny it really. But we explain to them that it‟s not at school that it should come up, especially if it‟s about religion. Now if it‟s about food, recipes and all that, we can use that for a project, it‟s not a problem. Caught between wanting to acknowledge children‟s lives (especially in inner-city schools and in younger grades) and the belief that the strength of instruction lies in teaching the same material regardless of class composition, French interviews revealed a tension that teachers themselves rarely acknowledged. When teachers did invite some aspect of the children‟s lives into the classroom (in the form of sharing recipes or stories), it was usually done in the periphery of the curriculum. Since diversity remained only loosely integrated to teaching objectives, its place was not legitimized. One French teacher, Soizig, noted that “[talking about diversity] remains secondary because it‟s not part of the curriculum objectives.” Despite the limitations that I have just described, a few French teachers did acknowledge that integrating some diversity into their teaching could be valuable and even sometimes necessary. For example, Soizig said, “I think that everyone brings in their own story, their origins, their way of thinking, etc, and so I think that it‟s rich to exchange and to see that we‟re not all the same, that we don‟t all do the same things, we 67  don‟t have the same celebrations.” Yet even when teachers made conscious efforts to acknowledge the diversity of their audience and partially adapted to their practices as a result, they usually still sought to emphasize commonality. French teacher Pascal reflected, “Maybe I would use differences more but at the same time I think I‟d use them to refocus on what brings us together, it‟s always that balance. It‟s very interesting to go far from the center, if you do it on both sides so that the scales stay more or less balanced at the end.” This was ultimately the perspective that dominated French interviews, even after taking into account the variation within the sample.99 This perspective stood in contrast with what teachers reported in Canada, where embracing cultural differences, including religion, generated fewer conflicted feelings. By far, the most popular way in which Canadian teachers integrated diversity into their teaching was through the acknowledgment (and subsequent celebration) of different traditional holidays. All of the Canadian participants in this study at least made mention of acknowledging different festivals in one way or another.100 They saw this as participating in the broader goal of celebrating and reflecting the diversity of their students. Simon commented on his classroom decoration, “I thought the flags might be good, and as soon as I put them up, the students that were coming were like, oh that's where I'm from, y'know, and that connection for them is really important, oh this is me, I'm valid, I'm here too.” Another Canadian teacher, Sean, noted, “I‟m very aware of making sure that I have Asian examples. […] Because I believe that their identities are being shaped and a part of their identity is knowing who they are and where they come from.” Most of the teachers in Canada expressed comparable opinions about the importance of 99  Inner-city respondents were more likely to have contradictory answers and/or to express ambivalence towards an educational model that ignores what students bring of their culture and history into the classroom 100 This should not be taken to mean that this type of celebration can be taken for granted in Canada. Some respondents in this study reported working alongside colleagues who were unwilling to do as much.  68  children feeling validated in their differences in the learning space. Even when Canadian teachers had the impulse, similar to that of French respondents, of emphasizing the commonalities of humans over their differences, this never came at the price of undermining the importance of celebrating diversity. Diversity was also never perceived as divisive or a potential threat of any kind.101 Whether this was a conscious choice or not, cultural diversity also influenced decisions that Canadian teachers made about the space of the classroom – the books that were available, the posters that were put up on the wall, the names chosen in model sentences for exercises. Not all teachers agreed that these types of artifacts were important, and some did little to actively integrate diversity into their teaching. But many were explicit that their students and the diversity that they brought to the classroom played a key part in shaping their teaching. Alice explained: But I think yeah, the way that you go about teaching and I mean - what you teach and how you teach it changes completely based on your students. And y' know even if you teach the same grade every year I think it's still - it changes every year because your children are different and they're bringing different things to the classroom, different experiences... yeah, different backgrounds. As discussed in this section, diversity could shape the Canadian classroom in a number of ways: examples include featuring people of various ethnic origins on classroom decorations and in class readings, creating spaces where students could share their cultures, marking the celebration of a variety of traditional festivals, doing a unit on racism or multiculturalism. These types of strategies have their flaws, well-documented in the field of multicultural education (Banks & Banks, 2001), but they at least reveal that teachers in Canada possessed some awareness on the issue of cultural diversity. Unlike French teachers, Canadian participants easily identified why diversity is important and what learning objectives that this helped them achieve. 101  Sean actually noted that sameness could be problematic: “I think it‟s the differences that make us more empathetic. If we look at people and we just reduce them to sameness… there‟s really no empathetic exercise here.”  69  Diversity and the institution Analyzing how teachers talked about diversity and teaching confirmed that their discourses matched (more or less overtly) overarching national ideologies about diversity and its part in the national project. Sometimes the link was obvious, such as when Canadian teachers brought up multiculturalism before I had a chance to mention it, but these connections can be better understood as teachers drawing on cultural repertoires available to them as they discussed their practices. What happens to teachers‟ negotiation of national ideologies when they are asked to talk specifically about the institution within which they work, and to the concepts of multiculturalism and républicanisme themselves?  Thoughts on the school system and teacher training Most participants in both countries described overall satisfaction with their school system but had more mixed reactions when asked to comment specifically on how the institution deals with diversity. In Canada, few teachers were frustrated by the institutional response to student diversity and many expressed satisfaction with what they saw as recent efforts on the part of the school system to be more welcoming to marginalized students. Even when the institutional response was not as satisfying as they would have hoped, Canadian participants tended to emphasize that their school board was working on developing more inclusive policies. Patricia, for example, discussed the work that the VSB is doing to develop First Nations curriculum102 right after saying that the school board could use a more inclusive curriculum. Most respondents reported that during their teacher education they had taken classes that dealt briefly or in-depth with issues of diversity. Canadian teachers recognized some structural difficulties that schools 102  See Baker (2007) for an example of a document developed for a Ministry of Education regarding the integration of First Nations curriculum.  70  face in terms of diversity103 but they believed that their school system was working to address these issues. In France, teachers also expressed overall satisfaction with the system, but this was conveyed in different ways. More than in Canada, respondents seemed worried about criticizing the institution too much and obscuring the fact that they were ultimately attached to the school system and the (Republican) values that it stands for. Most teachers described their priorities as being in line with that of the Éducation Nationale, even if that sometimes meant reading one‟s own vision of education into a curriculum that primarily focuses on “reading, writing, counting” (Christine). This does not mean that French teachers had no qualms about the school system for which they worked; many expressed concerns over recent curriculum changes and the general direction that the Ministère seems to be taking.104 On the topic of students‟ diversity, French respondents were quicker to note that schools are not the root of the problem. Sébastien noted: Personally about the French school system I think, unlike what the government and our dear president are thinking, if you want to prevent having 15% of kids failing when they get to junior high, we have to really fucking rethink our society, it‟s not about the school system, it‟s the way we think that we have to work on. Because in other places we see school doesn‟t have to be that way, the problem isn‟t school, school is nothing but the reflection of how adults think. Although there were a few dissenting voices, French respondents did not see their school system as failing marginalized populations, and this was despite the fact that the vast majority of them admitted that their teacher training program had not included any conversation on the cultural diversity of the student body.105 They were often less kind when it came to questions of diversity  103  For example, Alain said that he could still see that children of different ethnicities did not mix much during recess, and Patricia discussed the fact that racism still exists in Canadian society. 104 Anne-Sylvie explained that she could relate “less and less” to what she is being asked to do, because the system is increasingly focused on “skills for the sake for skills. I have trouble with that.” 105 This was the case even for teachers who had recently gone through the teacher training program. Teachers did report that their teacher education had included discussions of learning diversity and différenciation.  71  of academic performance, with many of them lamenting the school system‟s difficulty to adapt to children who either fare far better or worse than the average student. In other words, French teachers‟ discourses about the institution of schooling tended to perpetuate the legitimization of certain forms of diversity over others, much like their definitions of classroom diversity. Already ambivalent about the role of school in recognizing and celebrating cultural differences, teachers were generally unwilling to criticize their system on this topic, while they more easily identified areas in need of improvement concerning learning diversities, which they saw as legitimate and indeed central to the make-up of a classroom.  