UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conceptions of curriculum and classroom practice : an ethnographic study of family life education teachers Thomas, Christie Jane 1990

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1990_A2 T46.pdf [ 13.66MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0055224.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0055224-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0055224-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0055224-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0055224-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0055224-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0055224-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0055224-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0055224.ris

Full Text

CONCEPTIONS OF CURRICULUM AND CLASSROOM P R A C T I C E : AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF FAMILY L I F E EDUCATION TEACHERS By CHRISTIE JANE THOMAS B.H.E., The Uni v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1970 M.A., The Uni v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Curriculum and Instruction) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1990 o C h r i s t i e Jane Thomas, 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. J Department of tufdRfC<jL.uhf g fMST&ucnOfij The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This ethnographic f i e l d study examined s i x female home economics teachers' conceptions of Family L i f e Education (FLE) curriculum, the perceived influences on these conceptions and the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the conceptions to classroom p r a c t i c e . Data from classroom observations, interviews and selected documents were analyzed using a framework of conceptual categories from the l i t e r a t u r e of curriculum and of FLE, and two emergent a n a l y t i c categories ("tensions and constr a i n t s " and "images of FLE curriculum p r a c t i c e " ) . Six curriculum conceptions were l a b e l l e d according to the teachers' b e l i e f s about the aims and purposes of FLE. S i m i l a r i t i e s were rel a t e d to the nature of FLE subject matter, while differences suggested d i f f e r i n g views of the educational enterprise. Although the teachers indicated that multiple factors had influenced t h e i r b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum, a l l considered l i f e experiences to have had the greatest impact, suggesting that the curriculum conceptions were personally derived and represent the teachers' personal v i s i o n s of FLE curriculum. The considerable consistency between the teachers' a r t i c u l a t e d b e l i e f s and t h e i r classroom p r a c t i c e i n t h i s study implies that curriculum conceptions were s i g n i f i c a n t influences on curriculum p r a c t i c e and confirms the b e l i e f i n the f i e l d that the teacher i s the FLE curriculum. Contextual factors (such as the i n s t i t u t i o n a l nature of schooling) appeared to mediate some b e l i e f s and may have contributed to some inconsistencies between b e l i e f s and prac t i c e and to the emergence of some unarticulated b e l i e f s . For the most part, these factors were rel a t e d to the subject matter i t s e l f and indicate that FLE teachers may experience some unique influences on t h e i r p r a c t i c e . The images of curriculum p r a c t i c e provide insight into the role of b e l i e f s i n the t r a n s l a t i o n of FLE curriculum i n the classroom. Of p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e was the extent to which these images r e f l e c t e d the influence of personal l i f e experience. These images also situate teachers' b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum within the classroom and indicate that teachers' b e l i e f s i n t e r a c t with both the students and the subject matter of the curriculum. This i n t e r a c t i o n contributes to the character of the curriculum i n use and suggests that while teachers' b e l i e f s do play a cen t r a l role i n the t r a n s l a t i o n of curriculum, other factors may also exert an influence. i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS i i i LIST OF TABLES v i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i i CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1 Introduction and Background 1 Statement of the Problem 2 Evolution of the Study 4 Purpose and Research Questions 4 Signi f i c a n c e of the Study 5 D e f i n i t i o n of Terms 6 Limitations 7 Outline of the Thesis 8 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 9 FLE as a F i e l d of Study and Practice 9 The Nature of Family L i f e Education 9 C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of FLE in Schools 10 Family L i f e Educators i n School Settings 12 Studies of FLE 13 Research on Teachers' Thought Processes 18 Teachers' I m p l i c i t Theories and B e l i e f s 20 Curriculum Theory and Practice 26 Three Perspectives on Curriculum Theory 27 Conceptual Foundations of Curriculum Theory 31 Theoretical Framework 34 Summary 37 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY 39 Ethnographic F i e l d Research 39 D e f i n i t i o n and Features of Ethnographic F i e l d Research . . . 39 Methodological Assumptions 40 Research Purpose and Design 44 Selection of Cases 44 Gaining Entry to Settings 47 i i i Table of Contents Contd. Page Description of Settings 51 The School D i s t r i c t 51 The Schools 52 Data C o l l e c t i o n and Analysis 54 Methods 54 Analysis 60 Research Roles and Gaining Access into the Teachers' S o c i a l Worlds 62 Gaining Access into the Teachers' S o c i a l Worlds 62 Research Roles 64 Dealing with S u b j e c t i v i t y 68 V a l i d i t y and R e l i a b i l i t y 69 Summary 73 CHAPTER IV THE FINDINGS: TEACHER CONCEPTIONS OF FAMILY LIFE 74 Teacher Conceptions of FLE Curriculum: Case Portrayals 74 Case Por t r a y a l : J u l i e 75 Case P o r t r a y a l : Candace 82 Case P o r t r a y a l : Karen 91 Case Por t r a y a l : Paula 100 Case P o r t r a y a l : A l l i s o n 108 Case P o r t r a y a l : Susan 117 Summary 127 CHAPTER V THE FINDINGS: CURRICULUM CONCEPTIONS IN CLASSROOM PRACTICE 129 Relationship of Curriculum Conceptions and Classroom Practice . . . 129 Case Portrayals 130 J u l i e : "Authority of Facts and Information" 130 Candace: " S k i l l s f o r L i v i n g " 138 Karen: "Guidance and Advice" 146 Paula: "Self R e f l e c t i o n and Personal Insight" 154 A l l i s o n : "Personal Autonomy and Transformation" 164 Susan: "Personal Growth and So c i a l R e s p o n s i b i l i t y " 173 Summary 187 iv Table of Contents Contd. Page CHAPTER VI THE FINDINGS: THE CONTEXT OF TEACHING AND IMAGES OF CURRICULUM PRACTICE . . . 190 Tensions and Constraints 190 Contextual Tensions and Constraints 191 Tensions and Constraints Associated with the Subject Matter 200 Images of FLE Curriculum Practice 207 Stories and S t o r y t e l l i n g 208 Personal L i f e Experience 214 A Female Orientation 220 Pr e s c r i p t i o n 228 Summary 232 CHAPTER VII DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS 234 Teachers' Conceptions of FLE Curriculum 234 Influences on the Development of Curriculum Conceptions 239 Curriculum Conceptions i n Classroom Practice 246 The Role of Curriculum Conceptions i n Practice 246 Curriculum Conceptions and Tensions and Constraints . . . . 250 Curriculum Conceptions and Images of FLE Curriculum Practice 256 Summary 261 CHAPTER VIII SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 263 Summary 263 Conclusions 267 Recommendations 270 REFERENCES 273 APPENDICES A. The P r o v i n c i a l FLE Program i n Home Economics 287 B. Consent L e t t e r 289 C. Subject Consent Form 290 D. Pre-Observational Interview Guide 291 E. Post-Observational Interview 294 F. Sample Interview 295 G. Sample Protocol 296 H. Guided Writing A c t i v i t i e s 297 v LIST OF TABLES Page Table 1. Data C o l l e c t i o n : Interview and Observation Schedule 55 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This t h e s i s i s dedicated to Margaret, who inspired me i n the f i r s t place, and to the s i x teachers who opened t h e i r l i v e s and t h e i r classrooms to make t h i s research possible. My sincere thanks to Dr. Margaret Arcus, who has taught me to c r i t i c a l l y r e f l e c t on my work and to write and to think more c a r e f u l l y . Her generous cont r i b u t i o n of time, her encouragement and her many i n s i g h t f u l comments were t r u l y invaluable. Thank you also to Dr. LeRoi Daniels, Dr. Donald Fisher and Dr. Linda Peterat f o r t h e i r many h e l p f u l suggestions, and to Mary Lou Morris, f o r her fin e s e c r e t a r i a l work and f o r caring beyond the c a l l of duty. F i n a l l y , thank you to my family. Without your support, my dream might never have been r e a l i z e d . v i i 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Introduction and Background Family l i f e education ( F L E ) — t h e study of family development and i n t e r a c t i o n — i s a r e l a t i v e l y new area of study in Canadian schools. Although some FLE courses were offered as early as the 1920's (Thomas, 1986), for the most part, these courses were not offered widely throughout schools and were av a i l a b l e only to l i m i t e d numbers of students. Indeed, as the Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family noted in 1971: A few generations ago, few people in Canada looked upon FLE as a f i t subject f o r a school c u r r i c u l a . For many there was no need for FLE of any kind to be taught to students—boys and g i r l s learned what they had to know in the course of t h e i r family experience and t h e i r everyday l i v e s (The Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family, 1971, p . l ) . However, the Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family also noted that: The s i t u a t i o n i s v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t now. FLE of one kind or another i s taught i n hundreds of schools in Canada and has been the subject of consideration in hundreds of others. That the schools might l e g i t i m a t e l y teach FLE today, in one form or another, i s seldom questioned (The Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family, 1971, p . l ) . In the f i r s t national survey of FLE in Canadian secondary schools, the Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family (1971) found that 29% of the 4,475 schools responding to t h e i r questionnaire included FLE as part of the school curriculum. A more recent p r o v i n c i a l survey (Arcus, 1983) indicated that the incidence of FLE in secondary schools was considerably higher, and could reach as high as 50%. As more schools and school d i s t r i c t s implement FLE programs and as some of these programs become mandatory, issues concerning who should teach them have become the focus of considerable debate. While numerous surveys indicate that parents, students, educational administrators, teachers and the general public support FLE i n the schools, questions about whether teachers are adequately prepared to teach FLE continue to be the center of some controversy 2 (Arcus, 1986). Indeed, i n the surveys noted above, several concerns s p e c i f i c a l l y related to the FLE teacher were i d e n t i f i e d . For example, i t was reported that l i m i t e d formal t r a i n i n g i n FLE philosophy and methodology and the d e f i c i e n c y of adequately tested teaching materials and resources generally contributed to a lack of confidence among teachers i n teaching FLE. These concerns have raised questions about how to sel e c t FLE teachers. Some administrators indicated that i t i s often unclear which teachers on a school s t a f f should teach FLE courses and c r i t e r i a such as personal i n t e r e s t , a s s o c i a t i o n with a related course and ease of timetabling frequently appeared to be employed i n teacher s e l e c t i o n f o r FLE. Statement of the Problem In spite of these concerns about FLE teachers, l i t t l e i s known about the nature of teacher pr a c t i c e i n FLE or about the role of the teacher i n implementing FLE programs. Because they not only develop and implement programs but also i n t e r a c t d i r e c t l y with program p a r t i c i p a n t s , teachers are considered to be c r i t i c a l to the success of FLE (National Council on Family Relations, 1984). This importance of the teacher i s based on the assumption that the aims and purposes of the f i e l d are r e f l e c t e d i n and r e a l i z e d through p r a c t i c e . Most writers i n the f i e l d acknowledge t h i s c e n t r a l i t y of the teacher but disagree about the adequacy of t h e i r preparation to assume t h i s r o l e . Gaylin (1981), f o r example, suggests that many family l i f e educators are frequently "volunteers" rather than trained professionals and are often inadequately -prepared to "deal e f f e c t i v e l y with...sensitive and important issues" ( p . 5 1 5 ) . Fisher and Kerckhoff (1981), however, assert that the p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s "wisdom, i n t u i t i o n a n d . l e s s o n s of personal experience" deserve greater recognition in the teaching of FLE (p. 508). L i t t l e research has been conducted which 3 substantiates e i t h e r of these views or which c l a r i f i e s the role of the family l i f e educator i n implementing FLE programs. This ethnographic f i e l d study addresses some of the concerns about the FLE p r a c t i t i o n e r by examining family l i f e educators' b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum ( i . e . , curriculum conceptions) within the public school s e t t i n g . Presumably teachers' b e l i e f s about the f i e l d in general w i l l be r e f l e c t e d i n t h e i r b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum and w i l l y i e l d insight into ways in which the aims and purposes of the f i e l d are interpreted i n p r a c t i c e . This focus was adopted f o r several reasons. F i r s t , knowledge about the family l i f e educator i s considered to be central to theory development i n FLE. Fisher (1986), f o r example, proposes that the family l i f e educator i s a key variable in FLE theory. In p a r t i c u l a r , she suggests that t h e o r e t i c a l issues concerning the nature of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the educator to the p a r t i c i p a n t s ( i . e . , f a c i l i t a t o r , authority, f r i e n d , model, confidant), the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the goals of the f i e l d i n prac t i c e and the professional expertise required by the family l i f e educator must be examined before FLE theory can be developed. Second, most writers i n the f i e l d acknowledge that i n many ways the family l i f e educator i s the curriculum of FLE (Arcus, 1984). As the curriculum implementor, the teacher i s c r u c i a l to the r e a l i z a t i o n of the cen t r a l concepts, aims and purposes embodied in a curriculum or program. Because the curriculum may be considered the ve h i c l e by which the body of content associated with a f i e l d of study i s translated into p r a c t i c e , the notion of curriculum provides a context f o r examining family l i f e educators' b e l i e f s about the f i e l d and how these are related to p r a c t i c e . F i n a l l y , the nature of FLE subject matter i s somewhat unique i n that much of i t may be l i v e d personally (e.g., one l i v e s i n a family and has experiences i n that family that profoundly shape one's l i f e ) . B e l i e f s about the subject matter (as well as about the f i e l d ) may be rel a t e d to one's personal b e l i e f s and experiences. Indeed, M i l l e r , Schvaneveldt and Jenson 4 (1981) suggest that "the close personal involvement with the subject matter...may color...the perceptions of those who teach i t " (p.625). Evolution of the Study While the development of t h i s research was guided by the issues and concerns about family l i f e educators r e f l e c t e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e of FLE, two fieldwork projects conducted by the researcher provided the impetus to investigate such issues. The f i r s t project involved an exploratory study of teacher p r a c t i c e with a FLE teacher in her classroom. The second project was an ethnographic evaluation of a FLE curriculum involving several teachers in which the researcher was the fieldworker. In doing these projects, i t became apparent that the teachers had d i f f e r e n t perceptions of the f i e l d of FLE and of the FLE curriculum they were teaching. For example, a teacher in one of the projects seemed to view FLE in terms of nurturing, another in terms of information transmission and another in terms of counselling and therapy. Moreover, in interviews several of these teachers reported that they perceived that t h e i r personal l i f e experiences q u a l i f i e d them to teach t h i s subject. Classroom observations during these projects revealed that teachers used t h e i r l i f e experiences extensively in t h e i r teaching of FLE. These occurrences raised questions not only about how FLE teachers conceptualize the f i e l d , the FLE curriculum they teach and the extent to which these conceptualizations influence t h e i r classroom practice but also about the role of personal l i f e experience in FLE p r a c t i c e . Such questions contributed to the genesis of t h i s study. Purpose and Research Questions The purpose of t h i s research was to i d e n t i f y teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum and to determine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e i r curriculum 5 conception and their curriculum practice. The specific research questions were: 1) What conceptions of FLE curriculum do FLE teachers express? 2) What factors do they perceive to have influenced these conceptions, e .g. , professional education, the contexts of teaching, personal experiences, etc.? 3) What is the relationship between teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum and classroom practice, i . e . , how do their conceptions shape or influence their classroom practice? Significance of the Study This study of teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum may make several potential contributions to the f i e ld of FLE. F i r s t , i t may help to c lar i fy the nature of FLE practice in educational settings. As noted ear l ier , very l i t t l e is presently known about what family l i f e educators actually do. This study may provide some insight into the extent to which practit ioners' beliefs guide their practice. From a broader perspective, this research may yie ld understanding of practit ioners' interpretation of the f i e ld . Second, the findings of this study may have implications for the preparation of family l i f e educators. If more is known about how practitioners interpret the f i e ld and the extent to which their personal beliefs and l i f e experiences guide their curriculum practice, then preparation programs might be designed to include such issues. Third, this study may also have implications for curriculum development in FLE. If teachers' beliefs do play a role in the way in which FLE curriculum is implemented, then consideration of how such beliefs might potentially interact with the goals and assumptions of curriculum materials may be important in FLE program development. 6 F i n a l l y , because the teacher has been i d e n t i f i e d as a c e n t r a l v ariable in FLE (Fisher, 1986), t h i s research may have implications for theory development i n FLE as c l a r i f i c a t i o n of major variables i s an important f i r s t step i n any theory development (Burr, H i l l , Nye and Reiss, 1979). Through the examination of teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum, t h i s research may begin to c l a r i f y the nature of the role assumed by an educator in the process of FLE and contribute to t h i s f i r s t stage of theory development in the f i e l d . In the f i e l d of education, t h i s study may contribute to increased understanding of the role of teacher b e l i e f s i n curriculum pr a c t i c e and of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between teachers' abstract b e l i e f s and t h e i r contextualized b e l i e f s ( i . e . , b e l i e f s r e f l e c t e d i n p r a c t i c e ) . Such findings may extend the body of knowledge associated with curriculum development and implementation and may have implications for teacher education. D e f i n i t i o n of Terms Several terms which are central to t h i s research require c l a r i f i c a t i o n . "Family l i f e education" i s a m u l t i d i s c i p l i n a r y f i e l d of study and p r a c t i c e concerned with strengthening f a m i l i e s and improving the q u a l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l and family l i f e (National Council on Family Relations, 1984). However, the term may be somewhat problematic in that i t i s frequently confused with "sex education". While there appears to be some agreement within the f i e l d that the terms are not equivalent and that FLE i s broader in scope than sex education (Arcus, 1986), i t i s important to make c l e a r a d i s t i n c t i o n between the two terms. In t h i s study, "FLE" ref e r s to the broad d e f i n i t i o n of the f i e l d which includes, but i s not l i m i t e d to, sex education. (Further elaboration of t h i s d e f i n i t i o n i s provided in Chapter II) The term "curriculum" i s used interchangeably with the term "program" and ref e r s to the curriculum as i t i s set out in documents and includes what i s to be taught, the materials used to teach and the curriculum as i t i s actually taught in the classroom. Thus the term encompasses both the formal or o f f i c i a l curriculum in documentary form and the informal curriculum as i t is translated in classroom practice. "Classroom practice" is used interchangeably with "curriculum practice" It includes classroom instruction (including the selection of methods and materials), classroom discourse and act iv i t ies related to curriculum development and implementation (such as the organization and selection of content and the preparation of course materials). This research is concerned with examining teacher beliefs about a f i e ld of study and the relationship of those beliefs to practice. The notion of "conception" is used to identify and isolate these beliefs . Thus "conception w i l l refer to the beliefs which teachers have with respect to FLE curriculum. Limitations Several limitations of the study should be noted: 1) This research is limited to school-based FLE and does not include FLE in other settings. 2) The cases studied are limited to female home economics teachers whose background in home economics may have shaped their view of FLE. As well , the study is limited to classroom teachers. Family l i f e educators in other settings (such as in community agencies or in churches) are not included. The professional education background of school-based family l i f e educators may have influenced their views of FLE. 3) The teachers studied in this research are a l l Caucasians with similar ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. These variables may have influenced their views of FLE. 4) This study is limited to a large metropolitan school d i s t r i c t in a province in western Canada. 8 5) It is d i f f i c u l t to gather information about an individual's thinking without in some way disturbing i t . The findings of this study represent the thinking documented at the time in which the researcher intervened in the teachers' thinking. Outline of the Thesis Chapter II of this thesis reviews three areas of l i terature relevant to this study: 1) FLE as a f i e ld of study and practice and family l i f e educators in public school settings; 2) research on teachers' thought processes; and 3) curriculum theory and practice. The theoretical framework which guides the research is also outlined in Chapter II. Chapter III describes the features and characteristics of ethnographic research and delineates the specific methods used in gathering data . Findings are reported in Chapters I V , V and VI. In Chapter IV the findings concerning the conceptions of FLE curriculum expressed by teachers and the perceived influences on these are presented in six individual case studies. Chapter V reports the findings of these case studies concerning the relationship of curriculum conceptions to classroom practice.. Chapter VI identifies some tensions and constraints associated with the context of teaching and describes four images of curriculum practice which were evident in a l l six classroom settings. In Chapter VII, the findings are discussed. Chapter VIII summarizes the study and offers some conclusions and recommendations. 9 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK In t h i s chapter, l i t e r a t u r e relevant to the questions of the study i s reviewed. This l i t e r a t u r e review focuses on three areas: 1) FLE (both FLE as a f i e l d of study and prac t i c e and family l i f e educators i n public school s e t t i n g s ) ; 2) research on teachers' thought processes; and 3) curriculum theory and pr a c t i c e . In addition, the t h e o r e t i c a l framework which guides the research i s delineated. FLE as a F i e l d of Study and Practice The Nature of Family L i f e Education FLE i s a m u l t i d i s c i p l i n a r y f i e l d of study and pr a c t i c e concerned with strengthening f a m i l i e s and improving the q u a l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l and family l i f e (National Council on Family Relations, 1984). Although there i s evidence of some uncertainty and inconsistency regarding the use of the term (Arcus, 1986), there appears to be general agreement within the f i e l d that the central purpose of FLE i s to a s s i s t i n d i v i d u a l s and fa m i l i e s to "learn what i s known about human growth, development and behavior i n the family s e t t i n g throughout the l i f e c y c l e " so that they may "develop s a t i s f y i n g i n t e r a c t i o n s and achieve t h e i r p o t e n t i a l f o r enriching the q u a l i t y of human l i v i n g " (National Commission on FLE, 1968, pp.211-212). The s p e c i a l i z e d content areas of FLE include human development and sexuality, interpersonal r e l a t i o n s h i p s , family i n t e r a c t i o n , family resource management, education about parenthood, et h i c s , and family and society (National Council on Family Relations, 1986). In designing educational programs using these concepts, FLE integrates findings from d i s c i p l i n e s such as anthropology, biology, economics, education, home economics, law, philosophy, psychology, sociology, s o c i a l work and theology ( i . e . , family m i n i s t r y ) . FLE i n North America was f i r s t i n evidence at least one hundred years ago with the organization of parent groups to f a c i l i t a t e what was c a l l e d 10 " c h i l d management" (Kerckhoff, 1964). The need f o r such education was i n t e n s i f i e d by s o c i a l changes associated with i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and urbanization. These movements resulted i n a l t e r a t i o n s to t r a d i t i o n a l family patterns, the role of the family as the primary s o c i a l i z i n g agency and the role of women in f a m i l i e s . During t h i s time, developments i n psychology, sociology, home economics and the progressive education movement contributed to the evolution of FLE programs in a v a r i e t y of settings, including schools (Darling, 1988; Kerckhoff, 1964). Since that time, the f i e l d has expanded considerably. This expansion i s evident i n the development of FLE programs i n a wide v a r i e t y of settings, in the establishment of professional preparation programs in FLE in colleges and u n i v e r s i t i e s and in the formation of organizations which promote the well-being of i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s through education (e.g., the National Council on Family Relations in the United States and the Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family i n Canada). FLE programs may be offered i n both formal and nonformal settings (Darling, 1988). Formal settings include i n s t i t u t i o n s such as schools, colleges and u n i v e r s i t i e s , while nonformal settings include community service, adult education and r e l i g i o u s contexts. FLE programs offered i n any of these settings may be general (covering multiple content areas as described above) or s p e c i f i c (involving i n d i v i d u a l topics such as marriage preparation, parent education or r e l a t i o n s h i p enrichment). C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of FLE in Schools Although i t i s not univer s a l , FLE in school settings i s well-established. Following World War I, the progressive education movement provided the impetus to develop high school programs f o r teaching c h i l d development and family r e l a t i o n s (Kerckhoff, 1964). While such programs are evident today i n many schools i n North America, the ra t i o n a l e f o r t h e i r 11 i n c l u s i o n i n the school curriculum has varied. For some, the primary reason fo r FLE was the prevalence of s o c i a l problems: In part the argument for FLE derives from the demands of a r a p i d l y changing world and the unanticipated problems which confront modern f a m i l i e s . . . s o c i a l problems and new patterns of l i f e associated with c h i l d r e n and the family have become more threatening to our t r a d i t i o n a l way of l i f e and more... c o s t l y to the state (The Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family, 1971, p . l ) . For others, the r a t i o n a l e was not to solve or to prevent problems but to provide knowledge which w i l l enhance the future well-being of i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s : To promote i n d i v i d u a l and family well-being by providing sound knowledge that w i l l enable i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s to make t h e i r own r a t i o n a l decisions [about family l i f e ] (Rodman, 1970, p. 4, 5). While these c o n f l i c t i n g views of the purpose of FLE in schools p e r s i s t (Sheek, 1984), i t i s generally agreed by scholars in the f i e l d that FLE focuses p r i m a r i l y on strengthening i n d i v i d u a l and family l i f e through the development of knowledge, attitudes and s k i l l s (including communication, decision-making and problem-solving) which enhance the p o t e n t i a l s of i n d i v i d u a l s in t h e i r present and future family roles (Arcus, 1987; National Commission on FLE, 1968). Formal FLE school c u r r i c u l a include a range of content. While t h i s v aries among courses, some studies ( A l l e n & King, 1970; Arcus, 1983; Koblinsky, Weeks & Cooke, 1985) suggest that several topics are commonly included i n FLE programs. These include interpersonal r e l a t i o n s h i p s , human sexual i t y and reproduction, male-female r o l e s , marriage and family dynamics, preparation f o r parenthood and c h i l d development. However, not a l l grade l e v e l s may cover a l l topics (Arcus, 1983). In schools, FLE i s most often offered by home economics departments (A l l e n & King, 1970; Arcus, 1983; Koblinsky, Weeks & Cooke, 1985; The Vanier 12 I n s t i t u t e of the Family, 1970; Sheek, 1984). Other departments which also o f f e r FLE content include guidance and counselling, health and p h y s i c a l education, science and s o c i a l studies. It i s not only offered as a separate course but may also be integrated with other courses ( i . e . , s o c i a l studies classes may include topics such as the c u l t u r a l comparison of f a m i l i e s , while science classes may include a unit on human reproduction). Although FLE i s usually an e l e c t i v e course, many schools and d i s t r i c t s are now mandating i t (Arcus, 1986; Sheek, 1984). Some early studies suggest that more females than males e n r o l l i n FLE (Baker & Darcy, 1970; Bayer & Nye, 1964), but more recent surveys (e.g., Sheek, 1984) indicate that most FLE courses are coeducational ( i . e . , open to both boys and g i r l s ) and that male and female enrollment i s approximately equal. Issues and concerns most frequently reported by teachers and administrators in the surveys c i t e d above center on the academic preparation and s e l e c t i o n of FLE teachers and on the a v a i l a b i l i t y and adequacy of materials and resources. Increasingly the c e r t i f i c a t i o n of family l i f e educators i n schools i s becoming an issue and several states have adopted p o l i c i e s and procedures related to teacher c e r t i f i c a t i o n i n FLE (e.g., S u l l i v a n , Gryzlo & Schwartz, 1978; Womble & Yeakley, 1980). Family L i f e Educators in School Settings Some l i t e r a t u r e discusses the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s necessary f o r family l i f e educators (Arcus, 1979; Fohlin, 1971; National Council on Family Relations, 1984; Whatley, 1973). In a l l subject areas of the school curriculum adequate knowledge about the subject matter and the methods appropriate f o r teaching i t are e s s e n t i a l professional q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . However, the nature of the subject matter i n FLE i s such that the personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and l i f e experiences of the teacher also become s i g n i f i c a n t . Most writers acknowledge the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of these personal and professional q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . It i s 13 generally agreed that the following c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are necessary f or family l i f e educators: 1) Sound knowledge i n the many content areas of FLE, plus the a b i l i t y to bring together findings from d i f f e r e n t d i s c i p l i n e s and apply these to concepts and issues in the classroom; 2) Knowledge of and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the broad philosophy and basic p r i n c i p l e s of FLE; 3) S k i l l i n using and evaluating family l i f e materials and resources and i n using a v a r i e t y of teaching methods appropriate to FLE; 4) The a b i l i t y to work e f f e c t i v e l y with young people, both i n d i v i d u a l l y and i n groups; 5) Insight into one's own fe e l i n g s and att i t u d e s concerning family l i f e t o p ics and acceptance of one's own l i f e experiences (see Arcus, 1979). Although these general q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s have been proposed, they are based p r i m a r i l y on the perceptions of experienced professionals in the f i e l d (e.g., see Fohlin, 1974) and not on empirical i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Indeed, l i t t l e a t tention has been given to the study of family l i f e educators. Studies of FLE Few studies have focused s p e c i f i c a l l y on the FLE teacher or on the pr a c t i c e of FLE i n schools, in those studies which have been done, two general themes are apparent: 1) the content and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of FLE programs developed or implemented by family l i f e educators and 2) the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and at t i t u d e s of family l i f e educators. The f i r s t group of studies examine FLE programs taught by family l i f e educators in schools and focus p r i m a r i l y on the teacher as a curriculum implementor. A l l e n and King (1970) and Sheek (1984) surveyed schools in the United States to i d e n t i f y the major content areas that teachers reportedly teach i n FLE courses and to determine the incidence and methods of program de l i v e r y . Both studies found that FLE was offered i n most secondary schools and that the FLE content was most frequently taught i n home economics courses and included interpersonal r e l a t i o n s h i p s , marriage and family i n t e r a c t i o n , c h i l d development, human reproduction and parenthood education. S i m i l a r l y , The Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family (1971) and the Canadian Education Association (Deiseach, 1978) surveyed Canadian schools to i d e n t i f y the nature and extent of FLE. The findings of both studies indicated that FLE content i s offered i n several subject areas and i s included i n s i g n i f i c a n t numbers of schools. School-based FLE programs i n i n d i v i d u a l states or provinces have also been examined. For example, Koblinsky, Weeks & Cooke (1985) studied the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of FLE courses i n C a l i f o r n i a schools at the grade 9 and 10 l e v e l s . They found that while teachers i n health, physical education and home economics provided coverage of FLE topics i n t h e i r courses, home economics offered longer courses and were more l i k e l y to include communication, decision-making and marriage and family issues than the other subject areas. Arcus (1983) surveyed schools i n the province of B r i t i s h Columbia and found that FLE was widely offered in secondary schools. In these schools, most FLE was e l e c t i v e and offered as a unit within another course. Both home economics and guidance and counselling were reported to provide FLE content, although considerable v a r i a t i o n i n the topics and course organization were indicated. These studies echo the findings of e a r l i e r research on FLE programs i n various parts of North America (Baker & Darcy, 1970; Bayer & Nye, 1964; Dager, Harper & Whitehurst, 1962; Kenkel, 1957; Mason, 1974; Ready, 1973; Rosentiel & Smith, 1963). In a more recent study, Harriman (1986) examined the extent to which FLE teachers adapted t h e i r courses to include new, "emerging concepts" such as abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, death, c h i l d abuse and remarriage. 