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Living curriculum with young children : the journey of an early childhood educator : the tangled garden Hayward-Kabani, Christianne 2000

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LIVING CURRICULUM WITH YOUNG CHILDREN: THE JOURNEY OF AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR %fyt 3£angleb #arben by CHRISTIANNE HAYWARD-KABANI B . E d . , University of Alberta, 1 9 7 8 M . E d . , University of Bristol, 1 9 8 2 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E O F DOCTOR O F PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY O F GRADUATE STUDIES T h e Department of L a n g u a g e E d u c a t i o n  W e accept this thesis a s conforming to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A March 2000 © Christianne Hayward-Kabani, 2000  In  presenting  degree freely  this  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  at the University  of  British  Columbia,  available  copying  of  department publication  for reference  this or of  thesis by  this  and study.  for scholarly  his thesis  or  her  of  the  I agree  I further agree  purposes  may be  representatives.  for financial  gain  shall  It  is  requirements that that  for  the Library permission  granted  by  understood  not be allowed  an shall  The University of British Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6  (2/88)  Columbia  CUACL ^AJ^/\6UC^  make  it  for extensive  the head that  without  of  my  copying  or  my written  permission.  Department of ^GtM^xA^J^e^  advanced  £dz<&&^cy?^  Abstract T h i s t h e s i s c h r o n i c l e s a journey for which there is no e n d . T h e journey is t h e author's s e a r c h for authentic curriculum -- teaching and learning built a r o u n d socially relevant t h e m e s , d e s i g n e d through an organic d e v e l o p m e n t p r o c e s s , a n d negotiated in relation to t h e interests of individual learners a n d the c o m m u n i t i e s that support t h e m .  In struggling to find a "lens" that w o u l d allow children to navigate c h a n g e in a n i n c r e a s i n g l y c o m p l i c a t e d society, t h e author shifted her f o c u s from t h e s u b s t a n t i v e d o m a i n to t h e p e r c e p t u a l .  Influenced by C a s e ' s (1995) d i s c o u r s e regarding t h e  nurturing of "global p e r s p e c t i v e s " in y o u n g children, t h e author identified n i n e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a "global/diversity" perspective. R a t h e r than infusing curriculum with m o r e information, t e a c h e r s would nurture an a p p r o a c h to learning that permits c h i l d r e n to s u s p e n d judgment, entertain contrary positions, anticipate complexity, a n d tolerate ambiguity.  T h r o u g h the u s e of "counter-hegemonic"  children's literature the  author f o u n d s h e c o u l d nurture the " s e e d s " of alternative p e r s p e c t i v e s forming a strong f o u n d a t i o n for u n d e r s t a n d i n g and t o l e r a n c e in the c l a s s r o o m a n d b e y o n d .  It is  important to e m p h a s i s e that the author had to internalise a "global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e " herself in order to nurture it in others through a g e n e r a t i v e p r o c e s s s h e refers to a s "living curriculum".  T h e r e s e a r c h m e t h o d o l o g y of currere w a s e m p l o y e d a s a m e a n s of e x o r c i s i n g t h e u n a c k n o w l e d g e d b i a s e s , p e r s o n a l contradictions, a n d divergent i n f l u e n c e s that h a v e f e d t h e author's identity, a n d thus n e c e s s a r i l y informed her p h i l o s o p h i e s a n d a c t i o n s a s an e d u c a t o r . T h e m e t h o d o l o g y of autobiography w a s a critical factor in permitting the author to r e c o g n i s e a n d t a k e o w n e r s h i p of her own e d u c a t i o n .  A u t o b i o g r a p h y led  her into the tangled garden a n d c o m p e l l e d her to m a k e s e n s e of its o r g a n i c c y c l e s .  T h e m e t h o d of autobiography typically rattles t h e comfort m a r g i n s of e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h e r s w h o s e e it a s patronising sentimentality, rather than a r i g o r o u s a n a l y s i s of s e l f - k n o w l e d g e within c o n t e m p o r a r y s c h o l a r s h i p .  