Multiculturalism/républicanisme: conscious and unconscious links I now examine how teachers discussed the national ideologies of their respective country. French teachers primarily discussed républicanisme through the national motto liberté, égalité, fraternité, and overtly associated républicanisme with the idea of welcoming all children equally, regardless of their background. French teachers did not see républicanisme as incompatible with recognizing students‟ diversity. A number of respondents explicitly connected these two concepts. For example, Catheine said, “We can show the children that when we say liberté égalité fraternité, once again, this liberté, this égalité, you can see in the classroom in a very real way, with the different cultures, the different religions, the different languages… and the different way people are brought up.” Another French teacher, Anne-Sylvie, explained, “The school of the République it‟s a school that‟s secular, mandatory, it‟s a school that welcomes everyone regardless of origin and differences amongst children. We don‟t choose the children that come to school. It‟s a school that accepts all differences.” French teachers were attached to the symbol of the République as a tool for incorporating diversity into the national project. 72  However, just like teachers‟ discussion of the integration of diversity into their classroom practice was founded in the belief that commonality matters most, explicit talk of républicanisme revealed that difference is recognized (and, in talk at least, accepted) only in so far that it can be ignored and all children treated with equality rather than equity106. French teachers were generally attached to the values that they attached to this idea of républicanisme, and were attracted to the idea that these republican values could have “a universal side”; Sylvie saw it as “a reference point, even if you‟re far from the lighthouse, it‟s a reference point, you know where you‟re supposed to go”. Even when teachers were aware of criticism of the republican model as euro-centric, they defended its legitimacy: “People call you… either naive, or… yeah, but you‟re a Westerner who wants… who wants to impose a number of things. But I‟m still convinced that there are republican values that school should be defending. Liberté égalité fraternité, that means something, y‟know. And I want to defend it.” (Loïc) Some participants admitted républicanisme was not the only way, but overall teachers expressed little ambivalence about the limits of the republican model and the French model of integration. On the other hand, teachers could be quite harsh in their assessment of multiculturalism (however, only a minority of them had a clear idea of what this concept could mean). As Christine pointed out with humor: “the multicultural thing, that was trendy twenty years ago... ”107. A couple of French teachers also made negative association between with the word and American-style recognition of minorities. Audrey commented: With multiculturalism you‟re still, everyone is in their own clique, that‟s the American 106  See Britzman (1998) on approaches that stresses commonality and how they favor dominant groups. Multiculturalism was briefly embraced in France in the 1980‟s, but has been mostly abandoned since as an ideology. Even when researchers nowadays call for a rethinking of how difference should be understood in the French context, it is often a different name, such as Kerzil and Vinsonneau‟s (2004) l’interculturel, and it is always presented at the intersection of the tension between diversity and unity, much like the mission statement described in Michel Wieviorka‟s 2008 report to the Ministry of Higher Education and Research on Diversity. 107  73  model, that‟s how I see it. The model where you‟re really intertwined, everything is intertwined, because there‟s no external sign of identification outside, in public institutions. That‟s multiculturalism. Much more so than the juxtaposition of cultures that mutually exclude each other. Her statement is fueled by the French fear of communautarisme and the supposedly exclusionary practices of minorities. The couple of teachers in France who viewed multiculturalism positively did so because they understood it not as the acknowledgment of minority cultures, but as the connection between diversity and commonality. Christine exemplified this attitude: “multiculturalism asks you to tolerate, asks you to go towards the other and accept that the other‟s coming closer, and it also requires accepting that what you think – that different ways of thinking can still in the end be structured around general common points, big common ideals.” In such cases, French teachers saw républicanisme and multiculturalism as notions that work together, but it is worth asking whether this is because their idea of multiculturalism is different from the kind of discourse that has been popularized under that name on the other side of the Atlantic. Indeed, in Canada, multiculturalism was usually discussed in unambiguous, favorable terms. Simon illustrated this: “let's see, multiculturalism... I guess living in a society that accepts and tolerates people of all different races and sexual orientations and abilities.” Canadian teachers all agreed on this basic definition of the word, and emphasized it in relation to the public expression of difference, as in the case of Anna: “And then multiculturalism, I‟ll say, here we might celebrate [unclear], you‟re allowed to have whatever religion you want, whatever holiday you like, you can dress how you like, and not be restricted.” Most Canadian teachers expressed pride in the multicultural ideology and connected it explicitly to their classroom practices, but some participants were quite critical of aspects of the multicultural doctrine and overall, Canadian respondents were better able to articulate some of the limits of their ideology of choice. 74  Additionally, Canadian teachers demonstrated that they could value a sense of commonality without framing diversity as a threat, potential or actual, in the way that this tension usually existed for French respondents. Explicitly discussing multiculturalism with Canadian teachers demonstrated that national ideologies clearly overlap with the way that teachers talked about their classroom practices, as did discussing républicanisme with French respondents. There are few contradictions between purely ideological talk and discussions of classroom realities.  Conclusion The topic of classroom diversity offers a useful intersection between teaching practice and national ideology. Comparing teachers‟ discourses revealed that French and Canadian participants deviate in their conceptualization of cultural difference. While in both countries, students‟ variations in academic achievement was recognized as crucial and consequential for one‟s teaching practice, teachers diverged on the implications of cultural difference for the classroom. Canadian teachers were attentive to the cultural diversity of their students and made efforts to reach out to these cultural differences by “celebrating” them in a variety of ways in the classroom and emphasizing the need for children to learn to respect and embrace these differences. Explicit discussions of the ideology of multiculturalism confirmed the echoes between Canada‟s educational rhetoric as it is perpetuated on paper at the provincial (and federal) level and the way that teachers conceptualized the part that diversity plays in their classroom. It is thus not surprising that teachers expressed overall satisfaction with their school system‟s efforts to address issues of diversity in the classroom. In France, teachers used the lexical field of wealth to talk about cultural diversity in schools, but expressed ambivalence as to the place that cultural diversity can occupy in the 75  classroom. Some participants, especially those who worked in low-SES schools, recognized that marginalized students are disadvantaged in the school system and made some efforts to acknowledge cultural differences within the classroom. This practice of equity over equality subtly clashed with the ideal of républicanisme to which all teachers explicitly adhered, which states that students‟ common humanity, rather than their difference, should be celebrated. Teachers sometimes reconciled the tension between these two views by individualizing difference. This allowed them to address the needs of specific students (usually recast as academic needs) while stressing common (French) culture, but meant that French respondents did little to incorporate cultural diversity into their teaching except peripherally. Since teachers rarely discussed this tension explicitly, it is not surprising that they, like their Canadian counterparts, expressed overall satisfaction with the school system‟s record on cultural diversity. This is despite the fact that, by teachers‟ own accounts, very little is done by the institution or teacher training programs to address issues of cultural diversity. By contrast, French teachers did not hesitate to criticize their school system regarding its handling of diversity in academic performance amongst students, as this was considered a more legitimate form of diversity in schools. In the end, teachers‟ discourses clearly participated in reproducing and, in their turn, producing the kind of knowledge about diversity that is validated by the educational repertoires available to them.  76  CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION  Summary of Findings The rise in popularity of the idea of accountability has generated cross-national research that is primarily quantitative in nature and focuses on comparing how successful educational systems are, in terms of student performance, whether overall or in terms of race, gender, class (Vassiliou, 2009; Akiba et al., 2007; Bempechat & Drago-Severson, 1999; Robinson, 1999; Baker & Perkins Jones, 1993). Less attention is being paid, outside the North American context, to cross-national comparison as a tool to illuminate the way in which teachers construct meaning around their practice. Drawing on Lamont and Thévenot‟s (2000) work in France and the United States, this thesis sought to add to this body of literature by exploring how teachers make discursive sense of their daily practices, and how these discourses are connected to broader national ideals about social pluralism and the role of schooling. Three main areas were examined in the findings chapters to draw a picture of how Canadian and French teachers talked about their work: the classroom as a dynamic space in which teachers operate according to certain models and ideals, the teacher-student relationship as a site for the expression of culturally-specific ideas about appropriate social bonds, and classroom diversity as an intersection of teaching practices and national ideas about social pluralism. These findings are reviewed briefly below. Chapter 1 discussed how the space of the classroom is imagined and occupied in France and in Canada. Non-participants observations and interviews revealed that the experience of the classroom in both countries is dissimilar. While the Canadian classroom is usually organized as a space that encourages interactions between students as much as teacher-student interactions and 77  offers opportunities for movement, the French classroom remains a relatively static space constructed around the central figure of the teacher and his or her accompanying black or white board. This organizational difference was reflected in other aspects of the findings relating to the experience of the classroom. In line with existing literature on French elementary schools, French teachers presented a more traditional, work-centered vision of the classroom than their Canadian counterparts, who emphasized its social aspects. There was, however, one aspect of the classroom experience in which French teachers departed from past findings: that of classroom rules. Although the practice was not as widespread and accepted as it was in Canada, many French participants valued co-establishing classroom rules with students. Their attitude did not undermine the work focus that defines