15 The teachers surveyed reported that t r a d i t i o n a l concepts such as interpersonal r e l a t i o n s h i p s k i l l s , family i n t e r a c t i o n , choosing a marriage partner and c h i l d guidance were more important to teach. The second group of studies examine the FLE teacher i n school settings. Because the term "FLE" i n these studies i s often used interchangeably with "sex education" and because there are few studies which have looked at FLE as defined e a r l i e r i n t h i s chapter, both those studies which have looked at FLE and at sex education are included in t h i s review. These studies are diverse and represent a v a r i e t y of research topics. Some of these studies have looked at teacher a t t i t u d e s toward s p e c i f i c content areas i n FLE. For example, in a study of the a t t i t u d e s of Arizona sex educators toward s p e c i f i c content areas in sex education, Schuck (1972) found that most of the sex education content areas received support from teachers and school administrators. He concluded that these findings indicated support in general f o r the sex education programs in that state. Smith, Flaherty and Webb (1981) compared the attitudes of teachers in a human sexua l i t y t r a i n i n g program with national norms and found that these teachers held more conservative a t t i t u d e s . Rubin and Adams (1972) discovered that teachers who were planning to teach sex education expressed less permissive a t t i t u d e s toward s e x u a l i t y than did those who were not planning to teach i n t h i s area. Yarber and McCabe (1984) studied school sex educators' views of topic importance and the c o r r e l a t i o n between teacher c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and the i n c l u s i o n of topics in i n s t r u c t i o n . They found that teachers' a t t i t u d e s toward t h e i r own se x u a l i t y was the most s i g n i f i c a n t personal t r a i t r e l a t i n g to topic importance and may influence whether a topic i s included in i n s t r u c t i o n . Yarber (1979) assessed and compared the opinions of students, parents, teachers and p r i n c i p a l s concerning the emphasis that should be given to family l i f e and sex education at grades three, seven and nine. He reported that 16 teachers generally supported the i n c l u s i o n of these subjects i n the school curriculum. Some researchers have looked at the e f f e c t s of t r a i n i n g on teachers' at t i t u d e s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Carter and Frankel (1983) studied teachers attending a t r a i n i n g program in family l i f e and human se x u a l i t y to determine the extent to which teacher c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s can be used to predict sex-related at t i t u d e s of teachers. They found that while i n s t r u c t i o n in the content areas in family l i f e and human sexuality s i g n i f i c a n t l y increased the teachers' knowledge, t h e i r a ttitudes remained unchanged. This l a t t e r f i n d i n g was a t t r i b u t e d to both the subjects' ages and to the lack of time spent in the program exploring f e e l i n g s about sexuality. Several studies of inservice programs i n family l i f e and sex education (Arcus, 1979; Luckey, 1968; Luckey & Bain, 1970) have found that, through inservice education, teachers gain insi g h t into t h e i r own attitudes and behaviour with respect to FLE, develop increased self-confidence in dealing with the subject matter and improve both personal and professional q u a l i f i c a t i o n s f o r teaching FLE. Professional c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of FLE teachers have also been the subject of research and w r i t i n g . For example, Womble and Yeakley (1980) studied the extent of academic preparation of FLE teachers in Indiana. They found that a substantial number of FLE teachers in that state do not meet the academic requirements to become c e r t i f i e d as family l i f e educators. However, in a C a l i f o r n i a study of family l i f e teachers, Koblinsky, Weeks and Cooke (1985) found that home economics teachers are more l i k e l y than teachers in a l l other areas except nursing to have obtained preservice t r a i n i n g i n FLE and to have attended conferences and continuing education courses in t h i s subject area. In a United States national survey, Orr (1982) reported that teachers of FLE courses were most often trained in the areas of physical education, home economics and s o c i a l studies. According to Sheek's (1984) survey of FLE in the United States, the " t y p i c a l family l i f e educator enters the teaching 17 profession with a baccalaureate degree... having been through an accredited program in Home Economics, Health, Education, and/or Soc i a l Studies" (p.50). Sheek notes that such family l i f e educators generally have demonstrated competencies in core courses such as family r e l a t i o n s and c h i l d development. Some l i t e r a t u r e focuses on the personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s required by family l i f e educators. Much of t h i s writing i s based on the perceptions of experienced professionals i n the f i e l d such as the National Council on Family Relations FLE panel (Kerkchoff & Hancock, 1971), graduate students (Whatley, 1973), d i r e c t o r s of family l i f e and sex education programs (Juhasz, 1970) and experts i n the f i e l d of teacher preparation for sex educators (Carrera, 1972). Although many c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were i d e n t i f i e d i n these studies, there were some commonalities. These included s e l f acceptance and understanding, a high degree of empathy, sound knowledge of the content of FLE and methods f o r teaching i t , good communication s k i l l s and acceptance and awareness of d i v e r s i t y and i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . Teacher comfort in teaching FLE and sex education has also been investigated. Reid & Munson (1976) and Graham & Smith (1984) suggest that teachers' a t t i t u d e s concerning topics such as sex u a l i t y r e f l e c t t h e i r degree of comfort with i t . The findings of two other studies indicate that teachers themselves perceive comfort to be a ce n t r a l issue in teaching family l i f e and sex education. For example, in t h e i r survey of sex education teachers, Herold and Benson (1979) reported that some teachers expressed discomfort when discussing human sexua l i t y in the classroom and indicated that students appeared to be more comfortable when they f e l t that the teacher was not nervous or embarrassed. S i m i l a r l y , Ryan & Dunn (1979) discovered that prospective sex educators seemed to f e e l most uncomfortable about dealing with p o t e n t i a l l y embarrassing student questions. A few studies have looked at teacher s e l e c t i o n in FLE. The Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family (1970) and Arcus (1979) found that many family l i f e 18 educators are assigned to the course by school administrators. Adams (1970) assessed the r e l a t i v e importance of p r i o r teaching experience as a c r i t e r i o n i n the s e l e c t i o n of family l i f e teachers. When the sex knowledge, counselling adequacy and competency in handling FLE issues between experienced and non-experienced family l i f e teachers were compared, no d i f f e r e n c e s were found. It was concluded that adequate academic preparation i s more important than teaching experience in the s e l e c t i o n of FLE teachers. Although the studies reviewed focus on FLE i n school settings, most were concerned with FLE curriculum or with teacher c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and a t t i t u d e s . Moreover, a l l of these studies have used survey questionnaires and have r e l i e d s o l e l y on s e l f - r e p o r t i n g . Many have looked only at sex education rather than at FLE. Although information about teacher a t t i t u d e s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s may be h e l p f u l i n understanding some of the factors which may contribute to successful FLE programs, such studies reveal very l i t t l e about what a c t u a l l y happens i n classroom p r a c t i c e . S i m i l a r l y , studies of the content and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of FLE programs may y i e l d information about the formal (or o f f i c i a l ) FLE curriculum, but they d i s c l o s e l i t t l e about the nature of p r a c t i c e or about the ways in which curriculum content i s t r a n s l a t e d i n p r a c t i c e . Studies in the f i e l d of education suggest that t h i s may be an important consideration, f o r the curriculum as i t i s practiced may d i f f e r from the curriculum as i t i s intended in documentary form (Ful l a n , 1982; F u l l a n & Pomfret, 1977; Goodlad, 1979). Research on Teachers' Thought Processes Research i n the f i e l d of education during the past two decades has inc r e a s i n g l y focused on the teacher's role in curriculum development and implementation and a growing body of l i t e r a t u r e affirms the c e n t r a l i t y of the teacher in these processes. For example, researchers acknowledge the teacher as the key curriculum p r a c t i t i o n e r who uses, makes decisions about and 19 develops curriculum within the context of the classroom (Connelly, 1972; Connelly & Dienes, 1982; Connelly & Elbaz, 1980; Reid & Walker, 1975). It i s also well-documented that the intentions of externally-developed c u r r i c u l a are ra r e l y f u l l y r e a l i z e d i n classroom p r a c t i c e , but are changed and adapted (Goodlad & K l e i n , 1970; Fullan, 1982; Olson, 1981; Ponder & Doyle, 1978; Sarason, 1982). According to several writers, such modifications are related not only to teachers' perceptions of s i t u a t i o n a l elements inherent i n t h e i r classrooms but also to t h e i r b e l i e f s about the curriculum materials. Indeed, some maintain that the frequent mismatch between what i s presented i n the classroom and what was intended by curriculum developers i s due to the gulf between the developers' b e l i e f s and perceptions and the teachers' b e l i e f s and perceptions. Teachers may not share the points of view and conceptualizations embedded in curriculum materials and instead f i l t e r the intents through t h e i r own unique perspectives (Connelly, 1972; Roberts, 1980; Werner, 1980). Thus, the t r a d i t i o n a l image of the teacher as a passive adopter of curriculum has gradually been replaced with an image of the teacher as an active developer and modifier of curriculum. Consequently considerable research has been conducted i n the areas of teacher planning and decision-making as the l i n k between teacher intentions and teacher behaviour i s examined (Shavelson & Stern, 1981; Clark & Peterson, 1986). This research has been described as research on teachers* thought processes and has been c l a s s i f i e d into three general areas: 1) research on teacher planning; 2) research on teachers' i n t e r a c t i v e thoughts and decisions; and 3) research about teachers' i m p l i c i t theories and b e l i e f s (Clark & Peterson, 1986). According to Clark and Peterson, these categories are derived from Jackson's (1968) d i s t i n c t i o n s among the pre-active, i n t e r a c t i v e and post-active phases of teaching. The f i r s t two categories represent discriminations between teacher cognition during i n s t r u c t i o n or before or a f t e r i n s t r u c t i o n , while the t h i r d category r e f l e c t s the apparent influences 20 on the f i r s t two categories. The central aim of t h i s t h i r d body of research i s to understand the r e l a t i o n s h i p between teachers' thinking and teacher behaviour within the context of classroom pr a c t i c e (Ben-Peretz, Bromme & Halkes, 1986; Halkes & Olson, 1984). Because t h i s study i s concerned with teacher b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to classroom p r a c t i c e , t h i s t h i r d aspect of teacher thinking provides a t h e o r e t i c a l context for the study. Teachers' I m p l i c i t Theories and B e l i e f s Clark and Yinger (1979) describe research on teachers' i m p l i c i t theories and b e l i e f s as "the study of how teachers make sense of t h e i r world." They assert that t h i s research i s based on the assumption that teachers r e f e r to a "personal perspective... an i m p l i c i t theory...a conceptual system...or to a b e l i e f system about teaching and learning" (p.251). The aim of such studies i s to "get 'inside teachers' heads' to describe t h e i r knowledge, att i t u d e s , b e l i e f s and values" (Feiman-Nemser & Flodin, 1986, p.506). Munby (1986) considers t h i s study of teacher b e l i e f s to be an important dimension of teacher cognition because i t increases understanding of "the psychological context" i n which teacher decision-making occurs. S i m i l a r l y , Clark and Peterson (1986) suggest that the value of such research rests i n the e x p l i c a t i o n of the "frames of reference through which teachers perceive and process information" (p.287). According to Aoki (1977), these are important considerations, f o r the "fundamental perspectives found i n the l i v e d p r a c t i c a l world of curriculum developers... are t y p i c a l l y unconsciously held and unavoidably used" (p.52). A number of studies concerned with teachers' i m p l i c i t theories and b e l i e f s have been conducted during the past two decades. These studies appear to r e f l e c t varying inte r p r e t a t i o n s and conceptualizations of the notion of " i m p l i c i t theories and b e l i e f s " and a range of terms have been employed in such studies to r e f e r to these. For example, some have studied teachers' perspectives (e.g., Adler, 1984; Hammersley, 1977; Janesick, 1978; Peterat, 1983; Sharp & Green, 1975); some have studied teachers' b e l i e f s , a t t i t u d e s and p r i n c i p l e s (e.g., Bauch, 1982; Harvey, White, Prather, A l t e r & Hoffmeister, 1966; Marland, 1977; Munby, 1983; Nespor, 1985, 1987; Wahlstrom, Regan & Jones, 1982); some have studied teachers' conceptual systems (e.g., Barr & Duffy, 1978; Bawden & Duffy, 1979; Bussis, Chittenden & Amarel, 1976; Larssen, 1984, 1987; Lederman & Ze i d l e r , 1987); and some have studied teachers' p r a c t i c a l knowledge (e.g., Clandinin, 1985; Elbaz, 1981). As well, the focus or problem investigated i n these studies has varied. For example, i n an e f f o r t to understand how curriculum innovations are perceived, handled and interpreted by teachers, some researchers have studied teacher thinking about curriculum implementation, (e.g., Bussis, Chittenden & Amarel, 1976; Crowther, 1983; McKee, 1986; Olson, 1981, 1982; Peterat, 1983; Theissen, 1989; Torn v a l l , 1987). Others have examined teacher b e l i e f s and p r i n c i p l e s which guide or give r i s e to c e r t a i n classroom p r a c t i c e s (e.g., Bauch, 1982; Bogess, 1985; Halkes & Deijkers, 1984; Harvey, White, Prather, A l t e r & Hoffmeister, 1982; Hornak & Lunetta, 1979; Marland, 1977; Munby, 1983; Nespor, 1985, 1987; Rose, 1973; Scheinfeld & Messerschmidt, 1979; Schmidt & Buchmann, 1983; Tabachnick & Zeichner, 1986). Another group of researchers has looked at the ways in which teachers think about teaching and t h e i r teaching rol e s and the p o t e n t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p of these conceptions to t h e i r classroom behaviour (e.g., Berlak & Berlak, 1981; Carew & Lig h t f o o t , 1979; Hammersley, 1977; Janesick, 1978; Kimes, 1984; Krueger, 1985; Larsson, 1984, 1987; Sharp & Green, 1975). Some studies have focused on understanding the kind of knowledge teachers have and use and how i t guides t h e i r classroom pra c t i c e (e.g., Clandinin, 1985; Connelly & Clandinin, 1984; Elbaz, 1981; Lampert, 1985,1986), while other studies have investigated teachers' thinking about the subject matter or the content of curriculum (e.g., Adler, 1984; Barr 22 & Duffy, 1978; Bawden & Duffy, 1979; Duffy & Anderson, 1982; Lederman & Zei d l e r , 1982). The methods employed i n these studies are also diverse. Some have used paper and p e n c i l instruments to e l i c i t teachers' abstract ideas and b e l i e f s . For example, Halkes and Deijkers (1984) devised a L i k e r t scale based on relevant l i t e r a t u r e to i d e n t i f y the c r i t e r i a teachers use to deal with class disturbances. Other researchers have used some form of interview f o r gathering data about teacher thinking. Munby (1983) and Theissen (1989), f o r example, used K e l l y ' s repertory g r i d technique (which includes both a construct-generating a c t i v i t y and interviews) to e l i c i t teachers' personal constructs or personal "theories" about c e r t a i n aspects of p r a c t i c e . Marland (1977) used stimulated r e c a l l interviews, i n which teachers explained t h e i r teaching a c t i v i t i e s as they viewed them on videotape. Some researchers have used semi-structured and open-ended interviews i n which teachers are encouraged to t a l k about t h e i r thought processes and b e l i e f s using t h e i r own words and concepts (e.g., Bussis, Chittenden & Amarel, 1976; Elbaz, 1981; Larssen, 1984). Others have employed multiple methods (including both interviews and observations) to gain access to teachers' thoughts and thought processes and to understand how thoughts and actions might be related (e.g., Clandinin, 1985; Connelly & Clandinin, 1984; Janesick, 1978). According to Connelly and Clandinin (1987), the assumptions underlying the choice of methods also d i f f e r . They point out that those studies employing only verbal reporting by teachers (such as in interview methods) embody the assumption that what teachers say does influence t h e i r p r a c t i c e and that there i s a p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between thought and action. In contrast, those studies using multiple methods (such as interviews i n combination with observations) investigate the nature of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . Despite these d i v e r s i t i e s , a l l of the above studies represent attempts to understand the ways in which teachers' thinking i s rela t e d to t h e i r professional p r a c t i c e . The findings of some of these studies suggest that teachers' thoughts and b e l i e f s p o t e n t i a l l y exert considerable influence on t h e i r educational pr a c t i c e . For example, both Janesick (1978) and Clandinin (1985) used f i e l d studies to examine teachers' expressions of b e l i e f s and thoughts about t h e i r classroom p r a c t i c e . Janesick's study revealed that one teacher's perception of h i s role i n the classroom was based on c e r t a i n educational b e l i e f s that he espoused. In p a r t i c u l a r , he viewed respect and cooperation i n the classroom as cen t r a l to students' development. He considered i n s t r u c t i o n a l goals to be "important i n r e l a t i o n to the major clas goals of respect and cooperation" (p.16). S i m i l a r l y , Clandinin's study of "teacher images" suggested that while teachers' verbal expressions of t h e i r "classroom images tend to function metaphorically... and allow teachers to generalize on t h e i r [classroom] experience and to o f f e r t h e o r e t i c a l accounts of what they do", these images are e s s e n t i a l l y "images of p r a c t i c e " (p.382). Clandinin asserts that these images "are not merely mental constructs" but ar embodied in and therefore guide classroom p r a c t i c e . Other studies of teacher thought processes which have employed s e l f -reporting methods have also found a p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between teacher thinking and teaching behaviours. For example, Bauch (1982) reported that teachers' educational b e l i e f s appeared to influence t h e i r teaching practices by contributing to the development of the classroom context i n which learning occurs. Certain teaching behaviours i d e n t i f i e d by teachers i n her study seemed to be related to d i f f e r i n g "philosophical systems" or "sets of b e l i e f s regarding educational processes" (p.27). Elbaz' (1981) study of one teacher' p r a c t i c a l knowledge i n terms of "images" which embody "the teacher's f e e l i n g s values, needs and b e l i e f s " and which "serve to guide the teacher's thinking... and to organize knowledge... and guide...the i n t u i t i v e r e a l i z a t i o n of the teacher's purposes" (p.61) emphasized t h i s teacher's perception of the c e n t r a l i t y of b e l i e f s i n her teaching p r a c t i c e . Other studies have demonstrated that teacher b e l i e f s may in t e r a c t negatively with curriculum innovations. For example, one of the findings in Bussis, Chittenden and Amarel's (1976) study of the understandings of teacher working i n open classrooms suggested that several of the teachers held philosophies that were inconsistent with the open classroom approach. In his study of the implementation of the Engl i s h Council Integrated Science Project Olson (1981, 1982) found that teachers' b e l i e f s acted as s i g n i f i c a n t negative influences on the t r a n s l a t i o n and transformation of new c u r r i c u l a i n the classroom. Several studies suggest that teachers' b e l i e f s may in t e r a c t with the contexts i n which they teach. For example, i n an ongoing study of teachers' conceptions of reading (Duffy & Anderson, 1982), researchers discovered that although teachers' expressed b e l i e f s about reading did seem to a f f e c t some aspects of t h e i r classroom pra c t i c e , other influences such as i n s t i t u t i o n a l mandates and clas s composition appeared to mediate t h e i r impact. Only a f t e r these factors were taken into account did the teachers' personal conceptions of reading come into play. In t h e i r study of the influence of science teachers' conceptions of the nature of science on teaching behaviour, Lederman and Z e i d l e r (1987) found that the teachers' classroom behaviour was not influenced s i g n i f i c a n t l y by t h e i r conceptions. They suggested that other fa c t o r s , such as curriculum constraints, administrative p o l i c i e s and the a v a i l a b i l i t y of supplies had a more d i r e c t influence on the teachers' classroom behaviour. S i m i l a r l y , Adler (1984) found that although student teachers expressed abstract b e l i e f s and ideas about s o c i a l studies i n the elementary curriculum, these b e l i e f s were not always evident i n pr a c t i c e . She concluded that a broad range of factors r e l a t e d to c e r t a i n "dilemmas of teaching" l i m i t e d the influence of these b e l i e f s i n p r a c t i c e . Nespor's (1985, 1987) research explored the o r i g i n of teacher b e l i e f s about teaching and noted the influence of both years of teaching and the q u a l i t y of past teaching experiences on these b e l i e f s . The findings suggested that teachers' b e l i e f s develop "contextually" i n the course of t h e i r experiences. In t h i s study, teaching was depicted as "'an entangled domain'...[in which]... teachers r e l y on loosely-bounded conceptual systems ( b e l i e f s ) which help them define tasks... generate goals and make sense of t h e i r actions" (p.171, 172). Nespor claims that, because of the nature of t h e i r apparent o r i g i n , these b e l i e f s tend to evolve and change over time. The findin g s of Nespor's studies may in part account f o r the findings of the three previous studies j u s t c i t e d . Indeed, Olson (1988) suggests that teachers' t a l k about t h e i r p r a c t i c e (including t h e i r b e l i e f s and thinking about what they do) r e f l e c t s the culture or context i n which they teach. Thus, to adequately understand teachers' thinking and b e l i e f systems, Olson argues that both cognition and context must be considered (see also Ben-Peretz, Bromme & Halkes, 1986). The findings of these studies suggest that there i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p between what teachers believe and what they do. Although several of these studies indicate that teachers' b e l i e f s give r i s e d i r e c t l y to p a r t i c u l a r classroom p r a c t i c e s , others depict the r e l a t i o n s h i p between b e l i e f s and prac t i c e s less c l e a r l y . Mayer (1985) asserts that these divergent findings imply that research on teacher b e l i e f s and classroom p r a c t i c e requires greater attention to i d e n t i f y i n g the d i r e c t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between b e l i e f s and pr a c t i c e . In t h i s respect, the extent to which teachers adopt a b e l i e f system as a j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h e i r practice as an "adaptive" measure or whether teachers use t h e i r "personal v i s i o n to shape instruction...[suggesting] a b e l i e f system that r e f l e c t s environmental demands but i s not c o n t r o l l e d by them" (p.18) may be an important research concern. 26 Other writers suggest that greater attention needs to be devoted to understanding the nature of subject matter and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to teachers' b e l i e f systems, p a r t i c u l a r l y at the secondary l e v e l where "the teacher's work se t t i n g emphasizes...subject matter" (Nespor, 1985, p.151). As Nespor points out, "junior high and high school teachers are unavoidably committed to dealing with a body of knowledge, day i n and day out, f o r the course of a school year" (p.151). Indeed, in Nespor's study, English, h i s t o r y and mathematics teachers conceptualized t h e i r subject areas in d i f f e r e n t ways, emphasizing the conclusion that there i s a need to understand the nature of the subject matter areas and the " b e l i e f s and experiences [ i n these areas] that teachers use to generate goals and make sense of t h e i r actions" (p. 172). Moreover, according to Shavelson and Stern (1981), because of i t s p o t e n t i a l impact on "what students learn and t h e i r a t t i t u d e toward learning and the subject matter" (p.49), t h i s i s an area of research on teacher thinking requiring more attention. Such issues suggest that an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of teachers' conceptions of FLE curriculum, the perceived influences on these and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to classroom practice i s warranted. Curriculum Theory and Practice This study i s based on the assumption that teachers have b e l i e f systems which influence t h e i r perceptions and t h e i r p r a c t i c e . The teacher i s therefore viewed as an "agent" or one who "acts because of reasons...which are compelling...[and]...convincing" (Boyd, 1979, p.115). Thus i t i s assumed that teachers' b e l i e f s guide t h e i r curriculum p r a c t i c e . Because t h i s research examines teacher b e l i e f s about curriculum, the l i t e r a t u r e of curriculum theory i s reviewed. This review serves three purposes. F i r s t , i t provides an overview of three perspectives of the c e n t r a l issues concerning curriculum theory. Second, i t a s s i s t s in s i t u a t i n g t h i s study within a t h e o r e t i c a l context of curriculum. F i n a l l y , i t c l a r i f i e s the conceptual foundations of 27 curriculum theory which are then employed in developing a framework f o r i d e n t i f y i n g teachers' b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum. Three Perspectives on Curriculum Theory There i s considerable debate in the curriculum l i t e r a t u r e about the meaning, the purpose and the development of "theory" in the curriculum f i e l d (Kliebard, 1977; Macdonald, 1975; McCutcheon, 1982; Vallance, 1982). Much of t h i s debate has focused on the r e l a t i o n s h i p of theory and p r a c t i c e in curriculum and on the extent to which a single or u n i f i e d theory of curriculum can adequately account for a l l curriculum p r a c t i c e . Three perspectives on curriculum theory (based on the work of Giroux, Penna & Pinar, 1981 and Pinar, 1978) are b r i e f l y reviewed. These perspectives represent "three t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks that govern s p e c i f i c approaches to curriculum issues" (Giroux, Penna & Pinar, 1981, p.13) and i l l u s t r a t e the c e n t r a l questions of t h i s debate. While other writers have also examined these issues (e.g., see Grundy, 1987; Schubert, 1986), the three perspectives j u s t noted attempt to place the theory-practice issues within a s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l context and underscore the somewhat "evolutionary" nature of t h i s s t i l l unresolved debate in the North American curriculum f i e l d . The T r a d i t i o n a l i s t Perspective on Curriculum Theory According to Giroux, Penna and Pinar (1981), the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t perspective r e f l e c t s the early heritage of the North American curriculum f i e l d i n administrative convenience. As the f i e l d emerged during the early 1900's, curriculum came to be viewed as "the organization of time and a c t i v i t i e s to be managed according to sound business p r i n c i p l e s " (Giroux, Penna & Pinar, 1981, p.2). The p r i n c i p l e s of s c i e n t i f i c management (including e f f i c i e n c y , control and p r e d i c t a b i l i t y ) were applied to curriculum in the s t a t i n g of c u r r i c u l a r objectives and in the measurement of student outcomes. This administrative or 28 managerial function of the curriculum f i e l d stressed the "problem-solving nature of the curriculum venture" (Pinar & Grumet, 1981, p.22) and i s s t i l l evident today in curriculum work which emphasizes the preparation of curriculum workers (such as teachers) to resolve and to prevent p r a c t i c a l curriculum problems. In t h i s perspective, theory i s p r e s c r i p t i v e and used "to guide, to be of assistance to those in i n s t i t u t i o n a l positions who are concerned with curriculum", and r e f l e c t s the influence of the work of Bobbitt, Charters and T y l e r (Pinar, 1978, p. 207). Theory i s intended to improve curriculum p r a c t i c e , both at the l e v e l of curriculum development and in classroom implementat ion. The Conceptual-Empiricist Perspective on Curriculum Theory Although the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t view of curriculum theory p e r s i s t s today, the early 1960's marked a period of unrest in the curriculum f i e l d and s i g n a l l e d the emergence of a second perspective of curriculum theory which was l a b e l l e d "conceptual-empiricist". The factors contributing to t h i s period of unrest stemmed p r i m a r i l y from the "curriculum reform movement" of the 1960's. In response to the launching of Sputnik, the United States developed new c u r r i c u l a f or schools and i n i t i a t e d a period of curriculum reform. However, the developers of these programs were rec r u i t e d from among s p e c i a l i s t s i n "the d i s c i p l i n e s " and not from s p e c i a l i s t s within the curriculum f i e l d . Coupled with a reduction in federal funding for curriculum development and evaluation sh o r t l y thereafter, the curriculum f i e l d l o s t c r e d i b i l i t y . According to Pinar (1978), the " t r a d i t i o n a l , p r a c t i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the f i e l d " diminished and "new j u s t i f i c a t i o n s " more c l o s e l y a f f i l i a t e d with s o c i a l science research came to predominate (p.208). In t h i s perspective, two groups of curriculum t h e o r i s t s are described. The f i r s t group viewed the curriculum as an area to be studied e m p i r i c a l l y (as 29 i n other s o c i a l sciences) and was p r i m a r i l y concerned with developing hypotheses to be tested in "methodological ways c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of mainstream s o c i a l science" (Pinar, 1978, p.208). Curriculum work involved the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of c u r r i c u l a r phenomena with a view to develop theory which could explain, predict and control curriculum p r a c t i c e . The work of curriculum t h e o r i s t s such as Beauchamp (1968) and Johnson (1967) r e f l e c t s t h i s view. However, toward the end of the s i x t i e s , a second group of curriculum t h e o r i s t s with a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t perspective emerged. In p a r t i c u l a r , the work of Schwab (1969, 1971 and 1973) provided the impetus f o r some curriculum t h e o r i s t s to look at curriculum theory and pr a c t i c e in another way. Schwab argued that the s c i e n t i f i c mode of inquiry was not appropriate f o r the study of the p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s of curriculum. He emphasized that the study of the p r a c t i c a l should rest in the s i t u a t i o n a l and p a r t i c u l a r events of curriculum p r a c t i c e . He proposed that theory alone cannot d i r e c t the p r a c t i c a l work of curriculum because "questions of what and how to teach arise i n concrete s i t u a t i o n s loaded with concrete p a r t i c u l a r s of time, place, person, and circumstance" (Schwab, 1971, p.494). He advocated an a l t e r n a t i v e view of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of theory and pr a c t i c e i n curriculum work, i n which theory provides guidance but not d i r e c t i o n : If...theory i s to be used well in the determination of c u r r i c u l a r p r a c t i c e , i t requires a supplement. It requires arts which bring a theory to i t s a p p l i c a t i o n : f i r s t , arts which i d e n t i f y the d i s p a r i t i e s between r e a l thing and theoretic representation; second, arts which modify the theory in the course of i t s a p p l i c a t i o n , i n the l i g h t of the discrepancies; and, t h i r d , arts which devise ways of taking account of the many aspects of the r e a l thing which the theory does not take into account (Schwab, 1969, p.12). Thus i n Schwab's view, curriculum theory and curriculum p r a c t i c e are i n t e r r e l a t e d as theory i s t a i l o r e d to s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n s , while at the same time, pr a c t i c e i t s e l f may "generate a d d i t i o n a l courses of action f o r a p p l i c a t i o n i n the plethora of circumstances where theoretic knowledge might not apply" (Schubert, 1984, p.241). Schwab's focus on the p r a c t i c a l aspect of curriculum encouraged a "movement away somewhat from s t r i c t s o c i a l science" (Pinar, 1978, p. 209) and t h i s second group of t h e o r i s t s argued that p r e s c r i p t i v e curriculum theories are not p a r t i c u l a r l y useful because they do not r e f l e c t the actual process of curriculum making and curriculum change. Theorists such as Connelly (1972), Walker and Reid (1975) and l a t e r Connelly and Elbaz (1980) and Connelly and Clandinin (1984) have extended Schwab's work and have focused on teachers as curriculum d e l i b e r a t o r s , "with t h e i r own b e l i e f s and assumptions and with t h e i r own notions of what i s worth doing" within t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s (Connelly & Elbaz, 1980, p.104). The Reconceptualist Perspective on Curriculum Theory According to Schubert (1984), Schwab's work contributed to the foundation f o r the emergence of a t h i r d perspective on curriculum theory during the 1970's. This group of "reconceptualist" curriculum t h e o r i s t s i s diverse and has phenomenological, hermeneutical, e x i s t e n t i a l , Marxist and psychoanalytic roots (Schubert, 1984). Several "thematic strands" are associated with the reconceptualist perspective. For example, there i s a hermeneutical focus which emphasizes " s u b j e c t i v i t y , e x i s t e n t i a l experience, i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and the c e n t r a l i t y of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y to understanding human action". A p o l i t i c a l focus stresses "class c o n f l i c t , the reproduction of power r e l a t i o n s . . . and the inherently p o l i t i c a l character of culture, meaning and knowledge" (Giroux, Penna & Pinar, 1981, p.14). The purpose of theory in t h i s perspective i s not to guide, control or predict the work of p r a c t i t i o n e r s but to understand the nature of educational experience and i t s s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and i n t e r p r e t i v e dimensions. Indeed, Pinar (1978) asserts that "a...reconceptualization of what curriculum i s , how 31 i t functions, and how i t might function i n emancipatory ways" (p.211) are the aims of t h i s perspective. Pinar and Grumet (1981) note that " [ i n t h i s perspective] theory and practice are allowed to i n t e r s e c t . . . [ a n d ] . . . contradictions between theory and practice compel us to acknowledge the tension i n the r e l a t i o n of these two terms" (p.33, 34). Theory and p r a c t i c e are therefore considered to be d i a l e c t i c a l , i n that resolutions to c o n f l i c t between theory and practice are of c e n t r a l concern. The teacher as a curriculum p r a c t i t i o n e r i s assumed to r e f l e c t upon the e x p e r i e n t i a l meaning of curriculum a c t i v i t i e s as they unfold within the classroom and as the curriculum i s "transformed into a pedagogic s i t u a t i o n " (Aoki, 1988, p.411). The work of curriculum t h e o r i s t s such as Apple, Huebner, Macdonald and Pinar are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s perspective. These three perspectives embody d i f f e r e n t notions of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between curriculum theory and curriculum p r a c t i c e and imply d i f f e r i n g views of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the teacher to the curriculum. Because t h i s study focuses on the teacher as an active curriculum developer and on the teacher's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of curriculum as i t i s used and developed i n p r a c t i c e , i t i s best situated generally within the second perspective of curriculum theory (and s p e c i f i c a l l y within the work associated with Schwab) in which the teacher and the problems of practice are viewed as the c e n t r a l concerns of curriculum theory. In t h i s perspective, curriculum theory and curriculum p r a c t i c e are i n t e r r e l a t e d . Practice i s regarded as theory in action and theory i s modified according to the exigencies of p r a c t i c e . Conceptual Foundations of Curriculum Theory D i v e r s i t y i s not only apparent in conceptions of the role and purpose of curriculum theory, but also in the ways in which the notion of curriculum theory i t s e l f i s conceptualized. Most curriculum writers agree, however, that the concepts associated with " c u r r i c u l a r phenomena" (McCutcheon, 1982) are 32 e s s e n t i a l components in such conceptualizations (Connelly, 1972; Connelly & Elbaz, 1980; Kliebard, 1977; Ornstein & Hunkins, 1989). Indeed, a number of writers suggest that curriculum theory i s best conceptualized i n terms of the a c t i v i t i e s that the f i e l d represents and the experiences, questions and issues commonly associated with these (e.g., Connelly & Elbaz, 1980; Kliebard, 1977, 1982; Schwab, 1973). For example, Schwab (1973) suggests that the p r a c t i c a l nature of the curriculum f i e l d may be accounted f o r by considering the "commonplaces" of curriculum. These f i v e commonplaces include the subject matter of curriculum, the learners and t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , the m i l i e u (or contexts i n which learning takes place), the teachers ( t h e i r knowledge, p e r s o n a l i t i e s and characters), and the curriculum-making process i t s e l f . Peterat and McClean (1982) propose another view. They suggest that i f curriculum i s generally concerned with "educative action with people", then the c e n t r a l issues and a c t i v i t i e s related to curriculum p r a c t i c e would be focused on the aims and purposes of education, the nature of knowledge and the r e l a t i o n s h i p of persons to the process of education. Kliebard (1977) asserts that i f "the c e n t r a l questions of curriculum are normative ones, in the sense that they involve choices among competing value options" about what should be taught, when, how and to whom (p.263), then b e l i e f s about such issues would also appear to be a c e n t r a l consideration i n the conceptualization of curriculum theory. The three views j u s t described represent ways of conceptualizing dimensions of curriculum theory which account f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s in and the a c t i v i t i e s of curriculum and which in a sense act to "bound the f i e l d of curriculum" (Connelly & Elbaz, 1980, p.103). Such views (or dimensions of curriculum) are also r e f l e c t e d in w riting about what has v a r i o u s l y been c a l l e d t h e o r e t i c a l perspectives, orientations or conceptions of curriculum. These terms r e f e r to the ways in which curriculum i s viewed or defined by those who develop, implement or evaluate i t and include underlying b e l i e f s about what i s r e a l , true and valuable where curriculum matters are concerned (van Manen, 1977). Eisner (1979) for example, describes f i v e conceptions of curriculum or ways i n which people conceptualize the curriculum f o r purposes of curriculum development. These include cognitive processes, academic rationalism, personal relevance, s o c i a l adaptation and s o c i a l reconstruction and technology. He considers each of these views of curriculum to embody "values that shape one's conception of major aspects of p r a c t i c e " (p.70) and to define a p a r t i c u l a r view of educational p r i o r i t i e s r elated to the content of the curriculum, the teacher's role and the purpose of education. S i m i l a r l y , M i l l e r (1983) outlines seven orie n t a t i o n s to curriculum which possibly underlie educators' curriculum p r a c t i c e : behavioral, s u b j e c t / d i s c i p l i n e s , s o c i a l , developmental, cognitive process, humanistic and transpersonal. He c a l l s these "world views" about curriculum which represent the "mixture of...values, attitudes and perceptions [which]... provides the context f o r how we see [curriculum]" ( p . l ) . According to M i l l e r , curriculum orie n t a t i o n s r e f l e c t p a r t i c u l a r approaches to teaching and learning and encompass several " t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l dimensions" such as conceptions of the learner, the learning process, the teacher's role and the purpose of education. Both Eisner and M i l l e r , however, acknowledge that these descriptions of curriculum conceptions or orientations do not take into account the v a r i e t y of contexts i n which curriculum p r a c t i c e occurs and that, i n r e a l i t y , i t i s probable that more than one conception may guide curriculum p r a c t i c e . To account f o r t h i s , M i l l e r and S e l l e r (1985) propose three "meta-orientations" or "curriculum p o s i t i o n s " : the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t or transmission p o s i t i o n , the inquiry/decision-making or transaction p o s i t i o n and the transformation p o s i t i o n . According to M i l l e r and S e l l e r , each of these meta-orientations represents a range of b e l i e f s about what schools should do and how students 34 learn and includes c l u s t e r s or groups of several s p e c i f i c o r i e n t a t i o n s to curriculum. Other writers (e.g., Aoki, 1977; Apple, 1975; Grundy, 1987; Macdonald, 1975; van Manen, 1977) have focused on the knowledge dimension of curriculum, and have conceptualized curriculum perspectives or o r i e n t a t i o n s i n terms of the ways in which knowledge i s selected and organized in the curriculum to serve c e r t a i n human i n t e r e s t s . Using the work of Habermas, three curriculum perspectives are i d e n t i f i e d : technical (a concern with the a c q u i s i t i o n of fa c t s and t e c h n i c a l c o n t r o l ) , i n t e r p r e t i v e (a concern with interpersonal understanding) and c r i t i c a l (a concern with the development of c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n and transformation). According to these writers, each perspective r e f l e c t s d i f f e r e n t views of the nature of knowledge and of how i t should be used and may s i g n i f i c a n t l y shape curriculum p r a c t i c e . Theoretical Framework The " t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l dimensions" associated with the notions of curriculum conceptions or orientations constituted the t h e o r e t i c a l framework f o r t h i s study of teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum. This framework was developed from the l i t e r a t u r e of curriculum and from the l i t e r a t u r e of FLE. With respect to c u r r i c u l a r concerns, the categories or dimensions of such a framework embody the b e l i e f s that underlie curriculum pr a c t i c e and are centered on the i n t e r a c t i o n of c e r t a i n key factors in the educative process: 1) b e l i e f s about the learner, i . e . , how the learner i s characterized i n the teaching s i t u a t i o n ; 2) b e l i e f s about society, i . e . , how the r e l a t i o n s h i p between society and education i s conceptualized; 3) b e l i e f s about knowledge, i . e . , how knowledge i s seen to be developed, transmitted and used; and 35 4) b e l i e f s about the purpose and process of education, i . e . , what role education f u l f i l l s and how i t i s effected. The dimensions of t h i s framework were then considered in view of relevant concerns from the l i t e r a t u r e of FLE. These were based on D a i l ' s (1984) work in which she proposes four categories which she claims might be used in developing or examining personal b e l i e f systems about FLE: 1) b e l i e f s about the family and the q u a l i t y and nature of family l i f e , i . e . , what the family i s , what constitutes a family and what a family could or should be; 2) b e l i e f s about the purpose of FLE, i . e . , what t h i s education i s t r y i n g to accomplish and why; 3) b e l i e f s about the content of FLE, i . e . , what FLE should teach, what sources content should be derived from and what role content has in FLE; and 4) b e l i e f s about the process of learning f o r f a m i l i e s and i n d i v i d u a l s within f a m i l i e s . These two sets of categories were integrated to develop the t h e o r e t i c a l framework within which t h i s study was conducted. This framework included the following categories: 1) b e l i e f s about the purpose and process of FLE; 2) b e l i e f s about the role of the teacher in FLE; 3) b e l i e f s about the learner and teaching in FLE; 4) b e l i e f s about knowledge and content in FLE; and 5) b e l i e f s about fa m i l i e s i n FLE. Several considerations guided the development of t h i s framework. F i r s t , i t i s based on the assumption that b e l i e f s underlie curriculum p r a c t i c e . Such b e l i e f s encompass several fundamental factors associated with the educative process and r e f l e c t the central issues and concerns associated with curriculum p r a c t i c e . However, because the research was s p e c i f i c a l l y concerned with 36 b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum, the general categories associated with FLE were modified to encompass the p a r t i c u l a r issues and concerns associated with FLE curriculum p r a c t i c e . Second, the categories of the framework are general and not i d i o s y n c r a t i c , that i s , presumably they are meaningful to a l l teachers engaged i n FLE curriculum p r a c t i c e . F i n a l l y , the dimensions of t h i s framework are quite general and not r i g i d l y defined. This inherent f l e x i b i l i t y allowed for the accommodation of a d d i t i o n a l issues and questions r e l a t e d to b e l i e f s about FLE and FLE curriculum practice during data c o l l e c t i o n and a nalysis. Thus t h i s framework not only provided a way of conceptualizing t h i s study, but i t also f a c i l i t a t e d data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis. A p o t e n t i a l l i m i t a t i o n of t h i s framework i s noteworthy. In ethnographic f i e l d research, t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks i d e a l l y act as " s e n s i t i z i n g concepts" in formulating research questions and in guiding data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis. However, a common d i f f i c u l t y with such frameworks concerns "exampling", where the completed research p r i m a r i l y provides " i l l u s t r a t i o n s of somebody else's concepts or t h e o r e t i c a l constructs" instead of those which are inherent in the research s e t t i n g and n a t u r a l l y employed by i t s p a r t i c i p a n t s (Woods, 1986, p.187). S i m i l a r l y , t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks may constrain the data and impose "preconceptions and perhaps misconceptions" on the s e t t i n g being studied (Bogdan & Taylor, 1975, p.25). Indeed, as Feiman-Nemser and Floden (1986) point out "there i s no easy so l u t i o n to the problem of s e l e c t i n g guiding concepts in [ f i e l d research]... concepts from the academic d i s c i p l i n e s may not capture the way teachers themselves think about t h e i r work...