It is important that a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l  r e s e a r c h e r s d e m o n s t r a t e r e s o n a n c e of their lived e x p e r i e n c e in s c h o l a r l y d i s c o u r s e a n d p e d a g o g y . T h e author d i s c u s s e s a number of p o s s i b l e criteria that c o u l d b e u s e d to e v a l u a t e autobiographical r e s e a r c h ~ t h e most important of t h e s e b e i n g that the work s p a w n s reflection a n d stirs praxis within the reader. 1  I refer to "praxis" in the same manner as Aoki (1983). Theory and practice are viewed as twin moments of the same reality: praxis. It is thus a practical way of knowing. 1  ///'  Table of Contents Abstract  n  Acknowledgements  VI  Dedication  VII  TEhe {Eangleb dlarben O v e r v i e w : A n Invitation to the R e a d e r  & Walk t h r o u g h the <©arben in J f n l l P l o o m Key to Narrative Voices in this Work  9  $otfeet <&utbe to Wilb jflotoertf  Journey Notes  11  Autobiography a s Education  13  Cbe <©arben $ l a n  1  &eabtng the <@arbener'jf Almanacs! 2  M y R u n With C u r r e r e  35  d r a f t i n g ^pbrtbs; 3  Imaging a Global/Diversity P e r s p e c t i v e  77  (Experimenting toith Hanbtftape &rtfattetture 4  Nurturing G l o b a l P e r s p e c t i v e s in the C l a s s r o o m  117  p l a n t i n g the £&eebg 5  Revisioning Socially Relevant Curriculum  164  & e e b t n g anb Compositing 6  Living C u r r i c u l u m  189  f i t t i n g i n the Cangleb <@arben 7  A u t o b i o g r a p h y - P h e n o m e n o n / M e t h o d o l o g y / Lifestory  208  Collecting i&eebsi for J l e x t |9ear- Che #rgantt Cpcle  References  222  Che <©arbener'«; &eeb Collection  iv  Appendix A A bibliography of children's b o o k s that raise "sensitive i s s u e s . " & a r e p l a n t s A c q u i r i n g imperial C a r e Appendix B A short s u m m a r y d e s c r i b i n g books, activities a n d project work in t h e Pilot S t u d y at the U B C C h i l d S t u d y C e n t r e ?&oto to p r e p a r e a <@arbett j&Seb  v  235  249p  Acknowled Rements When the journey is as long as mine, the receiving line is long as well. I owe thanks to: M y parents, Gordon and Bettianne Hayward for their continuing support and encouragement. Unlike many parents, they have fed the passions of their children even when they strayed far from their own. My four brothers and their families for reopening the school of my childhood and listening to my stories. Thank-you also for giving my children advantages I could not. M y trade as storyteller, I owe to the eager ears of my nieces and nephews. M y grandfather, Stan Blake who delighted in children with spirit. Dr. Carl Leggo for being someone who heard my heart beat, found places to linger in my narrative, and persevered in supporting me through my insecurities and hurdles. Dr. Jim Anderson and Dr. Marilyn Chapman who despite many constraints were determined to support my work and found time to listen. The members of my first committee, Dr. Hillel Goelman, Dr. Sharilyn Calihou, and Dr. John Willinsky, for providing intellectual challenge and stirring in me the conviction to go ahead. Dr. Goelman, in particular, for providing me opportunities to explore competing discourses. Dr. Janis Blakey, my mentor from the University of Alberta, who read some of the original drafts and encouraged me to be true to my process. The staff, parents, and children of the original U B C Child Study Centre for opening their minds to new ideas and joining in my dance with curriculum. Phyllis Simon, owner of Vancouver Kidsbooks and fellow bibliophile, and her staff for searching out the impossible and supporting my many ventures with children's literature. The children and parents of the story response groups and book clubs at Dunbar Community Centre who dared to join me in exploring books that stray from the traditional. Adrian Tse, a good friend, who helped retrieve data that was lost due to the theft of my computer. Verena Cootes for an open friendship during trying times and the invitation to hear the voices of her people. The Davey and Aspinall families, who fed, entertained and supported my children while I was married to the computer. The staff at Southlands Elementary School and in particular Gail Winston, who made me feel confident about my children's education while I was engaged in my doctoral work. A l l the people mentioned in my stories. I am