the classroom space, but it indicates a shift towards a more collaborative classroom space. French teachers, as it was demonstrated in Chapter 2, maintained this overall focus on the classroom as a workspace in their interactions with their students. Although they expressed much care and concern for the well-being of their students, most participants in this study preferred maintaining clear boundaries between their public (teacher) life and their private (home) life. They described the ideal teacher-student relationship as a good work relationship. This emphasis on work in France was particularly evident in the prevalence of the idea that children have a métier d’élève that they must be dedicated to, much like teachers are expected to be dedicated to theirs. Canadian teachers, on the other hand, were more likely to adhere to the idea of elementary teachers as caregivers (Hargreaves, 2000; Lortie, 2002; Nias, 1989). They were often attached to a more family-like model of teacher-student relationship that relied on fostering a personal connection with the students, which tended to blur the line between home life and school life. Past studies have tended to oppose the two approaches by contrasting them in terms of warmth 78  and authority; the findings of this research suggest that this opposition is not a useful one, and that respect and trust are much more salient notions for both French and Canadian teachers in describing what a good teacher-student relationship looks like. The home/school distinction that French teachers liked to maintain in the classroom has implications for how teachers conceptualize classroom diversity and involve their students‟ diversity into their teaching practice, as Chapter 3 discussed. In line with the ideology of multiculturalism that prevails in Canada, Canadian elementary school teachers were at ease discussing how all types of diversity impacted their teaching, including their students‟ cultural differences. Having access to children‟s cultural experiences through the personal bonds that they formed with students, teachers in Canada often made efforts to integrate cultural diversity into their practice, although their strategies usually remained limited to a „celebratory multiculturalism‟ model. French teachers, on the other hand, only allowed differences in learning ability to influence their classroom practice, once again consolidating boundaries between home (associated with cultural diversity) and school (associated with learning diversity). This study shows that French teachers made efforts to distance themselves and their practice from more traditional forms of whole-class teaching. They were dedicated to taking into account the academic variation amongst their students, but this effort did not translate into other forms of difference. Echoing Republican traditions, French teachers showed a certain uneasiness with recognizing cultural differences. For people working in inner-city settings, this became a notable tension, as teachers were aware of the weight that difficult home lives and marginalized identities could have on their students yet did not know how to best integrate these experience into their teaching without compromising Republican values.  79  Analytical Summary In addition to the descriptive summary provided above, an analytical summary is useful to discuss the sites of tensions that appeared throughout this research about the meanings that are attached to teaching in Canada and in France. In many ways, this thesis has shown that many of the traditional distinctions between Canadian and French‟s thinking about teaching continue to hold true. Canada‟s orientation towards the full development of “the child”, which is reflected in the curriculum, means that teachers are likely to understand social aspects of their teaching as a fundamental part of their job. In contrast, the attention paid in France to the construction of “the student” and the clear conceptual separation between home and school works to create a classroom space that is defined primarily by its academic ends. This is reflected in the understanding that teachers have of the teacher-student relationship, which they define most often as a “work relationship”. Participants in this study also challenged this traditional dichotomy in some ways. Canadian teachers did not adhere flawlessly to the ideal of a student-centered classroom (Cuban, 1984) as they remain in control of how the classroom space and time was utilized. French teachers, especially in inner-city settings, complicated the clear cut difference between home and school by being sensitive to the crucial role that children‟s personal lives play in shaping a child‟s readiness to learn. Many also acknowledged the idea that children‟s diversity is a source of wealth and learning for the class, and tried to incorporate it into their teaching. It was more difficult for these French participants to be articulate about the topic, as they lacked the extensive cultural repertoires to which Canadians have access through the ideology of multiculturalism. Instead, French teachers often could not help but fall back on a vision of diversity that comes with the risk of communautarisme. 80  The consequence of this difference in the conceptualization of diversity is an aspect that has not been explored in-depth in the realm of education research. This study thus constitutes a starting point for examining how teacher ideology (including a certain vision of the teacherstudent relationship) as a cultural construct interacts with the issue of classroom diversity. Existing literature on diversity in schools (Rothstein-Fisch and Trumbull, 2008; Banks, 1999) is primarily written in English and directed at a specific North American audience of teachers; thus it tends to assume a North American definition of diversity which focuses on cultural, particularly racial and ethnic, differences. How teachers themselves come to understand the notion of diversity is usually not discussed. On the other hand, studies on the meaning and implications of specific understandings of diversity such as Kerzil and Vinsonneau‟s (2004) discussion of l’interculturel in schools or McAndrew‟s (2001) exploration of Québec debate on immigration and its consequences for schools tend not to consider the part that teacher ideology plays in shaping the integration of diversity into the classroom. The analysis of teachers‟ discourses in this study revealed that both elements are consequential to constituting the meanings of classroom diversity for teachers: the relative availability of national discourses of diversity as well as teachers‟ understanding of their role in the classroom. These two aspects taken together constitute a point of intersection for Lamont‟s (2000) notion of cultural repertoires and long-existing discussions in the field of education about the ways in which teacher beliefs shape classroom practices (Pajares, 1992; Giroux, 1998; Pape, 1992; Clark & Peterson, 1986; Beijaard et al., 2000; Opdenakker & Van Damme, 2006). In this way, this study is a continuation of Broadfoot and Osborn‟s (1993) work on elementary school teachers in France and Great Britain, but supplements it with a comparative cultural sociology approach that is more in line with Lamont‟s (2000) work on the rhetorics of racism in France and the United States or Duell‟s 81  (2000) work on intellectual boundaries in French and American higher education. Teacher ideology and cultural repertoires on diversity mutually reinforced each other differently in each country. In Canada, these two elements work to give teachers conceptual tools for imagining the place of diversity in their everyday teaching. The concept of multiculturalism is readily available for educators at all three levels of theory, policy, and practice; most books on the topic intertwine at least some aspect of all these levels in their analysis (Conteh, 2003; Korn and Bursztyn, 2002; Banks and Banks, 2001; CSSE, 1981; McCreath, 1981). Teachers in this study demonstrated a good level of fluency in „multicultural talk‟ by echoing the rhetoric found in the literature but also at the national level, such as on the Multiculturalism page on the website of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This level of fluency, as Giroux (1988) suggests, shapes teachers‟ thoughts, feelings and desires towards diversity as something that is important to celebrate and respect within the space of the classroom. Similar to what Levine-Rasky (2008) describes in her study of parents, even when teachers feel ambivalent about some aspects of this multicultural ideology, the legitimacy that it has achieved at the national level makes difficult its outright condemnation. Teachers are more likely to support the policy at the surface and use its rhetorical devices, while expressing ambivalence through hesitations and contradictions that are not unlike the discursive processes that Bonilla-Silva (2006) has described in the context of colorblind ideology in the United States. Strengthening the availability of multiculturalism as a cultural repertoire, teaching in Canada is understood to incorporate students‟ personal lives and encourage informal interactions between teacher and students (both elements are described as crucial to creating a good classroom atmosphere). Although this emphasis on friendly contact is not always considered a criterion for defining student-centered practices (Cuban, 1984), it can be understood as an indirect consequence of more student-centered teaching methods (Cheong 82  Cheng, 1994), which have now been favored in Canada for a couple of decades (Ahara, 1995). The role of personal connections between teacher and student is understood by teachers not only as indirectly beneficial to students because they feel valued, but it also contributes directly to the learning process by creating a safe learning space. This type of teacher-student relationship creates regular opportunities for enacting the idea of celebrating diversity promoted by the discourse of multiculturalism. In France, the cultural repertoires available on the topic of diversity and teacher ideology worked in conjunction to create the opposite effect and make difficult the integration of cultural diversity as a legitimate aspect of classroom life. Previous exploration of the interaction between republican ideals and social pluralism have shown that this national perspective disallows the recognition of group identities for fear that this acknowledgment would generate destructive divisions within the nation (Ozouf, 2009; Mazur, 2005; Duschesne, 2005; Bleich, 2003). This tension underlies Wieviorka‟s 2008 report on diversity and is clearly echoed in this study when teachers, despite describing diversity as a source of wealth, only view partial expression of difference as acceptable.108 Adding to this ambivalent position on social pluralism, the French model of teaching is typically described as seeking to detach home life from school life (Osborn, 1999; Pépin, 1998) and giving little weight to children‟s personal development (Broadfoot and Osborn, 1992). The public/private divide that results is supposed to allow for the full expression of diversity in the private sphere while achieving equality and commonality in the public realm so that the 'civic glue' may take and keep the Republic strong (Zeichner & Liston, 1996). The participants in this study showed that they work within this framework, although there are indications in this study that many teachers complicate this clear separation by recognizing the 108  In some cases (religious difference), the expression of difference is almost always seen as problematic.  