[and] the data [may not] provide any d i r e c t statement of what teachers think or f e e l " (p.506). Thus although the categories of the t h e o r e t i c a l framework employed i n t h i s study were selected with consideration of t h e i r meaningfulness and relevance to the i n d i v i d u a l s and settings being studied, there i s always the p o s s i b i l i t y that the framework may have constrained the data and shaped the fi n d i n g s . 37 Summary In t h i s chapter, three areas of l i t e r a t u r e were reviewed. The f i r s t area of l i t e r a t u r e concerned FLE as a f i e l d of study and p r a c t i c e and FLE in school sett i n g s . This review revealed that, although FLE i s a well-established f i e l d of study and i s commonly offered i n schools, l i t t l e i s known about the pr a c t i c e of family l i f e educators. While some studies have examined FLE i n school settings, most conducted surveys to determine teacher c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s or a t t i t u d e s or the content of FLE curriculum. Such studies reveal l i t t l e about the nature of FLE practice or about how the curriculum i s translated in p r a c t i c e . The second area of l i t e r a t u r e reviewed concerned teachers' thought processes. This review indicated that there i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p between teacher thinking and teacher behaviour, and that teachers' b e l i e f s do play an important role in t h e i r classroom p r a c t i c e . However, the nature of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p remains unclear, suggesting that further studies are required which look at teachers' expressed b e l i e f s and t h e i r contextualized b e l i e f s to not only c l a r i f y the r e l a t i o n s h i p between them, but to also i d e n t i f y the possible influences on them. The t h i r d area of l i t e r a t u r e was related to curriculum theory and p r a c t i c e . An overview of three perspectives of curriculum theory suggested that there i s considerable debate in the curriculum f i e l d about the nature, purpose and meaning of "theory" and that a c e n t r a l issue of t h i s debate concerns the r e l a t i o n s h i p of curriculum theory to curriculum p r a c t i c e . Because of i t s focus on the teacher as an active curriculum developer, t h i s study was situated generally within the "conceptual-empiricist" perspective (and s p e c i f i c a l l y within the work associated with Schwab) i n which curriculum theory and curriculum pr a c t i c e are i n t e r r e l a t e d . The conceptual foundations of curriculum theory and D a i l ' s (1984) categories f o r examining b e l i e f systems about FLE were used to develop the framework which oriented data c o l l e c t i o n and f a c i l i t a t e d data a n a l y s i s . The dimensions of t h i s framework were: 1) b e l i e f s about the purpose and process o FLE; 2) b e l i e f s about the role of the teacher in FLE; 3) b e l i e f s about the learner and teaching in FLE; 4) b e l i e f s about knowledge and content in FLE; and 5) b e l i e f s about f a m i l i e s i n FLE. 39 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY This chapter outlines the method of the study. The methodological assumptions underlying the research method are examined and issues related to s u b j e c t i v i t y , v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y are discussed. In addition, the research design i s explicated and data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis are described. Ethnographic F i e l d Research D e f i n i t i o n and Features of Ethnographic F i e l d Research This study employed the methods of ethnographic f i e l d research. Burgess (1984) describes f i e l d research as a generic term which represents "an observational approach...[which i s ] . . . p r i n c i p a l l y conducted by anthropologists and s o c i o l o g i s t s " (p.2). This approach to research has been v a r i o u s l y c a l l e d ethnography, case study methodology, q u a l i t a t i v e research and n a t u r a l i s t i c studies, and i s often used to r e f e r to a l l research approaches which employ f i e l d methods (e.g., R i s t , 1982; see also Jacob, 1987). In r e a l i t y , however, there are a v a r i e t y of such approaches. Because these r e f l e c t d i f f e r i n g t h e o r e t i c a l and methodological perspectives which orient and shape the research process, f i e l d research as a term does not nece s s a r i l y r e f l e c t any one perspective or research methodology (Atkinson, Delamont & Hammersley, 1988; Jacob, 1987). In t h i s study, the term ethnographic f i e l d research refers to the use of ethnographic techniques (such as p a r t i c i p a n t observation) i n the conduct of f i e l d research. Although there i s no u n i f i e d conception of ethnographic f i e l d research, i t i s generally agreed that t h i s approach to research concerns the study of human a c t i v i t y i n i t s natural setting (Hymes, 1982). According to Denzin (1978), the general intent of f i e l d research i s "to confront empirical r e a l i t y from the perspective of those who are being studied" (p.33). The major features of t h i s research approach r e f l e c t t h i s c e n t r a l aim. As j u s t noted, f i e l d research i s characterized by a concern with the human 40 context or natural s e t t i n g in which the research i s conducted. F i e l d methods such as p a r t i c i p a n t observation (including interviews) are t y p i c a l l y conducted i n the research s e t t i n g over an extended period of time, and r e f l e c t the importance of f i r s t h a n d observations of occurrences. The researcher p a r t i c i p a t e s in the s e t t i n g and assumes roles which may range from complete p a r t i c i p a n t to complete observer. Such observation and p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the researcher f a c i l i t a t e s an understanding of the processes through which s o c i a l behaviour i s constructed. In f i e l d research, v a r i a b l e s are generally not quantified and any p r i o r hypotheses are tentative and subject to change as data are c o l l e c t e d and analyzed (e.g., Smith, 1982; van Maanen, 1983). Indeed, Glaser and Strauss (1967) suggest that f i e l d research f a c i l i t a t e s the systematic generation of theory from data, i . e . , theory i s i n d u c t i v e l y developed as the data i t s e l f y i e l d s concepts and hypotheses which are then v e r i f i e d through subsequent data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis (see also Strauss, 1987). The research process i t s e l f i s characterized by r e f l e x i v i t y and constant monitoring. The subjective i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the researcher are considered to be part of the s e t t i n g being studied, the research design i s often modified and developed as the project evolves and the various stages of research are interdependent and integrated (Burgess, 1984; R i s t , 1982). Methodological Assumptions The examination of assumptions underlying a research approach i s an important consideration f o r , according to several writers (Denzin, 1978; Jacob, 1987; Schatzman & Strauss,1973; Wilson, 1977), they r e f l e c t the t h e o r e t i c a l orientations or perspectives which frame the research, and represent s p e c i f i c claims about the nature of human behaviour, the nature of the s o c i a l world and the kinds of methods appropriate for studying these. The assumptions associated with a research methodology therefore influence not 41 only what researchers look for in t h e i r research but also how they conduct themselves i n a research s e t t i n g and how they i n t e r p r e t t h e i r research findings (Bogdan & Taylor, 1975). A major assumption guiding t h i s research i s that teachers are active agents constructing t h e i r worlds. It i s presumed that such action i s based on the d e f i n i t i o n s and b e l i e f s that teachers hold and the meanings that they assign to t h e i r classroom interactions and practices (including curriculum p r a c t i c e ) . These assumptions are r e f l e c t e d i n the underlying assumptions of the s o c i o l o g i c a l perspective of symbolic i n t e r a c t i o n . The emergence of symbolic i n t e r a c t i o n as a d i s t i n c t perspective in sociology and s o c i a l psychology originated in the work of Dewey, Cooley, James, Mead and Thomas (Manis & Meltzer, 1972). In p a r t i c u l a r , Mead's theory of s o c i a l behaviorism greatly influenced the development of t h i s perspective. Mead posited that human beings interpret or define each other's actions and respond to one another on the basis of the meanings they attach to such actions. This capacity to i n t e r p r e t rests in the s e l f , where i n d i v i d u a l s are able to take the role of another, to engage in i n t e r a c t i o n with themselves and to make in d i c a t i o n s to themselves. According to Mead, t h i s capacity f o r s e l f - i n d i c a t i o n constitutes the mind. Central to understanding Mead's conception of the mind are the concepts of the " I " , the "Me" and the "generalized other". The " I " i s the b i o l o g i c " I " which i s an acting organism who " i n i t i a t e s solutions to environmental circumstances and problems". The "Me" i s one's view of oneself as an object and represents one's a b i l i t y to see oneself from the point of view of another. However, these other points of view may become generalized and consequently "one's own and others' behaviors may be seen not only from the point of view of p a r t i c u l a r others, but in terras of generalized and abstracted norms, values and b e l i e f s of groups of others" (Berlak & Berlak, 1981, p.115). The 42 generalized other, then, represents the influence of culture and s o c i a l experience on human behaviour. In Mead's perspective, human behaviour encompasses not only overt a c t i v i t y ( i . e . , the observable actions) but also covert a c t i v i t y ( i . e . , the mental actions or s e l f - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s noted above). His concept of "the act" (or human behaviour) embodies both forms of a c t i v i t y and thus includes the subjective forces associated with the i n d i v i d u a l ' s mind and the objective forces associated with the s o c i a l context i n which the act takes place (Berlak & Berlak, 1981; Meltzer, 1972; see also Blumer, 1969). According to Blumer (1969), symbolic i n t e r a c t i o n rests on three basic premises: 1) meaning i s cen t r a l to s o c i a l action and i n t e r a c t i o n ; 2) such meaning i s s o c i a l l y constructed as i n d i v i d u a l s produce t h e i r own d e f i n i t i o n s of s i t u a t i o n s ; and 3) the use of meaning i n s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n s ( i . e . , action and i n t e r a c t i o n ) occurs through a process of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . These suppositions are based on c e r t a i n "root images" of human beings, human action and i n t e r a c t i o n and s o c i a l r e a l i t y . In symbolic i n t e r a c t i o n , human beings are depicted as acting organisms, who act on the basis of what they take into account. This capacity f o r action r e f l e c t s the a b i l i t y of humans to take a perspective on themselves (Schatzman & Strauss, 1973). In so doing, humans engage in what Denzin (1978) c a l l s "minded, s e l f r e f l e x i v e " behaviour, which enables them to shape both t h e i r own behaviour and the behaviour of others. As human beings take t h e i r own perspective and f i t i t to the behaviour of others, s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n occurs. According to Denzin, such i n t e r a c t i o n i s viewed as sometimes unpredictable, "emergent" and "negotiated". As i n d i v i d u a l s i n t e r a c t , they construct or define an understanding of s o c i a l r e a l i t y . Objects i n the s o c i a l world therefore have no i n t r i n s i c or inherent meaning, but are meaningful i n terms of the actions that humans take toward them and "meaning" i s s o c i a l l y constructed and open to r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 43 and r e d e f i n i t i o n (see also Berger & Luckmann, 1966). Thus, human action may be described as s e l f - d i r e c t e d and purposive. The "'forces' which impel [a person] to act are s u b s t a n t i a l l y of his own making" as "man presents himself with perspectives and d e f i n i t i o n s that become some of the conditions f o r his own actions" (Schatzman & Strauss, 1973, p.5) Hence, symbolic i n t e r a c t i o n emphasizes "the d e f i n i t i o n a l process, the meaning that something has to i n d i v i d u a l s " because i t i s "the me n t a l i s t i c meanings and values that occur in the minds of people...[and]... the m e n t a l i s t i c d e f i n i t i o n s people make in t h e i r unique s i t u a t i o n s that are the most useful explanatory v a r i a b l e s i n understanding human [action and i n t e r a c t i o n ] " (Burr, Leigh, Day & Constantine, 1979, p.49). In the i n t e r a c t i o n i s t o r i e n t a t i o n to f i e l d research i t i s assumed that human behaviour i s not caused by i n t e r n a l or external forces. Human beings are not passive, responding organisms but active, creating purposive organisms who behave on the basis of meanings that things have f o r them. Such meanings are developed, interpreted and reinterpreted through s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n within a s o c i a l context. This s o c i a l context includes the s o c i a l structures which are not only created and constructed by i n d i v i d u a l s i n t e r p r e t i n g t h e i r worlds but which also have s o c i a l force i n that they are i n t e r n a l i z e d i n the s e l f through the continuous i n t e r a c t i o n of the " I " and the "Me". Thus in symbolic i n t e r a c t i o n , o b j e c t i v i t y and s u b j e c t i v i t y are not separated, but are viewed as interdependent (Denzin, 1978; Douglas, 1976; Johnson, 1975). The methodological implications of these assumptions are considerable. If human action and i n t e r a c t i o n are i n t e r p r e t i v e , then i n order to understand such action, the researcher must gain access to "the defining process" of the actor (Blumer, 1969). This suggests that s i t u a t i o n s must be studied from the actors' points of view and t h i s requires p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l s e t t i n g s . S i m i l a r l y , i f human behaviour i s shaped and influenced by the s e t t i n g i n which i t occurs, then study of human behaviour i n i t s natural 44 s e t t i n g seems to be most appropriate. Moreover, i f meaning i s constructed through a s o c i a l process, then human action cannot be adequately understood unless the framework i n which the actors i n t e r p r e t t h e i r thoughts, f e e l i n g s and actions i s comprehended (Wilson, 1977). Thus methods are required which enable i l l u m i n a t i o n and penetration of the actors' points of view and of the subjective meanings they attach to the objects that constitute t h e i r world. In t h i s regard, the methods of pa r t i c i p a n t observation (where the researcher engages i n the actors' s o c i a l s e t t i n g observing, l i s t e n i n g and asking questions over an extended period of time) are p a r t i c u l a r l y appropriate. Through assuming the r o l e ( s ) of those being studied, the researcher i s better able to document and understand t h e i r perspectives and uncover the meaning embedded in t h e i r action and i n t e r a c t i o n (Wilson, 1977). Research Purpose and Design The purpose of t h i s study was to understand how teachers conceptualize FLE curriculum and to determine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e i r curriculum conception and t h e i r curriculum p r a c t i c e . This research was a multiple case study of s i x family l i f e educators located i n the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t (a pseudonym), a large metropolitan school d i s t r i c t i n a province i n Western Canada. A d e s c r i p t i o n of the s e l e c t i o n of these s i x cases and of the process of gaining entry into the schools and the classrooms i n which they taught w i l l c l a r i f y the development of the research design. Selection of Cases In t h i s research, home economics family l i f e educators (as opposed to those who teach family l i f e education concepts i n other subject areas such as guidance, biology, health education or s o c i a l studies) were studied. Two factors guided t h i s decision. F i r s t , an o f f i c i a l curriculum document for FLE was i n place i n the secondary schools of the province as part of the home 45 economics program and constituted the Central V a l l e y FLE program. This document r e f l e c t s the broad d e f i n i t i o n of FLE as outlined by the National Council on Family Relations (see Chapter I I ) . (An outline of t h i s curriculum i s included i n Appendix A.) Although other subject areas i n the province and in t h i s d i s t r i c t include FLE concepts, or are c a l l e d "FLE", they represent s p e c i a l i z e d content areas of FLE (such as human sexuality) which are subsets of the broader f i e l d , but are not synonymous with i t . Because t h i s research was concerned with understanding teacher b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum which inform curriculum p r a c t i c e , the curriculum document enabled comparisons among the cases, and f a c i l i t a t e d the examination of teacher b e l i e f s r e l a t e d to FLE curriculum. Second, according to surveys of FLE programs i n North American schools (e.g., Arcus, 1983; Koblinsky, Weeks & Cooke, 1985; Sheek, 1984; The Vanier I n s t i t u t e of the Family, 1971), home economics appears to o f f e r the greatest proportion of FLE programs i n public school settings. Thus, t h i s group of teachers i s most l i k e l y to teach FLE within the context of schools. Several factors influenced the decision to enter Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t . F i r s t , t h i s d i s t r i c t represented considerable d i v e r s i t y of student population based on socioeconomic status and e t h n i c i t y . Because respect f o r d i f f e r i n g family patterns and family values i s a ce n t r a l p r i n c i p l e i n FLE, attention to t h i s dimension was considered to be an important f a c t o r i n the se l e c t i o n of cases to be studied. Second, the home economics FLE program has been well-established i n the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t since the early 1970's. The current FLE curriculum i n home economics i s a r e v i s i o n of t h i s e a r l i e r program and many of the home economics teachers i n the d i s t r i c t have been involved i n i t s evolution. During the past f i f t e e n years t h i s program has received considerable support through professional development programs i n the d i s t r i c t . F i n a l l y , because of my experiences as a teacher of home economics and as a supervisor of home economics student teachers i n t h i s d i s t r i c t f o r a number of years and because of my professional associations with teachers and d i s t r i c t personnel, i t seemed l i k e l y that once the research proposal was accepted by the School Board, access to the schools and classrooms would be expedited. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the d i s t r i c t determined the s e l e c t i o n of the number of cases to be studied. As noted above, t h i s d i s t r i c t r e f l e c t e d d i v e r s i t y i n socioeconomic and ethnic groups. The d i s t r i c t i s divided into s i x administrative areas which roughly approximate a cross section of both socioeconomic and ethnic groups i n the c i t y . It was decided that purposive sampling from across the d i s t r i c t , i . e . , s e l e c t i n g one case from each administrative area, would provide the range of teaching contexts necessary to consider the possible influence of program se t t i n g on teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum. The s e l e c t i o n of the s i x cases was based on judgement sampling, that i s , s e l e c t i o n c r i t e r i a developed by the researcher (Burgess, 1984). These c r i t e r i a included the socioeconomic status and e t h n i c i t y of the school ( i . e . , the context of teaching) and the teachers' experience i n teaching the Central V a l l e y FLE program ( i . e . , a minimum of three years). As noted above, the f i r s t c r i t e r i o n (the context of teaching) was i d e n t i f i e d as a possible influence on teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum. The second c r i t e r i o n (experience i n teaching FLE) was considered to be the minimum length of time during which teachers would have resolved issues associated with beginning to teach a subject. Because i t was deemed desirable to hold the curriculum content constant f o r the purpose of comparison among cases, i t was expected that a l l would be teaching the same grade l e v e l of the Central V a l l e y FLE program ( i . e . , e i t h e r 11 or 12). Although i n previous years there was a male home economics FLE teacher i n t h i s d i s t r i c t , he was not teaching t h i s subject when t h i s research was undertaken. Thus, only female teachers were studied. While these i n i t i a l decisions regarding the number of cases and t h e i r 47 s e l e c t i o n c r i t e r i a constituted the proposed research design, t h e i r r e a l i z a t i o n u l t i m a t e l y depended upon gaining access or entry into the classrooms. Gaining Entry to Settings As preparations were made to gain entry into the d i s t r i c t and to the schools themselves, i t was anticipated that, i n at le a s t one school i n each of the s i x administrative areas of the d i s t r i c t , there would be a home economics teacher with the r e q u i s i t e experience currently teaching the Central V a l l e y FLE program. However, as i s common in f i e l d research, entry into the setting requires negotiation (Schatzman & Strauss, 1973; Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983; Woods, 1986). Moreover, such negotiation has been described as a "balancing act", where the researcher i s engaged i n making a serie s of judgments which may encompass r e c i p r o c i t y or compromise (Burgess, 1984; Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983). My experiences i n gaining access and in subsequently s e l e c t i n g the s i x cases r e f l e c t e d both negotiation and compromise. Following approval of the a p p l i c a t i o n to conduct t h i s research by both the U n i v e r s i t y Human Subjects Research Committee and the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t Research Department, the D i s t r i c t P r i n c i p a l responsible f o r Home Economics programs i n Central V a l l e y Schools was contacted. This i n d i v i d u a l supplied a l i s t of secondary schools i n the d i s t r i c t , and i d e n t i f i e d p o t e n t i a l research p a r t i c i p a n t s i n those schools where the Central V a l l e y FLE curriculum was taught. The D i s t r i c t P r i n c i p a l also provided information about each teacher's experience teaching t h i s program i n the d i s t r i c t and pointed out s i t u a t i o n a l and personal constraints i n several settings which might influence p a r t i c i p a t i o n . For a v a r i e t y of reasons, the D i s t r i c t P r i n c i p a l recommended that c e r t a i n teachers not be approached and t h i s recommendation was followed. These a d d i t i o n a l "conditions" meant that, i n conjunction with the o r i g i n a l s e l e c t i o n c r i t e r i a ( i . e . , experience teaching the Central V a l l e y FLE program and the context of teaching), the choice of settings was l i m i t e d before any 48 teachers were even contacted. Based on the D i s t r i c t P r i n c i p a l ' s recommendations, f i v e schools and f i v e teachers were eliminated from possible p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the study, leaving eight teachers to be approached concerning p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the research. The D i s t r i c t P r i n c i p a l outlined a protocol f o r making i n i t i a l contacts with p o t e n t i a l research p a r t i c i p a n t s . It was s t i p u l a t e d that i n i t i a l contact be made by telephone and that once consent was given, a l e t t e r documenting t h i s consent be delivered to the consenting teacher and to the senior administrator associated with the school. (A copy of t h i s l e t t e r i s included in Appendix B.) In an informal telephone conversation with each p o t e n t i a l p a r t i c i p a n t , I introduced myself, provided a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of the proposed research and indicated that I wanted to discuss t h e i r p o t e n t i a l involvement i n the project. These telephone c a l l s e l i c i t e d a v a r i e t y of responses. They ranged from immediate and unconditional agreement: This sounds i n t e r e s t i n g and exciting...sure I'd love to do i t . to h e s i t a t i o n Can I c a l l you back and l e t you know in a few days?...I'd l i k e to think i t over. and, i n one case, scepticism Well, I'm not sure...I'd have to have a l o t of questions answered before I said OK. Two teachers indicated that they were worried about being evaluated. One asked: What i f I'm not doing i t [teaching the FLE program] right? Another said: 49 It sounds l i k e y o u ' l l be evaluating me. Eventually each of these eight teachers agreed to meet with me i n d i v i d u a l l y to further discuss the research project and the extent of t h e i r involvement should they agree to p a r t i c i p a t e i n i t . It was anticipated that t h i s meeting would serve several purposes. F i r s t , i t would c l a r i f y the nature and purpose of the research, the teachers' involvement and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n the project and the implications of these for t h e i r classrooms. Second, the meeting would provide an opportunity to encourage the teachers' p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the project. This allowed me to address the expressed concerns about evaluation and to suggest possible professional benefits which might accrue from involvement i n the research project. These included the opportunity to r e f l e c t on t h e i r p r a c t i c e , which teachers may not always do consciously, and t h e i r p o t e n t i a l c o n t r i b u t i o n to the f i e l d of FLE in the development of knowledge about the p r a c t i t i o n e r . F i n a l l y , t h i s meeting i n i t i a t e d the establishment of rapport with each teacher. For example, I made a point of i d e n t i f y i n g some experiences that we had i n common. Indeed, the fact that I had taught FLE i n Central V a l l e y at one time, and was known p r o f e s s i o n a l l y to several of the teachers may have f a c i l i t a t e d access at t h i s stage and contributed to some i n i t i a l development of rapport. Following these meetings, two teachers declined, two teachers remained uncertain and four teachers agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the research. However, these four teachers expressed some concerns about having an observer i n t h e i r classroom. These concerns appeared to be a l l e v i a t e d when I suggested that they would be free to s t i p u l a t e times f o r observations and that whenever a planned v i s i t became inappropriate or inconvenient ( f o r whatever reason), an alternate time could be arranged. 50 Despite such assurances, the two teachers who were uncertain about being involved were s t i l l reluctant. One of these teachers continued to express worries about "being evaluated". However, a f t e r thinking things through, she agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e , saying: I've been evaluating myself over the past week...and I decided I'm not that bad. The other teacher had j u s t been assigned to a new school, and indicated that, due to the new workload and time problems, she f e l t : very stressed o u t . . . i f i t was next year, I'd do i t f o r s u r e . . . i t sounds so i n t e r e s t i n g . When t h i s teacher continued to express concerns about both the pressures of being i n a new school and the fear that she might not "give you what you need to get", I asked her i f I could make i t easier f o r her to be involved. She indicated: I j u s t need time to adjust, I guess. A f t e r some further discussion, she agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e , and, i n order to give her time to adjust to the new school and i t s routines, I agreed not to make contact with her again ( t h i s time as a p a r t i c i p a n t i n the research) u n t i l the f i r s t term was well under way. (A copy of the Informed Consent document which teachers signed i s included in Appendix C.) As a consequence of these i n t e r a c t i o n s , s i x teachers who met one of the c r i t e r i a (a minimum of three years experience teaching the Central V a l l e y FLE program) agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e in the study. Unfortunately these teachers represented only f i v e of the s i x administrative areas. Although t h i s f e l l short of the o r i g i n a l s e l e c t i o n c r i t e r i a , the f i v e areas represented did provide a range of contexts of teaching, making i t possible f o r the study to proceed. A further compromise in the design was required as four of the teachers were cur r e n t l y teaching the grade 11 Central V a l l e y FLE course, while two were teaching the grade 12 course. However, the general purposes of the two l e v e l s are the same and differences are evident p r i m a r i l y i n the content emphases. While t h i s did not meet the s p e c i f i e d or " i d e a l " proposed conditions f o r the study, t h i s new circumstance would allow f o r the a d d i t i o n a l consideration of whether teacher conceptions were influenced by the l e v e l of curriculum. Although t h i s represents a departure from the o r i g i n a l design, i t r e f l e c t s the r e a l i t y of f i e l d research in which negotiation i s c e n t r a l to the development of the research design. Description of Settings The School D i s t r i c t The Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t i s a large metropolitan d i s t r i c t with a t o t a l population of about 50,000 students. Of these, approximately two-fifths are enrolled in secondary schools. As noted e a r l i e r , the d i s t r i c t i s divided into s i x administrative areas which encompass the d i s t r i c t ' s eighteen secondary schools and which are d i s t r i b u t e d geographically across the c i t y from west to east. According to data provided by the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t , the socioeconomic and ethnic composition of the s i x areas d i f f e r . For example, in the administrative areas located i n the west, there i s a high incidence of professionals i n the workforce and generally l i t t l e incidence of unemployment and low income. While residents i n these areas are predominantly Caucasian, there are also groups of Orientals and some Native Indians. In contrast, the administrative areas located in the east and southeast parts of the d i s t r i c t r e f l e c t a higher incidence of blue c o l l a r workers and a greater incidence of unemployment and low income. These areas are characterized by large populations of multi-ethnic groups, p a r t i c u l a r l y O r i e n t a l and Indo-Canadian. 52 The use of administrative areas as a measure of socioeconomic status and e t h n i c i t y i s somewhat problematic. For example, the patterns of socioeconomic status i n each of the s i x areas are not n e c e s s a r i l y d i s c r e t e and within each of the areas there i s conceivably a range of l e v e l s of socioeconomic status. Indeed, the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t provided only l i m i t e d o f f i c i a l data concerning socioeconomic status in each of the s i x areas. This data i s based on average family income, educational l e v e l , incidence of low income and incidence of unemployment. While i t i s recognized that s o c i a l c l a s s i s not s o l e l y defined by factors such as occupation and l e v e l of income (Anyon, 1981), these were the c r i t e r i a used by the d i s t r i c t i n describing the socioeconomic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of each area. 1 S i m i l a r l y , only l i m i t e d data concerning the ethnic composition of the s i x areas were a v a i l a b l e . However, because the s i x areas do provide both a cross-section of socioeconomic l e v e l s in the school d i s t r i c t and a range of ethnic groups, i t was decided to use them as an approximation of differences in socioeconomic status and e t h n i c i t y . The Schools Each administrative area includes up to four of the eighteen secondary schools in the d i s t r i c t . While i t was o r i g i n a l l y proposed that one case would be selected from each area, the a v a i l a b i l i t y of home economics teachers with a minimum of three years experience teaching the Central V a l l e y FLE program 1 Anyon describes s o c i a l class as "a ser i e s of r e l a t i o n s h i p s to several aspects of the process i n society by which goods, services, and culture are produced." She indicates that one's s o c i a l class i s thus determined by "one's r e l a t i o n s h i p to the system of ownership of physical and c u l t u r a l c a p i t a l , to the structure of authority at work and in society, and to the content and process of one's own work a c t i v i t y . " According to Anyon, " a l l three r e l a t i o n s h i p s are necessary and no single one i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r determining a r e l a t i o n to the process of production in society" (p.4). Although the notion of s o c i a l c l a s s i s referred to by the teachers i n t h i s study, i t must not be i n f e r r e d that these complex r e l a t i o n s h i p s i d e n t i f i e d by Anyon are n e c e s s a r i l y embodied i n t h e i r perceptions. S i m i l a r l y , the socioeconomic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of each administrative area are described i n very general terms, and do not ne c e s s a r i l y r e f l e c t the r e l a t i o n s h i p s Anyon notes. precluded t h i s . A general d e s c r i p t i o n of each school and i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s indicates the contexts within which the research was conducted. Information concerning the socioeconomic and ethnic composition of each school population i s described using both the o f f i c i a l data provided by the school d i s t r i c t and the language of the teachers as they talked about the ethnic and socioeconomic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of students i n t h e i r schools (e.g., "upper middle c l a s s " , "working c l a s s " , "blue c o l l a r " ) . To protect the i d e n t i t y of the teachers, each of the schools i s i d e n t i f i e d using a pseudonym, the administrative areas are not named and de s c r i p t i v e data i s general. The schools are presented a l p h a b e t i c a l l y by pseudonym. 1) Cornerbrook High School i s situated i n an area which i s populated by "professionals" and "white c o l l a r workers", who were frequently referred to as "a combination of upper middle c l a s s and middle cla s s f a m i l i e s " . Although some students attending t h i s school come from low income f a m i l i e s , the incidence i s generally low. Student enrollment i s approximately 1000, and students are predominantly Caucasian. 2) Forest H i l l s Secondary School i s located i n a neighbourhood inhabited predominantly by "professionals", and was referred to as "upper middle c l a s s " . There i s l i t t l e incidence of low income in t h i s area. Approximately 1200 students, predominantly Caucasian and O r i e n t a l , are enrolled. 3) Mountainview High School i s located i n what was described as "an upper middle c l a s s " neighbourhood. Average family incomes are generally high and there i s l i t t l e incidence of unemployment in t h i s area. It houses approximately 800 students who are predominantly Caucasian and O r i e n t a l . 4) Oakland Secondary School i s located i n a neighbourhood which encompasses both "working c l a s s " and "prof e s s i o n a l " f a m i l i e s . Average family income in t h i s area v a r i e s , as does the incidence of unemployment. The student population numbers almost 1500 and i s c u l t u r a l l y diverse. The predominant ethnic groups represented i n the school are Caucasian, Oriental and Indo-Canadian. 5) Riverside High School i s situated i n what was described as a "blue c o l l a r " area of the d i s t r i c t . The average family income in t h i s area i s generally low and there i s a high incidence of unemployment. The school population i s predominantly O r i e n t a l (including Chinese, Vietnamese and some Japanese) and numbers about 800. 6) Seaview Secondary i s located i n what was referred to as a "generally blue c o l l a r " neighbourhood. There i s a high incidence of unemployment and low income in t h i s area. Approximately 1200 students are enrolled. The student population i s predominantly Or i e n t a l (Chinese and Vietnamese) and Indo-Canadian. Data C o l l e c t i o n and Analysis Data c o l l e c t i o n extended over a period of eight months (October through June) and corresponded to the duration of the school year. Although the stages of f i e l d research are interdependent and integrated ( R i s t , 1982) and represent a c y c l i c a l sequence of events i n which the processes are repeated throughout the research project (Spradley, 1980), they are described separately f o r ease of discussion. However, where appropriate, the ongoing and r e f l e x i v e nature of t h i s research i s elucidated. Methods This study employed multiple data c o l l e c t i o n s t r a t e g i e s , including interviews, observations and document analysis. This "methodological t r i a n g u l a t i o n " (Denzin, 1978) provided a means of checking the v a l i d i t y of the TABLE 1 DATA COLLECTION: INTERVIEW AND OBSERVATION SCHEDULE Subj ect Pre-Observational Interview Classroom Observations Post-Observational Interview J u l i e November 1, 1988 Nov. 8/88;Dec.2/88;Dec.13/88;Jan. 4/89; Jan. 6/89;Jan.10/89; Jan.11/89;Jan.18/89;Jan.20/89; Jan. 27/89;Jan.31/89; Feb.15/89;Feb.23/89;Feb.24/89;Mar.8/89 June 7, 1989 Candace November 24, 1988 Dec.5/88;Jan.6/89;Jan.10/89;Jan.30/89;Feb.8/89;Feb.20/89; Mar.1/89;Mar.22/89;Apr.10/89;Apr.19/89;Apr.21/89; Apr.26/89;May 3/89;May 8/89;May 15/89 June 6, 1989 Karen October 26, 1988 Nov.3/88;Dec.l/88;Jan.12/89;Feb.9/89;Feb.16/89; Feb.21/89;Mar.2/89;Mar.9/89;Apr.4/89;Apr.20/89; May 2/89;May 4/89;May 16/89;May 18/89;May 25/89 June 12, 1989 Paula October 19, 1988 Oct.27/88;Oct.31/88;Nov.28/88; Jan.26/89;Jan.30/89; Feb.7/89;Feb.23/89;Mar.20/89;Mar.21/89;Apr.11/89; Apr.25/89;Apr.27/89;May 13/89;May 25/89;June 5/89 June 14, 1989 A l l i s o n October 13, 1988 Dec.1/88;Dec.8/88;Jan.12/89;Jan.24/89;Jan.27/89; Jan.31/89;Feb.9/89;Feb.21/89;Mar.3/89;Mar.7/89; Mar.14/89;Apr.28/89;May 4/89;May ll/89;May 18/89 June 1, 1989 Susan November 3, 1988 Nov.10/88;Dec.12/88;Jan.10/89;Jan. 19/89;Jan.23/89; Jan.31/89;Feb.14/89;Feb.20/89;Feb.28/89;Mar.13/89; Apr.6/89;Apr.10/89;Apr.13/89;Apr.25/89;May 11/89 June 15, 1989 56 f i n d i n g s . Each method in r e l a t i o n to the questions of the study i s described. (The data c o l l e c t i o n schedule i s outlined i n Table 1.) Interviews Interviews were used to gather biographical information, to e l i c i t teachers' abstract b e l i e f s about FLE and FLE curriculum, to gain ins i g h t into possible influences on teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum and to c l a r i f y observer understandings of actions and events i n classrooms. Two ninety minute formal interviews (one at the beginning of the research and one at the end) were conducted with each teacher. The f i r s t interview schedule was p i l o t - t e s t e d with two FLE teachers outside of the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t and was subsequently revised. Both the i n i t i a l (or pre-observational) and the f i n a l (or post-observational) interviews were taped and then transcribed. Informal or impromptu conversations with teachers following classroom observations or during telephone conversations were recorded i n f i e l d notes. The formal interviews i n t h i s study were semi-structured. According to Burgess (1984), such interviews are r e a l l y "conversations with a purpose" (p. 102). Non-directive or open-ended questions are used to " t r i g g e r " or stimulate the interviewee to t a l k about a p a r t i c u l a r t o p i c . Occasionally, however, d i r e c t i v e or s p e c i f i c questions f o r c l a r i f i c a t i o n or to explore emergent ideas or concepts are also used (Cicourel, 1964; Denzin, 1978; Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983). In t h i s study, both open-ended and d i r e c t i v e questions were included i n the interview schedules. In the i n i t i a l interview, questions focused on four general areas: 1) biographical information; 2) b e l i e f s about the f i e l d of FLE; 3) b e l i e f s about curriculum content and pra c t i c e i n FLE; and 4) b e l i e f s about teaching and about education. In the f i n a l interview, questions were based p r i m a r i l y on classroom observations. While some of the s p e c i f i c or d i r e c t i v e questions varied among the teachers 57 due to differences i n the settings, several general areas were addressed: 1) why were c e r t a i n approaches used i n teaching? 2) how were topics and content selected? 3) what influences were perceived to have shaped t h e i r thinking about FLE curriculum? In addition, each teacher was asked to b r i e f l y r e i t e r a t e her general b e l i e f s about FLE and some preliminary findings were presented f o r v a l i d a t i o n by the teachers. (Copies of interview schedules are included i n Appendices D and E.) An important issue i n conducting interviews i s the development of rapport and t r u s t with those being interviewed (e.g., see Schatzman & Strauss, 1973; Woods, 1986). According to Woods (1986), the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the researcher and the interviewee i d e a l l y "transcends" the research and promotes a "bond of friendship, a f e e l i n g of togetherness and j o i n t pursuit of a common mission" (p. 63). Such a r e l a t i o n s h i p r e f l e c t s a rapport that allows the interviewee to f e e l comfortable divulging information. Moreover, throughout the interview the researcher must maintain rapport, while at the same time c o n t r o l l i n g and monitoring the speech through active l i s t e n i n g and in a sense manipulating the interviewee unobtrusively to gain access to t h e i r perspective (Schatzman & Strauss, 1973). During the two interviews i n t h i s study, I endeavored to create a comfortable atmosphere and to develop rapport. This was of p a r t i c u l a r concern during the f i r s t interview, when I had spent r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e time with the teachers i n t h e i r respective classrooms. Maintaining eye contact, expressing empathy, encouraging the teachers to t a l k f r e e l y without i n t e r r u p t i o n and stressing the c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y of t h e i r responses helped to put the teachers at ease and seemed to f a c i l i t a t e the interviews. As might be expected, the f i n a l interviews were longer and the teachers spoke with less h e s i t a t i o n and with fewer questions from me. Because the development of rapport i s discussed l a t e r i n t h i s chapter under the heading of "Research Roles and Gaining Access to the Teachers' S o c i a l Worlds", 58 i t i s not elaborated here. (An example of an interview t r a n s c r i p t i o n i s included i n Appendix F.) Observations Observations i n each teacher's classroom were conducted to determine the re l a t i o n s h i p of t h e i r abstract b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum to t h e i r classroom prac t i c e and to provide a cross-check to va l i d a t e data from interviews. With the exception of i n i t i a l classroom v i s i t s ( i n which very general d e s c r i p t i v e notations were made about the set t i n g and i t s p a r t i c i p a n t s ) , most observations were formal, that i s , focused and de t a i l e d , and concrete verbatim accounts of what the teachers a c t u a l l y said and did in t h e i r classrooms were recorded i n f i e l d notes and transcribed into protocols. (An example i s included i n Appendix G.) These then provided what Burgess (1984) c a l l s a "continuous record of the s i t u a t i o n s , events and conversations [which were observed]" (p.167). Because i t i s c l e a r l y impossible to record everything i n the se t t i n g , some s e l e c t i o n n e c e s s a r i l y occurred. While the t h e o r e t i c a l framework provided i n i t i a l s e n s i t i z i n g concepts (see Denzin, 1978) f o r classroom observations, a d d i t i o n a l concepts emerged and helped to progressively focus subsequent observations. During the course of the research, f i f t e e n classroom observations f o r each teacher were conducted. A schedule of these v i s i t s was developed i n consultation with each of the teachers. Because the Central Va l l e y FLE curriculum document included four topics at the grade 11 l e v e l and three at the grade 12 l e v e l , i t was anticipated that f i f t e e n observations staggered over the course of eight months of the school year would provide a representative cross section of the major components of the program as i t was being taught. Although an attempt was made to sample across these major areas of the curriculum, the order i n which teachers chose to teach these p a r t i c u l a r topics and t h e i r decisions about what content to include or to exclude from t h e i r program prohibited such disc r e t e sampling. Observations were conducted at d i f f e r e n t points i n the temporal cycles of each s e t t i n g . To f a c i l i t a t e i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences among teachers and t h e i r s e t tings, observations with each teacher were usually staggered ( i . e . , some time elapsed between classroom v i s i t s and these were purposely extended over the course of the school year). Once i n the settings, i t became apparent that negotiation concerning planned classroom v i s i t s was c r i t i c a l to the successful completion of the research project. For example, unscheduled school events (such as assemblies) necessitated adjustments to the planned observation schedules. S i m i l a r l y , i l l n e s s , unanticipated personal and professional commitments and teacher perceptions that " t h i s j u s t i s n ' t a good time f o r you to come", contributed to considerable re-scheduling of classroom v i s i t s throughout the course of the research. P e r i o d i c a l l y I sensed the need to observe some lessons i n succession (usually triggered by an "unfinished" discussion) or was requested by the teacher to v i s i t the next cl a s s "to see what happens next". Thus, as the research progressed, the o r i g i n a l plan to space observations evenly over the school year was repeatedly revised. Documents Documents already present i n the settings, such as the o f f i c i a l Central V a l l e y FLE curriculum document, course outlines and handouts used or developed by the teachers, and some guided writing completed by the teachers at my request were also c o l l e c t e d to complement and extend other data. The former were used to i d e n t i f y b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum i n use and to v e r i f y data from interviews and observations. The l a t t e r were intended to e l i c i t abstract b e l i e f s related to the f i e l d of FLE and to FLE curriculum, and to v e r i f y data from other sources. These a c t i v i t i e s included providing a written d e f i n i t i o n of FLE, recording thoughts associated with some FLE concepts and rank-ordering 60 d i f f e r e n t ways in which students may be involved i n learning i n FLE. In addition, each teacher was given the opportunity to keep a r e f l e c t i v e diary f o r recording her thoughts and impressions about FLE during the course of the research. This was presented as an optional a c t i v i t y and, due to what most teachers described as time pressures, only two a c t u a l l y engaged in t h i s a c t i v i t y . However, as the research progressed, a l l of the teachers r e f l e c t e d on t h e i r b e l i e f s about FLE and on t h e i r classroom p r a c t i c e i n casual conversations with me following most classroom observations. In a sense these conversations replaced the r e f l e c t i v e d i a r i e s , and the f i e l d notes from these were then included as data. (A copy of the Guided Writing A c t i v i t i e s i s included i n Appendix H.) Analysis In fieldwork, analysis i s not a d i s t i n c t phase of the research process but i s ongoing, beginning with problem formulation and i n i t i a l data gathering, and continuing throughout data c o l l e c t i o n (Burgess, 1984; Miles & Huberman, 1984; Strauss, 1987). In t h i s study, the general s t r a t e g i e s of speculative analysis (including the use of s e n s i t i z i n g concepts), coding and categorizing, checking f o r the frequency and d i s t r i b u t i o n of concepts and categories which appear i n the data, and v a l i d a t i o n of these concepts and categories through the use of t r i a n g u l a t i o n were employed. The s e n s i t i z i n g concepts which i n i t i a l l y guided data c o l l e c t i o n were several conceptual categories drawn from the l i t e r a t u r e of FLE and of general curriculum theory. These included b e l i e f s about the purpose and process of FLE, b e l i e f s about the role of the teacher i n FLE; b e l i e f s about teaching in FLE, b e l i e f s about knowledge and content i n FLE, and b e l i e f s about f a m i l i e s in FLE. These categories oriented data c o l l e c t i o n during interviews and observations, and were used in analysis to delineate teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum. 61 At the same time, however, c e r t a i n recurring words, themes and images emerged during data c o l l e c t i o n . These became a d d i t i o n a l s e n s i t i z i n g concepts which guided the c o l l e c t i o n of data and which were employed during subsequent data a n a l y s i s . For example, the word "story" recurred frequently and was evident i n some teacher interviews and in the discourse of teachers and students i n classrooms. The recurrence of t h i s word early i n data c o l l e c t i o n prompted me to look further f or evidence of s t o r i e s as the data were gathered. Once data c o l l e c t i o n was completed, the s e n s i t i z i n g concepts and conceptual categories were used to code f i e l d notes, interview t r a n s c r i p t s and selected documents f o r evidence or indicators of the concept or category. Such evidence included actions, events or words and phrases which were observed or included i n documents and in dialogue. S i m i l a r l y , the curriculum conceptions were delineated using the f i v e conceptual categories i d e n t i f i e d above. Interview data was coded f o r evidence of these categories. When conceptions were compared with classroom p r a c t i c e , the same conceptual categories were used to code the data of classroom observations and documents used i n the set t i n g with students. Methodological t r i a n g u l a t i o n ( i . e . , the use of multiple methods f o r data c o l l e c t i o n ) validated the concepts and categories as they were i d e n t i f i e d and delineated. This t r i a n g u l a t i o n involved s c r u t i n i z i n g the data from interviews, observations and documents f o r evidence of the predominant categories and concepts. When these appeared i n data c o l l e c t e d by a l l three methods, t h e i r v a l i d i t y was strengthened. As the categories and concepts were f i r m l y i d e n t i f i e d and delineated, they were also considered i n terms of t h e i r frequency and d i s t r i b u t i o n i n the data. The greater the frequency and the more widespread the d i s t r i b u t i o n throughout multiple data sources, the stronger the v a l i d i t y of the findings (Denzin, 1978). At the same time, the data was s c r u t i n i z e d f o r negative 6 2 evidence which might refute the claim that a p a r t i c u l a r category was indeed a substantive f i n d i n g . As the curriculum conceptions were delineated, they were l a b e l l e d according to the ce n t r a l theme which characterized each. These themes related p r i m a r i l y to the teachers' understandings of the aims and purposes of FLE. Emergent concepts and themes contributed to the construction of two ad d i t i o n a l a n a l y t i c categories ("tensions and constraints" and "images of FLE curriculum p r a c t i c e " ) . Research Roles and Gaining Access into the Teachers' S o c i a l Worlds Gaining Access to the Teachers' S o c i a l Worlds Gaining access into the teachers' s o c i a l worlds d i f f e r s from gaining entry into the research s e t t i n g . Such access involves gaining the t r u s t of pa r t i c i p a n t s and assuming or negotiating a role i n the se t t i n g i t s e l f (Bogdan & Taylor, 1975; Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983; Schatzman & Strauss, 1973). Once in the s e t t i n g , the researcher's aim i s to penetrate beyond the f i r s t l e v e l of s o c i a l entry to what Goffman (1959) c a l l s "the backstage" where the "actor can drop his front, forgo his l i n e s , and step out of character" (p. 112). When t h i s l e v e l has been accessed, the researcher has begun to enter the s o c i a l construction of the se t t i n g . In t h i s study, the development of rapport and t r u s t began during the f i r s t meeting with teachers concerning t h e i r p o t e n t i a l involvement i n the research project. I was conscious from the beginning of what Hammersley and Atkinson (1983) r e f e r to as the development of a "working i d e n t i t y " . For example, making a point of i d e n t i f y i n g our common experiences r e l a t e d to teaching FLE assis t e d the teachers to place me within t h e i r realm of experience and to re l a t e to me as a person and as a teacher as well as a researcher (see Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983 f o r further elaboration of t h i s p o i n t ) . Indeed, Goffman (1955) refers to the importance of one's "personal front" or the impression made upon entering the s e t t i n g . Because of the expressed concerns about my p o t e n t i a l "evaluation" of t h e i r teaching, I took every opportunity to be se n s i t i v e to and to empathize with t h e i r experiences as FLE teachers and to occasionally reveal some of my own teaching experiences. Such actions helped to e s t a b l i s h that I had an understanding of t h e i r l i v e s i n the FLE classroom and of the kinds of events that often occur there. I also gave the teachers considerable control over determining times fo r classrooms v i s i t s and attempted to accommodate t h e i r expressed needs and wishes whenever possible. According to Hammersley and Atkinson (1983), c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the researcher, such as age, gender and ethnic heritage may shape r e l a t i o n s h i p s within the research s e t t i n g and contribute to or i n t e r f e r e with the development of rapport and t r u s t . In t h i s research, both my age and my gender may have f a c i l i t a t e d entry into the s o c i a l worlds of the teachers. With one exception, my age was within f i v e or s i x years of the ages of the teachers. Because of our chronological l i f e stage, i t i s possible that we were experiencing common concerns and events. In f a c t , issues r e l a t e d to career development and the d i f f i c u l t i e s of balancing r o l e s as professionals and wives or mothers were p e r i o d i c a l l y topics of casual conversation. S i m i l a r l y , the fac t that we were a l l the same gender may have f a c i l i t a t e d access to the s o c i a l l i v e s of the teachers. As the research progressed, there was considerable evidence of the development of rapport and t r u s t . On several occasions, some of the teachers made u n s o l i c i t e d telephone c a l l s to me a f t e r a class i n which there had been l i t t l e time to chat. I also received i n v i t a t i o n s to p a r t i c i p a t e i n several s o c i a l functions unrelated to the research project. Questions from many of the teachers about my personal l i f e also suggested that they had accepted me into t h e i r worlds and wanted to know me as a person as well as a researcher. One teacher offered to lend me some tapes about parenthood, and another lent me a book i n which she thought I might be interested. Indeed, over the course of the research, I developed a "professional f r i e n d s h i p " with these s i x teachers which was characterized by warmth and caring beyond the concerns of the research i t s e l f . Research Roles Related to rapport and t r u s t i s the establishment of research roles that w i l l f a c i l i t a t e the c o l l e c t i o n of data. Four " t h e o r e t i c a l l y possible r o l e s " f o r those engaging i n f i e l d research have been i d e n t i f i e d (Junker, 1960). These include complete p a r t i c i p a n t , p a r t i c i p a n t as observer, observer as pa r t i c i p a n t and complete observer. These roles vary i n the extent to which the researcher a c t u a l l y engages i n the set t i n g and p a r t i c i p a t e s as a member of the group. The f i r s t and l a s t of these roles ( i . e . , complete p a r t i c i p a n t and complete observer) are generally "covert" i n that the research role i s concealed from the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the research s e t t i n g . In the other two roles ( i . e . , p a r t i c i p a n t as observer or observer as p a r t i c i p a n t ) the researcher's research intentions are made e x p l i c i t . It has been suggested that both the role assumed by the researcher (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983) and the stage of research (Oelsen & Whittaker, 1967) w i l l influence the data that becomes a v a i l a b l e . As complete p a r t i c i p a n t , f o r example, the researcher r i s k s "going native" or ove r - i d e n t i f y i n g with the group and taking the set t i n g and i t s s o c i a l structures f o r granted (Woods, 1986). In contrast, complete observation i n h i b i t s penetration beyond surface l e v e l s . During the ea r l y phases of research, rol e s are s t i l l emerging and t y p i c a l l y general or surface information i s obtained. As roles s t a b i l i z e over time, however, more de t a i l e d , s p e c i f i c information i s yielded (Oelsen & Whittaker, 1967). In t h i s study, I assumed the role of p a r t i c i p a n t as observer. Although I p r i n c i p a l l y functioned in my declared role as researcher ( i n which my actual involvement in classroom a c t i v i t i e s was minimal), oc c a s i o n a l l y I adopted the role of "teacher helper". This role was evident when teachers a c t i v e l y s o l i c i t e d my advice or my opinion (both during the cl a s s and outside of cl a s s ) or when they asked me to comment or to add to cl a s s discussions. In t h i s sense, I became a kind of "resident resource person". Indeed, one of the teachers c a l l e d me a "classroom guest speaker". Thus, throughout the study, my degree of involvement in the s e t t i n g varied. According to several writers (Bogdan & Taylor, 1975; Hammersley & Atkinson 1983; Merriam, 1988; Oelsen & Whittaker,1967), such v a r i a t i o n i n involvement i s usual i n f i e l d research, and provides access to d i f f e r e n t kinds of data. Related to t h i s degree of involvement in the a c t i v i t i e s of the research s e t t i n g i s maintaining a balance between being an " i n s i d e r " and an "outsider". Merriam (1988) describes t h i s maintenance of marginality as "a schizophrenic a c t i v i t y i n that one usually p a r t i c i p a t e s but not to the extent of becoming t o t a l l y absorbed in the a c t i v i t y . . . [ a s ] one i s p a r t i c i p a t i n g , one i s t r y i n g to stay s u f f i c i e n t l y detached to observe and analyze" (p.94). Such was my experience. In two of the classrooms, I encountered the urge to "go native". These classes and the teachers were so " i n v i t i n g " , that I frequently found i t d i f f i c u l t to achieve the balance between involvement and distance. The following excerpt from my f i e l d diary i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s point: They were discussing the r e a l i t i e s of marriage r e l a t i o n s h i p s and that a f t e r getting married there i s usually a l e t down. The discussion was l i v e l y ; a l l the students had something to contribute, and not a l l agreed with her. She shared some of her own experiences, then asked me to do the same. Because I l i k e t h i s class so much, I almost started to do i t , then found myself i n s t a n t l y backing off...an unconscious "hold i t . . . t h i s i s n ' t appropriate for me to do". It was a struggle to r e t r e a t . . . I didn't want her to think that I wasn't interested or that I didn't think that t h i s was important, so I j u s t agreed with her and l e f t i t at that. She does seem to want me to be more involved, and sometimes i t ' s a struggle not to be. 66 While gaining access to the teachers' s o c i a l worlds was of paramount concern at the beginning of the research, withdrawing from the settings and disengaging from the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' l i v e s became a ce n t r a l issue as data c o l l e c t i o n neared completion. Because the project would cease and the setting i t s e l f would change with the end of the school year, everyone knew that our research r e l a t i o n s h i p was what Adler and Adler (1987) c a l l "time bound". However, because we had a l l grown quite close, leaving the s e t t i n g and discontinuing our i n t e r a c t i o n and routines was bound to be d i f f i c u l t . To prepare f o r t h i s i n e v i t a b i l i t y , I began to t a l k about the impending closure to our work during the l a s t month of data c o l l e c t i o n . In view of the concerns expressed by several of the teachers at the beginning of the research, I f e l t that i t was also important to leave the settings with some understanding of t h e i r perceptions of t h e i r involvement in the study. Thus as my time in the settings came to an end, I asked each teacher to r e f l e c t on her experiences over the course of the research. As might be expected, several teachers talked about t h e i r i n i t i a l discomfort during classroom observations: I was nervous the f i r s t time you were here...I'm not sure why...I guess... having a peer observe you i s disconcerting. However, as I remained in the s e t t i n g , such discomfort seemed to disappear: As the year progressed, as you came back more often, I was less affected by your presence in the c l a s s , and you were never obtrusive. Most seemed to consider that there were some benefits to having another adult in the classroom. One teacher indicated that another adult provides support: I r e a l l y enjoyed the presence of another adult i n the c l a s s . . . somebody with the same background...somebody to t a l k to, to give some p o s i t i v e feedback...that *s a r e a l l y p o s i t i v e focus. Another suggested that my presence stimulated her to think about a l t e r n a t i v e teaching arrangements: One of the things I thought about was...in a cl a s s such as t h i s , i t might be b e n e f i c i a l . . . t o have two people...to co-lead a class...you could work together. Every teacher expressed the view that p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the research encouraged them to think about t h e i r FLE teaching p r a c t i c e s . Indeed, most talked about the opportunity to be r e f l e c t i v e about what they do. One teacher sai d : I think [the experience] has helped me as a teacher c l a r i f y my f e e l i n g s about Family L i f e . . . I think I s i t down and r e f l e c t a lot...but you get caught up in the teaching and j u s t to s i t back and say 'now what do I r e a l l y believe'...was g r e a t . . . i t helped me a l o t . S i m i l a r l y , another revealed: I probably thought more about what I was doing and why I was doing i t . . . I was r e f l e c t i n g on what I was doing a l i t t l e b i t more than I would've been. These comments suggest that there i s considerable p o t e n t i a l f o r teachers to benefit p r o f e s s i o n a l l y through t h e i r involvement in ethnographic f i e l d research. Such benefits may include the opportunity to r e f l e c t on t h e i r p r a c t i c e s and to i n t e r a c t and confer with another professional within the classroom s e t t i n g . At the same time, the teachers' expressions of tensions at the beginning of the study underscore the importance of rapport development throughout a research project of t h i s nature, and emphasize the s i g n i f i c a n c e of gaining access to the research p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s o c i a l worlds beyond surface l e v e l s . Had the teachers continued to f e e l uncomfortable with my presence in t h e i r classrooms, i t i s l i k e l y that both t h e i r involvement in the research and thus the data i t s e l f would have been l i m i t e d . However, the teachers' candor during interviews and conversations, t h e i r demonstrations of commitment to the 68 study and t h e i r expressions of eagerness to read the f i n a l report indicated that they had developed a stake i n the project and that access beyond surface l e v e l s had indeed been achieved. A f t e r leaving the settings, I c a l l e d each teacher to arrange f o r the f i n a l interview. In t h i s way, I prolonged our i n t e r a c t i o n . S i m i l a r l y , following the l a s t interview, I sent each teacher a note thanking her for her p a r t i c i p a t i o n and i n d i c a t i n g my desire to keep i n touch. Each teacher was contacted by telephone several months l a t e r and some of the data analysis and in t e r p r e t a t i o n was shared with them f or corroboration. Because these teachers had w i l l i n g l y opened t h e i r l i v e s and t h e i r classrooms to me and because of my e t h i c a l commitment to them as p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the research, I f e l t that i t was c r u c i a l that I disengaged gradually. Dealing With S u b j e c t i v i t y The researcher's maintenance of marginality i n the s e t t i n g i s c r i t i c a l f o r assuming the perspective of the person being observed on the one hand, and fo r viewing action from the perspective of the outsider on the other. According to Wilson (1977), i t i s the a b i l i t y to view behaviour from multiple perspectives and the "tensions [inherent] i n [the d i f f e r e n t ] points of view" that prevents the researcher from engaging i n biased s u b j e c t i v i t y (p.259). To f a c i l i t a t e t h i s " d i s c i p l i n e d s u b j e c t i v i t y " , the researcher keeps a f i e l d diary, i n which to record " i n t e r p r e t i v e asides" or notes about personal reactions to what has been seen or heard (Peshkin, 1988; Smith, 1982). In t h i s study, the f i e l d diary was the p r i n c i p l e means of r e f l e c t i n g upon my s u b j e c t i v i t y , of r a i s i n g questions about why I responded e i t h e r p o s i t i v e l y or negatively to events i n the classrooms and of i d e n t i f y i n g areas of p o t e n t i a l bias. While space precludes reporting on a l l of these, some examples i l l u s t r a t e how I dealt with issues related to researcher s u b j e c t i v i t y . 69 At the beginning of the research, I was concerned about the possible influence of my previous professional role as a supervisor of student teachers. I therefore made a point of being conscious of t h i s past role and avoided making observations which were in any way c r i t i c a l of what the teachers were doing. When evaluative or judgmental comments did come to mind, however, I was c a r e f u l to record them and to r e f l e c t on why they had emerged in the f i r s t place. S i m i l a r l y , my past experiences as a FLE teacher were a po t e n t i a l source of bias. When I occasionally found myself thinking "what a wonderful idea" or "that's not the way I would do i t " , I again recorded these instances i n the f i e l d diary and t r i e d to reconsider the occurrence i n terms of what i t meant to the teacher within the context of her s e t t i n g . I also considered the p o s s i b i l i t y that my past experiences i n schools would make i t d i f f i c u l t f o r me to "make the f a m i l i a r strange" (Wolcott, 1985). Again, I used the f i e l d diary to raise questions about the events and a c t i v i t i e s i n the settings and about the behaviour of the teachers. This r e f l e x i v i t y (see Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983) enabled me to monitor my subjective biases and to focus instead on uncovering and understanding the meanings of actions and events i n the setting s . V a l i d i t y and R e l i a b i l i t y A c e n t r a l methodological issue associated with f i e l d research i s concerned with problems of v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y , i . e . , the a p p l i c a b i l i t y and c r e d i b i l i t y of research findings (e.g., see LeCompte & Goetz, 1982; Merriam, 1988). Careful consideration of the various factors i n the research process may contribute to strengthening both. A discussion of these issues w i l l c l a r i f y how v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y were enhanced i n t h i s study. V a l i d i t y i s concerned with the accuracy or soundness of the data c o l l e c t e d ( i n t e r n a l v a l i d i t y ) and the extent to which findings may be generalizable to other settings (external v a l i d i t y ) . Several features of 70 f i e l d research contribute to i t s generally high degree of i n t e r n a l v a l i d i t y . For example, data are c o l l e c t e d in the natural s e t t i n g that r e f l e c t s the r e a l i t y of the p a r t i c i p a n t s being studied (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). Because the researcher i s the research instrument who c o l l e c t s d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n s of the phenomena under study, f i r s t h a n d judgments can be made about whether what was intended to be measured was indeed measured (Burgess, 1984). Moreover, the researcher's extended presence i n the s e t t i n g means that data can be v a l i d a t e d and re-checked constantly. Internal v a l i d i t y may be further enhanced by using what Denzin (1978) c a l l s methodological t r i a n g u l a t i o n , or multiple methods of data c o l l e c t i o n . In t h i s study, three methods of data c o l l e c t i o n were used: observation, interview and document an a l y s i s . Such methodological t r i a n g u l a t i o n strengthens the soundness of the findings. S i m i l a r l y , the use of "member checks", or taking the data and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s back to the i n d i v i d u a l s studied and asking whether the r e s u l t s are p l a u s i b l e strengthens i n t e r n a l v a l i d i t y (Merriam, 1988). Following data analysis, the s i x teachers i n t h i s study were given the portrayals of t h e i r curriculum conceptions f o r corroboration and during the f i n a l interview, some preliminary findings based on ongoing analysis were also shared with the teachers for v a l i d a t i o n . F i n a l l y , according to Merriam (1988), the c l e a r e x p l i c a t i o n of researcher biases (including the t h e o r e t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n guiding the research) also increases i n t e r n a l v a l i d i t y . In t h i s study, not only are the t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions and perspectives guiding the research explained, but the researcher's personal and professional biases were also made e x p l i c i t through the use of a f i e l d diary. External v a l i d i t y or g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y in f i e l d research i s often considered to be problematic (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982; Merriam, 1988; Woods, 1986). According to Merriam (1988), the issue centers on whether ge n e r a l i z a t i o n from n a t u r a l i s t i c f i e l d studies i s possible, and i f so, in what ways. There appear to be several approaches to dealing with t h i s issue. For 71 some, g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y i s viewed in terms of t r a d i t i o n a l research designs, and i t i s e i t h e r assumed that findings are not generalizable or attempts are made to strengthen i t . In t h i s l a t t e r view, the use of multiple cases to study the same phenomena, comparisons among cases and the use of sampling procedures enhance g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y (e.g., Yin, 1984). Another approach to dealing with t h i s issue suggests that i n f i e l d research the aim i s not to generalize to groups not studied, but to s t r i v e instead f o r comparability and t r a n s f e r a b i l i t y (e.g., LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). S i m i l a r l y , others suggest that "the general i s manifested i n the p a r t i c u l a r " , and that "the search i s . . . f o r concrete universals...by studying a s p e c i f i c case i n d e t a i l and then comparing i t with other cases studied in equally great d e t a i l " (Erikson, 1986, p.130). S t i l l others propose that "reader or user g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y " i s most appropriate. In t h i s instance, the reader determines whether the study's findings are relevant or applicable to t h e i r own s i t u a t i o n (e.g., Merriam, 1988). In t h i s study, the s e l e c t i o n of multiple cases according to some s p e c i f i e d c r i t e r i a was intended to increase the p o t e n t i a l g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the findings and corresponds to Wood's (1986) depiction of g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y in f i e l d research. According to Woods, there are two opposing views of g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y i n f i e l d research: the ideographic (depth of understanding of a p a r t i c u l a r case) and the nomothetic (generalizing f o r theory development). He suggests that in f i e l d research these are not mutually exclusive but e x i s t along a continuum. Thus, g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y i n f i e l d research may approach v a r i a t i o n s of these and combine elements of d e s c r i p t i o n , understanding and explanation. In t h i s study the primary aim i s f o r increased understanding of several cases which represent a range of v a r i a b l e s . Although g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y i s not presumed, an e f f o r t was made to se l e c t cases on the basis of c r i t e r i a perceived to be important. While these cases are not n e c e s s a r i l y representative of the large population of school-based family l i f e educators ( i n that not a l l teach in urban areas or have s i m i l a r t r a i n i n g in the content and methodology of FLE), there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y that t h e i r experiences might be s i m i l a r to others in comparable s i t u a t i o n s . R e l i a b i l i t y r e f e r s to the extent to which research can be r e p l i c a t e d . If the r e l i a b i l i t y of a piece of research i s strong, other researchers using the same methods should obtain s i m i l a r r e s u l t s . In t h i s regard, f i e l d research i s generally considered to be weak. Because the aim of f i e l d research i s to understand events as they occur i n t h e i r natural s e t t i n g , v a r i a b l e s are usually not manipulated. Whereas in experimental research v a r i a b l e s are manipulated to control or explain variance among research subjects, i n ethnographic f i e l d research, differences among subjects become part of the focus of study and no attempt i s made to control f o r them. In addition, written reports of f i e l d research vary considerably i n the comprehensiveness of the accounts of methods of data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis and make i t d i f f i c u l t to perform r e p l i c a t i v e studies on the basis of a research report alone. F i n a l l y , lack of design s p e c i f i c i t y among many f i e l d researchers reduces r e l i a b i l i t y . However, r e l i a b i l i t y may be strengthened through the use of several s t r a t e g i e s , and where possible and appropriate i n t h i s study, c a r e f u l consideration was given to these. For example, the research design and data c o l l e c t i o n procedures were c a r e f u l l y described and the methods of analysis were explained. The role of the researcher and the r e l a t i o n s h i p s of the researcher with those being studied were also i d e n t i f i e d (see V i d i c h , 1970). And, because s o c i a l circumstances may influence the information revealed, descriptions of the "physical, s o c i a l and interpersonal contexts within which data were gathered" were documented (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982, p.39). Summary This study employed the methods of ethnographic f i e l d research which i s characterized by an emphasis on understanding s o c i a l processes i n natural settings. The aim of t h i s research approach i s to confront r e a l i t y from the perspectives of those being studied. The major assumption guiding t h i s research (that teachers are active agents constructing t h e i r worlds) corresponds to the assumptions that underlie the s o c i o l o g i c a l perspective of symbolic i n t e r a c t i o n . Thus t h i s perspective, which emphasizes the s o c i a l construction of meaning, constituted the methodological o r i e n t a t i o n within which the research was conducted. This research examined the ways in which teachers conceptualize or in t e r p r e t FLE curriculum and the r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h e i r curriculum conceptions to t h e i r classroom p r a c t i c e . The research design was a multiple case study of s i x female secondary school FLE teachers in a large metropolitan school d i s t r i c t i n western Canada. They were selected using judgment sampling based on the context i n which the FLE program they teach i s offered and on the length of t h e i r experience teaching t h i s program. The methods used included p a r t i c i p a n t observation, interviews and document analysis. The data were analyzed using a framework of conceptual categories drawn from the l i t e r a t u r e of curriculum theory and of FLE. Two emergent a n a l y t i c categories were also i d e n t i f i e d . 74 CHAPTER IV THE FINDINGS: TEACHER CONCEPTIONS OF FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION CURRICULUM In t h i s chapter, the findings of the study related to the f i r s t two research questions are presented. The conceptions of FLE curriculum expressed by teachers are i n d i v i d u a l l y portrayed, and t h e i r perceptions of the influences on these conceptions are i d e n t i f i e d . Teacher Conceptions of Family L i f e Education Curriculum: Case Portrayals The f i r s t question of t h i s study focused on i d e n t i f y i n g teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum. These conceptions r e f l e c t the teachers' abstract b e l i e f s and assumptions about FLE curriculum as they were expressed i n formal interviews, in casual conversation and i n guided writing a c t i v i t i e s in which they wrote about t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n s of FLE and responded to some statements about FLE. These curriculum conceptions are described using the dimensions of the t h e o r e t i c a l framework delineated in Chapter I I : 1) b e l i e f s about the purpose and process of FLE; 2) b e l i e f s about the role of the teacher in FLE; 3) b e l i e f s about the learner and the teaching process in FLE; 4) b e l i e f s about knowledge and content in FLE; and 5) b e l i e f s about the family. As the data were analyzed, central themes which characterized each teacher's conception of FLE curriculum became apparent. These themes related p r i m a r i l y to the teachers' understandings of the aims and purposes of FLE, and were used to l a b e l and describe t h e i r respective curriculum conceptions. For convenience, the conceptions are presented along a continuum from "micro" ( i . e . , emphasis on the i n d i v i d u a l ) to "macro" ( i . e . , emphasis on the i n d i v i d u a l within the broader context of family and s o c i e t y ) . The second question of the study concerned the influences which were perceived by teachers to have shaped t h e i r conceptions of FLE curriculum. These influences were derived from the analysis of interview data and included 75 the following factors which teachers i d e n t i f i e d : personal l i f e experiences, professional development a c t i v i t i e s and contacts with professionals i n the f i e l d , curriculum documents, academic preparation and mentors. Each subject portrayal begins with a d e s c r i p t i o n of the teacher's personal and professional background and i s followed by a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of her conception of FLE curriculum and an account of her perceptions of influences on i t s development. In keeping with ethnographic f i e l d research, these conceptions and accounts of influences are both d e s c r i p t i v e and an a l y t i c , and represent the integration of data and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which occurred throughout data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis. To protect anonymity, pseudonyms have been used, and only general biographical information i s reported. Case Portrayal: J u l i e Biographical Information J u l i e i s in her lat e t h i r t i e s , c h i l d l e s s , divorced and remarried. Since completing a degree i n home economics and a one-year teacher c e r t i f i c a t i o n program, J u l i e has been teaching home economics (including the Central Valley FLE program) f o r approximately ten years. During t h i s time, she has taught b r i e f l y i n a small r u r a l community and f o r an extended period i n several secondary schools i n the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t . According to J u l i e , she became involved i n teaching FLE content during her f i r s t years of teaching i n a small r u r a l high school: The f i r s t year I was there [ i n t h i s school] there was no [FLE program offered]...so I got i t started. She indicated that her in t e r e s t i n the subject was in part a motivating fa c t o r : 76 I r e a l l y enjoyed the to p i c s . . . I l i k e d the topics...and my Methods course [ i n u n i v e r s i t y ] had given me a guideline of what to teach and how to teach...and so I introduced i t . Since moving several years ago to t h i s d i s t r i c t , J u l i e has continued to teach FLE as part of the home economics program. Curriculum Conception: "Authority of Facts and Information" J u l i e ' s curriculum conception i s characterized p r i m a r i l y by an emphasis on f a c t s and information. This o r i e n t a t i o n i s r e f l e c t e d i n her understanding of the purpose of FLE and in her stated perceptions of the importance of information i n accomplishing i t s aims. Her conception also r e f l e c t s a secondary emphasis on advice and advice-giving, which i s rel a t e d to her b e l i e f s about how knowledge ( i . e . , f a c t s and information) i s used and about her role as a teacher i n FLE. B e l i e f s About the Purpose of FLE J u l i e ' s view of FLE appears to be based on the assumption that, throughout the l i f e cycle, i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s w i l l i n e v i t a b l y encounter problems and d i f f i c u l t i e s . In these s i t u a t i o n s , f a c t s and information can be used to determine what to do and how to cope. This focus on problems i s apparent i n J u l i e ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the purpose of FLE: I think the purpose of [FLE] i s to make l i f e a l i t t l e b i t easier f o r kids, to prepare them and give them an idea that things happen out there...the topics that we cover are things that w i l l happen to them throughout t h e i r l i f e . . . e v e r y t h i n g we do i n [FLE] you run into at some point i n time i n your l i f e . . . a n d [FLE] r e a l l y softens the blow almost. J u l i e considers facts and information to be ce n t r a l i n FLE: I think f a c t s are important... the information that you get [ i n FLE] you w i l l use...every day of your l i f e . This c e n t r a l i t y of facts and information i s evident i n J u l i e ' s perceptions of how i t can a s s i s t i n accomplishing the purposes of FLE. For example, she believes that information can help students to an t i c i p a t e and to cope with c e r t a i n i n e v i t a b l e occurrences i n l i f e : I teach them about l i f e . . . [ a n d ] some things to expect...or things that t h e y ' l l be dealing with i n t h e i r l i f e t i m e . . . . and the information [ i n the course] helps them to cope with what i s ahead. At the same time, information can d i r e c t students toward resources which might be h e l p f u l i n solving or coping with a problem: You [as a teacher] can give them a l o t of information and t e l l them what [help] i s available...make them aware that there are places to go for help. F i n a l l y , information can also be used to encourage or to convince students to follow a p a r t i c u l a r course of action: I w i l l t r y and persuade them...show them, give them f a c t s . . . t o show them that i t ' s not the best way to do things. Indeed, t h i s l a t t e r view of the role of fac t s and information i n FLE i s r e f l e c t e d i n J u l i e ' s perceptions of her roles as a FLE teacher. B e l i e f s About the Role of the Teacher in FLE J u l i e sees a dual role as a FLE teacher: iraparter of information and advice-giver. Her role as imparter of information i s r e f l e c t e d p r i m a r i l y i n her comments concerning the presentation of f a c t u a l information to students about what she c a l l s "family l i f e t o p i c s " . Indeed, she describes t h i s role as: To give them [the students] information. Of her advice-giving role she says: 78 I tend to give them [the students] advice...but I'm not judgmental, I don't say 'no, don't do i t ' . . . I t r y to persuade them by giving them f a c t s . . . I t r y to have them see the problems and...the r e s u l t s . It appears that J u l i e also considers information gleaned from her personal experience to j u s t i f y some advice-giving: I know some of the things I've gone through, and I think 'God, i f I'd only known'...I'm almost l i k e a parent I guess who knows that t h i s and t h i s should be done...part of i t i s my own experience. The roles J u l i e describes imply an au t h o r i t a r i a n view of the student-teacher r e l a t i o n s h i p , i n which the teacher s e l e c t s content and presents f a c t s as compelling evidence f o r pursuing a p a r t i c u l a r course of action. B e l i e f s About the Learner and the Teaching Process i n FLE J u l i e envisions two dimensions of the learner i n FLE: 1) a r e c i p i e n t or consumer of knowledge and 2) an active p a r t i c i p a n t i n learning. The f i r s t dimension i s r e f l e c t e d i n her concern with d e l i v e r i n g c e r t a i n information which, based on her personal perceptions, she presumes students need to know: I decide what I f e e l i s important [for them to know]... based on what I think that the kids need...to help them through l i f e . This view of students as consumers of knowledge i s apparent i n J u l i e ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of her use of worksheets and exercises to reinfo r c e the content she teaches: I think the exercises are [useful] because.... it'11 sink i n more...it helps to ingrain i t i n t h e i r minds. S i m i l a r l y , she t a l k s about students r e c a l l i n g information at a l a t e r date: You never know whether they remember that much...