83  impact of children‟s home lives on their school life (and academic performance). In particular, French teachers seem to be moving away from certain professional attitudes described by Osborn and Broadfoot (1992) in their Bristaix study in that none of the respondents expressed unwillingness to adapt to specific local and student needs. The capacity to be flexible and adapt to students‟ needs was defined by many as foundational to successful teaching. However, this flexibility was not meant to include all identifiable markers of difference. Most of the teachers explicitly legitimized only academic inequalities, as these differences in achievement were perceived to belong to the realm of schooling, unlike other types of diversities which concern the private realm. This distinction between types of diversities has allowed new pedagogical discourses to form on the need for différenciation without threatening the Republican model. This evolution is evocative of Mazur‟s (2005) discussion of the parité [equal representation of genders] debates in France at the end of the twentieth century in that a shift in practice that could have questioned cultural assumptions about the meaning of diversity instead reified which differences are acceptable to be seen in the public realm.109 The majority of teachers in this study had integrated the necessity and value of differentiating amongst students according to achievement level but had done so without questioning their dismissal of cultural differences. Yet the ideal of equality (in line with Republican values) did not always hold up, as contradictions existed in French teachers‟ discourses. In inner-city schools especially, where participants often recognized that children of lower socioeconomic status are disadvantaged by the school system (Lareau, 1987, 2003), teachers were likely to both uphold principles of equality and talk about enacting principles more in line with equity in their classroom. This 109  Mazur (2005) explains by basing for the need for parité in gender‟s essential nature rather than in a critique of universalistic assumptions, activists disempowered the possibility of future connections being drawn between gender and other socially disadvantaged identities, and instead bolstered divisions between public and private expressions of diversity.  84  tension between equality and equity usually went unacknowledged, just like respondents did not discuss the contradictions between the occasional acknowledgement of students‟ cultural diversity and the Republican principles of common culture. I suggest that this is the product of the relative unavailability of cultural repertoires that would validate these practices for French teachers. Republican discourses work to limit and in some ways delegitimize the celebration of cultural diversity into the classroom, and this is further compounded by an approach to teaching practice that does not encourage the use of the classroom as a space where children can bring in and celebrate their home life as an integral part of their learning experience.  Study Limitations This study has a number of limitations. I chose not to restrict the various social characteristics of participants in order to get a wide range of responses in each national context and to avoid findings of a very limited scope. While it does strengthen the possibility that the findings are telling of the elementary teaching cultures in both locations of the study, it also has downsides. Namely, the variety amongst respondents in characteristics such as age, teaching experience, ethnicity or sexual orientation makes it difficult to determine if some findings might be specific to certain social groups. For this reason, I have tried to avoid drawing too many conclusions based on these differences in my findings. Similarly, the two cities chosen as locations for this study have their own specificities within each country. Both these limitations could partially be addressed by tweaking the research design and incorporating a mixed methods approach; using questionnaires would make it possible to survey greater numbers of teachers and identify more definitive patterns at the national level, while supplementary interviews would refine the rationale used by teachers and add nuances to broader patterns. 85  Additionally, this study confirms the slippery nature of the notion of culture in the European context. I did not have a chance to ask French teachers enough questions to determine the exact way in which they understand cultural diversity, to what extent it has specific referent and to what extent it is an indirect way to discuss ethnic and racial differences. A clearer definition of the different aspects embedded in this notion of culture may have helped draw clearer mental maps of teachers‟ imaginaries and better explain the rationale that teachers use for validating certain forms of difference over others.  Future Research There are a number of areas that could be explored as a result of some of the limitations of this thesis, as well as the questions that it raises. As mentioned in the previous section, the ambiguous nature of the concept of culture in Europe and its racial and ethnic implications constitute a fertile ground for further inquiry. Specifically, considering the slippages of meanings that commonly happen around the theme of cultural differences in France, it would be helpful to build on Essed & Trienekens‟s (2008) work on the meaning of culture in the Dutch context and interview French teachers with the specific goal of clarifying their definition of cultural difference in order to elucidate the term and its significance. Disambiguating the various meanings that “culture” can take on within certain conversations may help create a strong theoretical model for how difference is conceptualized in France and clarify how boundary work happens within the context of school between what is considered to belong exclusively to the private and what can legitimately be welcomed and celebrated at l’école de la République [the school of the Republic]. In other words, looking further into this question would allow drawing clearer mental maps of teachers‟ imaginaries and better explain the rationale that teachers use for 86  validating certain forms of difference over others. Additionally, questioning notions of discrimination and racism amongst both Canadian and French teachers would be useful to see how national ideologies of difference impact the definition of prejudice within the realm of education. Another interesting element to research further would be the evolution from primary to secondary schooling. A number of teachers, especially in the French context, emphasized the difference between their experience as elementary school teachers and what is, or might be, going on in secondary schools. In particular, a number of teachers hinted at the fact that students‟ personal identities are more established, and matter more to them, once they are older. Students in secondary schools are also more likely to be engaged more directly by their teachers on issues of diversity and national identity. By highlighting how patterns that are established at the elementary level are strengthened at the secondary level, taking a similar methodological framework to secondary schools might reveal an intensification of the different dynamics noticed in elementary schools here, and make starker the contrast between France and Canada.  Conclusion Despite some limitations, this thesis represents a first exploration of the meanings of teaching in France and Canada and the implications that they have for classroom diversity. The attempt to connect discourses and practices in this research is not new, but is particularly helpful in the field of education, where the process of production and reproduction of cultural values is manifest. Findings did not seek to attach value judgments to the various imaginaries that Canadian and French teachers mapped out in the course of their interviews, but instead endeavored to show how national ideologies help shape the teaching environment that elementary-age children 87  experience. This research illuminated how ideals of teacher practice and ideology about the place of diversity in the national project interact with one another to either facilitate or make difficult the articulation of the legitimacy that cultural diversity can have in the classroom. This aspect of the findings could have significant implications in terms of creating change in schools. In the case of Canada, the way that teachers already incorporate cultural diversity into their teaching in a way that is so in line with the broader ideology of multiculturalism tends to render the flaws and assumptions of their practices invisible.110 For teachers to question whether they could be doing more (or rather, differently) in terms of cultural diversity, multiculturalism would need to be challenged at a larger level, so as to legitimize new classroom practices. In France, the way that classroom ideology and national ideology function together to delegitimize the recognition of cultural difference in the classroom make it difficult for individual teachers to change their approach to cultural diversity. For these teachers to be able to reconcile their idea of teaching with what they have started to recognize as the impact of marginalized identities, there is a need for more connections and discussions to happen between teachers (especially inner-city school teachers, who are most likely to be already dealing with these issues) regarding the impact of diversity on the classroom. This may help counter the delegitimizing effect of current national ideologies, by making new cultural repertoires available to teachers. Since these particular repertoires are already available to Canadian teachers, cross-national discussions could be fruitful, although French teachers‟ skewed understanding of multiculturalism indicates that such exchanges would have to be organized with an awareness that pre-existing cultural repertoires shape people‟s understanding of new ideas. Ultimately, this thesis stresses that the interactions  110  This is not unlike the problem of color-blind ideology as described by Bonilla-Silva and Ray (2009), which delegitimize the work of critical race theorists by obscuring the way that prejudice continues to have material consequences for marginalized populations.  88  between teacher practices and ideologies of diversity are more intricate than has been suggested, and both are crucial to understanding how diversity gets conceptualized and enacted in the space of the classroom.  89  REFERENCES Académie de Rennes (2007). Le projet d’académie 2007. Retrieved on April 12, 2010 from <http://www.ac-rennes.fr/jahia/Jahia/accueil/projet-academique> Acker, S. (1983). Women and teaching: A semi-detached sociology of a semi-profession. In S. Walker & L. Barton (Eds.), Gender, class, and education (pp. 123–139). Barcombe: Falmer Press. Ahara, K. (1995). 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Teaching & Teacher Education, 2 (2), pp. 185-196.  