[but] things w i l l probably c l i c k i n when they come to i t [ i n t h e i r own l i v e s ] . J u l i e ' s stated use of tests as evidence that learning has taken place also depicts the learner as a consumer of knowledge: I w i l l give t e s t s on the basic theory.... and I think that's one of the ways you determine t h e i r learning and understanding. At the same time, J u l i e appears to consider the students to be active learners, that i s , students must tra n s l a t e new material into t h e i r personal frame of reference. Her comments about how students perceive c e r t a i n topics that are introduced i n FLE seem to r e f l e c t t h i s notion: If they're not experiencing i t themselves, they can empathize to a point, but they r e a l l y don't know anything about i t . This view of students as active learners also appears to be related to her stated use of discussions i n her FLE classes. For example, she asserts: In FLE I think kids learn by l i s t e n i n g and t a l k i n g and sharing t h e i r experiences [ i n discussions]...with discussion people can o f f e r a l l t h e i r points of view...[so that] they can see that there are a l o t of diffe r e n c e s [ i n people]...not everybody i s the same. J u l i e ' s view of the students as active learners i s also apparent i n her comments about the use of student journals and discussion to determine how information i s being personally processed: I use the journals to see how much they have taken in...how much they've understood...and i n discussions to a c e r t a i n extent that happens too. Thus J u l i e appears to perceive the processes i n FLE to embody elements of d i r e c t i v e teaching and receptive learning as well as the construction of personal meaning through experience and i n t e r a c t i o n . B e l i e f s About Knowledge in FLE The preceding suggests that J u l i e considers f a c t u a l knowledge to be p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant i n FLE. At the same time, however, she appears to 80 recognize that such knowledge i s personally processed or reconstructed by students. The former i s r e f l e c t e d i n her concern f o r the d e l i v e r y and a c q u i s i t i o n of fac t s and the a p p l i c a t i o n of these f a c t s i n personal and family l i v i n g , while the l a t t e r i s apparent i n her concern f o r student i n t e r a c t i o n and the sharing of personal experiences. J u l i e also believes that personal experience i s a source of knowledge. This i s apparent i n the role her own experience seems to play i n the s e l e c t i o n of some content to be learned. And, for J u l i e , f a c t s and information i n t e r a c t with emotion: In FLE we deal with facts...some f a c t s , and then...we t a l k about gut fe e l i n g s and emotions. From J u l i e ' s perspective, however, there i s a primary emphasis on information processing, where information i s ostensibly used to solve problems and to convince students to follow a p a r t i c u l a r course of action. As the teacher, J u l i e provides the students with the necessary concepts and information. B e l i e f s About the Family i n FLE According to J u l i e , f a m i l i e s are an influence on i n d i v i d u a l development. She states, f o r example, that they a f f e c t a person's personality. She also considers that they perform quite s p e c i f i c functions: [The family i s ] a unit that should f i l l basic needs, including love and sec u r i t y . She describes f a m i l i e s as p o t e n t i a l l y assuming many forms: [A family] can be single parent, two parents and kids, a couple, and can include grandparents. However, although she appears to recognize the impact of f a m i l i e s on 81 human development, she makes s u r p r i s i n g l y l i t t l e reference to them when ta l k i n g about FLE. Indeed, she comments: Ac t u a l l y I don't t a l k that much about f a m i l i e s as such [ i n the course]. She t a l k s instead about "the family section" that she teaches in her grade 12 course: I do f a m i l i e s in other cultures so that they can see how...other f a m i l i e s l i v e and the d i f f e r e n t value systems... and we t a l k about family r o l e s . Thus, her stated emphasis appears to be more on r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n general: I don't want to emphasize the family r e l a t i o n s h i p . . . I emphasize r e l a t i o n s h i p s in general... because I think everything we do in l i f e i s going to be dealing with other people and communicating with other people...your whole l i f e i s going to revolve around t h a t . . . r e l a t i o n s h i p s and family r e l a t i o n s h i p s too...you have to be able to l i s t e n and you have to be able to...not stomp out of the room...but work things through. These comments suggest that J u l i e considers successful family i n t e r a c t i o n to stem from successful interpersonal r e l a t i o n s h i p s , which may or may not include those associated with f a m i l i e s . Perceived Influences on Curriculum Conception According to J u l i e , her own l i f e experiences have had the most s i g n i f i c a n t impact on her b e l i e f s about FLE. She indicates: I think...the most important influence for me, i s myself and my experiences... I've been married and divorced... and I can t e l l them more from personal experience...and you know, some of the things I know I've gone through, and I think, 'God, i f I'd only known1. J u l i e also t a l k s about how she sees the curriculum guide to have influenced her thinking about FLE: 82 ...[the curriculum guide] presents the ideas and then I suppose I glom onto those certain...things I r e a l l y enjoy and that I r e a l l y develop and I f e e l there's an importance to them...[the guide] has been an influence on what I might teach but not i n my f e e l i n g of importance [for teaching the course]. She also comments on her perceptions of professional development a c t i v i t i e s on her thinking about FLE: It ' s [professional development] been very good i n gathering information and in f i n d i n g ways of presenting i t . . . b u t i n a c t u a l l y influencing my reasons f o r teaching i t [the content], I don't think they've had that much of an influence. In t a l k i n g about her academic preparation, J u l i e states that an education course was more i n f l u e n t i a l i n her thinking about FLE than courses in content taken during her academic t r a i n i n g : I had a l l the u n i v e r s i t y courses [related to the family and human development]...the standard ones that everyone takes...but they're j u s t topics...[the education course] was r e a l l y u s e f u l . . . i n a c t u a l l y putting the course together to teach. Thus f o r J u l i e , personal l i f e experiences appear to have had the greatest influence on her curriculum conception ( i . e . , they have contributed to the development of her b e l i e f s about the purpose of FLE and a r a t i o n a l e for teaching i t ) . She perceives that other fa c t o r s , such as the curriculum document, professional development a c t i v i t i e s and academic courses have influenced the content of and approach to what she teaches, but have had l i t t l e impact on her b e l i e f s about FLE i n general. Case Po r t r a y a l : Candace Biographical Information Candace i s in her late t h i r t i e s , divorced and the si n g l e parent of a preschool c h i l d . A f t e r receiving a Bachelor of Education with a major i n home 83 economics, Candace has been teaching high school home economics f o r about ten years. She taught f o r one year i n an i s o l a t e d Native Indian community and since then has been teaching home economics i n the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t . During t h i s time, she has taken two b r i e f leaves of absence because, i n her words: It keeps me fresh, and makes me f e e l excited [about teaching]. According to Candace, i t was not u n t i l she was teaching home economics i n t h i s large urban center that she f i r s t became involved i n teaching FLE. The Central V a l l e y FLE course was included as part of her teaching assignment, and she expressed some reluctance about taking i t on: I know when [the home economics coordinator] f i r s t threw me in there [to teach FLE] I thought 'oh no, t h i s i s r e a l l y uncomfortable'...I f e l t I didn't have enough [academic background] to f e e l comfortable teaching i t . Curriculum Conception: " S k i l l s f o r L i v i n g " The b e l i e f s that Candace expresses i n her conversation and writing suggest that she views FLE to be a preparation f o r one's future encounters with the l i f e stages through which a l l i n d i v i d u a l s i n e v i t a b l y progress. Her curriculum conception i s generally characterized by a focus on the s k i l l s required f o r such passage through l i f e . This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of FLE as " s k i l l s f o r l i v i n g " i s p a r t i c u l a r l y predominant i n her views about the purpose and practi c e of FLE. B e l i e f s About the Purpose of FLE Candace assumes that i n d i v i d u a l s and fa m i l i e s w i l l probably encounter problems as they proceed through l i f e stages. This concern with problems and d i f f i c u l t i e s i s apparent i n the way she defines FLE: 84 FLE i s an overview of l i f e at i t s broadest from b i r t h to death and everything that can possibly happen i n between at a l l the l i f e s t a g e s . . . [ i t covers] j u s t a l o t of what they're going to get into...what they're going to have to deal with...in t h e i r l i v e s . She also believes that while not a l l people may experience the same problems or d i f f i c u l t i e s i n l i f e , FLE can help to prepare them should they have to contend with them: It doesn't hurt them to go through these things... j u s t so that i f something does happen i n t h e i r l i v e s at a l a t e r date... they've had an introduction to i t . . . i t won't be such a shock...it w i l l p o s s i b l y take the edge o f f some of these more unhappy s i t u a t i o n s that they become for some of us. From her perspective, the a c q u i s i t i o n of s k i l l s w i l l enable students to manage such future dilemmas: I hope [ i n t h i s c l a s s ] they get a l o t of d i f f e r e n t ways of looking at the same problem and d i f f e r e n t ways of dealing with the same problem...a l o t of hands-on s k i l l s f o r some of the things they have to deal with. Indeed, Candace appears to believe that c e r t a i n s k i l l s are p a r t i c u l a r l y e s s e n t i a l f o r dealing with and solving l i f e ' s problems. She ref e r s to these the basic s k i l l s of l i v i n g . . . s k i l l s that they can r e a l l y put to use. In t h i s regard, she considers communication to be e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t : The most important concept I f e e l . . . . [ i n FLE] i s the communication s k i l l s . . . t h e communication s k i l l s are always coming up, w i l l always be coming up...and I j u s t see i t as probably the most important s k i l l they can ever pick up for the rest of t h e i r l i v e s . She explains how she sees the relevance of communication for solving problems: We [always] come back to communication and how you can work problems out...most of the students have problems with people in t h e i r l i v e s . . . r i g h t now i t seems to be g i r l f r i e n d s , boyfriends, teachers, parents and i t ' s a l l communication. 85 Thus Candace's view of the purpose of FLE focuses on the a c q u i s i t i o n of c e r t a i n s k i l l s and awareness of the various l i f e stages i n order to prepare students to cope with p o t e n t i a l problems they may encounter i n t h e i r future l i v e s . B e l i e f s About the Role of the Teacher in FLE Candace perceives that she has two p r i n c i p a l teaching roles i n FLE. Related to her perception of the importance of s k i l l development i s her view of her r o l e as " d i r e c t o r " : The teacher I can see as being a d i r e c t o r . . . you can set the scene, you can t e l l them what i t i s you are wanting to achieve in t h i s hour, and you can give them some tools f or working at i t . In her role as d i r e c t o r , Candace also views her s e l f as modelling the s k i l l s that she teaches students. This i s apparent in her d e s c r i p t i o n of how she helps to d i f f u s e anger during cl a s s discussion: The d i r e c t o r [also] comes i n where you have two students who are getting v i o l e n t reactions from each other and we have to d i f f u s e that and j u s t get r i d of the anger and l e t them see what they're r e a l l y dealing with...the issues that they're dealing with...I think i t ' s a good experience f o r the rest of the class...some of them are very uncomfortable around anger... because they've never seen anger dealt with in a p o s i t i v e way...or channelled to a p o s i t i v e purpose. Candace also considers he r s e l f to be an administrator of the knowledge prescribed by the curriculum: I'm giving them the materials...putting out the information that's out there...getting information across to the kids. Both of these roles imply an a u t h o r i t a r i a n student-teacher r e l a t i o n s h i p in which Candace d i r e c t s , demonstrates and administers the content of her course. Her perception of such a r e l a t i o n s h i p i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n her comments about student input into course development: 86 I...give them the outline...and [say to the students] ' i f you're not too interested i n c e r t a i n aspects of i t , I ' l l give you the basics and we'll go on to the next, but you have to be w i l l i n g to accept what I have to give you as f a r as the basics'. S i m i l a r l y , Candace's perceptions of students echo t h i s kind of a u t h o r i t a r i a n r e l a t i o n s h i p . For example, she says of her students: They think they've got a l l the answers...[they're] so set i n t h e i r b e l i e f s . . . t h a t I think many of them don't allow themselves to accept any other way except the way they know...and they're very, very u n r e a l i s t i c . This implies that, from Candace's point of view, a c e n t r a l role of the teacher i s to d i r e c t students in t h e i r learning and to a s s i s t them in expanding t h e i r frames of reference by providing them with the necessary concepts and information. B e l i e f s About the Learner and Teaching in FLE Candace has a dual view of the learner in FLE. The f i r s t view r e f l e c t s a learner who i s a r e c i p i e n t of knowledge. This view of the learner i s apparent i n Candace's d e s c r i p t i o n of the students as a "captive audience": They're a captive audience [ i n FLE]...you don't have to l e t them leave...they are there to learn what you've decided that you f e e l i s important information f o r them to learn...they don't n e c e s s a r i l y have a l o t of say in i t . . . t h e y are l i s t e n i n g and discussing what I have chosen to be the t o p i c . In the same way, she t a l k s about FLE as an opportunity to impose a few more ideas...into t h e i r thought structure. S i m i l a r l y , she comments that in a FLE class The students are r e a l l y j u s t getting a l o t of knowledge dumped on them. 87 This view of the learner as a r e c i p i e n t of knowledge i s also r e f l e c t e d in Candace's stated approach to teaching t h i s subject. For example, her r a t i o n a l e f o r the use of worksheets, her perceptions of the r o l e of student notebooks and her approach to student evaluation a l l suggest that the learner i s acquiring knowledge. She describes worksheets in the following way: Worksheets are very important because...they help to bring back the things we do i n class...they t r i g g e r a l o t of things that we...discuss i n c l a s s . S i m i l a r l y , she believes that student notebooks w i l l r e i n f o r c e what i s taught in the classroom, and w i l l provide a compendium of information about s k i l l s and s t r a t e g i e s f o r future reference: It i s a t o o l that they can go back to f i v e years down the road when they may f i n d they're married with c h i l d r e n and they're not very happy, and they may remember that they talked about i t at some point in [FLE] and w e l l , what did we t a l k about...so I say to them, t h i s notebook of yours can be used as a t o o l l a t e r o n . ..it's such an important t o o l f o r them...there's so much good information there. Candace also r e f e r s to the a c q u i s i t i o n of information in some of her evaluation techniques: I've broken i t down so that 65% i s on the theory...[and] they can do very well on t h e i r theory...they can get 65% of t h e i r mark by...giving me what I'm t r y i n g to get out of them. At the same time, however, Candace appears to also consider the learner i n FLE to be emotionally responsive and i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c . For example, she asserts: Sometimes you put out an idea and you've got these 28 bodies a l l reacting.... they 1 re very open...they'11 l e t you know very quickly whether something's working or not. S i m i l a r l y , she t a l k s about the role of f e e l i n g s in FLE: 88 There's freedom to express the way you feel...[and] expressing how you f e e l i s very important i n [FLE] because everyone else has to learn that the way you f e e l i s quite v a l i d f o r you and they have to accept that's how you feel...and we have so many d i f f e r e n t students... and sometimes they get into very heated arguments. Such comments suggest that Candace sees the learner i n FLE to have an emotional dimension, which may be somewhat separate from the cognitive dimension described e a r l i e r . This separation seems to be p a r t i c u l a r l y apparent in her evaluation system. As noted previously, Candace p r i m a r i l y assesses students on the theory or content that she teaches. However, she also evaluates in another way: They've got 15% [of t h e i r grade] that's a very d i f f i c u l t section...they have got to show some p o s i t i v e emotion and some wil l i n g n e s s to r i s k . . . i t ' s d i f f i c u l t because so much of what we do...is emotions, a t t i t u d e s . . . accepting the way other people f e e l . Candace's comments about the use of discussion in her classroom suggest that she considers personal meaning and personal experience to be an aspect of teaching and learning i n FLE which i s somehow related to the emotional dimension of the learner. For example, she t a l k s about how students share personal s t o r i e s during discussions: We bring in a l o t of s t o r i e s , personal stories...we get more s t o r i e s than we can r e a l l y deal with...[and the s t o r i e s ] make i t meaningful for them, they can r e l a t e i t to t h e i r values, to t h e i r thinking and t h e i r experiences... i t ' s a c t u a l l y the only way that the student can make i t l i v e f o r them. Indeed, she indicates that the students' perspective i s an important consideration: The course r e a l l y i s dealing with people at 16, 17 years of age and t h e i r perceptions of l i f e . . . a n d t h e i r viewpoint of what l i f e i s a l l about. 89 Thus, Candace views teaching and learning i n FLE to be l a r g e l y teacher-directed. Learning occurs through the a c q u i s i t i o n of information which i s personally reconstructed by students i n terms of t h e i r own experiences and perspectives. B e l i e f s About Knowledge i n FLE Candace's b e l i e f s about the purpose of FLE as s k i l l s f o r l i v i n g imply that the knowledge that i s transmitted and acquired must somehow be p r a c t i c a l l y useful i n the students' l i v e s . Indeed, she states: The cl a s s i s not a r e a l i t y f o r them i f i t doesn't work at home or i f they can't use t h i s sort of thing at home. Such knowledge appears to be l a r g e l y f a c t u a l and i s p r i m a r i l y transmitted by the teacher. According to Candace, i t i s intended f o r use in s k i l l development (e.g., knowledge of communication techniques and stress management st r a t e g i e s ) and f o r problem solving (e.g., knowledge of community resources fo r personal assistance i n a c r i s i s ) . However, as the preceding d e s c r i p t i o n of her dual view of the learner i n FLE suggests, Candace also acknowledges that knowledge i s personally constructed through experience. Thus, her b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum appear to encompass two views of knowledge: that which i s f a c t u a l and that which i s personally constructed. B e l i e f s About the Family i n FLE Candace believes that f a m i l i e s are diverse: Every family i s a l i t t l e b i t d i f f e r e n t . She also seems to believe that f a m i l i e s are an influence on human development. She suggests that the students' family i n t e r a c t i o n i s a f a c t o r i n both t h e i r responsiveness and openness to FLE content: 90 [Some students] don't r e a l l y grab onto an idea and do anything with it...and I sometimes think i t has a l o t to do with the home environment... how much attention kids get at home...did parents read with them when they were younger...do parents have a l o t of i n t e r a c t i o n with t h e i r kids today? She perceives that differences in some f a m i l i e s may be re l a t e d to t h e i r socioeconomic status: I know [ i n another school] where parents were better off...the kids seemed to have much more of that home involvement... the kids here [ i n a blue c o l l a r area] seem to...have very l i t t l e to do with t h e i r f a m i l i e s on a d a i l y basis...the parents seem to leave them pretty much on t h e i r own to f i n d t h e i r own means of entertainment, of f i l l i n g i n time. Candace considers the Central V a l l e y FLE 12 course that she c u r r e n t l y teaches to emphasize the family: Right now, in [ t h i s course]...we're dealing with family as such...communication in the family, well-being in the family and the d i f f e r e n t stages of family and things l i k e that...we j u s t delve into every aspect of family and how they react and deal with issues. Perceived Influences on Curriculum Conception Candace comments that her personal l i f e has contributed s i g n i f i c a n t l y to the way she thinks about FLE in general: The biggest influence... comes from my own upbringing and from other influences on leaving home...such as working i n a group home...and ta l k i n g to people...a l o t of l i f e experiences. She indicates that her problematic l i f e experiences have influenced her to encourage students to consider a l t e r n a t i v e perspectives: I haven't l i v e d a r e a l s t r a i g h t l i f e . . . [ a n d my experiences]...give me a f e e l i n g of understanding and empathy f o r these students who have a hard time dealing with, t a l k i n g about some of these issues...I can understand [ t h e i r point of view], and I can understand why they're saying what they're saying...and I'm not t r y i n g to change them, but I want them to see the other point of view. 91 Candace mentions the curriculum guide as being a s i g n i f i c a n t influence on her thinking about the f i e l d when she f i r s t began teaching the Central Va l l e y FLE program: The curriculum, I think, has broadened my sense of FLE...I think I went into i t with a very narrow perspective. S i m i l a r l y , she t a l k s about the influence of other professionals i n the f i e l d and p r o f e s s i o nal development a c t i v i t i e s : I think at the very beginning [these things] made a big differ e n c e because... the sharing was very important... getting new ideas f o r teaching the subject matter. Candace perceives that her academic preparation i s l i m i t e d and that consequently i t has contributed very l i t t l e to her b e l i e f s about FLE: I've had one and a hal f units [of a family course]...and I may have had another one and a hal f unit course, and I j u s t don't f e e l there's enough in those two...courses to f e e l comfortable i n dealing with the whole curriculum...and I know when I was f i r s t thrown into [teaching FLE] I said...'I've no basis f o r teaching t h i s program'... and they c e r t a i n l y didn't influence what I think about FLE. According to Candace, the most s i g n i f i c a n t influence on her curriculum conception i s her personal l i f e experiences. While she considers the curriculum to have broadened her understanding of FLE as a f i e l d , she believes that other f a c t o r s , such as professional development a c t i v i t i e s and her academic preparation, have had l i t t l e impact on her thinking about FLE curriculum. Case Portrayal: Karen Biographical Information Karen i s i n her late twenties, single and has never been married. A f t e r receiving a home economics degree and then a teaching c e r t i f i c a t e , Karen 92 taught home economics f o r a short time i n a r u r a l community. Karen f i r s t began teaching FLE content when she moved several years ago to Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t . Upon hearing that her new teaching assignment would include the Central Valley FLE program, Karen r e c a l l s : I thought 'no way, I can't teach that course because that's not me1...and then I went to a workshop...and r e a l i z e d what i t was about... because [before] I was...looking at the teacher...who was teaching i t [ i n my school]...and I thought 'there's no way I'm l i k e t h i s person and I don't know i f I could be l i k e that'...kind of a i r y - f a i r y and...into the touchy-feely kind of experience and I thought 'I can't do that'...and then I went to the workshop...and [the course] sounded r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g . . . and before that I hadn't even looked at what the course was about. Curriculum Conception: "Guidance and Advice" Karen's curriculum conception i s characterized "guidance" in the preparation of students for l i f e , p a r t i c u l a r l y evident in her d e f i n i t i o n of FLE and in role as a teacher in FLE. B e l i e f s About the Purpose of FLE Karen views FLE i n terms of prevention. Her understanding of the purpose of FLE appears to be based on the assumption that problems which people might encounter in t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s can be prevented through education. She states: Instead of looking at how we can solve problems, i f we could get s k i l l s so we don't have problems i n the f i r s t place...not a reactive approach [to education] but more of a proactive approach...if they have a l l those s k i l l s and strengths beforehand then...hopefully the [problem] s i t u a t i o n s won't come up because they'11... have headed them o f f before they started. For Karen, such prevention appears to center on encouraging and a s s i s t i n g students to follow a p a r t i c u l a r d i r e c t i o n i n t h e i r future l i v e s . She believes that FLE i s intended to: by an emphasis on This focus i s her perception of her 93 teach students how to get along i n the world...to help them see how they f i t into the scheme of things...to look at how they can...have a good l i f e . This suggests that, from Karen's perspective, FLE may i n part prepare students to be s o c i a l i z e d into the adult world outside of school. Indeed, Karen alludes to t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y i n her d e s c r i p t i o n of how she sees FLE to f i t into education generally: I think education as a whole i s to help you function when you get out into society...to r e l a t e , to prac t i c e f o r the bigger society...[and FLE] f i t s into that... because i t helps you in l a t e r l i f e . Moreover, when discussing how the grade 11 and 12 Central V a l l e y FLE courses are related, Karen implies that some of the content may be intended to simulate r e a l l i f e : Well, I see [the grade 12 course] as okay, we've grown up, and now we're out of adolescence and then we j u s t do the whole rest of the l i f e cycle, and that's how I look on 12...and 11 i s j u s t s p e c i f i c a l l y on adolescence... the r e l a t i o n s h i p things. At the same time, Karen claims that, through taking a FLE course, students should also learn about themselves i n the present: They should know about themselves and how they think...to look at themselves and sort of see why they do the things they do and what's made them the way they are..and maybe that would help them l a t e r on in t h e i r relationships...[and] help them to make better r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Thus Karen's b e l i e f s about the purpose of FLE center p r i n c i p a l l y on preparation f o r l i f e as adults and focuses on guiding students " i n ways to help them lead healthy, successful l i v e s " . B e l i e f s About the Role of the Teacher i n FLE The notion of "guidance" i s also apparent i n Karen's general perception of her teaching r o l e . Indeed, she uses the word "guide" i n her d e s c r i p t i o n of 94 t h i s r o l e : I think [my role] i s to sort of guide them...point them i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n . In t h i s respect, Karen perceives he r s e l f to be a resource person. She states: I think i t ' s important that I'm...the resource person or someone to guide them and they can come and ask me or I can say ' l e t ' s do t h i s and t r y and figure i t out'. Related to t h i s i s her role as advice-giver. Although Karen appears to experience some tension with respect to t h i s stated r o l e , she acknowledges that she considers i t to be an important one: Maybe I shouldn't be giving them advice, but I do...they are quite comfortable with me and they ask me for advice and I l i k e to help them out because I care about them...[and] i f they don't get i t from me I don't know where they're going to get i t from. As suggested i n the comment above, she appears to see t h i s advice-giving role to be rel a t e d to her rapport with students: I think I'm an easy person f o r the kids to t a l k to...I look at myself r i g h t now as...an older s i s t e r kind of thing. Indeed, Karen seems to consider that she has an important role i n es t a b l i s h i n g such rapport: One of my prime concerns... i s to make i t a neat environment...[a] place that they f e e l they can be themselves and j u s t . . . f e e l comfortable. It appears, therefore, that Karen views her teaching role i n FLE to be an i n t e r a c t i v e one. She administers to students and at the same time, students seek her involvement with them. 95 B e l i e f s About the Learner and Teaching i n FLE Karen considers that her students are in need of FLE. For example, she states: [FLE] allows the kids to focus on themselves and to learn more about themselves and I thing that's important... because I think i n some instances at home...that they don't f e e l that they are important... and i t ' s such a tenuous time i n t h e i r l i f e . . . [ t h i s course] might help a l i t t l e b i t . . . I can see some things going on i n c l a s s and I would r e a l l y l i k e to know what goes on at home, because i t j u s t doesn't look good. She also compares her own l i f e and family with those of her students: I don't know that many of them have a l i f e l i k e mine or a family l i k e mine...I think some of the experiences that they've had I ' l l never see in my l i f e t i m e . Karen suggests that her own p o s i t i v e experiences i n her family and family l i f e form a prototype for what she hopes to achieve i n the course that she teaches: My family background has made me f e e l r e a l l y worthwhile as a person and has given me a l o t of confidence as a person and j u s t a l o t of support... and a l l that has...made me what I am, and that i s what I t r y to get across to the kids, that the support of family kind of t h i n g — a n d i t doesn't have to be mom, dad and a brother and a dog or what e v e r — i s r e a l l y important. Her concern that the students acquire such a perspective on l i f e i s r e f l e c t e d in the following comment about how she sees her v i s i o n of FLE i n general to be translated i n her p r a c t i c e : I think my [own experience]...colours the way I view things...and the values that I have and what I'm t r y i n g to get across to the kids...I think what I've done i s right...and i t ' s a whole l o t d i f f e r e n t than what my kids have been doing or have been brought up to believe... and so I guess I stress strong families...and being able to communicate and to re l a t e and in t e r a c t p o s i t i v e l y in...healthy ways...with t h e i r family members. Karen views students to be active learners. This view i s apparent i n 96 her perception of the role that students assume in planning the course: I l i k e t h e i r input...I l i k e to give the kids the opportunity to...evaluate me and t e l l me what I'm doing and...what things that they want more information on...what they're interested i n and what they want to t a l k about. She also suggests: They learn best by doing. She indicates that, because of t h i s b e l i e f , she uses games and "fun a c t i v i t i e s " quite frequently i n her teaching: I t ' s important to use games... because then they can play and have fun and maybe learn something from what they're doing. . . i f they l i k e to do something, then I figure that t h e y ' l l r e t a i n more...as opposed to s i t t i n g down and writing notes and memorizing... i f they can do i t , then they might remember i t a l i t t l e more. This view of the students as active learners i s also r e f l e c t e d i n her comments about how she sees students to respond to note-taking: When they take notes...they j u s t shut off...they l i s t e n to what I'm saying and they write i t down but they...don't get the meaning behind i t . S i m i l a r l y , she considers discussion to be an important classroom a c t i v i t y . According to Karen, not only does i t help to involve the students a c t i v e l y , but also i t provides an opportunity f o r them to i n t e r a c t with the content of a lesson: Just....making them think about what we did...you can't lecture some of these ideas and topics [ i n FLE] to these kids...they need to discuss i t . She indicates that her cla s s discussions are l i k e " t a l k i n g " : I ' l l [ s t a r t with] some [discussion questions] and those get us started...and then we...go off on our l i t t l e tangents here and there and end up wherever...! don't structure my discussions to make sure that 97 they come to t h i s end state...I [hope] that maybe we could get something out of i t . . . g e t everyone involved. However, Karen expresses some ambivalence with respect to her stated emphasis on active learning. In p a r t i c u l a r , she t a l k s about information d e l i v e r y and how she believes i t i s best accomplished: I think there's a problem i n how to get the content across...the content i s so important but i t ' s the d e l i v e r y of the content that's a concern. It appears that Karen i s concerned that students receive some information but is uncertain about whether note-taking (as she c a l l s i t ) i s the most e f f e c t i v e method in t h i s regard: I f i n d they don't learn as well from the notes, but I don't know i f they have the s k i l l s to transf e r what we're doing [ i n an a c t i v i t y ] into the theory part of i t . . . I f e e l they need to take notes so that they have something concrete i n t h e i r books so that they can...go back to i t i f they ever want to or need to. Related to t h i s i s her concern about how she perceives her teaching role to be alter e d during note-taking: [During note-taking] I get into that pattern, that teacher-centered pattern...[whereas during a dis c u s s i o n ] . . . I'm not standing up t a l k i n g down [to the stud e n t s ] . . . i t i s n ' t me t a l k i n g to them...I'm with them, we're a l l t a l k i n g together... the kids are involved. Thus f o r Karen, teaching and learning i n FLE r e f l e c t a concern with developing an i n t e g r a t i o n between the presentation of information and i t s subjective i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n by students. B e l i e f s About Knowledge i n FLE The preceding suggests that Karen considers the teacher to be the primary transmitter of knowledge i n the classroom, but that students do 98 process knowledge or reconstruct i t to make i t personally meaningful. Karen asserts that f a c t u a l knowledge plays a c e n t r a l role i n FLE: There i s a knowledge base I think they have to have and...that content i s important... i t ' s important to get that content across. At the same time, however, Karen also considers that students' knowledge of themselves i s an important aim of FLE. Moreover, Karen appears to assume that the i n t e g r a t i o n of t h i s knowledge (both f a c t u a l and s e l f knowledge) should be used to guide the students i n "getting on i n l i f e " and functioning in the adult world of f a m i l i e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s . This suggests a view of knowledge to be used f o r p r e s c r i p t i o n , and which may v a l i d a t e or l e g i t i m i z e advice-giving and guidance for following a p a r t i c u l a r course of action in one's l i f e . Indeed, Karen's d e s c r i p t i o n of her use of c h e c k l i s t s of suggested rules of conduct imply that t h i s may be the case: It's something that's... printed...[and] published and i t ' s a way of looking at things and so I can give them t h i s and that i s information but i t ' s not n e c e s s a r i l y what I think they should do, so i n that way I'm sort of giving advice but I'm not...[because] i t ' s not my values that I'm imparting to them...it's something I got from somebody else. B e l i e f s About Families i n FLE As suggested e a r l i e r , Karen's b e l i e f s about f a m i l i e s appear to center on what she c a l l s healthy p o s i t i v e i n t e r a c t i o n and the p r o v i s i o n of emotional support f o r t h e i r members. She acknowledges that f a m i l i e s are diverse: There are a l l kinds of d i f f e r e n t f a m i l i e s and...your p a r t i c u l a r one i s n ' t n e c e s s a r i l y the only type or the best type. While she considers the form of the family to be somewhat inconsequential, she perceives that a l l f a m i l i e s should i d e a l l y be concerned with imparting strength and f e e l i n g s of s e l f worth to t h e i r members: 99 I think i t ' s [your family] a r e a l l y important part of your l i f e and i f you have a good home l i f e then other things go well f o r you and you can f e e l good about yourself... to have that strength at home i s r e a l l y important. Indeed, she seems to view the family as an influence on i n d i v i d u a l s , as she states: appreciating differences in...families...[may help us] to see why people are the way they are. Perceived Influences on Curriculum Conception For Karen, the p o s i t i v e experiences as she was growing up i n her own family have influenced how she thinks about FLE in general: What has happened i n my l i f e and my family...that i s my greatest influence...[because]...my family background has made me f e e l r e a l l y worthwhile as a person and has given me a l o t of confidence as a person...and so a l l that has sort of made me what I am, and that i s what I t r y to get across to the kids, that support of family kind of thing. Karen i d e n t i f i e s the curriculum guide as a s i g n i f i c a n t influence on her thinking about the f i e l d when she f i r s t began teaching: When I came into teaching [FLE] I didn't have a r e a l l y c l e a r idea of what i t was...and then I read the document... and that was my guideline...my b i b l e . . . that's what I went by...and t r i e d to b u i l d everything on that. As she gained experience, however, her contact with the guide has diminished, and she indicates that, as she has become more comfortable teaching the course, she has developed her own view of FLE: When I f i r s t started teaching, I looked at the curriculum guide and I looked at what I guess was the philosophy and the r a t i o n a l e , and then I based i t on that...and then I've j u s t grown more comfortable...and then I've put i n , I've emphasized...some sections more than others...when I f i r s t started I wasn't r e a l l y comfortable with the whole subject matter...[and the curriculum guide] helped me with the theory s t u f f . . . [ b u t ] my family...what happened i n my l i f e . . . . g i v e s me the emotional s t u f f . 100 She perceives professional development a c t i v i t i e s and contacts with other professionals to have been less i n f l u e n t i a l : Sometimes i t ' s h e l p f u l . . . l i k e [ t a l k i n g about]...the order we might teach things in...or the content... but as f a r as communicating and t a l k i n g with the other teachers... I'm s t i l l new and I don't quite f i t in yet. Karen believes that her professional education has had l i t t l e impact on her thinking about FLE i n general: Aside from maybe one or two courses that I've had...not a whole l o t [of my education] has had an influence. Thus from Karen's perspective, personal l i f e experiences have had the most impact on her b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum. Although the curriculum guide was i n i t i a l l y i n f l u e n t i a l when she f i r s t began teaching the course, i t s influence has diminished as her experience has increased. She considers professional development a c t i v i t i e s and her academic preparation to have been only p e r i p h e r a l l y i n f l u e n t i a l . Case Po r t r a y a l : Paula Biographical Information Paula i s in her mid-forties, married and divorced, and has grown chi l d r e n . She has a degree in home economics and a teaching c e r t i f i c a t e . Her f i r s t teaching experience twenty years ago took place overseas. A f t e r two years abroad, Paula has since taught home economics i n several high schools in the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t . Paula f i r s t became interested in teaching FLE while working with a colleague who had been teaching i t f o r a number of years. According to Paula, t h i s colleague influenced her to become involved in teaching the subject: We worked together... for [many years]...and she r e a l l y got me interested...she's why I'm a [FLE] teacher today. 