96  Appendix 1: Methodology  Getting access to schools There are enough tales in the education literature about how difficult it can be to gain access to schools (see Waters, 1999) that anyone who decides to conduct research in the realm of education expects to face a number of obstacles. Although my experience was positive overall, I relate here my struggle as a Master‟s student to gain access to schools and find participants in the two locations that I used for my study. Institutionally, ethic boards are the first hurdle to clear. Although I found the process with UBC‟s Behavioral Research Ethic Board (BREB) to be generally expedient, the strict requirement to obtain the French school district‟ permission to conduct interviews with teachers created some difficulty. Ethic boards do not exist in France; as a result, there is no institutional culture for authorizing social research in a particular institution, and no uniform formal process to follow. Figuring out a bureaucratic path to obtaining the kind of approval as UBC‟s BREB required could have been a nightmare, especially considering how little time I had as a Master‟s student and the somewhat unpredictable nature of email communication with French officials. I was fortunate enough to have contacts in the French school district who had the authority to deliver the appropriate letter of approval once they had reviewed my research project. In contrast, the Vancouver School Board has a clearly laid-out policy regarding research conducted in the school system which made requesting the district‟s approval a smooth process. While I faced little difficulty at the planning stages, the stage of participant recruitment proved more strenuous than I had hoped. In Rennes, I was limited by time111 but several factors 111  To be able to gain access to schools (and teachers), I had to be in France while school was still in session. With  97  worked in my favor and allowed me to recruit more respondents in a shorter window of time. First, I had exceptional institutional support in the form of the two inspectors that I knew. As a result of their job, the inspectors are extremely familiar with every school, school principal, and school teacher in their circonscription (a subdivision of the school district). This inside knowledge was invaluable to me: my two informants recommended schools based on the principal‟s openness to research, and took the time to call up principals whose schools I was interested in visiting, to let them know I would be contacting them about a research project. While this did not always guarantee that I could recruit teachers in all schools, it gave my project legitimacy and increased my likeliness of setting up a meeting with principals. Indeed, all but one principal agreed to meet with me and were willing to help me contact teachers in their school.112 The result of the principals‟ proactive attitude is evident in my sample: out of twenty French participants, only three of them contacted me or were contacted by me without the mediation of their school‟s principal. I was further helped in the process of recruitment by the fact that being a principal in a French elementary school is not just an administrative position, unless specific circumstances apply.113 Since the vast majority of principals retain teaching duties, they were eligible to be interviewed, and most principals (six out of eight) that I talked to spontaneously suggested I interview them. This boosted the number of participants I was able to recruit, but also facilitated further recruitment within the school – interviewing principals helped  my own coursework keeping me in Vancouver until the end of April, I only had a couple of months (May and June) to recruit teachers and conduct interviews with them. 112 This help took multifarious forms: at one small school, the principal invited me to join him and the rest of the teaching staff for lunch so that I could present my project to everyone at the school; in most schools, the principal introduced me to a few individual teachers, a successful technique as most teachers approached individually were open to the idea of being interviewed; in one school, the principal only offered to bring up my research project and circulate my contact information in a staff meeting, which yielded no response. 113 There are two main reasons why a principal may not have a teaching load: if he/she works in the teacher education program as a formateur (instructor) or, sometimes, if they work in a low-income neighborhood where the principal‟s responsibilities as an administrator and a community mediator are recognized as too time-consuming.  98  establish trust and interest in the research project. In Canada, where I did not have the same kind of institutional help, the recruitment process proved very difficult. Most difficult proved getting access to schools at all. I contacted dozens of principals all over the Vancouver School Board, both through phone calls and followup emails. Replies were rare, and when principals got in touch with me, it was at best to promise that they would circulate my letter of recruitment (or run a shorter ad in the school newsletter), at worst to let me know that they were not interested by the project. No principal offered or accepted my offer to meet with me so that I could introduce them to the research project. Without this initial contact, I had little upon which to build trust and gain access to teachers. Letters of recruitment or newsletter blurbs also proved an ineffective way to get teachers‟ attention (maybe not surprisingly, considering the amount of literature that they receive weekly): only two of my fifteen participants contacted me because they had seen my project advertised. In the end, I managed to gain access to three schools, two of them through informal contacts made with individual teachers through friends and one because I knew the principal from working as a volunteer at her former school.114 Once I had the proverbial foot in a school‟s door, I mingled with teachers at the school to introduce my research project. I typically left them with a flyer and my contact information, and sent them one follow-up email. Through this process, I managed to recruit fifteen participants to interview, but I had to widen my search in order to achieve this: a couple of my participants were not currently regular classroom teachers (one was a project teacher, the other worked in a behavioral classroom) and a few were teaching in French immersion. Although this was not my original target population, their testimonies proved relevant and, in the case of French immersion teachers, provided extra opportunities for 114  This was the only case where a Canadian principal agreed to meet with me and introduce me to teachers in the school, in the manner of French principals.  99  reflecting on differences between France and Canada.  Limits of sampling techniques I have pondered the consequence of recruiting most of my French participants through contact with officials, and how this may have skewed my sample of respondents. First, could my respondents have felt pressure to agree to the interview because the project was introduced to them by a hierarchical superior? This question is a difficult one to tackle, as pressure is experienced differently by each individual. I can only subjectively attest to the fact that I took every precaution to minimize that pressure. I made sure my participants knew that I was in no way accountable to the Académie de Rennes or my informants, and I insisted on confidentiality at the start of every interview. I also made sure that my participants were aware of the fact that they could stop the interview at any time. Having taken these precautions, I am comforted by the fact that none of my respondents acted uneasy during the interview; instead all of them talked at length and with passion about their practice and classroom, and many commented at the end of the interview that they had enjoyed the experience and would be curious to read my final report. My second concern was towards bias in my sample. How much did my two informants at the Académie de Rennes steer me, unconsciously or not, towards schools where they knew teachers would give “good” answers? How much could principals have done the same, introducing me primarily to teachers whose views were congruous with theirs? By relying on a snowball sampling technique to recruit respondents, one takes the inevitable risk that participants may recommend like-minded people. I tried to minimize this limitation by introducing my research via broad topics rather than my exact research questions, and by explicitly stating that I was seeking contributions from respondents in different kinds of settings, with different 100  experiences and opinions. The variation in my sample, both in terms of demographics and answers to my question suggests that the influence of my sampling techniques was limited. These precautions apply to Canadian teachers as well, although my difficulties in recruiting participants meant that I could not achieve the same level of variation in the sample. Since I relied more heavily on the snowball technique in Canada, I made sure that participants knew that I was not looking for a particular type of perspective on the school system. Mingling in the teacher‟s room also ensured that I talked to teachers who did not necessarily share views, even though they taught in the same school. The variation in responses that my Canadian respondents gave, similar to the one that I had observed in France, leads me to believe that I have been fairly successful at not restricting my sample to like-minded people. The lessons that I take away from this experience in the field are slightly different for the French context and the Canadian context. In France, going through the institution proved particularly effective. Knowing two inspectors and being able to use them as proactive informants was a blessing that would be difficult to reproduce. However, arranging a meeting with a principal was often not complicated, and talking to principals is what ultimately opened up doors to find participants. Introducing myself to these principals was not just a necessary ethical step, it also gave my research project clout, and actively helped the recruitment process. In Canada, however, going through principals did not prove effective. Instead, I believe the most effective strategy for a researcher wishing to gain access to the school system in Canada would be to get involved in the educational community as early as possible. My most successful experience was with a school where I knew the principal from volunteering at her former school. In that case, she was happy to accompany me in the teacher‟s room and introduce me briefly, and I made contacts with a few teachers within minutes. I can imagine that my research would have 101  been even more welcome if, rather than simply knowing the principal, I had known teachers in the school from volunteering in their classroom. Establishing friendly contacts both amongst administrators and educators themselves could considerably facilitate the process of recruitment, and there are many opportunities for doing this in Canada, whether by participating to professional development days or volunteering in schools (an option which does not exist in France). Even more so than relying on institutional contact, this approach may be an excellent way to ensure a smoother recruitment process in Canadian elementary schools.  102  Appendix 2: Consent Forms  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Department of Sociology 6303 N.W. Marine Drive Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z1 Tel: 604-822-2878 Fax: 604-822-6161 www.soci.ubc.ca  Consent Form: Interview  Educational Repertoires in France and in Canada: a comparative study of elementary school teachers Principal Investigator: Hélène Frohard-Dourlent, Graduate Student in Sociology, (778) 737-2466, helenefd@gmail.com Graduate Supervisor: daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca  Daniyal  Zuberi,  Assistant  Professor,  (604)  827-5583  ,  Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of elementary school teachers in France and in Canada. It will focus on the purpose of teaching, the role of teachers, your own experience of and approach to teaching, your relationship to your students, and your approach to diversity in the classroom. You are being asked to participate because you teach in an elementary school in Vancouver. This study is being conducted in multiple schools in Vancouver as well as in Rennes, a city on the west coast of France. I will be interviewing about forty teachers in total. Study Procedures: The interview will occur outside of the school day. It will take between 60 and 90 minutes and it will be much like a conversation about your experience of teaching. The interview will be taped to record the details accurately, and I might jot down words throughout the interview to remember to ask you about specific points. At the end of the interview, you will be asked to fill out a brief survey to rate educational objectives on a scale from “very important” to “not important at all”. I will be happy to answer any questions you have about the procedures at any time. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept strictly confidential. Recordings and documents will be identified only by code number, and all documents, including the transcript of the interview will be kept on my computer and will be password-protected. Only I will have access to the identities of study participants. You will not be identified by name in any reports of the completed study. Revealing details will be masked in order to protect your identity. Risks/Benefits: There is no risk to you in participating in this study. If you don‟t feel comfortable answering any of the questions, you can simply tell me and you don‟t have to 103  answer. The benefit of participating is that you will help increase our understanding of how teachers in different countries understand their role as educators. You may also find the questions interesting and enjoy talking about them. Remuneration/Compensation: You will not receive compensation for participating in this interview. Contact for information about the study: If you have any questions or would like further information about this study, you may contact me or Prof. Dan Zuberi, (604) 827-5583 , daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca. Contact for concerns about the rights of research subjects: If you have any concerns or questions about your treatment or rights as a research subject, you may contact the Research Subject Information Line in the UBC Office of Research Services at (604) 822-8598. Consent: Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. Your signature below indicates that you have received a copy of this consent form for your own records. Your signature indicates that you consent to participate in this study.  __________________________________________________________________ Subject Signature Date  __________________________________________________________________ Printed name of the subject signing above  104  UNIVERSITÉ DE COLOMBIE BRITANNIQUE (UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA)  Formulaire de consentement: Entretien  Département de Sociologie 6303 N.W. Marine Drive Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z1 Tel: 604-822-2878 Fax: 604-822-6161 www.soci.ubc.ca  Registres pédagogiques en France et au Canda: Étude comparative sur les professeurs des écoles Enquêtrice Principale: Hélène Frohard-Dourlent, étudiante en Master de Sociologie, 06 83 19 62 75, helenefd@gmail.com. Directeur de mémoire: Daniyal Zuberi, maître de conférence, 001-604-827-5583 , daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca.  Objectif: Le but de cette étude est d'explorer les expériences des professeurs des écoles en France et au Canada. L'étude se centre principalement sur le but de l'enseignement, le rôle des enseignant(e)s, votre propre expérience de la profession et votre manière d'enseigner, ainsi que votre relation aux élèves et votre approche sur les questions de diversité (au sense large du terme). Votre participation est souhaitée car vous enseignez dans une école primaire à Rennes. Cette étude est conduite dans plusieurs écoles à Rennes ainsi qu'à Vancouver, une ville de la côte ouest du Canada. Au total, une quarantaine d'enseignants seront interviewés. Déroulement de l'étude: L'entretien aura lieu en dehors de vos heures de classe. Il durera entre 60 et 90 minutes, et le ton sera celui d'une conversation sur votre expérience d'enseignant. L'entretien sera enregistré afin de conserver les détails de la discussion avec précision; à l'occasion, je prendrais quelques notes pendant que vous parlez afin de me rappeler de vous parler d'un élément que vous aurez mentionné. À la fin de l'entretien, je vous demanderais de remplir un court questionnaire afin que vous puissiez évaluer une série d'objectifs pédagogiques sur une échelle allant de “très important” à “sans aucune importance”. Je me ferais un plaisir de répondre à vos questions sur ces procédures à n'importe quel moment. Confidentialité: Votre identité restera confidentielle. Les différents documents et enregistrements ne seront identifiables que par un système de code, et tous les documents, y compris la transcription de cet entretien, seront sauvegardés sur mon ordinateur et protégés par un mot de passe. J'aurais seule accès à l'identité des participants à cette étude. Vous ne serez désigné par votre nom dans aucun rapport relatif à cette étude, et tout détail pouvant révéler votre identité sera déguisé. 105  Risques et bénéfices: Cette étude ne présente aucun risque pour les participant(e)s. Si certaines questions vous mettent mal à l'aise, vous pouvez tout simplement me le dire et vous n'êtes pas obligé(e) de répondre. Le bénéfice à tirer de cette étude est que vous nous aiderez à mieux comprendre la façon dont les professeurs dans différents pays comprennent leur rôle d'éducateurs. Il se peut aussi que vous trouviez les questions intéressantes et vous prenniez plaisir à discuter de ces sujets. Rémunération/Compensation: Vous ne recevrez aucune compensation pour votre participation dans cette étude. Contact pour plus d'informations sur l'étude: Si vous avez des questions ou que vous souaitez obtenir plus d'informations sur cette étude, vous pouvez me contacter (helenefd@gmail.com) ou contacter Dr. Daniyal Zuberi (daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca.). Contact en cas d'inquiétudes sur les droits des sujets d'étude: Si vous avez des inquiétudes ou des questions à propos de votre traitement ou de vos droits en tant que sujet d'étude, vous pouvez contacter la Ligne d'Information pour les Sujets de Recherche au bureau des Services de Recherche à UBC au 001-604-822-8598. Quelqu'un pourra répondre à vos questions en français. Consentement: Votre participation à cette étude est entièrement volontaire et vous pouvez refuser de participer et de vous retirer de l'étude à tout moment sans aucune conséquence. Votre signature ci-dessous indique que vous avez reçu une copie de ce formulaire de consentement pour vos archives personnelles. Votre signature indique que vous consentez à participer à cette étude.  __________________________________________________________________ Signature du sujet Date  __________________________________________________________________ Nom du sujet ayant signé ci-dessus  106  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Consent Form: Non-participant observation  Department of Sociology 6303 N.W. Marine Drive Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z1 Tel: 604-822-2878 Fax: 604-822-6161 www.soci.ubc.ca  Educational Repertoires in France and in Canada: a comparative study of elementary school teachers Principal Investigator: Hélène Frohard Dourlent, Graduate Student in Sociology, (778) 737-2466, helenefd@gmail.com Graduate Supervisor: Daniyal Zuberi, Assistant Professor, (604) 827-5583 , daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of elementary school teachers in France and in Canada. It focuses on the purpose of teaching, the role of teachers, your own experience of and approach to teaching, your relationship to your students, and your approach to diversity in the classroom. You are being asked to participate because you teach in an elementary school in Vancouver. This study is being conducted in multiple schools in Vancouver as well as in Rennes, a city on the west coast of France. I will be interviewing about twenty teachers in total. Study Procedures: I will come and observe class on the day agreed upon. I will sit at the back of the class and I will not interfere with classroom life unless specifically asked by you. I also will not initiate interactions with the students. I will take notes during this time of observation in order to produce a more accurate record of classroom life: however, because the study focuses on you as a teacher and your approach to teaching, the notes will focus solely on you and your work, and will not make mention of your students or their behavior in the classroom. Confidentiality: None of your students will be identified in the notes taken during the hours of observation. Your own identity will be kept strictly confidential: you will not be identified by name in any of the reports of the completed study, and any revealing details will be masked in order to protect your identity. Only I will have access to your identity and the name of your school. Recordings and documents will be identified only by code number, and all documents, including the fieldnotes for this observation will be kept on my computer and will be passwordprotected. Risks/Benefits: There is no risk to you in participating in this study. If anything happens that 107  makes you feel uncomfortable, you can simply tell me and I will not include it in my notes, or I will stop my observation. The benefit of participating is that you will help increase our understanding of how teachers in different countries understand their role as educators. Remuneration/Compensation: You will not receive compensation for participating in this study. Contact for information about the study: If you have any questions or would like further information about this study, you may contact the interviewer or Dr. Dan Zuberi (604) 827-5583, daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca. Contact for concerns about the rights of research subjects: If you have any concerns or questions about your treatment or rights as a research subject, you may contact the Research Subject Information Line in the UBC Office of Research Services at (604) 822-8598. Consent: Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. Your signature below indicates that you have received a copy of this consent form for your own records. Your signature indicates that you consent to participate in this study.  __________________________________________________________________ Subject Signature Date  __________________________________________________________________ Printed name of the subject signing above  108  UNIVERSITÉ DE COLOMBIE BRITANNIQUE (UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA)  Formulaire de consentement: Observation non-participative  Département de Sociologie 6303 N.W. Marine Drive Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z1 Tel: 604-822-2878 Fax: 604-822-6161 www.soci.ubc.ca  Registres pédagogiques en France et au Canda: Étude comparative sur les professeurs des écoles Enquêtrice Principale: Hélène Frohard-Dourlent, étudiante en Master de Sociologie, 83 75 62 19, helenefd@gmail.com. Directeur de mémoire: Daniyal Zuberi, maître de conférence, 001-604-827-5583 , daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca.  