101 She explained that, as t h i s colleague discussed FLE topics with her, she gradually saw t h e i r relevance f o r her own personal l i f e : She was teaching me [FLE] while we drank coffee...and...a l o t of what I learned from her I put into p r a c t i c e at home, and that was h e l p f u l . Curriculum Conception: "Self R e f l e c t i o n and Personal Insight" Paula's curriculum conception suggests a focus on s e l f r e f l e c t i o n and personal i n s i g h t . This emphasis i s p a r t i c u l a r l y apparent i n her view of the intent of FLE and i n her perceptions of her role as a teacher i n FLE. B e l i e f s About the Purpose of FLE Paula's conception appears to be rooted i n the assumption that r e l a t i o n s h i p s are the focus of personal and family l i f e and that they may be improved or enhanced through s e l f understanding. Paula's d e f i n i t i o n of the purpose of FLE r e f l e c t s such b e l i e f s : FLE...encourages students to r e f l e c t upon themselves... past, present and future...and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s with o t h e r s . . . [ i t ] helps students c l a r i f y something about themselves and understand themselves within t h e i r own f a m i l i e s and why they are the way they are...and look towards t h e i r other f a m i l i e s or other r e l a t i o n s h i p s . . . and work on p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Related to t h i s i s Paula's concern with r e l a t i o n s h i p s . According to her, one's communication, which i n turn influences the role of f e e l i n g s i n interpersonal f e e l i n g s are i n t e g r a l to e f f e c t i v e one's r e l a t i o n s h i p s : I think they have to know t h e i r f e e l i n g s i n order to communicate t h e i r f e e l i n g s to...people with whom they have r e l a t i o n s h i p s . . . and I think i t ' s r e a l l y important i n any kind of r e l a t i o n s h i p to be able to communicate your own feelings...and you can't do that i f you're not in touch with them. This b e l i e f also underlies her stated emphasis on the examination of fe e l i n g s i n the FLE course she teaches: 102 One of my goals i s to t r y to get kids to get in touch with t h e i r f e e l i n g s . . . t o think about t h e i r f e e l i n g s . Thus i t appears that Paula i s less concerned with solving problems or even preventing problems than she i s with encouraging s e l f understanding and personal meaning i n l i f e . Indeed, when t a l k i n g about the goals f o r her course, she points out: I want them to know that...there are no ri g h t or wrong answers i n l i f e and that l i f e doesn't go on one predictable path, and that d i f f e r e n t people are d i f f e r e n t . . . there's [not] j u s t one way of looking at something, one way of thinking about something and one correct answer. B e l i e f s About the Role of the Teacher i n FLE As a FLE teacher, Paula perceives he r s e l f to have two p r i n c i p a l r o l e s : f a c i l i t a t o r and nurturer. In view of her stated emphasis on the expression of fe e l i n g s and s e l f understanding, these roles appear to be rel a t e d . For example, i n her role as f a c i l i t a t o r , Paula suggests that she fos t e r s such ventures: [I am] a f a c i l i t a t o r , a person who sort of encourages them to do...certain a c t i v i t i e s because I think that they w i l l help them to get in touch with themselves or understand something better. Her nurturing role appears to complement t h i s f a c i l i t a t i n g r o l e : I think there's a nurturing [that I do]...along with a caring and tr y i n g to bring the best out in them. She also seems to view herself as an e g a l i t a r i a n member of the c l a s s : I value the p o s i t i o n that I hold when I'm s i t t i n g i n the c i r c l e [with the students] as one of the group...and I f e e l very awkward taking myself out of the c i r c l e and se t t i n g myself up as 'the teacher"... the minute I do i t I set myself apart...and I don't do i t often. According to Paula, i n t h i s capacity: 103 We're a l l teaching one another and we're a l l learning from one another...I learn from them and they learn from me...so there's t h i s mutual exchange of ideas. This suggests that Paula may assume a t h i r d r o l e , that of teacher as learner. Indeed, she r e f e r s to her own personal learning which occurs as she teaches the Central V a l l e y FLE program: I'm learning about my own l i f e by studying [FLE]...I make i t relevant to my experience... i t ' s made a great impact on me as a person. Paula also appears to consider herself to be a model f o r the students: I guess...[I] t r y to communicate with kids...to t r e a t the kids in a way that models good communication s k i l l s i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s rather than...sometimes the t y p i c a l teacher communication i s ' s i t down, shut up, do the work'...that sort of communication I don't use. B e l i e f s About the Learner and Teaching i n FLE Paula considers students to be unique and diverse: I want people to look at kids as i n d i v i d u a l s . . . and some of them are struggling with pretty d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n s . . . they aren't a l l the same [or]...experiencing the same thing. She also believes that t h e i r needs and i n t e r e s t s w i l l influence t h e i r learning: I don't think t h e y ' l l learn...unless they're somehow r e l a t i n g [personally] to the content...if they don't somehow...say 'well t h i s i s relevant to me and I understand i t in t h i s way', they're probably going to forget i t , and that these needs and i n t e r e s t s w i l l be varied: I want those kids to have learned what was important f o r them to have learned, which means that they have to make i t personally relevant. It appears that Paula's perceptions about the learner and learning are related to her view of teaching in FLE: 104 What i s taught i s important... but the way i t ' s done needs to be... an attitude of acceptance... so that the kids aren't a f r a i d to reveal what... they're thinking about...so that the teacher knows where they're coming from and can r e l a t e the content to t h e i r experience and help to make i t relevant to t h e i r experience, so that they w i l l a c t u a l l y i n t e r n a l i z e i t and learn i t . This comment suggests that the teaching methods she uses are intended to f a c i l i t a t e learning f o r personal relevance. She says, f o r example: I don't l i k e worksheets... I don't know where to go with them...I don't know what to do with them...I don't know how to make them personally relevant f o r the kids. She considers discussion or " t a l k i n g " to be cen t r a l to her classroom p r a c t i c e . She t a l k s about discussion as providing an avenue f o r the exploration of d i f f e r e n t points of view: I see discussions as a way of a i r i n g viewpoints on issues and ideas on to p i c s . . . I t r y to...bring up a topic or an issue and then have people t a l k about that issue...as i t a f f e c t s them...it's a way of bringing many ideas onto the f l o o r and...there are many d i f f e r e n t ideas that are given. According to Paula, discussions also provide a forum f o r sharing experiences and f e e l i n g s , and she encourages those who are w i l l i n g to engage in these a c t i v i t i e s : I t r y to encourage them to r e f l e c t [and] sometimes I r e f l e c t too...I t r y to get them to think about what happens to them...I get them to think about why they are the way they are, why they've become what they've become. She also observes: I think putting i t into words...in front of a group helps them to c l a r i f y what they're thinking and feeling...sometimes j u s t sharing i t with another person sometimes helps them to deal with i t . She emphasizes, however, that: 105 If students don't want to reveal something, they don't have to reveal anything. Such discussions appear to pertain to Paula's goals of personal ins i g h t and the examination of f e e l i n g s , and r e f l e c t a focus on s e l f r e f l e c t i o n . B e l i e f s About Knowledge in FLE Paula considers f a c t u a l knowledge in FLE to be secondary to students' attitudes and opinions: I don't get them to take a l o t of notes...or memorize a l o t of f a c t s . . . f o r most of the things we t a l k about there's no r i g h t or wrong answers, j u s t think about the question and how would you answer the question...so they may leave [ t h i s course] more with impressions and a t t i t u d e s rather than with content. Indeed, Paula suggests that personal experience i t s e l f i s a source of knowledge: There's a l o t of knowledge to be gained from l i f e experience that people don't recognize as knowledge... and [the students] learn from kids who share t h e i r knowledge, whether i t ' s t h e i r l i f e experience or somebody else's l i f e experience. Paula argues that such knowledge i s ce n t r a l i n FLE: In [FLE] you don't focus on the product, you focus on the person...I think through personal experiences people can learn and...if they learn what...other people experience...if i t ' s personally relevant to them...then t h e y ' l l remember... they won't learn anything unless they are... somehow r e l a t i n g [personally] to i t . Thus f o r Paula, knowledge i s l a r g e l y constructed through personal experience. For her, meaning a r i s e s from personal relevance. B e l i e f s About Families in FLE Paula describes f a m i l i e s as diverse and varied: 106 Families are d i f f e r e n t things to d i f f e r e n t people. To her, the concept of "family" i s broad and i n c l u s i v e : I think about family i n a r e a l l y broad sense...like almost anybody...my idea of family i s that i t includes anybody with whom there's a re l a t i o n s h i p where there's some sort of commitment... any one of those people can choose not to be a member of t h e i r family. She sees communication and interpersonal understanding to be ce n t r a l to functioning e f f e c t i v e l y i n f a m i l i e s : If you're going to l i v e i n fa m i l i e s and in r e l a t i o n s h i p s , you need to get along with other people and accept them. Paula comments that, for her, t r a d i t i o n a l views of the family are problematic: I don't think that t r a d i t i o n a l f a m i l i e s and t r a d i t i o n a l roles serve...or f u l f i l l our needs i n t h i s society... and I don't think that women can continue to follow i n those t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e s . Such views appear to echo Paula's ce n t r a l emphasis on the expression of fee l i n g s and on s e l f r e f l e c t i o n and personal insight i n teaching FLE. Perceived Influences on Curriculum Conception Paula indicates that her negative experiences with marriage have influenced her perceptions about FLE: My l i f e experience has r e a l l y shaped how I f e e l about family...I came from a t r a d i t i o n a l family...and when I got married and had kids I expected i t to continue forever...but he chose to leave me...and I was a single parent so a l l of a sudden I didn't f i t i n with the t r a d i t i o n a l family any more...so I want them [the students] to know t h a t . . . l i f e doesn't go on one predictable path...and I guess that comes from my own experiences. She also t a l k s about her experiences with a community s e l f - h e l p group as an influence on her approach to FLE: 107 My background [ i n t h i s group]... t h a t 1 s a major influence...when i t comes to the importance of feelings...and ways of expressing those feelings...and accepting r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r your own actions and not taking the actions of other people as...your own. Another s i g n i f i c a n t influence Paula mentions i s a colleague. Indeed, she c r e d i t s t h i s colleague with influencing her to become involved in teaching FLE: [My colleague] i s why I'm a [FLE] t e a c h e r . . . i f any person had any impact on my l i f e i t s ' [my colleague]...we worked together f o r [many] years in rooms side by side...and she r e a l l y got me interested because previous to that I would have thought 'Family L i f e , I don't think I ever want to teach that'. At the same time, Paula views her colleague to be instrumental i n how she undertakes to teach FLE: We used to t a l k a l o t at coffee breaks or in the morning...I f e l t I learned so much from h e r . . . i t started me thinking about f a m i l i e s quite d i f f e r e n t l y . . . s h e 1s been the biggest influence in the way I operate my c l a s s . Paula states that the curriculum document has had l i t t l e influence on her thinking about FLE: I don't p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e the curriculum document... and i t doesn't do too much shaping of what I do...or what I think. While she considers professional development a c t i v i t i e s and contact with other professionals to be minimally i n f l u e n t i a l on her thinking about FLE, she believes that they serve an important purpose: It gives you peer support...and that's important f o r a course l i k e t h i s . . . because... I don't follow the curriculum document... and I don't follow a textbook...but some strange things happen i n [FLE] or you've got d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n s to deal with...but you know i f you have that [peer support]...you know you have someone to c a l l o n . . . i t ' s important...and I used to do i t more when I was f i r s t teaching [FLE]. Paula laughingly comments that her academic preparation f o r teaching FLE was: 108 so long ago, i t ' s out of date. Paula considers both her l i f e experiences and her i n t e r a c t i o n with a colleague (or mentor) to have s i g n i f i c a n t l y shaped her b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum. Other factors such as curriculum documents, pr o f e s s i o n a l development and academic preparation are viewed as having had r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e influence on these b e l i e f s . Case Portrayal; A l l i s o n Biographical Information A l l i s o n i s in her early f o r t i e s , married and has one school age c h i l d . With the exception of one i n t e r r u p t i o n when she f i r s t became a parent, she has taught i n the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t f o r about f i f t e e n years. Although she graduated with a bachelor's degree in home economics, she did not o r i g i n a l l y intend to pursue a career in teaching. A f t e r a year working in a f i e l d unrelated to teaching and to FLE, she returned to u n i v e r s i t y and f u l f i l l e d the requirements for a teaching c e r t i f i c a t e i n home economics. According to A l l i s o n , she became involved i n teaching FLE when she returned to teaching following a parenthood leave. She perceives that, although i t was t h i s l i f e experience that inspired her to want to teach FLE, her personal i n t e r e s t in t h i s area originated in her childhood: As I was growing up...this was the kind of course that I would have loved to have been able to s i t and [be involved in]...whenever the opportunity came up in G i r l Guides, the l i t t l e smatterings we had, I was fascinated. When a p o s i t i o n teaching the Central V a l l e y FLE Program became a v a i l a b l e at her school, A l l i s o n volunteered to assume i t and she has continued to teach in t h i s area for the past seven years. 109 Curriculum Conception: "Personal Autonomy and Transformation" A l l i s o n ' s curriculum conception i s distinguished by an emphasis on personal autonomy and transformation. This focus i s r e f l e c t e d i n her rh e t o r i c concerning the importance of recognizing inherent personal strengths and s e l f esteem i n human development and in her stated b e l i e f s about the i n d i v i d u a l ' s capacity f o r change. B e l i e f s About the Purpose of FLE From A l l i s o n ' s perspective, FLE i s intended to prepare students to create f a m i l i e s of t h e i r own i n the future. She describes the purpose of FLE as follows: The purpose of FLE i s to prepare the students f o r the f a m i l i e s that they w i l l e s t a b l i s h i n the future. According to A l l i s o n , such preparation includes developing an awareness of what she c a l l s one's "family of o r i g i n " : [FLE] gives you an opportunity to s i t back and assess the family that you grew up i n and your personal strengths from that family. This appraisal of one's family of o r i g i n i s important, asserts A l l i s o n , because i t provides an opportunity to: focus on the strengths that they've been given [by t h e i r f a m i l i e s ] and to b u i l d on those and to be aware of those and to ensure that those are then passed on to the succeeding generations. Conversely, through examination of the family of o r i g i n , one may decide that changes are required in one's future family: It [the family legacy] doesn't have to be accepted... you can [decide] what you want to ensure i s passed on to subsequent generations... and break that cycle i f i t ' s [negative]. 110 At the same time, claims A l l i s o n , FLE also provides students with the opportunity to consider the forces that impact on f a m i l i e s and what recourse they might have as family members: [FLE teaches] how you handle the external forces that are put back on the family...those external influences that impact on the family. These views imply that the i n d i v i d u a l has a capacity f o r change, i s independent and i s capable of both e f f e c t i n g change and adapting to external pressures. Thus A l l i s o n ' s conceptualization of the purpose of FLE appears to focus p r i m a r i l y on personal autonomy as i t r e l a t e s to the development and management of one's family of the future. B e l i e f s About the Role of the Teacher in FLE A l l i s o n considers that she assumes several roles in teaching FLE. F i r s t , she sees he r s e l f to be a curriculum developer and a provider of information: The material [ i n the curriculum] that i s there to be learned i s f a s c i n a t i n g . . . I [as the teacher] turn that content into applicable useful classroom information. She also d i r e c t s the course of learning in the c l a s s : The teacher's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s to determine what the focus i s going to be...what content and facts [are to be presented]. As a provider of information, A l l i s o n believes that she creates a foundation f o r future reference: I r e a l l y f e e l that...we are...putting in...some hooks, giving them some information...so that at some point, at a l a t e r date, they can l a t c h on to them...they 111 r e c a l l . . . they can understand. Some of A l l i s o n ' s comments about information giving suggest that i t may I l l sometimes be p r e s c r i p t i v e i n nature. For example: I t r y to point out to these kids that there may be some ways that [family l i f e ] can be done d i f f e r e n t l y . . . t h a t maybe some of the ways they've been using [ i n interpersonal r e l a t i o n s h i p s ] have not been a l l that e f f e c t i v e and that there are some better ways...that would be more s a t i s f y i n g . At the same time, however, she emphasizes that she i s also a f a c i l i t a t o r . In t h i s role she believes that she f a c i l i t a t e s the development of s e l f awareness i n students: You want to encourage that r e f l e c t i v e stance...to make them aware of t h e i r personal strengths... to r a i s e t h e i r awareness...to help them explore t h e i r values. F i n a l l y , A l l i s o n considers that she has a cen t r a l role i n creating a classroom environment which f a c i l i t a t e s the kind of learning and teaching that she envisions i n FLE: To set up a s i t u a t i o n where they f e e l comfortable that they can express t h e i r viewpoints without a fear of c r i t i c i s m . . . a safe environment... the teacher i s responsible f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g and maintaining that. These teaching roles A l l i s o n i d e n t i f i e s suggest that she views the student-teacher r e l a t i o n s h i p to be an i n t e r a c t i v e one, in which although she d i r e c t s the course of learning, the students themselves are also active p a r t i c i p a n t s i n learning. B e l i e f s About the Learner and Teaching i n FLE As suggested previously, A l l i s o n considers the students i n FLE to be independent thinkers and active learners. Indeed, she describes them in the following way: They are d e f i n i t e l y i n the process of thinking f o r themselves. 112 A l l i s o n ' s e a r l i e r statements about the influence of one's family of o r i g i n suggest that she believes that, to a c e r t a i n extent, students are shaped by t h e i r environment. At the same time, however, she implies that they are capable of a l t e r i n g the impact of such influences: You can...try and change... turn around a r e a l l y negative experience in your family of o r i g i n . . . i f you come from a family where there was not that basic love and respect of you as an i n d i v i d u a l . . . then you do have burdens that you may carry....[but] you may be able to resolve them. This capacity or p o t e n t i a l for change suggests that A l l i s o n perceives learners in FLE to be autonomous and able to exert control over t h e i r own l i v e s . A l l i s o n believes that students learn i n two ways: Every time you take in some information you have to analyze i t and look at i t . . . b o t h l o g i c a l l y as well as emotionally... you want them to look at i t on an i n t e l l e c t u a l or what you would c a l l the cognitive l e v e l as well as the a f f e c t i v e l e v e l . This dual view of learning i s r e f l e c t e d in A l l i s o n ' s descriptions of the purposes of worksheets, i n the role of discussion and in her perceptions about evaluation i n FLE. According to A l l i s o n , worksheets reinf o r c e the content presented i n c l a s s : The worksheet i s j u s t to stimulate the ideas on an i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l so that they become accountable f o r that [information]. However, worksheets sometimes serve another function: [Sometimes] worksheets force them to be a l i t t l e more r e f l e c t i v e and to become a l i t t l e more aware of where t h e i r own personal thoughts are. The role of discussion in A l l i s o n ' s classroom echoes t h i s second purpose of worksheets: The discussions are for enhancement...it's an opportunity... to get another opinion expressed, another experience shared...and 113 allowing... a l l of the students to r e f l e c t back on what do I think about t h i s , how do I f e e l . A l l i s o n ' s perceptions about evaluation i n FLE also r e f l e c t the two le v e l s of learning that she considers to occur, and she states that evaluation i n FLE should encompass both. However, she has mixed f e e l i n g s about the extent to which she a c t u a l l y accomplishes t h i s : We are t a l k i n g about [evaluating] learning on one l e v e l of completing the answers...have they acquired the key c r i t i c a l points that you r e a l l y wanted them to learn...and i n the cognitive domain I very c l e a r l y set down a l l my evaluation c r i t e r i a before I ever give out the assignment...as f a r as the a f f e c t i v e domain...[where] learning i s a l t e r i n g t h e i r a t t i t u d e or behaviour... that I don't know...except that sometimes over the year you can begin to see some changes occurring. A l l i s o n ' s views of the learner and of learning i n FLE suggest that she perceives an inte g r a t i o n of cognitive and a f f e c t i v e learning to occur as students develop t h e i r s e l f awareness, t h e i r personal autonomy and t h e i r capacity f o r change. B e l i e f s About Knowledge in FLE The preceding views of the learner and of learning imply that A l l i s o n considers that there i s knowledge to be acquired i n FLE. Such knowledge i s perceived to be applicable i n the students' future l i v e s : [In FLE] you have been able to provide some information that i s somehow going to be useful i n t h e i r l i f e . This knowledge appears to have both f a c t u a l and subjective dimensions. The former i s apparent i n A l l i s o n ' s references to "the content", "the information" and "the f a c t s " which e i t h e r she d e l i v e r s or which students research i n d i v i d u a l l y or c o l l a b o r a t i v e l y . The l a t t e r i s apparent i n A l l i s o n ' s concern f o r s e l f r e f l e c t i o n and s e l f awareness. As she points out: 114 [Self awareness] comes when they r e a l i z e that they had that [ a b i l i t y ] a l l that time, but they j u s t weren't aware of it...when they see t h a t . . . i t ' s a s e l f discovering. Related to t h i s i s her b e l i e f that personal experience i s a v a l i d source of knowledge and that both she and her students are sources of such knowledge in the FLE classroom. For example, she i d e n t i f i e s her personal experience of motherhood as a source of knowledge i n her c l a s s : I'm viewed as a r e l i a b l e source of information when i t comes to human development because I am a mother. S i m i l a r l y , she says of her students: Many of those students are coming in with very p o s i t i v e a b i l i t i e s . . . a n d the course... allows them to c l a r i f y . . . a n d t h e i r experience, t h e i r i n s i g h t s . . . can be shared with [others]. A l l i s o n ' s apparent concern with meaning and personal relevance i n her teaching of FLE also r e f l e c t s the view that knowledge has a subjective dimension. When ta l k i n g about planning f o r learning in her course, she comments: [I think about] how do you make that applicable f o r what they are doing...what i s happening i n t h e i r l i f e r i g h t now, how they see it...you've got to give them [information] that i s meaningful f o r them. Thus i t appears that while A l l i s o n considers f a c t u a l knowledge to be important in accomplishing her aims i n the course she teaches, she also seems to recognize that students process or reconstruct t h i s knowledge to make i t personally meaningful. B e l i e f s About the Family in FLE As noted e a r l i e r , A l l i s o n considers the family to be a powerful influence in peoples' l i v e s . She asserts: 1 1 5 I t ' s a force...to be reckoned with...and i f they ever think that they can j u s t leave i t and walk away from i t they're mistaken. According to A l l i s o n , the power of t h i s influence rests in i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n to s e l f development. For example, she claims that one's family of o r i g i n i s the blueprint that you carry both p h y s i c a l l y and emotionally...what you have seen in your o r i g i n a l family...or even what happened in previous generations.... has an impact on your present-day family. At the same time, she believes that change i s possible: It doesn't have to be accepted as the only way...you may not have come from a successful happy l i t t l e 'Cleaver' family that we a l l envision but you s t i l l have an opportunity and indeed a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to improve your own s i t u a t i o n . While A l l i s o n claims to organize her course around t h i s concept of the family and the t r a n s f e r of strengths from one generation to the next, she acknowledges that not a l l students in the future w i l l e s t a b l i s h f a m i l i e s which include c h i l d r e n : Not everybody does end up being involved in a family [ i n the t r a d i t i o n a l sense]...but those personal strengths [from one's family]...can be b u i l t upon...and the succeeding generations can be any form...it doesn't n e c e s s a r i l y have to be t h e i r f a m i l y . . . i t can be through t h e i r job or through o t h e r . . . a c t i v i t i e s . Perceived Influences on Curriculum Conception A l l i s o n c i t e s a p a r t i c u l a r l i f e experience as a major influence on both her professional i n t e r e s t and involvement in FLE. She indicates that she f i r s t became interested i n teaching the Central Valley FLE program a f t e r she became a parent: ...when I came back [to teaching] as a parent...I came back r e a l i z i n g that t h i s was the kind of s t u f f I would have loved to t a l k about as a teenager... and knowing that [a friend] was teaching t h i s kind of s t u f f , I thought ' i t ' s there'...and so [when a p o s i t i o n i n my school became vacant]...! said 'could I teach i t ? ' 1 1 6 She also reveals that her experiences as a parent have provided her with a d d i t i o n a l insight into the importance of preparing students to be parents in the future: ...the parenting influence has r e a l l y been j u s t an i n c r e d i b l e one...as a parent you r e a l i z e what they have to have to be parents...and I f e e l i t ' s [FLE] a chance to give them to t a l k about i t [being a parent], to begin to develop t h e i r philosophy and f i n d out some of the things that are involved...my p a r t i c u l a r one, I suppose, i s to be aware of parenting so that you j u s t don't rush into i t . A l l i s o n t a l k s about her own family as an influence on how she thinks about FLE i n general and what's important i n teaching i t : I think my own personal family, the fa c t that I'm a parent watching my own c h i l d develop an d . . . d e f i n i t e l y my family of origin...my Mom has always been interested in r e l a t i o n s h i p s and things l i k e that...those things give me...a focus, and she comments on what she believes are other influences on her thinking about FLE: Readings...! do a l o t of reading... and courses, too. While A l l i s o n views her academic preparation in FLE to be l i m i t e d , she considers t h i s to be somewhat b e n e f i c i a l : I have never had an o v e r a l l course or a d i r e c t focus given to me by a course...and probably i t ' s influenced me...made me so open and receptive to anything...like I'm r e a l l y a knowledge seeker...and I think probably had I gone through a structured course, I would probably tend not to be doing that. For A l l i s o n , the experience of parenthood provided not only a focus for her teaching of FLE, but also a kind of personal j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r undertaking to teach i t . Other experiences, such as reading, courses and family i n t e r a c t i o n s , were also c i t e d as influences on her thinking about FLE, but t h e i r s p e c i f i c influence was less c l e a r . 117 Case Po r t r a y a l : Susan Biographical Information Susan i s in her early f o r t i e s and married with one preschool c h i l d . She has a degree in home economics education and has taught high school home economics for f i f t e e n years in both r u r a l and urban s e t t i n g s . According to Susan, i t was not u n t i l she began to teach in the Central Va l l e y School D i s t r i c t that she became involved i n teaching FLE content. However, her i n t e r e s t i n the f i e l d was stimulated during some work she did with student groups while teaching overseas at the beginning of her teaching career: Teachers i n the school were assigned groups of students to meet with on a regular basis over a period of time. They were c a l l e d pastoral groups and we used to have a l i t t l e b i t of s t a f f development... to help us with the groups, and that's when my i n t e r e s t was piqued i n t h i s kind of course material.... and so that when I returned to [ t h i s province] I took a f a i r number of courses...that were related because I was interested...sort of counselling and family studies kinds of courses... and maybe i n my subconscious I envisaged teaching t h i s kind of material one day. Upon completing these courses, Susan began teaching the Central V a l l e y FLE course in conjunction with the home economics program, and has done so for the past ten years. Curriculum Conception: "Personal Growth and S o c i a l R e s p o n s i b i l i t y " Susan 's curriculum conception r e f l e c t s a concern with personal growth and s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n the management and improvement of the q u a l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l and family l i f e . Such concerns are p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n her perceptions of the aims and purposes of FLE and in her b e l i e f s about how these are accomplished. 118 B e l i e f s About the Purpose of FLE Susan's conception appears to be based on the assumption that FLE can improve the q u a l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l and family l i f e . This assumption i s r e f l e c t e d i n her view of the overarching intended outcome of FLE: The nature of the subject matter...[in FLE] has the p o t e n t i a l of enabling students to lead r i c h e r l i v e s . As Susan t a l k s about the purposes of FLE, i t appears that her in t e r p r e t a t i o n of " r i c h e r l i v e s " encompasses the development of personal growth and change, and enhancing one's i n t e r a c t i o n with society. For example, according to Susan, one of the p r i n c i p a l goals of FLE i s to develop one's capacity f o r growth and change. She describes how she sees t h i s goal to be operationalized i n a FLE classroom: In a FLE c l a s s students have the opportunity to...see that 'I could have control over my l i f e . . . . a n d i t doesn't have to be t h i s way and j u s t because my own family i s l i k e t h i s , I can i n i t i a t e some changes'. Susan suggests that personal growth i s fostered through the development of s e l f esteem and through the a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge: [FLE] l e t s them experience some things that w i l l l e t them f e e l good about themselves...[and] through some exploration and learning.... they get some information and some s e l f esteem and some things that w i l l allow them to be assertive i n t h e i r own l i f e [and] they can change. According to Susan, the benefits of such development and change are many. For example, she suggests that the i n d i v i d u a l ' s a b i l i t y to respond p o s i t i v e l y to s o c i a l change and pressures i s enhanced: Students can get some ideas and focus as to . . . a l t e r n a t i v e s . . . o t h e r ways of handling issues...ways that they can deal p o s i t i v e l y with the changes that are happening around them. This i s important, she asserts, because 119 Society's changing more rap i d l y than [ i t once did]...and people have to contend with much more now than they ever have. Susan also suggests that personal growth w i l l impact p o s i t i v e l y on interpersonal r e l a t i o n s h i p s : Being part of a family i s not easy...[but] there are a l t e r n a t i v e s . . . and i f they...learn to l i s t e n and communicate... there are going to be benefits i n t h e i r l i v e s . At the same time, she also perceives implications that extend beyond the i n d i v i d u a l and the family. In t h i s regard she asserts: In FLE you have an opportunity to help them develop i n d i v i d u a l l y . . . and i f you can...aid i n t h e i r personal growth, I think that makes them better members of society. Thus, Susan's conceptualization of the purpose of FLE appears to encompass both i n d i v i d u a l growth and s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and emphasizes the management and improvement of the q u a l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l and family l i f e . B e l i e f s About the Role of the Teacher i n FLE As a teacher of FLE, Susan perceives that she assumes several r o l e s . F i r s t , she considers that she provides the students with information: There i s a knowledge base...a t h e o r e t i c a l base [ i n FLE]...that I t r y to get across. Related to t h i s i s her role as curriculum developer i n which she s e l e c t s and organizes knowledge for student learning. In t h i s r o l e , however, she seems to consider the students that she teaches to be p a r t i c u l a r l y i n f l u e n t i a l : I adjust [the curriculum] and...the information to the students I'm dealing with...maybe leave some of i t out and add something else that ...my students need or would be valuable f o r them. She also suggests that she has a role in creating a classroom environment 120 which i s conducive to the sort of teaching and learning that she envisions should occur i n FLE: I spend a l o t of time...getting...the group together... and developing cohesiveness and a group f e e l i n g . . . t r e a t i n g each other as human beings and not putting anybody down...and a f t e r a while, they become very supportive of each other and t h e y ' l l f e e l comfortable...to bring a problem [to c l a s s ] . . . i t 1 s a safe place to r a i s e an issue, to get some support, or to get some help. A fourth role that she claims to assume i s that of counsellor. According to Susan, i n t h i s r o l e , students often seek her assistance or understanding f o r personal problems: Because of the nature of the course material you are a counsellor, and the students often see you as a person who w i l l understand i f they have a problem and they do come to you...sometimes j u s t being there and l i s t e n i n g i s enough f o r a l o t of students. F i n a l l y , Susan suggests that she i s also a learner: You learn a l o t from the students in t h i s kind of course because of a l l the i n t e r a c t i o n . . . i t ' s not a one-way ride...both sides grow. She indicates that, for her, such learning extends beyond the classroom into her personal l i f e : I think I've grown a l o t personally... through teaching FLE and through taking the courses [required to teach i t ] . Susan's descriptions of her teaching roles in FLE suggest that she envisions an i n t e r a c t i v e student-teacher r e l a t i o n s h i p in her classroom, where both she and her students p a r t i c i p a t e in mutually responsive teaching and learning. 121 B e l i e f s About the Learner and Teaching i n FLE The preceding implies that Susan views students i n FLE to be active learners. Her i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the aims and purposes of FLE i n terms of personal growth and change suggest that students are capable of s e l f r e f l e c t i o n and independent thought. According to Susan, the environment she attempts to develop early i n the school year i s intended to encourage students to be r e f l e c t i v e , active p a r t i c i p a n t s i n learning: In the ri g h t environment and atmosphere i n the [FLE] clas s there can be a tremendous amount of growth i n a year... they 1 re able to in t e r a c t on a personal level..share information..ask opinions..see things from another perspective...or c l a r i f y things they've been wondering about. Indeed, she says that students come to view t h e i r c l a s s to be l i k e a family...they get quite close. Such closeness, asserts Susan, f a c i l i t a t e s i n t e r a c t i o n among students: [An id e a l ] family i s a place where you can kind of l e t your h a i r down and f e e l free to discuss anything... you f e e l safe i n your family. Related to t h i s i s Susan's conviction that the processes i n FLE are equally as important as the content. She states, f o r example: If you make the students f e e l l i k e they're a s i g n i f i c a n t part of the c l a s s . . . I think the learning w i l l come...[and so] I spend quite a l o t of time at the beginning [of the year]...on s e l f esteem...interpersonal communication..! don't even worry about content f o r the f i r s t few weeks...once you've [got them inte r a c t i n g ] you can move into the course content. The foregoing remarks suggest that Susan believes that learning i n FLE occurs i n t e r a c t i v e l y . This view i s p a r t i c u l a r l y apparent i n her stated use of group work and discussion i n teaching the Central V a l l e y FLE program. According to Susan, group a c t i v i t i e s and clas s discussion a s s i s t students i n learning. She claims that i n small groups: 122 Students learn from each other... t h e r e 1 s a l o t of opportunity for a l o t of i n t e r a c t i o n and there's that opportunity f o r them to help each other. She also believes that t h i s notion of group i n t e r a c t i o n sometimes helps to make what i s taught more r e a l i s t i c f o r students. For example, occ a s i o n a l l y group discussions may center on a problem which e i t h e r the group or some of i t s members are encountering, and concepts studied in the course can be applied in dealing with i t . As Susan points out: I think to make [some of the concepts] r e a l i s t i c you have to use... them...there needs to be times when something comes up i n c l a s s and I can say 'OK what can we do about it'...[and] sometimes there's an opportunity to use i t in a s i t u a t i o n so that they can see i t in r e a l l i f e . . . a n d we work i t through as a group. At the same time, however, Susan also acknowledges that personal meaning f a c i l i t a t e s learning in FLE. This view i s evident in her b e l i e f s about the roles of personal motivation and personal experience in FLE and i n some of her perceptions about evaluation in FLE. Susan claims that students learn best when they have a personal motivation to learn. She suggests that such motivation may d i f f e r among students: If they have some personal goals in mind...some asp i r a t i o n s and something they're working towards [ t h e y ' l l be motivated to l e a r n ] . . . f o r those that are j u s t f l o a t i n g . . . i t won't have as much meaning f o r them unless i t ' s something that touches t h e i r personal l i f e and they see some personal relevance. Susan also indicates that the use of personal experiences enhances student learning. She states: I do encourage them to give examples of personal s i t u a t i o n s . . . i t ' s a point of reference for the students and they can r e l a t e to i t . S i m i l a r l y , she describes how she t r i e s to "personalize" knowledge i n her teaching through the use of her own personal l i f e experiences: 123 I t ' s part of my way of making a point or t r y i n g to put across a p o i n t . . . i f you personalize, people can r e l a t e to things...I l i k e people to be personal and bring i t to a l e v e l . . . t h a t you can r e l a t e to and there's some warmth and i t ' s part of l i f e . . . i t makes i t more r e a l . Susan's comments about evaluation in FLE also suggest that there i s a personal dimension to learning. For example, she says: Some of t h e i r assignments you can't put marks on in t h i s kind of a course...like when I have them view a f i l m and ask them what the f i l m meant to them...when i t comes time to mark i t there's such a v a r i e t y of approaches....when you're marking ideas and a l i t t l e b i t of personal philosophy i t ' s hard. Thus i t appears that Susan considers learning in FLE to encompass both personal meaning and s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n as students develop t h e i r capacity for personal growth and change and t h e i r awareness of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . B e l i e f s About Knowledge in FLE Susan's views about learning and the learner i n FLE suggest that she considers the body of knowledge associated with the f i e l d to be important in accomplishing the aims of FLE. For example, she states: The content i s important because you need some kind of a knowledge base from which to operate. She believes that t h i s knowledge w i l l be i n t e r n a l i z e d by students and useful l a t e r i n t h e i r l i v e s : I hope students w i l l gain some information that w i l l be valuable to them should they reach a point i n t h e i r l i f e when they can sort of reach back and p u l l i t out and say 'hey I learned t h i s ' or 'I'm aware of t h i s , I could use t h i s information at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r time'...so hopefully they've got a b i t of a t h e o r e t i c a l base...some knowledge they can put to use. At the same time, Susan suggests that students should acquire some s e l f esteem through s e l f knowledge: 124 Self esteem i s important... and i n FLE hopefully I can allow them...to see that yes, they have... a b i l i t y , and yes, you can do i t and perhaps l e t them experience some things that w i l l l e t them see that or l e t them f e e l good about themselves. As noted e a r l i e r , Susan argues that s e l f esteem and s e l f knowledge w i l l provide the impetus to use the "knowledge base" associated with FLE to manage and enhance the q u a l i t y of one's i n d i v i d u a l and family l i f e . Thus, i t appears that Susan views knowledge in FLE to have both f a c t u a l and personal (or subjective) dimensions. Her b e l i e f s about learning i n FLE suggest that f o r learning to occur, the two must somehow be integrated. B e l i e f s About the Family i n FLE Susan describes the family as: an important and necessary part of society...[which i s composed of] any group of people who l i v e together f o r the mutual benefit of each i n d i v i d u a l . However, she expresses concern that, because the family i s changing and i s experiencing considerable pressure from external forces, education i s required f o r i t s s u r v i v a l : The family and society are changing rapidly....[and] many of the functions of the family are being taken over by society at large... there are a l o t of influences on [families]...and such a wide v a r i e t y of negative things happen in fa m i l i e s today...they r e a l l y need some p o s i t i v e s k i l l s . . . t o keep a f l o a t . She suggests that there are inherent d i f f i c u l t i e s i n being a family member: Being part of a family i s not ea s y . . . . i t requires commitment and hard work. She recognizes that there i s increasing d i v e r s i t y among f a m i l i e s : 125 Times are changing and there are a l l d i f f e r e n t kinds of f a m i l i e s and there are a l l d i f f e r e n t kinds of s i t u a t i o n s , and we need to be tole r a n t of a l t e r n a t i v e l i f e s t y l e s or a l t e r n a t i v e kinds of f a m i l i e s . Susan also considers f a m i l i e s to be a force and an influence on i n d i v i d u a l s , e s p e c i a l l y where one's future family i s concerned. She alludes to the family legacy of parenthood s k i l l s : I think parenting... i s one of the areas that people need a l o t more guidance i n our society at the present time...there are other ways of handling things besides the way t h e i r parents handled i t . Susan's b e l i e f s about the family r e f l e c t her emphasis on s o c i a l concerns and reinfor c e her view that personal growth and s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y are the cen t r a l focus of FLE. Perceived Influences on Curriculum Conception Susan c i t e s her experiences working with a pastoral group early i n her teaching career as stimulating her in t e r e s t i n becoming involved i n teaching FLE: I...enjoyed meeting with the students on a regular basis...I was a house mother or something of that nature, and you become sort of the person that they go t o . . . l i k e a counsellor i n our system...and I r e a l l y became interested i n the sort of material we did i n the s t a f f development class to help with our group. A f t e r she returned to t h i s country, she enrolled i n courses re l a t e d to FLE content, and sh o r t l y thereafter began to teach the subject. Susan also t a l k s about her husband's influence on her conceptualization of FLE: My husband has a p a r t i c u l a r p h ilosophical bent to l i f e . . . a n d he has helped me to think more divergently... to look at issues from many perspectives... and we explore a l o t of [FLE] issues together and he has been very instrumental i n some of my personal growth...and he's d e f i n i t e l y influenced the way I think. 126 At the same time, she considers her experiences with students to be an influence on how she thinks about FLE: The feedback that you get from students... that they think what you're doing i s worthwhile...[and] to see that personal growth. However, she q u a l i f i e s her statements about these influences: I think from reading the amount that I do...reading the newspaper, reading the a r t i c l e s that I read...the magazines...and my b e l i e f s j u s t kind of evolve over time along with the i n t e r a c t i o n with students... i t ' s a composite of a l o t of things. Susan t a l k s about the curriculum guide as an influence on her s e l e c t i o n of concepts and teaching materials rather than on her b e l i e f s about the f i e l d : I don't think that curriculum guides have shaped the way I've looked at FLE...I use them as a resource... and i f I need something, I go and look fo r it...and i f I f i n d something that's applicable or appropriate, I use i t , but I don't look at the guide as...that's the way FLE should be. Susan comments that i n t e r a c t i o n with professionals has had l i t t l e impact on her b e l i e f s about FLE. She f e e l s , however, that such i n t e r a c t i o n serves an important purpose: One of the ways that meeting with colleagues and other professionals influences me i s that I get new information...and new ideas f o r what I'm able to use i n my c l a s s e s . . . i t doesn't influence the way I f e e l or think about FLE...but i t can expand my knowledge base. Susan views her academic preparation as somewhat l i m i t e d : At [ u n i v e r s i t y ] I did take some courses in communication and communication in groups and family sociology... that would give me a b i t of a background...although...nowhere near the kind of background that you need when you teach a course l i k e t h i s . Susan perceives that a number of factors or circumstances have influenced her curriculum conception. Although she considers several l i f e experiences to be 127 p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t , she believes that her conception r e f l e c t s the influence of multiple events and s i t u a t i o n s . Summary The preceding case portrayals represent s i x conceptions of FLE curriculum. These conceptions were i d e n t i f i e d and described using the dimensions of the t h e o r e t i c a l framework outlined in Chapter I I I : 1) b e l i e f s about the purpose of FLE; 2) b e l i e f s about the role of the teacher in FLE; 3) b e l i e f s about the learner and teaching i n FLE; 4) b e l i e f s about knowledge and content in FLE; and 5) b e l i e f s about the family. They were characterized using the c e n t r a l themes associated with the teachers' expressed understandings of the aims and purposes of FLE. In order of t h e i r increasing emphasis on the i n d i v i d u a l within the family and society, the s i x conceptions were e n t i t l e d : "authority of f a c t s and information", " s k i l l s f o r l i v i n g " , "guidance and advice", " s e l f r e f l e c t i o n and personal i n s i g h t " , "personal autonomy and transformation" and "personal growth and s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " . These conceptions represent a range of b e l i e f s about the dimensions of FLE curriculum noted above, and describe the ways in which s i x teachers conceptualize FLE curriculum. The teachers i n t h i s study i d e n t i f i e d f i v e f a c t o rs or circumstances which they perceived to have had some influence on the development of t h e i r conceptions of FLE curriculum. These included personal l i f e experiences, professional development a c t i v i t i e s and contacts with professionals in the f i e l d , curriculum documents, academic preparation and mentors. However, the teachers were often uncertain about the exact nature and extent of these influences. Although most acknowledged the p o s s i b i l i t y of the i n t e r a c t i o n of multiple influences on t h e i r conceptions of FLE curriculum, they were generally unclear about what these might be and about how they might in t e r a c t . 128 The conceptions described i n t h i s chapter r e f l e c t the teachers' abstract b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum which were a r t i c u l a t e d through interviews and w r i t i n g and which in a sense are decontextualized, that i s , they are separated from the context of the classroom. In Chapters V and VI, these conceptions are considered in r e l a t i o n to the context of teaching. CHAPTER V THE FINDINGS: CURRICULUM CONCEPTIONS IN CLASSROOM PRACTICE This chapter addresses the t h i r d question of the study concerning the r e l a t i o n s h i p between teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum and classroom p r a c t i c e . In each of the s i x case portrayals, the contexts of teaching (including classroom structure and organization and teaching s t y l e ) are b r i e f l y described and the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the teachers' expressed conceptions of FLE curriculum and t h e i r classroom p r a c t i c e are explicated. Relationship of Curriculum Conceptions to Classroom Practice Examination of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between teacher conceptions of FLE curriculum and classroom practice e n t a i l e d comparing the r h e t o r i c and the p r a c t i c e of each teacher to ascertain whether classroom discourse and behaviour confirmed or contradicted t h e i r expressions of abstract b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum. As the data were analyzed, i t became evident that there were both consistencies and discrepancies between teachers' abstract b e l i e f s about FLE curriculum and t h e i r classroom p r a c t i c e . In addition, some unarticulated b e l i e f s also emerged. Inconsistencies or discrepancies were actions or discourse which appeared to lack agreement with teachers' stated b e l i e f s . Unarticulated b e l i e f s were evident in the emergence of b e l i e f s r e f l e c t e d i n any dimension of the conception which was d i f f e r e n t from that previously a r t i c u l a t e d i n interviews or in w r i t i n g . Each of the curriculum conceptions i s discussed i n terms of t h e i r consistencies, t h e i r discrepancies and those b e l i e f s which appeared i n practice but were unarticulated i n interviews or in guided w r i t i n g . 130 Case Portrayals J u l i e : "Authority of Facts and Information"  Context of Teaching Classroom structure and organization. J u l i e ' s Central V a l l e y FLE class was composed of 17 students who attended r e g u l a r l y : 2 boys and 15 g i r l s . The class was predominantly Caucasian, with only two Oriental students i n attendance. The clas s was of mixed a b i l i t y . J u l i e teaches the Central V a l l e y FLE 11 course at Forest H i l l s Secondary, which i s located i n what she describes as "an upper middle c l a s s " area of the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t . Her clas s i s held i n a clothing and t e x t i l e s lab. At the front of the room, four large cutt i n g tables were pushed together to make one "desk" around which the students sat during the cl a s s . Because the room was usually occupied by a clo t h i n g teacher (except during the hours when FLE was taught), J u l i e brought a l l the teaching materials she required f o r each cla s s from another classroom down the h a l l . The teacher desk space i n the classroom was not used by J u l i e . One small b u l l e t i n board next to the classroom entrance at the front of the room displayed v i s u a l s or information about FLE topics. The high windows along one wall contributed to a bright and sunny atmosphere i n the classroom. Teaching s t y l e . J u l i e ' s teaching r e f l e c t e d a structured yet casual and relaxed approach. Both she and some of the students were often l a t e to cl a s s , and generally there was a f l u r r y of a c t i v i t y as students entered the classroom and found a seat at the large "desk" at the front of the room. In the midst of such a c t i v i t y , J u l i e very quickly took attendance and organized her teaching materials. As the students prepared t h e i r notebooks and wr i t i n g materials f o r the c l a s s , she frequently joked and laughed with them. Once a l l were s e t t l e d , J u l i e usually handed back graded assignments or t e s t s and then b r i e f l y introduced the topic of study f o r the clas s period. 131 During each c l a s s , considerable time was devoted to information d e l i v e r y . While standing or s i t t i n g at the front of the room, J u l i e generally lectured, or had students copy notes or follow along while she read from note sheets. Such information d e l i v e r y was interspersed with numerous student questions and comments, and p e r i o d i c a l l y there was considerable noise and chatter as both J u l i e and the students engaged in dialogue. Occasionally, she had students work on a c t i v i t i e s or questions related to the topic being studied. On such occasions, J u l i e c i r c u l a t e d around the table, as i f a s s i s t i n g students or checking t h e i r progress. Almost every written a c t i v i t y was c o l l e c t e d f o r grading and tests were administered frequently. J u l i e ' s i n t e r a c t i o n with students was characterized by warmth and f r i e n d l i n e s s . She generally bantered and joked with them to gain t h e i r a ttention and cooperation, and she often used humour i n her presentations to i l l u s t r a t e or to emphasize a point. Despite such f a m i l i a r i t y , J u l i e expressed d e f i n i t e expectations f o r student achievement and behaviour, and her authority as "the teacher" was c l e a r l y understood. Relationship of Conception to Practice J u l i e ' s expressed conception was e n t i t l e d "authority of f a c t s and information". It was characterized by an emphasis on fa c t s and information for coping with problems which she believes w i l l p o t e n t i a l l y be encountered in l i f e by most people and for presenting evidence to support following a p a r t i c u l a r course of action. Consistencies. Consistencies between J u l i e ' s r h e t o r i c and her pr a c t i c e were most apparent in her view of the purpose of FLE (a concern with problems and the a n t i c i p a t i o n of c e r t a i n l i f e events), in her assertions about information d e l i v e r y as a means of accomplishing the aims of FLE, in her expressed b e l i e f s about advice and advice-giving and i n her view about 132 f a m i l i e s in FLE (not a central concept in her course). J u l i e ' s focus on problems was apparent in some of the content presented and i n her classroom discourse. For example, one of a s e r i e s of lessons on pregnancy was e n t i t l e d "Problems of Pregnancy" and dealt with such p o t e n t i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s as ectopic pregnancy, placenta previa, pre-eclampsic toxemia and Rh i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y . In t h i s same unit of study, students were shown a f i l m about genetic disorders which might occur during pregnancy. And, in a series of lessons about contraception, the various problems associated with each method were i d e n t i f i e d . J u l i e ' s classroom discourse also revealed frequent use of the word "problem". When introducing a f i l m on teenage parenthood she said: This j u s t shows some of the problems i f you don't use b i r t h c o n t r o l . During a discussion about infant feeding and the introduction of s o l i d food, she commented: Put the [pablum] at the front of t h e i r mouth and t h i s causes the sucking motion...if you put the [pablum] at the back of the throat i t w i l l cause them to gag and t h i s may create a problem...they 111 r e j e c t i t from then on. And, during a presentation about the stages of c h i l d development, she stated: If you miss the learning stage for some things, i t ' s a problem l a t e r on. J u l i e ' s concern with preparing students for p o t e n t i a l l i f e events seemed to be most evident i n her s e l e c t i o n of course content. The topics covered appeared to r e l a t e to some of the l i f e events which most people encounter: dating, human reproduction, pregnancy and b i r t h and c h i l d development. This concern was also apparent in comments she made when teaching about these topics. For example, when t a l k i n g about ending r e l a t i o n s h i p s , she s a i d : It happens to a l o t of people. 133 And, a f t e r students had viewed a f i l m on teenage parenthood, she commented: You'd be s u r p r i s e d . . i t [teenage pregnancy] s t i l l occurs... people s t i l l get pregnant at a young age whether they want to or whether i t ' s an accident. Information d e l i v e r y was cen t r a l i n J u l i e ' s classroom p r a c t i c e . Of the f i f t e e n classes observed, ten were devoted almost e n t i r e l y to reviewing or le c t u r i n g about information related to the topic i d e n t i f i e d f o r study. J u l i e also made frequent reference to fact s and information. Her classroom discourse was punctuated with phrases such as It's j u s t some information...you never know when you might need to know these things or I j u s t wanted to go through some of the information. S i m i l a r l y , she made extensive use of note sheets (which included information about various topics) and l i s t s of d e f i n i t i o n s and terms. In a unit on human sexuality, f o r example, students were required to complete a diagram of the male and female reproductive systems and to c o r r e c t l y l a b e l each structure; i n conjunction with t h i s they were to complete a corresponding l i s t of d e f i n i t i o n s . A four page note guide l i s t i n g a l l forms of contraception and explanations of t h e i r e f f i c a c y was used to teach about b i r t h c o n t r o l . A s i m i l a r s e r i e s (ten sheets) was used to teach about pregnancy and f e t a l development. During a unit on c h i l d development, students were required to take notes on physi c a l , cognitive and social-emotional growth at various developmental stages. J u l i e ' s use of worksheets to reinforce such content and her use of tests to measure what students had learned of t h i s material appears to r e f l e c t her view of the learner as a r e c i p i e n t of knowledge. Indeed, J u l i e referred frequently to impending t e s t s , using phrases such as 134 You should know what t h i s i s [for the te s t ] or You have to know these terms [for the te s t ] or Remember to memorize t h i s [for the t e s t ] . Advice and advice-giving were also apparent i n J u l i e ' s classroom p r a c t i c e . As indicated i n her interviews, she did seem to t r y to use information as a source of authority, i . e . , to convince students that a p a r t i c u l a r course of action was preferable or desirable. For example, while l e c t u r i n g about human reproduction, she concluded her d e s c r i p t i o n of how conception occurs by pointing out: [Therefore] the body i s designed to encourage reproduction...you have a three day period [ i f intercourse occurs during ovulation] which i s very dangerous f o r getting pregnant...so i f you don't use b i r t h c o n t r o l , you're taking a chance. S i m i l a r l y , a f t e r i d e n t i f y i n g several environmental factors and t h e i r p o t e n t i a l c o n t r i b u t i o n to b i r t h defects, she declared: So you shouldn't be taking anything into your body other than food...even coffee and tea...you should be cuttin g down on them...you should check whether you have antibodies f o r German measles before getting pregnant... i f you go to the dentist y o u ' l l have to say 'sorry I'm pregnant, I can't have X-rays 1... you'11 j u s t have to s u f f e r through [morning s i c k n e s s ] . . . i f you're not an a l c o h o l i c you should be able to go nine months without a drink. On at le a s t one occasion, J u l i e appeared to invoke " a u t h o r i t i e s " to support the point she was apparently t r y i n g to make. During a discussion about the advantages of breast feeding f o r infants, several students questioned the f e a s i b i l i t y and p r a c t i c a l i t y of o f f e r i n g a baby the breast at every feeding and suggested instead that p e r i o d i c a l l y using a b o t t l e might be a useful a l t e r n a t i v e . J u l i e disagreed, saying: 135 Well, they [the a u t h o r i t i e s ] don't recommend that you use a combination of breast and b o t t l e . She then went on to outline a number of reasons f o r why "you shouldn't use bottles when breast feeding", a l l based on "the experts' point of view". Sometimes, however, J u l i e appeared to simply give advice, as i f o f f e r i n g her opinion about a worthy course of action. For example, in a discussion about jealousy i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s , she commented: Well [jealousy] might even keep you on your t o e s . . i n marriage i f you're too complacent, they could be gone before you know...so you have to be aware...you have to temper i t . . . t o o much jealousy might drive them away. On another occasion while t a l k i n g about ending a r e l a t i o n s h i p she suggested: Well you do f i n a l l y have to p u l l yourself together... there's no point in wasting your l i f e being depressed. While t a l k i n g about the b i r t h control p i l l she offered t h i s advice: Remember t h i s i s a business and prices w i l l vary...so you should check around. The preceding confirms that J u l i e ' s b e l i e f s about her role s as a family l i f e educator (imparter of information and advice-giver) were r e f l e c t e d i n her classroom p r a c t i c e . Moreover, as noted previously, her view of the learner as a r e c i p i e n t of knowledge was also apparent. Her use of various teaching methods also seem to support her stated views about the learner and teaching in FLE. Although J u l i e used numerous exercises, worksheets and note guides to convey and reinf o r c e course content, she also r e l i e d on c l a s s discussion. As she suggested i n an interview, discussions in her classrooms were used to share experiences and to share d i f f e r e n t points of view. A discussion about dating, f o r example, included student experiences with ending a close r e l a t i o n s h i p . A discussion about the development of egocentrism during adolescence centered on student exchange of experiences with parents and t h e i r peers with respect to t h i s concept. J u l i e also posed questions which fostered such discussion and which encouraged students to re l a t e information to t h e i r own experience: How many of you have done [or f e l t ] that? or Do you know of anyone who has...? or Thinking of yourself, now This pr a c t i c e appears to r e f l e c t her view of the learners i n FLE as active learners, who must tr a n s l a t e new material into t h e i r personal frame of reference. J u l i e ' s perception that the family i s not a cent r a l concept i n her in t e r p r e t a t i o n of FLE was also evident i n her classroom p r a c t i c e . In none of the classes observed, did she r e f e r e x p l i c i t l y to the family or to family r e l a t i o n s h i p s and i n t e r a c t i o n . While these concepts were implied i n topics such as pregnancy and c h i l d development, they were notably absent from classroom discourse. Inconsistencies and unarticulated b e l i e f s . J u l i e ' s classroom pra c t i c e revealed evidence of an unarticulated purpose of FLE which was somewhat inconsistent with her stated b e l i e f s about FLE. As noted e a r l i e r , J u l i e ' s statements about the purpose of FLE imply a concern with a s s i s t i n g students to cope or to deal with l i f e problems they may encounter. However, her classroom discourse and prac t i c e suggested that she was also concerned with the prevention of such problems. For example, while J u l i e ' s information about contraception may have been intended to a s s i s t students i n dealing with the problem of choice of contraceptive method, i t also seemed to encompass an 137 intent to inform i n order to prevent teenage pregnancy. Indeed, at one point J u l i e advised the students: Remember, i f you don't use b i r t h c o n t r o l , you're taking a r i s k . This ser i e s of lessons was followed with a f i l m on teenage parenthood, in which some of the p o t e n t i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s inherent in teenage pregnancy were depicted. S i m i l a r l y , while the lessons on c h i l d development included references to some of the problems that parents might p o t e n t i a l l y encounter during c h i l d rearing, they also incorporated s p e c i f i c suggestions about "what not to do" or "what to be aware of so t h i s or that won't happen". A second inconsistency between J u l i e ' s r h e t o r i c and p r a c t i c e was r e f l e c t e d p e r i o d i c a l l y i n her use of some teaching methods. For example, although she states that exercises and worksheets are used f o r learning, at times they also seemed to be used for classroom c o n t r o l . The following episode i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s point: As students began to work on the d e f i n i t i o n s , the noise l e v e l escalated r a p i d l y . J u l i e i n t e r j e c t e d , saying "Sh, s h . . . l e t ' s get t h i s done". When the noise did not subside, she c a l l e d out "Now y o u ' l l have to hand t h i s in...I'm going to give you only ten minutes... you're wasting time". There had been no previous i n d i c a t i o n that t h i s assignment was to be c o l l e c t e d . S i m i l a r l y , while J u l i e ostensibly uses discussions f o r the exchange of student experiences and points of view, i n the classes observed discussions were more predominantly concerned with student questions about the content of the lesson and with requests for advice. For example, in a lesson on f e t a l development, a student asked about "old wives t a l e s " concerning the shape of a mother's abdomen during pregnancy and the sex of the fetus. This appeared to prompt a seri e s of questions concerning sexual intercourse during pregnancy, the presentation of the baby during b i r t h , strangulation of the baby by the 138 u m b i l i c a l cord, caesarian sections, how do you know when to go to the ho s p i t a l , what are contractions and increase i n breast s i z e during pregnancy. Less frequently, students asked f o r advice. During a presentation about human reproduction, f o r example, a student asked why her menstrual cycle was so i r r e g u l a r and what she should do about i t . Such questioning by the students introduced a d d i t i o n a l topics and contributed to some "re-construction" of the curriculum i n the classroom. Candace: " S k i l l s f o r L i v i n g " Context of Teaching Classroom structure and organization. Twenty-four students were enrolled i n Candace's FLE c l a s s : 1 boy and 23 g i r l s . The c l a s s was of mixed e t h n i c i t y (including Portuguese, Sikh, Chinese, F i j i a n , Vietnamese and Caucasian) and of mixed a b i l i t y . Candace teaches the Central Valley FLE 12 course at Seaview Secondary which i s located i n what she describes as "a lower income, working c l a s s " area of the school d i s t r i c t . The class was held i n a clothing and t e x t i l e s lab which she shared with another teacher. The students sat around large cutting tables which were arranged i n groups of two or three at the front and back of the classroom. Sewing machines l i n e d the periphery of the classroom. Next to the door, a t a l l f i l i n g cabinet and large wooden desk delineated Candace's space at the front of the room. A b u l l e t i n board near the classroom door contained a di s p l a y of photos from a children's party held e a r l y i n the school year. One wall of windows flooded the classroom with l i g h t and contributed to a bright and sunny atmosphere. Teaching s t y l e . Candace's teaching and classroom organization were calm and relaxed. Although the students i n her cla s s were t a l k a t i v e and she spent considerable time at the beginning of each cl a s s encouraging them to be quiet, she did not rai s e her voice or speak ste r n l y . She ro u t i n e l y took attendance 139 at the beginning of every cl a s s by c a l l i n g out each student name and expected the students to respond appropriately. Most of Candace's teaching centered on t a l k i n g . When d e l i v e r i n g information, she generally handed students note sheets and read through them out loud, and p e r i o d i c a l l y expanded some points or commented on them or raised questions about them. Often such information d e l i v e r y evolved into a discussion of an issue which was apparently triggered by the information contained i n the notes. Candace moved around the room as she taught, sometimes s i t t i n g on the edge of a table and sometimes standing at the back or side of the classroom. When students were assigned written work, Candace c i r c u l a t e d from table to table checking student progress, a s s i s t i n g students who were having d i f f i c u l t y or chatting casually about student concerns or in t e r e s t s and about topics related to FLE. Her i n t e r a c t i o n with students was open and f r i e n d l y . As j u s t noted, Candace talked with students i n d i v i d u a l l y and i n small groups about t h e i r personal concerns and i n t e r e s t s . Some time i n every cl a s s was devoted to student comments and anecdotes. During these interludes, Candace l i s t e n e d a t t e n t i v e l y and occasionally commented in a p o s i t i v e or humorous way. The students seemed to appreciate her dry wit, and there was an abundance of chatter and laughter i n a l l the classes observed. Relationship of Conception to Practice Candace's expressed curriculum conception emphasized a focus on the development of " s k i l l s f o r l i v i n g " and for dealing with the problems and d i f f i c u l t i e s people generally encounter as they progress through various l i f e stages. Consistencies. Consistencies between Candace's r h e t o r i c and pract i c e were most apparent i n her stated b e l i e f s about the purpose of FLE ( s k i l l development i n preparation for l i f e stages), i n her expressed views regarding students i n FLE (as i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and emotionally responsive), i n her 140 perceptions about the teaching process in FLE (although teaching i s c e n t r a l l y focused on f a c t s , personal meaning f a c i l i t a t e s learning) and i n her b e l i e f s about her teaching roles ( p a r t i c u l a r l y that of curriculum administrator). As well, her b e l i e f s that f a m i l i e s are diverse and an influence on i n d i v i d u a l development were evident in her p r a c t i c e . Her focus on preparation f o r l i f e stages was apparent i n both her discourse and her p r a c t i c e . For example, her language often implied that FLE was intended to be a simulation of adult l i f e . When t a l k i n g about topics to be covered over the course of the school year, she commented to students: We have to get you out of the house f i r s t , so we'll be doing t h i s [developmental stages] and c h i l d r e n w i l l be coming l a t e r . She described an a c t i v i t y i n which students were to care for an egg as they would a newborn infant saying: Y o u ' l l have a pseudo-experience of being a parent...which w i l l give you the bare minimum of what i t ' s l i k e to be a parent. At the same time, Candace also frequently referred to the "preparatory" nature of the course. For example, a f t e r a guest speaker had presented information about the growing aging population in North America, Candace pointed out to the students: I f e l t that [the speaker] made a very good point of t r y i n g to t e l l you that i t i s your r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to be concerned about aging because in 20 or 30 years.... your parents w i l l be old. And, when introducing a unit on parenthood, Candace commented: There are more and more people who are concerned about becoming better parents... t h i s course w i l l give you a l o t of the basics and make you think about parenting. As might be expected, much of the course content r e f l e c t e d a concern with preparation for the future. Topics such as developmental periods of l i f e , 141 young adulthood, preparing f o r parenthood and aging parents p e r t a i n to various stages of the human l i f e cycle. Candace's d e s c r i p t i o n of FLE as the development of s k i l l s f o r l i v i n g i s ce n t r a l to t h i s notion of preparation. In the classes observed, Candace focused considerable attention on the s k i l l s associated with budgeting and time and stress management within the context of preparing f o r l i f e as adults. During the un i t on stress management, for example, she talked about her perceptions of the relevance of stress management for the students' future l i v e s : I t ' s very important to know how to deal with [stress]...we should be spending a l o t of time [ i n school] helping you to deal with i t . . . g i v i n g you p o s i t i v e ways of a l l e v i a t i n g or dealing with i t . . . i f you don't learn to deal with i t . . . i t can become a physical problem a f t e r a number of years...and we do face stress i n our l i v e s . . . t h e stresses are d i f f e r e n t at d i f f e r e n t stages. She also appeared to teach s p e c i f i c s k i l l s . In order to determine the costs associated with e s t a b l i s h i n g one's own residence a f t e r graduation from school, she had students compile a d e t a i l e d budget and assess t h e i r eating habits. S i m i l a r l y , when teaching about stress management, Candace had students p r a c t i c e v i s u a l i z a t i o n techniques and the manipulation of acupressure points on the body as ways of reducing stress. Such techniques were generally incorporated into student notebooks. When beginning to teach stress management, she instructed the students as follows: I'd l i k e you to b u i l d a l i s t i n your notebooks of techniques f o r r e l i e v i n g s tress. Indeed, Candace's view of the notebook as a repository of information which could be referred to in the future was r e i t e r a t e d to students on several occasions. When teaching about parenthood, she said: I would suggest that you keep a l l these [handouts] because i n f i v e or ten years you can look back on them. 142 This focus on the a c q u i s i t i o n of information echoes Candace's de s c r i p t i o n of her teaching role as curriculum administrator and her view of students as r e c i p i e n t s of knowledge. In her classroom, she did appear to administer the curriculum, frequently making comments such as They say i n the [resource book] or By the sounds of the notes.... S i m i l a r l y , she often talked about the course content i n ways that suggested i t was to be dispensed to the students. At the beginning of one cl a s s she announced: I'm going to get going onto the next u n i t . . . i t has an i n t e r e s t i n g assignment that you have to do l a t e r on. In another c l a s s she reminded students that There's a whole section [of notes on d i s c i p l i n e ] that y o u ' l l be getting over the next few weeks. Indeed, in almost every class observed, Candace a c t u a l l y handed out numerous sheets which contained information or l i s t s of statements and questions re l a t e d to the topic under study. It was common pr a c t i c e f o r e i t h e r one of the students or Candace to read such notes aloud to the c l a s s . Related to t h i s was her focus on information d e l i v e r y . Phrases such as There are some terms you should know and There's l o t s of good information i n these [handouts] were common i n her classroom discourse. As she suggested in interviews, Candace did seem to make a point of r e l a t i n g content to what she c a l l s "the student's perspective" and she often 143 encouraged the students to think about t h e i r own l i v e s i n r e l a t i o n to course material. During a discussion of developmental l i f e stages, f o r example, she asked: What i s middle age? What does i t mean to you? When t a l k i n g about d i s c i p l i n i n g young c h i l d r e n she posed the following question: Think about your own environment... i s i t easier when you know what's expected of you? And, i n her introduction to stress management she commented: I want you to l i s t the stresses that you've gone through [during the past three days]...and I'd l i k e you to think about how you react to s t r e s s . This attention to the students* perspective was also apparent in discussions i n Candace's classroom. Open-ended statements or questions were generally used to begin a discussion, which then seemed most often to take the form of opinion and experience sharing. Candace appeared to d i r e c t these discussions, asking questions such as Are there any you don't agree with? or Does anyone have something else they f e e l l i k e sharing? or Can everyone accept that? These examples of concern with the students' perspective suggest that her perception of the learner in FLE as i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and emotionally responsive i s r e f l e c t e d i n her p r a c t i c e . S i m i l a r l y , these observations also suggest that Candace does view knowledge as being personally processed by students. 