Objectif: Le but de cette étude est d'explorer les expériences des professeurs des écoles en France et au Canada. L'étude se centre principalement sur le but de l'enseignement, le rôle des enseignant(e)s, votre propre expérience de la profession et votre manière d'enseigner, ainsi que votre relation aux élèves et votre approche sur les questions de diversité (au sens large du terme). Votre participation est souhaitée car vous enseignez dans une école primaire à Rennes. Cette étude est conduite dans plusieurs écoles à Rennes ainsi qu'à Vancouver, une ville de la côte ouest du Canada. Au total, une quarantaine d'enseignants seront interviewés. Déroulement de l'étude: Lors d'une demi-journée, à une date convenue au préalable, je viendrais observer votre classe. Je m'assoirais au fond de la classe et ne cherchais pas à intervenir en classe à moins que vous ne me le demandiez explicitement. Je ne cherchais pas non plus à initier des conversations avec les élèves. Pendant le temps de cette observation, je prendrais des notes afin de pouvoir produire un compte-rendu plus exact: cependant, puisque cette étude s'intéresse à votre rôle de professeur et votre manière d'enseigner, je ne prendrais aucune note sur les enfants et leur comportement en classe. Confidentialité: Aucun de vos élèves ne sera identifié dans mes notes, leur anonymat sera donc préservé. Quant à vous, votre identité restera confidentielle: vous ne serez désigné par votre nom dans aucun rapport relatif à cette étude, et tout détail pouvant révéler votre identité sera déguisé. Un système de code permettra de maintenir votre confidentialité, et tous les documents, y compris les notes prises pendant cette observation, seront sauvegardés sur mon ordinateur et protégés par un mot de passe. J'aurais seule accès à l'identité des participants à cette étude et le nom de leurs écoles. Risques et bénéfices: Cette étude ne présente aucun risque pour les participant(e)s. Si un 109  quelconque élément vous met mal à l'aise, vous pouvez tout simplement me le dire et je ne l'incluerais pas dans mes notes, ou j'arrêterais l'observation. Le bénéfice à tirer de cette étude est que vous nous aiderez à mieux comprendre la façon dont les professeurs dans différents pays comprennent leur rôle d'éducateurs. Rémunération/Compensation: Vous ne recevrez aucune compensation pour votre participation dans cette étude. Contact pour plus d'informations sur l'étude: Si vous avez des questions ou que vous souaitez obtenir plus d'informations sur cette étude, vous pouvez me contacter (helenefd@gmail.com) ou contacter Dr. Daniyal Zuberi (daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca.). Contact en cas d'inquiétudes sur les droits des sujets d'étude: Si vous avez des inquiétudes ou des questions à propos de votre traitement ou de vos droits en tant que sujet d'étude, vous pouvez contacter la Ligne d'Information pour les Sujets de Recherche au bureau des Services de Recherche à UBC au 001-604-822-8598. Quelqu'un pourra répondre à vos questions en français. Consentement: Votre participation à cette étude est entièrement volontaire et vous pouvez refuser de participer et de vous retirer de l'étude à tout moment sans aucune conséquence. Votre signature ci-dessous indique que vous avez reçu une copie de ce formulaire de consentement pour vos archives personnelles. Votre signature indique que vous consentez à participer à cette étude.  __________________________________________________________________ Signature du sujet Date  __________________________________________________________________ Nom du sujet ayant signé ci-dessus  110  Appendix 3: Interview Guides In-Depth Interview Guide (Canada) We‟ll be talking today about your experience as a teacher. I just want to repeat again that you can stop the interview at any time or let me know if there are any questions you don‟t want to answer. I. CONTEXT AND ROLE OF TEACHER 1.  When did you start teaching?  2.  Why did you choose to go into teaching?  3.  What grade do you teach?  4.  Have you always taught this grade?  5.  What do you hope to achieve when you teach?  6.  Are there specific values that you think are important to teach your students?  7.  Do you find that these priorities are also those of the Ministry of Education?  VI. TEACHING STYLE 8.  Can you describe a good teacher to me?  9.  Can you describe a bad teacher to me?  10.  Tell me about your style of teaching? How do you teach?  11.  Do you think your style of teaching is typical of a Canadian teacher?  12.  Do you ever share personal anecdotes with your students? ➔ PROBE: If no, why not? If yes, in what circumstances? Can you give me some examples? 13.  Describe a good classroom atmosphere to me.  14.  What are the ground rules that you expect students to follow in your classroom? ➔ PROBE: How do you introduce these rules to your students? Do you ever discuss these rules with the students? How do they usually react to these rules? 111  15.  How do you deal with students who do not follow these rules? ➔ PROBE: How do you discipline students who misbehave? Which rules are you willing to be lenient about? How do you feel about the use of discipline? What kind of discipline do you use with students?  V. RELATIONSHIP TO STUDENTS 16.  How would you describe the relationship you typically establish with your students?  17.  How do you expect students to address you?  18.  Do you find it difficult to find a balance between being an authority figure and being understanding towards the students? Do you encourage students to talk to you about personal problens? PROBE: How do you do that? Could you give me specific examples when this has happened? Do you think this helps improve student learning? 19.  How do you think your own identity (your perceived ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation...) affects your students?  VI. DIVERSITY IN THE CLASSROOM 20.  What does the word “diversity” mean to you?  21.  Would you say your students are diverse?  22.  How do you include diversity into your teaching?  IF DIVERSE CLASSROOM 23.  How has your teaching evolved as a result of teaching in such a diverse environment / to a lot of minority students?  24.  How do you think their presence impacts your teaching?  25.  Have your teaching aids changed because you teach a very diverse classroom / many minority students?  IF NOT DIVERSE CLASSROM 26.  What would be different about your teaching style if you had more minority students in your class? 112  27.  Tell me about one time where you witnessed discrimination amongst your students. PROBE: How did you react?  28.  Do you think the school system in Canada is well-adapted to minority students? To students who have specific needs?  29.  How did your teacher training prepare you to deal with questions of diversity in the classroom?  30.  Can you tell me about discrepancy between what you thought teaching a diverse classroom would be like, and the reality of teaching a very diverse classroom? PROBE: Can you tell me more about this? Can you tell me about one time where you realized there was a discrepancy? Why do you think there is such a gap?  VI. WRAPPING UP  The interview is almost done. I just have a few general questions about your experience of teaching. 31.  What does “multiculturalism” mean to you?  32.  How does it apply to your teaching?  33.  What does “universalism” mean to you? Republicanism?  34.  Give me one strength and one weakness of Canadian education.  35.  Is there anything we haven‟t covered that you would like to mention?  VII. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION To finish up, I would like to ask you for some background information. 36.  What is the highest degree that you have?  37.  What are the highest degrees that your parents or parent have?  38.  How would you describe your racial, ethnic, or ancestral background?  39.  What religious tradition, if any, is most representative of your beliefs? 113  40. Are there any other characteristics that you view as an important part of your identity? Nationality, sexual orientation, disability, gender, etc...  Thank you very much for your time and help with this project, it's greatly appreciated.  In-depth interview guide (France) Aujourd'hui nous allons discuter de votre expérience en tant qu'enseignant, dans le sens large du terme. Je tiens à répéter que vous pouvez interrompre l'entretien à tout moment et que vous pouvez me faire savoir si vous ne souhaitez pas répondre à certaines questions. I. QUESTIONS GÉNÉRALES SUR L'ENSEIGNEMENT 41.  Quand avez-vous commencé à enseigner?  42.  Quel niveau enseignez-vous?  43.  Avez-vous toujours enseigné ce niveau-là?  44.  Pourquoi avez-vous décidé de vous lancer dans l'enseignement?  45.  Combien êtes-vous satisfait(e) du matériel pédagogique que vous pouvez utiliser en classe? ➔ EXPLORER: Souhaiteriez-vous plus de liberté pour choisir ce matériel? Si vous aviez plus de liberté, quels différents choix feriez-vous?  46.  Qu'est-ce que vous aimez le plus dans l'enseignement?  47.  Qu'est-ce que vous aimez le moins dans l'enseignement?  48.  Avez-vous déjà pensé à changer de travail? ➔ EXPLORER: Pour quelles raisons? Pourquoi pensez-vous que cet autre travail vous conviendrait mieux?  49.  De manière générale, êtes-vous satisfait(e) de votre emploi?  III. RÔLE DE L'ENSEIGNANT 50.  D'après vous, quel est le rôle d'un enseignant dans une société? 114  51.  Outre l'enseignement de certaines matières, quelle mission remplit l'école?  52.  En tant que professeur, quelles sont vos responsabilités?  53.  Qu'espérez-vous accompir à travers votre rôle d'enseignant?  54.  Quelles obligations avez-vous par rapport à vos élèves?  55.  D'après vous, quelle est la chose la plus importante que vous apprenez à vos élèves?  56.  Ces priorités sont-elles les mêmes que celles de l'Éducation Nationale?  57.  Et avez-vous l'impression que ces priorités sont-elles les mêmes que celle des parents?  58.  Pensez-vous qu'il y a des valeurs précises qu'il est important d'enseigner aux élèves?  59.  Pouvez-vous me parler du décalage qu'il peut y avoir entre le rôle idéal d'un enseignant et la réalité journalière de votre salle de classe? ➔ EXPLORER: Pouvez-vous m'en dire plus? Pouvez-vous me parler d'une fois où vous vous êtes rendu compte de ce décalage? Comment expliquez-vous cette différence?  60.  Pensez-vous que votre point de vue est représentatif de celui des enseignants français?  VI. MÉTHODE D'ENSEIGNEMENT 61.  Pouvez-vous me décrire un bon enseignant?  62.  Pouvez-vous me décrire un mauvais enseignant?  63.  Décrivez-moi une bonne ambiance de classe.  64.  Pouvez-vous me parler de votre style d'enseignement? ➔ EXPLORER COMPLÈTEMENT.  65.  Comment est ce que les élèves vous appellent? ➔ EXPLORER: Pourquoi préférez-vous qu'ils vous appellent ainsi? Est-ce qu'ils vous tutoient ou vouvoient?  66.  Est-ce qu'il vous arrive de partager des anecdotes sur votre vie personnelle avec vos élèves? ➔ EXPLORER: Si non, pourquoi? Si oui, dans quelles circonstances? Pouvez-vous me donner quelques exemples?  67.  Quelles sont les règles de base que les élèves sont censés suivre en classe? 115  ➔  EXPLORER: Comment présentez-vous ces règles aux élèves? Est ce que vous en discutez avec eux? Comment réagissent-ils à ces règles?  68.  Comment réagissez-vous avec les élèves qui ne suivent pas ces règles? ➔ EXPLORER: Comment punissez-vous les élèves qui se conduisent mal? Y-a-t-il des règles sur lesquelles vous êtes prêt(e)s à faire des concessions? Que pensez-vous de l'utilisation de la punition? Quel genre de punition employez-vous avec vos élèves?  69.  Pensez-vous que votre manière d'enseigner est plutôt typique d'un enseignant français?  V. RELATION AUX ÉLÈVES ET LIMITES PERSONNELLES 70.  Restez-vous à l'école après une journée de cours? ➔ EXPLORER: Que faites-vous durant ce temps? Est ce que les élèves viennent vous parler durant ce temps?  71.  