144 Candace's perception that f a m i l i e s are diverse was p a r t i c u l a r l y apparent i n her attention to the customs surrounding death and dying. Some reference to family d i v e r s i t y was also evident i n her discussion of issues r e l a t i n g to abuse and divorce and in her lessons concerning resource management. S i m i l a r l y , her b e l i e f that f a m i l i e s are an influence on human development was evident i n her concern with the role of parents i n stimulating and nurturing t h e i r c h i l d r e n . It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note, however, that although Candace's course i s ostensibly concerned with issues r e l a t i n g to the family, the concepts associated with f a m i l i e s were covered i n a sing l e unit of study, and e x p l i c i t references to these i n other segments of the course were notably absent. Inconsistencies. One inconsistency associated with the use of worksheets and evaluation was evident. While Candace professes to use these f o r learning purposes, i t appeared that on some occasions, these were also used f o r c o n t r o l . In one c l a s s , following a reading of " E c c l e s i a s t e s " , students were assigned to answer questions about how the family l i f e cycle i s relat e d to the B i b l i c a l verses. Candace instructed the students that, there's to be no talking...you have f i v e minutes and then we'll discuss i t . As the students began to work, the noise l e v e l gradually escalated. F i n a l l y Candace i n t e r j e c t e d , saying, If you don't give yourself a chance to think about i t , y o u ' l l never know how i t might f e e l . Although the students i n i t i a l l y appeared to s e t t l e down, almost immediately the noise l e v e l rose again. At t h i s point, Candace announced: When you f i n i s h the question, put your name and block at the top...I'm c o l l e c t i n g them...I want to see whether you were thinking or not. 145 This comment seemed to contribute to an almost instant reduction i n noise, and students appeared to then focus i n d i v i d u a l l y on the assigned questions. Unarticulated b e l i e f s . Some unarticulated b e l i e f s were also apparent. For example, there was evidence of an a d d i t i o n a l purpose of FLE which was concerned with guidance and advice. This was evident not only i n some of the content presented but also in her classroom discourse. Topics such as "How Can We Deal With Anger?", "How to Help a Grieving Friend", "Pos i t i v e Approaches to Parenting" and "Ways to Provide Caregiving f o r Aging Parents" indicate that such information i s intended to encourage p a r t i c u l a r courses of action. Candace's occasional advice-giving or use of p r e s c r i p t i v e statements r e f l e c t e d a s i m i l a r focus. For example, while t a l k i n g about parenthood Candace asserted: A l o t of reinforcement [of behaviour] i s going on without parents being aware that reinforcement i s going on...so you've got to think about what you're doing and how your l i t t l e one i s perceiving i t . During a discussion about the benefits and disadvantages of doing volunteer work, she commented: Sometimes you might f e e l uncomfortable or embarrassed...but that's a l l r i g h t . . . j u s t do what your heart t e l l s you to do. In another cl a s s i n which teenage parenthood was the focus, Candace pointed out: If you're going to have sex, there are [some] questions you need to ask yourself... am I ready to be a parent?...do I have the money to be f i n a n c i a l l y responsible f o r a c h i l d ? A second unarticulated b e l i e f observed in Candace's classroom was rel a t e d to her perceptions of the teaching roles she assumes. In addition to those which she he r s e l f i d e n t i f i e d , two a d d i t i o n a l r o l e s were apparent. The roles of d i s c i p l i n a r i a n and classroom administrator (as opposed to curriculum 146 administrator) were p a r t i c u l a r l y predominant and appeared to take up considerable time i n each of the classes observed. At the beginning of each c l a s s , Candace devoted at least ten minutes (and sometimes more) to taking attendance, dealing with student lateness, assignments and excuses for absence. She also spent some of t h i s time i n s t r u c t i n g students to "please be quiet", "could I have quiet please" or " s i t down...please t r y not to t a l k " . At times, her role as d i s c i p l i n a r i a n seemed to override her other teaching roles and appeared to influence the progress of the c l a s s . The following s i t u a t i o n during a discussion about developmental stages i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s point: She asked: "What i s the difference between adolescence and pre-adolescence?" One student commented: "There's a 'pre' i n front of one". The other students erupted in laughter. She continued with her questioning, asking: "What i s the d i f f e r e n c e ? " Many students were s t i l l laughing and there was considerable chatter. Although she c a l l e d out "Quiet please... l e t ' s get on with t h i s " , there was no discernable reduction i n the amount of noise. She appeared to give up on the pre-adolescence and continued on with "the young adult". Rather than asking students, she offered the information about the young adult h e r s e l f . Gradually, the students s e t t l e d and the teacher resumed questioning. Indeed, on at l e a s t one occasion, Candace mentioned her concern about t h i s kind of occurrence to the students: [The other c l a s s ] i s so much farth e r ahead j u s t because we can t a l k and not be bothered with a l l these interruptions. Karen: "Guidance and Advice" Context of Teaching Classroom structure and organization. Karen's FLE c l a s s was a coed group of 24 students: 9 boys and 15 g i r l s . Of these, there were 6 s p e c i a l needs students and an adult worker who r e g u l a r l y attended cl a s s with them. A l l students were Caucasian and had d i f f e r i n g a b i l i t y . Karen teaches the Central Va l l e y FLE 11 program at Cornerbrook High which i s located i n what she describes as an area of "some pro f e s s i o n a l f a m i l i e s , but also some who are not that well o f f " . The clas s i s conducted in a clo t h i n g and t e x t i l e s lab. As i s t y p i c a l of most clo t h i n g labs i n Central Val l e y schools, there are several large cutting tables which constitute desk space i n the classroom. At the beginning of the school year, Karen's students sat at these tables i n small groups, and consequently they were spread out around the room. Midway through the year, however, Karen pushed four of the tables together to form one large "desk" around which a l l the students sat. Right behind t h i s "desk" was a b u l l e t i n board which covered the en t i r e wall and which was devoted to displays of FLE topics. These b u l l e t i n board displays were always c o l o u r f u l and professional i n appearance, and corresponded with each unit of study or topic covered. Because t h i s school was b u i l t over s i x t y years ago, the c e i l i n g s are high and the windows are t a l l . These features contributed to a bright, a i r y f e e l i n g i n the classroom. Teaching s t y l e . Karen's teaching and classroom organization was characterized by order and c r e a t i v i t y . Karen's cla s s always began promptly a f t e r the f i n a l b e l l and a l l teaching materials f o r the clas s were organized e i t h e r at her desk or at the large table at which both she and the students sat. She introduced each cl a s s by in d i c a t i n g the plan f o r the hour, from which there tended to be l i t t l e deviation. Each lesson u s u a l l y included some information d e l i v e r y followed by discussion, a game, an a c t i v i t y or a worksheet. Games and a c t i v i t i e s formed a cen t r a l part of Karen's teaching, and students generally expressed pleasure when they discovered that these were part of the lesson. Karen's i n t e r a c t i o n with students was f r i e n d l y and upbeat. She often used t h e i r adolescent jargon i n her discourse and expressed i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r c l o t h i n g , i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s and in t h e i r e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s . During seatwork, Karen always walked around the classroom and chatted b r i e f l y 148 with each student about ei t h e r the topic being studied or about t h e i r personal i n t e r e s t s and a c t i v i t i e s . To gain t h e i r cooperation, she frequently joked and "kidded around" with the students. The atmosphere was warm and l i v e l y , and i t appeared that students enjoyed being i n her c l a s s . Relationship of Conception to Practice Karen's professed curriculum conception r e f l e c t s a concern with the prevention of problems and the preparation of students f o r l i f e as adults, and is characterized by a focus on "guidance and advice". Consistencies. Consistency between Karen's r h e t o r i c and pr a c t i c e was p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n her de s c r i p t i o n of the purpose of FLE (guidance i n preparing f o r the future and in preventing problems), i n her perception of the teaching roles she assumes in FLE (guide and advice-giver, and creator of a comfortable classroom environment) and in the processes of teaching that she envisions to be appropriate f o r FLE (integrating the presentation of information with the subjective i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of knowledge). Karen's emphasis on preparation f o r the future was apparent i n some of the materials and content selected f o r study and in her classroom discourse. Although she indicated that the grade 11 course that she teaches i s generally concerned with adolescence, some of the topics covered did seem to pertain s p e c i f i c a l l y to future adulthood. In t h i s regard, topics such as "Moving Out on Your Own", "Establishing Meaningful Relationships" and "Sexual Decision-making" appeared to be e s p e c i a l l y relevant. However, Karen's concern with preparing f o r the future was most apparent i n her classroom discourse. For example, she began an introductory lesson on r e l a t i o n s h i p s by saying: OK..I'm j u s t going to give you a quick rundown on your [future] l i v e s . In another cl a s s she prefaced a lesson on es t a b l i s h i n g meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p s by s t a t i n g : 149 You guys w i l l be getting to t h i s stage i n your l i v e s soon. Indeed, she e x p l i c i t l y referred to the future when l a t e r i n t h i s s e r i e s of lessons she said: You are never prepared f o r these things in r e l a t i o n s h i p s , l i k e breaking up. And, when a student commented that " i f we could do a l l t h i s we'd be perfect", Karen r e p l i e d : This i s j u s t to help you l a t e r on. In t h i s instance, the comments of both student and teacher suggest that Karen's goals of preventing problems and preparing f o r the future were r e f l e c t e d i n p r a c t i c e . Karen's concern with providing guidance f o r students i s related to her stated focus on preparation for the future. This emphasis on guidance was r e f l e c t e d in her s e l e c t i o n and presentation of considerable p r e s c r i p t i v e content. For example, she presented students with information about "what to look f o r i n a steady r e l a t i o n s h i p " , "how you can maintain friendships with people", "ways to decrease jealousy" and "how to avoid power struggles". Indeed, at one point, Karen indicated to students that such information might be useful f o r future reference: I...think that sometimes i t ' s good to have t h i s s t u f f written down...you might want to look at i t sometime. P e r i o d i c a l l y , Karen also appeared to o f f e r advice to students. For example, when t a l k i n g about meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p s she commented: L i s t e n to your g u t s . . . i f something's happening i n s i d e . . . often that's r i g h t . And, when a student suggested that once married "you can't t e l l them [the 150 husband or wife] you don't l i k e things and s t u f f " , Karen r e p l i e d : Oh yes you can....you should do t h a t . . . j u s t because you're married doesn't mean everything's going to be hunky d o r y . . . i f they don't want to change, they won't...no matter how much you love them. These examples indicate that Karen's view of her role as a guide and as an advice-giver are r e f l e c t e d i n her pr a c t i c e . As well, on several occasions a f t e r c l a s s , i n d i v i d u a l students s o l i c i t e d advice and she appeared to dispense i t . For example, one day a student approached Karen about a r e l a t i o n s h i p problem. Karen spoke with the student q u i e t l y f o r a few minutes and concluded the discussion with the comment: Remember, you don't have to put up with that. S i m i l a r l y , her role i n creating and maintaining a classroom environment conducive to student i n t e r a c t i o n was also evident. At the beginning of one cl a s s , Karen announced that one student was having a birthday and then had class members sing "Happy Birthday". On most occasions when students worked on a c t i v i t i e s e i t h e r i n d i v i d u a l l y or i n small groups, Karen seemed to make a point of c i r c u l a t i n g among them and asking about t h e i r weekends and t h e i r e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s as well as the task at hand. Karen's b e l i e f s about teaching and learning and about students i n FLE were also evident i n her classroom p r a c t i c e . Most lessons included some content d e l i v e r y (usually at the beginning of the c l a s s ) , followed by e i t h e r discussion or student a c t i v i t i e s . Content d e l i v e r y was characterized by what Karen c a l l e d "notes" or "taking notes". Indeed, she often introduced a lesson using phrases such as You guys ready to write?...we have notes today or What we're going to do today i s take notes and then... 151 or We have to take our notebooks out today. Such note-taking appeared to constitute the "knowledge base" that she i s anxious f o r students to acquire. Some of these notes represented information about a topic (such as kinds of values, human reproduction systems or theories of decision-making), while others were p r e s c r i p t i v e i n nature (how to avoid power struggles, how to avoid jealousy i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s and how to maintain f r i e n d s h i p s ) . Discussions i n Karen's classroom were, as she suggests, distinguished by " t a l k " . In f a c t , Karen frequently used the word " t a l k " when r e f e r r i n g to cl a s s discussions. Phrases such as OK...no more notes....now we're t a l k i n g or Today we're t a l k i n g about... were common i n Karen's classroom discourse. Students themselves also used the word " t a l k " to r e f e r to t h i s method and, on several occasions, were overheard to comment Oh boy, we get to t a l k again today. Such discussions were generally stimulated by questions posed by Karen and developed as students responded to these questions, made comments or raised issues. Karen's stated use of games and a c t i v i t i e s as learning s t r a t e g i e s was also apparent i n her classroom. For example, i n the classes observed, students e i t h e r played games (such as "Mate T r a i t Rummy") or developed t h e i r own games (such as "The Values Game") and, on one occasion, they were required to create a dialogue f o r a s i t u a t i o n which was then used f o r role playing. 152 The previous descriptions imply that Karen's perception of the student as an active learner was evident in her p r a c t i c e . Indeed, she not only s o l i c i t e d student input into course development but also seemed to r e l a t e the content to students' experience. Evidence of the former was apparent in the following excerpt from a discussion i n i t i a t e d by Karen: What kinds of things would you guys l i k e to t a l k about?...do you want me to give you [more] information or t a l k from what you already know?... l e t ' s get some ideas. Evidence of the l a t t e r was apparent i n Karen's discourse as she presented course material. During a lesson on decision-making, f o r example, she said: I know I've done that...made a decision based only on my immediate wants....how about you? When t a l k i n g about power in r e l a t i o n s h i p s , she asked: In your l i v e s , what causes power struggles? And, i n a lesson about e s t a b l i s h i n g meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p s , she stated: I want you to think about yourself f o r a few minutes...is how you perceive yourself the way others perceive you? Inconsistencies. Two inconsistencies between Karen's expressed b e l i e f s about FLE and her b e l i e f s i n practice were apparent. Although Karen asserts that a c t i v i t i e s and evaluation are used for learning purposes, they appeared to also be used p e r i o d i c a l l y f o r classroom c o n t r o l . For example, following the game "Mate T r a i t Rummy", students had been assigned to discuss some questions re l a t e d to the game. The noise l e v e l increased s t e a d i l y over a period of f i v e minutes and eventually Karen c a l l e d out: So you guys are working on the questions and your summaries so I can c o l l e c t them? 153 P r i o r to t h i s , students had only been t o l d to "discuss these i n your groups", and not that they were to be handed i n . While such occurrences were infrequent, they did raise questions regarding the intended and actual purposes of a c t i v i t i e s and evaluation. The second inconsistency related to Karen's role as advice-giver. While Karen seemed to believe that i t was appropriate to give advice to students and to present considerable p r e s c r i p t i v e content, at the same time i t appeared that i n some areas, she believed that such guidance i s inappropriate. For example, when introducing a unit on sexuality, Karen sa i d : You r e a l i z e that you have to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r your own sexual behaviour... sex u a l i t y i s a personal decision and I can't t e l l you what to do...but I can give you some information. Unarticulated b e l i e f s . Karen's classroom pr a c t i c e revealed that there was also evidence of an unarticulated second purpose of FLE. Karen's expressed b e l i e f s imply that FLE i s intended to prepare students f o r functioning i n the adult world of f a m i l i e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s . However, classroom observations suggest that a broader purpose, concerned with s o c i a l issues as they impact on in d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s , may also guide her pr a c t i c e . For example, as part of her course she included discussions about racism, homosexuality, freedom of expression, c u l t s and mind c o n t r o l . Indeed, Karen frequently appeared to place the content she was teaching into a s o c i o - c u l t u r a l perspective. When t a l k i n g about jealousy i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s , f o r example, Karen suggested: Customs r e l a t i n g to jealousy d i f f e r according to the c u l t u r e . . . . in some cultures jealousy doesn't e x i s t because i t ' s A-OK to swap partners. She then proceeded to i d e n t i f y the Inuit culture as an example. In another c l a s s , Karen talked at length about how expectations f o r marriage and singlehood i n North America have changed over the past two decades. 154 One a d d i t i o n a l point i s important to note. Although Karen expressed very d e f i n i t e views about the importance of the development of p o s i t i v e healthy f a m i l i e s , s u r p r i s i n g l y l i t t l e reference was made to f a m i l i e s or relat e d concepts i n the classes observed. Paula: "Self R e f l e c t i o n and Personal Insight"  Context of Teaching Classroom structure and organization. Paula's FLE clas s was a coed group of 23 students: 5 boys and 18 g i r l s . The students represented several c u l t u r a l groups including Chinese, I t a l i a n , Portuguese, F i j i a n and Native Indian. Of these groups, however, the Chinese students (approximately half the c l a s s ) predominated. The clas s was of mixed a b i l i t y . Paula teaches the Central Va l l e y FLE 11 program at Riverside High, which i s located i n what she describes as "a low income area" of the Central Valley School D i s t r i c t . The clas s i s held i n a foods lab i n the basement of the school. A green and yellow colour scheme and fluorescent l i g h t i n g overhead brightens the classroom which, because of i t s l o c a t i o n , has almost no natural l i g h t from windows. Although the room i s divided into eight kitchens with a table and seating f o r four i n each, when teaching FLE, Paula has the students move the chairs from the kitchens to form a semi-circle at the front of the room. When students are doing written work they remain at the tables i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l configuration. Paula's desk and f i l i n g cabinets are located at the front of the room, immediately i n front of the only blackboard space i n the classroom. Teaching s t y l e . Paula's teaching was characterized by conversation and, in almost every c l a s s , both she and the students sat in a se m i - c i r c l e . Classes t y p i c a l l y began with informal chatting about school events or e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s . Once attendance was completed, Paula introduced the topi c f o r the day by saying "we're going to t a l k about" or " l e t ' s t a l k 155 about". Although she sometimes gave students note sheets or handouts related to the topic to be studied at t h i s time, more often she began by having students share an idea or an experience, or by asking a question. Lessons then evolved as students raised issues or related anecdotes, or as Paula her s e l f recounted an experience or posed questions. Students did not take notes, and only infrequently engaged i n small group discussion. Most classes centered on unstructured large group discussion and i n t e r a c t i o n . Paula's i n t e r a c t i o n with students was warm, f r i e n d l y and relaxed. She smiled and laughed a great deal with them and frequently expressed i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l l i v e s . She often voiced her concern f o r t h e i r problems or d i f f i c u l t i e s , whether these were related to t h e i r home s i t u a t i o n or to t h e i r school l i f e . While checking attendance, she always inquired about those students who were absent that day or who had not been attending f o r an extended period of time. The students appeared to r e l a t e p o s i t i v e l y to her and many stayed f o r a few minutes a f t e r c l a s s to chat informally with her. In cl a s s , students often inquired about events i n her personal l i f e which she had shared with them. Relationship of Conception to Practice Paula's expressed conception of FLE r e f l e c t s a focus on " s e l f r e f l e c t i o n and personal i n s i g h t " . Paula appears to be less o v e r t l y concerned with e i t h e r solving problems or preventing them, and seems to center her attention on recognizing and communicating f e e l i n g s and improving r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Consistencies. Correspondence between Paula's a r t i c u l a t e d b e l i e f s and her classroom pr a c t i c e was evident i n her view of the purpose of FLE (the communication of fe e l i n g s may enhance r e l a t i o n s h i p s ) , i n her b e l i e f s about teaching i n FLE (teaching and learning f or personal relevance) and in her perceptions about her role as teacher i n FLE ( f a c i l i t a t o r , nurturer, model and e g a l i t a r i a n c l a s s member). 156 A focus on fe e l i n g s was apparent i n Paula's discourse, i n her s e l e c t i o n of student a c t i v i t i e s and in the expression of emotion i n the classroom. During c l a s s discussions, Paula frequently talked about f e e l i n g s or referred to f e e l i n g s . For example, when students were describing t h e i r experiences as the "parent" of an egg for a week, she questioned the students about t h e i r f e e l i n g s regarding the experience. Questions such as How did you f e e l about that? and How did that [experience] make you feel ? and Do you think r e a l parents f e e l that way sometimes? permeated the discussion. While a s s i s t i n g students to prepare f o r a debate on abortion, Paula asked one group: How does [ t h e i r pamphlet on abortion] make you feel ? And, during a discussion about abuse i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s , Paula asked a student who had expressed abusive behaviour toward a s i b l i n g : How do you f e e l about i t now?. Some student a c t i v i t i e s also encompassed f e e l i n g s . For example, when inv e s t i g a t i n g the topic "Getting Help f o r an Unplanned Pregnancy", students were required to v i s i t a c l i n i c or agency and, as part of the assignment, to answer the question: How did you f e e l about going there? As a means of r e f l e c t i n g on cla s s discussions, students were also required to keep a jou r n a l . At the beginning of cla s s one day, Paula reminded students of her expectations regarding t h e i r journal e n t r i e s : 157 I r e a l l y l i k e f e e l i n g statements i n journals....how did you f e e l when we did t h i s ? . . . . o r what fe e l i n g s you had in the clas s about what we did...put that f e e l i n g statement in...that's the sort of thing I r e a l l y l i k e i n the journals. In the classes observed, there was also evidence of expression of emotion. Some was apparently spontaneous. For example, several students appeared to be crying following a viewing of the movie "The Color Purple" . Paula noticed t h i s and said : Well, I watched i t l a s t night and did my crying then. In one instance (during a discussion about loss and g r i e v i n g ) , i t appeared that Paula prompted an emotional response: [The comment made by another cl a s s member] seemed to prompt a student to t a l k about her f r i e n d who had died of cancer. Paula asked: "How did you f e e l ? " The student r e p l i e d : "Sad". Paula repeated t h i s and added questioningly: "Angry? Depressed?" Suddenly the student began to sob. Paula reached over ( t h i s student was s i t t i n g r i g h t next to her) and placed her hand on the student's shoulder and began to gently rub the student's back. The class was s i l e n t . When asked about wanting to leave the classroom, the student declined, and the discussion continued. However, l a t e r i n t h i s c l a s s , she apologized to the student: I'm sorry I did that to you. Related to t h i s emphasis on fe e l i n g s i s Paula's concern with s e l f r e f l e c t i o n and personal ins i g h t . These were p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n clas s discussions and appeared to form both the substance and focus of many of the lessons observed. Self r e f l e c t i o n (which frequently took the form of s e l f d i s c l o s u r e ) was apparent i n the ways in which both Paula and some of her students chose to reveal t h e i r personal experiences and t h e i r f e e l i n g s about them to the rest of the c l a s s . Indeed, at one point Paula h e r s e l f said to the students: Every time you l e t out your feelings...you are taking a r i s k . . i f I open 158 up to someone and l e t that person know something that's very personal and private, that person could blab i t to the world...actually I do that a l l the time i n [ t h i s c l a s s ] . . . I take a r i s k when I t e l l you things about myself. Such r e f l e c t i o n and disclosure occurred during cl a s s discussions and seemed to be stimulated i n part by the topic under study. For example, when abuse i n re l a t i o n s h i p s was the subject of discussion, several students ver b a l i z e d t h e i r personal experience of abuse. The following student account from t h i s class discussion i s representative of t h i s d i s c l o s u r e : My father was an a l c o h o l i c . . . he used to beat me up f o r no reason at a l l . . . . t h e next day a f t e r beating me up he would say 'I'm sorry"... then one day he started h i t t i n g me and I h i t him back and he never h i t me since that day. During a discussion about loss, another student talked about having confused f e e l i n g s : I get t o t a l l y depressed.... I've been hurt so many times...the only people I'm l i v i n g f o r i s my friend s . . . i t ' s l i f e I can't handle...I personally think I'm better o f f dead. References to personal insight were also apparent i n clas s discussions. It appeared, f o r example, that the discussion i n which students shared t h e i r experiences as the "parent" of an egg was at least p a r t l y intended f o r t h i s purpose. One student concluded a d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience by saying: I have enough trouble with myself... forget a baby. To t h i s Paula responded: I think i t ' s very important that people get to know themselves before becoming a parent... there's a l o t to growing up....to knowing yourself outside of l i v i n g with your parents...so i f you learned that about yourself, i t was a good experience f o r you. S i m i l a r l y , Paula spent one class having students think about t h e i r childhood. She introduced t h i s c l a s s by saying: Did any of you go home and f i n d out what you were l i k e when you were a baby? While t h i s exercise was included as part of a unit on c h i l d development, according to Paula, i t was also intended to help students r e f l e c t on why you are the way you are. Paula's b e l i e f s about teaching i n FLE were also consistent with her classroom p r a c t i c e . As the preceding suggests, Paula used discussion extensively to provide students with the opportunity to share experiences and fe e l i n g s . Such discussion r e f l e c t e d her apparent concern with learning f o r personal relevance, and rel a t e s to her perception of the c e n t r a l i t y of personal meaning i n the construction of knowledge. This also appeared to be r e f l e c t e d i n those classes where some s p e c i f i c content was to be covered. In keeping with Paula's expressed b e l i e f s about teaching and learning i n FLE, information d e l i v e r y (as in formal lectures) was noticeably lacking i n her classroom and students did not take notes. In f a c t , at the beginning of one class i n which Paula had notes on an overhead transparency, she announced: You can write i t down i f you want...but you don't need to...I'm j u s t putting i t on the overhead so you can look at i t while I t a l k about i t . Those classes which were concerned e x p l i c i t l y with f a c t s and information were s t i l l conducted using a discussion format. While discussing some information about c h i l d development, f o r example, Paula used a l i s t of fact s about development to generate discussion among students. Using her own c h i l d as an example, she began by i l l u s t r a t i n g a point about rapid growth i n infancy. Students then recounted incidents related to growth and development from t h e i r own and others' childhood. While presenting information on infancy, Paula i n v i t e d a young mother and her baby into the classroom. Paula introduced the cl a s s by asking: 160 Now...what's the f i r s t question that comes to mind? The lesson was developed through student questions and dialogue between the mother and Paula. In a s i m i l a r way, a clas s on human sexuality and contraception was developed using questions generated by students. Paula (and the students themselves) then responded to the questions. She referred to t h i s c l a s s as a "round table discussion". Indeed, most discussions p h y s i c a l l y assumed a c i r c u l a r format. For large group discussions, Paula always i n s i s t e d that students s i t i n a c i r c l e . At the beginning of the school year she f i r m l y indicated to the students: I do not want you s i t t i n g behind tables [for d i s c u s s i o n ] . And, when she began cla s s apparently knowing that some students would a r r i v e l a t e , i t was common for her to say: Let's make a nice small circle...we'11 expand to include anyone who ar r i v e s l a t e . As the preceding suggest, Paula's perceptions of her role as f a c i l i t a t o r in the classroom were displayed i n her pr a c t i c e , and she provided a c t i v i t i e s which appeared to support her understanding of the purpose of FLE. For those students who chose not to p a r t i c i p a t e openly i n discussions, the course journal served a s i m i l a r purpose. S i m i l a r l y , her perceived role as nurturer was also apparent i n the way she talked to the students, expressed concern about them and attempted to fos t e r t h e i r s e l f esteem. She frequently used phrases such as: Good, you've done r e a l l y well or I know you can do i t . 161 When one student dropped out of school, Paula commented to the rest of the c l a s s : I'm sorry that [ t h i s student] i s gone...I hope a l l goes well f o r [the student]. She also appeared to t r y to give students a second chance or the benefit of the doubt. When several students had not completed some assigned work, she sent them to the l i b r a r y to research the topi c , saying: You don't want to get zero on t h i s . Paula's b e l i e f that she models good communication s k i l l s was also evident in her p r a c t i c e . Her classroom discourse r e f l e c t e d the " c o n s t r u c t i v e l y open communication techniques" that she discussed with students. In t h i s regard, her considerable use of "I statements" to t a l k about her f e e l i n g s concerning various issues in cl a s s discussions were p a r t i c u l a r l y noteworthy. F i n a l l y , her roles as a learner and e g a l i t a r i a n c l a s s member were also evident. Except when introducing a f i l m or guest, Paula always sat in the c i r c l e with students. She a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e d in each discussion by sharing her own thoughts, f e e l i n g s and experiences. Indeed, at the end of one c l a s s , she commented: I f i n d [ t h i s topic] i n t e r e s t i n g because I'm rethinking and reassessing my past r e l a t i o n s h i p . During a presentation about AIDS by guest speakers, Paula sat as one of the "audience" and frequently asked questions, suggesting that she i s seeking knowledge and learning. Inconsistencies and unarticulated b e l i e f s . Paula's classroom pr a c t i c e revealed that there was evidence of an unarticulated purpose and teaching role which were somewhat inconsistent with her expressed b e l i e f s about FLE. An 162 underlying conception of "guidance" was r e f l e c t e d i n Paula's classroom p r a c t i c e . This unarticulated focus was apparent i n advice-giving and in p r e s c r i p t i v e statements or suggestions. While Paula asserts that "there are no r i g h t or wrong answers i n l i f e " , her classroom discourse suggested that such may not always be the case. For example, when t a l k i n g about becoming a parent Paula declared: L i f e changes when you have a baby...so i f you want to experience l i f e . . . d o t h i n g s . . i t ' s probably better to wait [before you have a baby]. During a discussion about r e l a t i o n s h i p s and abuse Paula advised: This [the control of money by one spouse] can happen a l o t in married r e l a t i o n s h i p s , e s p e c i a l l y where there's only one income and i t ' s that of the male...it doesn't have to happen...you should, i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , even i f you're not earning the money, have some that you can do with what you want. While discussing c h i l d development, she commented: In a l l f a m i l i e s the parents need to watch out when the younger c h i l d comes along. And, when t a l k i n g about c h i l d r e n and parents, she suggested: I would suggest that i t ' s a desirable thing f o r a parent to give a reward f o r desirable behaviour a f t e r i t happens... not b e f o r e . . . i t ' s a better idea to have people motivated by something i n t r i n s i c , inside the person, rather then o u t s i d e . . . l i k e a bribe. Related to t h i s unarticulated purpose was a counselling role which Paula assumed with some students. This role was characterized by her use of techniques such as r e f l e c t i v e l i s t e n i n g and empathy when students s o l i c i t e d advice or related a personal problem during the course of c l a s s discussion. For example, when a student recounted family problems, Paula responded by saying: 163 You must be f e e l i n g f r u s t r a t e d . . . i t sounds l i k e you're unhappy with the way things are. Later i n the dialogue between Paula and the student, she asked: Can you t a l k to them about t h i s ? When dealing with another student problem about r e l a t i o n s h i p s , Paula commented at one point: Now maybe we're getting to the r e a l source of [ t h i s student's] anger. At the conclusion of t h i s dialogue, Paula suggested: You've got a l o t of work to do on t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . . . I hope y o u ' l l work on i t . Occasionally Paula a c t u a l l y offered advice to such students. In the case of the student with family problems, she advised: Your s e l f esteem does not have to be completely t i e d up with your parents...maybe you need to l i s t e n more to what other people say about you. When t a l k i n g with another student about encouraging the use of contraception in the r e l a t i o n s h i p , she suggested: You can say 'I'm not ready to be a parent'...Tell him i t ' s important to you and i f he s t i l l says no, then think about what he values more. Although in the interviews Paula expressed very d e f i n i t e views about the d i v e r s i t y of family forms and the ways in which she perceives t r a d i t i o n a l family roles to be inappropriate, there was s u r p r i s i n g l y l i t t l e e x p l i c i t reference to these i n her classroom discourse. And, while many of the topies which were included in Paula's class (such as c h i l d development, c h i l d abuse and emotional abuse i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s ) have implications f o r f a m i l i e s , such implications were not addressed s p e c i f i c a l l y . 164 A l l i s o n : "Personal Autonomy and Transformation"  Context of Teaching Classroom structure and organization. At the beginning of the school year, A l l i s o n ' s FLE cl a s s was composed of 20 students who r e f l e c t e d a range of a b i l i t y and who attended r e g u l a r l y : 6 boys and 14 g i r l s . Mid-way through the year, however, 3 new female students were enrolled, increasing the attendance to 23. There were 3 O r i e n t a l students with the remainder Caucasian. One student was disabled. A l l i s o n teaches the Central V a l l e y FLE 11 program i n a combination foods and c l o t h i n g lab. It i s situated on the ground f l o o r of Mountainview High School, which was located in what was described as an upper middle cl a s s area of the Central V a l l e y School D i s t r i c t . The room r e f l e c t e d the era of the early 1900's i n which i t was b u i l t : high c e i l i n g s and long, narrow windows with leaded panes along one wall The room was o r i g i n a l l y a combination foods and c l o t h i n g lab and, although the foods lab area i s s t i l l used for foods classes, the sewing machines have been removed and the c l o t h i n g area i s now used only f o r FLE. The pale yellow walls and several rows of fluorescent l i g h t s contributed to a "sunny" atmosphere in the classroom. Several b u l l e t i n boards (one on a front wall and another on a side wall next to the door) displayed posters related to FLE topics. A large wooden desk and two f i l i n g cabinets delineated A l l i s o n ' s space at the front of the room. Several large tables were pushed together to form a rectangular student seating area f o r t h i s c l a s s . This seating arrangement never varied. Teaching s t y l e . A l l i s o n ' s teaching was characterized by organization and e f f i c i e n c y . Every cl a s s began promptly a f t e r the f i n a l b e l l , and students were expected to begin work on a ser i e s of questions l i s t e d on the one small blackboard. Once these had been completed, A l l i s o n then reviewed her agenda for the c l a s s , and proceeded with her planned a c t i v i t i e s . She was pleasant and f r i e n d l y with the students, and often inquired about t h e i r involvement in 1 6 5 work and school a c t i v i t i e s . At the same time, she was br i s k and businesslike when i t came to completing designated tasks. Each lesson was c l e a r l y outlined and organized and was usually completed i n the time a l l o t t e d . Students were expected to l i s t e n when she stood with her arms crossed or her hand raised. While teaching, she c i r c u l a t e d around the periphery of the tables or stood i n the center, o f f to one side. She re g u l a r l y posted student grades and gave an accounting of how tes t s and assignments were assessed. Relationship of Conception to Practice A l l i s o n ' s expressed conception of FLE curriculum embodies a focus on the recognition of personal strengths and s e l f esteem, and on the i n d i v i d u a l ' s capacity f o r transformation of one's family of the future. Her stated purpose i s understanding the influence of one's family of o r i g i n on one's s e l f development and preparing f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g a family i n the future. Consistencies. Consistencies between A l l i s o n ' s stated b e l i e f s and her classroom p r a c t i c e were most apparent i n her views of the purpose of FLE (for preparing students to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r own f a m i l i e s ) , i n her perceived teaching roles i n FLE (information provider, d i r e c t o r of learning, f a c i l i t a t o r and creator of a comfortable classroom environment), i n her b e l i e f s about learning i n FLE (learning i s , i n her words, both cognitive and a f f e c t i v e ) and i n her b e l i e f s about f a m i l i e s i n FLE (an influence on s e l f development and a s o c i a l unit capable of transformation). As might be expected, A l l i s o n ' s b e l i e f that FLE should a s s i s t students in e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e i r own fa m i l i e s i n the future was r e f l e c t e d i n the topics studied. Units such as "Pregnancy and B i r t h " , "Child Development", "Human Sexuality" and "Intimate Relationships" r e f l e c t e d an emphasis on the creation of f a m i l i e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s within them. This emphasis on future f a m i l i e s was reinforced through A l l i s o n ' s classroom discourse. For example, during a clas s discussion about heredity and environment, A l l i s o n pointed out: 166 That's why you're taking t h i s course guys...I'm looking to the future...when you're parents. And, in response to a student comment about c h i l d r e n and d i s c i p l i n e , A l l i s o n suggested: That's why i t ' s so hard to be a parent...and why you have to look at these things. Related to t h i s i s A l l i s o n ' s stated focus on autonomy and one's a b i l i t y to change one's future family. This focus was also evident i n A l l i s o n ' s discourse: I guess the question i s do you want to break that cycle [ i n your f a m i l y ] . . . taking courses l i k e t h i s you become aware...to break that cycle or keep i t going i f i t ' s a good one...this way you're in co n t r o l . Indeed, A l l i s o n did seem to encourage students in developing such awareness. During discussions, she provided numerous opportunities f o r assessing the influence of one's family of o r i g i n . In a discussion i n which students shared t h e i r personal experiences of parent-child i n t e r a c t i o n , A l l i s o n emphasized: This i s why we have to teach you guys about parenting now...because you get s e l e c t i v e amnesia...and can't remember what i t was l i k e to be [a c h i l d ] . Later i n t h i s same c l a s s , a f t e r t a l k i n g about some perceptions of t h e i r parents' l i v e s , A l l i s o n concluded: Even i f your parents aren't aware of i t [the family of o r i g i n research] you guys w i l l be and can use i t in bringing up your own c h i l d r e n . Other discussion topics i n subsequent classes included "what was your f i r s t childhood memory?", and "what do you remember about when you f i r s t found out about the fac t s of l i f e ? " . A l l i s o n also selected some a c t i v i t i e s which r e f l e c t e d s i m i l a r purposes. For example, students completed a scrapbook about 167 t h e i r childhood which included photos and information about t h e i r growth and development from infancy to adolescence. In addition, A l l i s o n had students complete an exercise e n t i t l e d "Me as a C h i l d " which she described to the students as follows: What I'd l i k e you to think about are childhood memories... and make a time l i n e . . . i n c l u d i n g the highs and lows... s i g n i f i c a n t events i n your 1i f e . . . remember you are a l l products of your past. According to the handout accompanying t h i s assignment, the purpose of the a c t i v i t y was to: Learn about your early beginnings [so that] you can discover things about yourself and bu i l d your s e l f concept. A l l i s o n ' s perceptions of her roles i n teaching FLE appeared to be r e f l e c t e d i n p r a c t i c e . During classroom observations, her role as information provider seemed to predominate, as approximately half of the classes observed were devoted p r i m a r i l y to information d e l i v e r y . In almost every c l a s s , considerable time was spent defining terms, c o l l a t i n g f a c t s or taking notes. A l l i s o n h e r s e l f repeatedly used the word "information" and referred to facts and information i n her classroom discourse using the following phrases: This i s information I want you to know and I want to make sure you know the facts about i t and We're going over the information now. Such information providing was sometimes p r e s c r i p t i v e i n nature and appears to re l a t e to A l l i s o n ' s perceptions of how she "points out" to students. For example, while t a l k i n g about parent-child bonding during infancy, A l l i s o n pointed out: 168 I t ' s at eight months i s when bonding occurs....I would almost t e l l people to go back to work f o r the f i r s t eight months because i t ' s not u n t i l eight months that the bonding begins. In a discussion about c h i l d development she indicated: A point I want to make i s that a c h i l d explores with i t s senses.... and a c h i l d should be allowed to explore i t s environment...the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the parent i s to make the environment safe...[the c h i l d ] has great potential...[but] i f i t doesn't have stimulation that p o t e n t i a l won't develop...you've got to give stimulation to that c h i l d . Related to A l l i s o n ' s role as information provider i s her view as d i r e c t o r of the course of learning i n the classroom. Such d i r e c t i o n was apparent at the beginning of each c l a s s . As students entered the classroom, she drew t h e i r attention to the blackboard on which was outlined the " r o l l assignment". This assignment consisted of an o u t l i n e of the events and a c t i v i t i e s f o r that day's cl a s s and some questions related to the topic being studied. Students were expected to complete these as A l l i s o n took the r o l l . A l l i s o n also seemed to d i r e c t the course of discussion. For example, in the middle of one discussion she stated: I'm going to d i v e r t here f o r a minute because...I think i t ' s important. For the most part, she appeared to keep the students "on t o p i c " during discussions. When students began to t a l k about experiences unrelated to the topic under discussion, A l l i s o n appeared to l i s t e n f o r an idea or comment which was related, and then indicated "that's the point I was t r y i n g to get you to think about" or "that leads into what I was wanting to t a l k about". A l l i s o n ' s f a c i l i t a t i n g r ole was apparent in the ways i n which she not only provided students with the opportunity to share personal experiences but also i n the ways in which she encouraged them to do t h i s . She generally prefaced such r e f l e c t i v e discussion with remarks such as: Can anyone give us some personal examples? 169 or Do you have any personal experience to share? A l l i s o n also appeared to encourage students to r e f l e c t by engaging in s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n h e r s e l f . She began a discussion on childhood memories, for example, by saying: I want you to share some of your e a r l i e s t childhood memories... and I ' l l s t a r t o f f . Related to t h i s i s the role that A l l i s o n envisions she has i n creating and maintaining a comfortable and u n c r i t i c a l classroom environment. Her i n t e r a c t i o n with students was characterized by caring and respect. For example, she often seemed to make a point of greeting students as they entered the classroom saying "Hi, how are you?" She also appeared to give students recognition and p o s i t i v e reinforcement f o r t h e i r accomplishments. When handing back an assignment she remarked: You've a l l done such a wonderful job on [ t h i s assignment]...I want you to know that I appreciate a l l the work you did.