Comment décrieriez-vous le genre de relation que vous établissez habituellement avec vos élèves?  72.  Pourquoi préférez-vous établir ce genre de relations?  73.  Comment en êtes-vous arrivé à cette conclusion?  74.  Est ce que vos collègues établissent le même genre de relation avec leurs élèves?  75.  Vous paraît-il important d'être chaleureux et enthousiaste avec les élèves?  76.  Vous paraît-il important d'être impliqué de manière émotionnelle avec vos élèves?  77.  Si un élève a un problème personnel, à qui devrait-il ou elle s'adresser?  78.  Est-ce que vous encouragez les élèves à vous parler de leurs problèmes personnels? ➔ EXPLORER: De quelle manière les encouragez-vous? Pouvez-vous me donner un exemple d'une fois où cela est arrivé? Pourquoi encouragez-vous les élèves à vous parler? (Est ce que vous pensez que cela aide les élèves à mieux réussir à l'école?)  79.  Est ce que vous pensez que votre identité personnelle (votre identité ethnique, sexe, classe sociale, orientation sexuelle...) a une incidence sur les élèves?  VI. DIVERSITÉ DANS LA SALLE DE CLASSE 80.  Que signifie le mot « diversité » pour vous? 116  81.  De quelle manière integrez-vous la diversité dans votre enseignement? Différents types de familles, de cultures, d'handicaps, de façon d'être fille/garçon  82.  Est ce que vous avez souvent des élèves de minorités visibles dans votre classe?  EXPLORER: Élèves handicapés? De groupes ethniques minoritaires? Qui ne correspondent pas à l'image traditionelle fille ou garçon?  83.  Qu'en est-il des élèves de minorités invisibles? ➔ EXPLORER: Élèves avec des troubles de l'apprentissage? FLE? Immigrants? De famille homoparentale?  84.  Comment pensez-vous que leur présence (leur absence) influe votre manière d'enseigner?  85.  Pensez-vous que votre propre identité (votre identité ethnique, sexe, classe sociale, orientation sexuelle...) a une incidence sur ces élèves en particulier?  86.  SI INVISIBLE MARKER OF DIFFERENCE: Puisque votre différence n'est pas visible, en parlez-vous à vos élèves?  87.  Parlez-moi d'une fois où vous avez assisté à un cas de discrimination parmi vos élèves.  88.  Est-ce que vos élèves savent ce qu'est la discrimination?  89.  Est-ce que vos élèves savent quelle sera votre réaction si vous assistez à un cas de discrimination?  90.  Que signifie pour vous l'idée de procurer aux élèves un lieu d'apprentissage sûr (sans danger) ?  91.  Qu'est ce que le mot « universalisme » évoque pour vous et comment pensez-vous qu'il s'applique à votre méthode d'enseignement?  92.  Qu'est-ce que le mot “multiculturalisme” évoque pour vous?  93.  Comment l'IUFM vous a-t-il préparé pour faire face à ces questions de diversité?  VI. CONCLUSION  L'entretien est presque fini. J'ai maintenant quelques questions plus générales sur votre expérience d'enseignant. 94.  De manière générale, comment vous décrieriez-vous en tant qu'enseignant? 117  95.  Est-ce que cela est différent de la façon dont vous vous décrieriez en tant que personne?  96.  A votre avis, quel est un grand défaut de l'éducation française?  97.  Quel est une grande qualité de l'éducation française?  98.  Y-a-t-il quelque chose dont nous n'avons pas parlé mais que vous aimeriez mentionner?  VII. INFORMATION DÉMOGRAPHIQUE Pour terminer, je voudrais vous poser quelques questions sur vos origines socio-professionelles. 99.  Quel est le plus haut diplôme que vous ayez obtenu?  100. Quel  est le plus haut diplôme que votre ou vos parents aient obtenu?  101. Comment  décrireriez -vous votre origine éthnique ou raciale?  102. Si  vous vous considérez comme croyant, de quelle tradtion religieuse est-vous le/la plus proche?  103. Y-a-t-il  d'autre caractéristiques que vous considérez être une part important de votre identité? Nationalité, orientation sexuelle, identité de genre, handicap... Merci beaucoup de m'avoir accordé autant de temps et de m'avoir aidé pour ce projet, je vous en suis très reconnaissante.  118  Appendix 4 : Recruitment letters Recruitment letter (Canada)  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Educational Repertoires in France and in Canada: a comparative study of elementary school teachers a.  Hélène Frohard-Dourlent supervised by Daniyal Zuberi, Assistant Professor  Sociology Department 6303 N.W. Marine Drive Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z1 Tel: 604-822-2878 Fax: 604-822-6161 www.soci.ubc.ca  Seeking participants Dear Principal, I am contacting you about research that I am undertaking on elementary education in Canada and France for my M.A. thesis in Sociology at the University of British Columbia. I am working under the supervision of Dr. Daniyal Zuberi, who conducted the study "Determinants of School Success in East Vancouver Elementary Schools" in 2006. This research project seeks to understand how elementary teachers on either side of the Atlantic make sense of their role of educator and how this affects the type of relationship that teachers establish with their students. Within this framework, I am particularly interested in how teachers talk about classroom diversity and how they take up or contest official educational discourses. In order to complete my project, I am hoping to recruit about fifteen elementary school teachers (grade 1 to 5) who currently teach in Vancouver. The interview will be conducted in the fall of 2009 and last under an hour. I completed interviews with French teachers earlier this year. If you would be willing to meet with me to discuss this project further as well as talk about the possibility of contacting teachers at your school who might be interested in participating in this study, I would be very thankful if you could contact me by email at helenefd@gmail.com or by telephone at (778) 737-2466. My supervisor Dr. Daniyal Zuberi is also happy to answer any questions you might have. You may contact him at daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca or 604-827-5583. Thank you for your time and consideration of my request. Yours sincerely, Hélène Frohard-Dourlent 778-737-2466 helenefd@gmail.com 119  Recruitment letter (France)  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Registres pédagogiques en France et au Canada: Étude comparative sur les professeurs des écoles Hélène Frohard-Dourlent sous la direction de Daniyal Zuberi  Département de Sociologie 6303 N.W. Marine Drive Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z1 Tél: 604-822-2878 Fax: 604-822-6161 www.soci.ubc.ca  Objet: Recherche de participants pour une étude dans le cadre d'un Master de Sociologie. Madame, Monsieur, Je me permets de vous contacter à propos d'une étude sur les professeurs des écoles en France et au Canada que j'entreprends dans le cadre de mon Master de Sociologie à l'Université de Colombie Britannique. Sous la direction de Daniyal Zuberi, ce projet de recherche a pour but d'étudier la manière dont les professeurs des écoles comprennent leur rôle d'enseignant ainsi que la relation à leurs élèves, en particulier les élèves issus de minorités (sociales, ethniques, culturelles...). Cette étude souhaite ainsi éclairer la façon dont les discours éducatifs officiels sont mis en pratique et/ou contestés par les enseignants. Afin de mener à bien ce projet, je suis à la recherche de professeurs des écoles qui enseignent actuellement à Rennes et qui seraient prêts à s'entretenir avec moi dans les semaines à venir. Cet entretien durera environ une heure. Dans certains cas, en plus de cet entretien, et seulement si vous et votre directeur ou directrice le permettez, je serais ravie de pouvoir observer votre salle de classe pendant quelques heures lors d'une journée. Si participer à cette étude vous intéresse ou si vous souhaitez obtenir de plus amples informations, je vous encourage à me contacter le plus rapidement possible par courriel (helenefd@gmail.com) ou sur mon portable au 06 83 19 62 75. Daniyal Zuberi, mon directeur de mémoire, reste aussi à votre disposition pour répondre à vos questions. Ses coordonnées sont les suivantes: daniyal.zuberi@ubc.ca, 001-604-827-5583. En espérant que j'aurais l'opportunité de collaborer avec vous, Je vous prie d'agréer à l'expression de mes sentiments distingués, Hélène Frohard-Dourlent  120  Appendix 5: University Ethics Certificate The University of British Columbia Office of Research Services Behavioural Research Ethics Board Suite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3 CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL - MINIMAL RISK PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Daniyal M Zuberi  INSTITUTION / DEPARTMENT: UBC/Arts/Sociology  UBC BREB NUMBER: H09-00044  INSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT: Institution Site N/A N/A Other locations where the research will be conducted: Interviews of participants may be conducted at a participant's school, in their classroom (in both these cases, the interview will be conducted outside of the school day as to not interfere with a teacher's daily tasks), in their home or in a public location previously agreed upon (such as a coffee shop or a park). This choice will be left to the participants' discretion to ensure that they pick the location in which they feel most comfortable. The non-participant observation component of this research will be conducted in schools in Rennes, France and in Vancouver, within the jurisdiction of the Vancouver School Board. It is anticipated that observations will be conducted in about 10 schools in each country (20 schools total). The schools will be selected from the range of schools where recruited participants teach so that it is difficult to foresee the exact schools where observations will occur. One criteria for selecting the majority of participants is that they teach in a ethnically-diverse environment so the selected schools will be primarily located in ethnically-diverse neighborhoods (such as Le Blosne or Villejean for Rennes and Oakridge or Strathconia for Vancouver).  CO-INVESTIGATOR(S): Wendy Roth Hélène Frohard-Dourlent SPONSORING AGENCIES: N/A PROJECT TITLE: Educational Repertoires in France and in Canada: a comparative study of elementary school teachers  CERTIFICATE EXPIRY DATE: February 17, 2010 121  DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN THIS APPROVAL: Document Name Protocol: Research proposal Consent Forms: Consent - interview [fr] Consent - interview [en] Consent - observation [en] Consent - observation [fr] Questionnaire, Questionnaire Cover Letter, Tests: Survey on educational objectives [fr] Observation guide [en] Interview guide [en] Interview guide [fr] Survey on educational objectives [en] Letter of Initial Contact: Letter of notification for parents [en] Letter of notification for parents [fr] Letter [en] Letter [fr]  DATE APPROVED: February 17, 2009 Version  Date  1.2  January 26, 2009  1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1  February 6, 2009 February 6, 2009 February 6, 2009 February 6, 2009  1 1 1 1 1  January 26, 2009 February 6, 2009 January 25, 2009 January 26, 2009 January 25, 2009  1 1 1 1  February 5, 2009 February 5, 2009 January 25, 2009 January 25, 2009  The application for ethical review and the document(s) listed above have been reviewed and the procedures were found to be acceptable on ethical grounds for research involving human subjects.  Approval is issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board and signed electronically by one of the following:  Dr. M. Judith Lynam, Chair Dr. Ken Craig, Chair Dr. Jim Rupert, Associate Chair Dr. Laurie Ford, Associate Chair Dr. Anita Ho, Associate Chair  122  Appendix 6 : School district approval letters  Vancouver School Board approval  123  Académie de Rennes approval  124  


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