grateful for the lessons they have taught me. Wendy Sage-Hayward for spreading blankets of calm amidst the storms. And especially, Anne Hayward for believing in me and so patiently typing and editing the drafts when I broke my arm. vi  For my two most influential teachers,  Jamil and Karim Hayward-Kabani it is an honour to be called your mother  As Gramps used to say take a chance, pet - look through the crack in the wall tunnel through until you find the light - for 'the rose still grows on the other side of the wall,' and the broadening view permits you to see the old world anew" May you always be open to other perspectives, know your roots, and spread your wings.  VII  Overview:  Invitation to the Reader  A Walk Through the Garden in Full Bloom Any piece of knowledge I acquire today has a value at this moment exactly proportioned to my skill to deal with it. Tomorrow, when I know more, I recall that piece of knowledge and use it better. Mark Van Doren (1960) M y first significant m e m o r y of s c h o o l w a s "reading table" time with M r s . Brown, m y first g r a d e t e a c h e r (spring, 1963). N i n e of us sat a r o u n d a long r e c t a n g u l a r table at t h e back of the c l a s s r o o m . W e all k n e w the drill in which w e w e r e to p r o c e e d c o u n t e r - c l o c k w i s e around t h e table with e a c h child r e a d i n g a s e n t e n c e , until all children had read twice. W e all hated this o r d e a l with varying d e g r e e s of p a s s i o n . T h o s e who could read, k n e w that Dick a n d J a n e n e v e r did anything interesting, a n d f o u n d the waits for l e s s skilled r e a d e r s a g o o d opportunity to manufacture spit balls or finger knit under t h e table. T h e pure torture of this activity for the l e s s skilled r e a d e r s w a s mirrored in M r s . Brown's anguished face. A l t h o u g h I w a s a g o o d reader a n d c a m e from a family rich in the tradition of storytelling a n d book reading, I w a s unbearably shy a n d spent e v e r y m o r n i n g in anxiety until "reading table" w a s d o n e . T o read a l o u d in front of the g r o u p c a u s e d a full body blush a n d a lump in my throat. In order to "cope," I w o u l d count how m a n y children p r e c e d e d me, a n d then count out the s a m e n u m b e r of s e n t e n c e s in the text to be read leaving m e at the start of my sentence. Quietly, under m y breath, I w o u l d m e m o r i s e this s e n t e n c e , ignoring all that went o n a r o u n d m e until my n a m e pierced the air. At this time, I w o u l d dutifully spit out the s e n t e n c e without looking up and begin counting for m y s e c o n d bout with hell. T h i s strategy s e r v e d me fairly well, although M r s . B r o w n n e v e r failed to say, "Christianne, p l e a s e follow the w o r d s with your finger!" O n e d r e a d f u l morning, before spring report c a r d s , m y s p e c i a l s y s t e m failed. I did the u s u a l counting, a n d m e m o r i s e d m y sentence, but M r s . B r o w n did the unthinkable - s h e called o n m e to read Tyler's s e n t e n c e for him s i n c e he w a s h a v i n g s o m u c h trouble. Hearing m y name, I spat out my sentence, e v e n t h o u g h I s e n s e d something w a s wrong, b e c a u s e the child next to m e h a d not r e a d her s e n t e n c e . I heard M r s . Brown's ruler crack the table in front of her. "Christianne, will you p l e a s e r e a d Tyler's s e n t e n c e ? " T h e r e w a s no time to r e c o u n t , no time to m e m o r i s e . All I could do w a s stick with t h e plan a n d repeat m y original s e n t e n c e . E x a s p e r a t e d , M r s . Brown finally c a l l e d o n a n o t h e r  1  c l a s s m a t e . T h e t e a r s rolled d o w n my c h e e k s d e s p i t e my willing t h e m not to. M r s . B r o w n tried to test me a l o n e after school, but it w a s no u s e ; I s t a r e d at t h e text through tear-filled e y e s , unable to utter a word over the giant lump in m y throat. Later that week, M r s . Brown w a s to report to my a s t o n i s h e d p a r e n t s that I w a s still not reading, a n d w o u l d s h e d t e a r s without apparent c a u s e . S h e a s k e d that m y p a r e n t s s p e n d extra time reading to m e at h o m e , a n d s e e if t h e y c o u l d rout out t h e c a u s e of my u n h a p p i n e s s at s c h o o l . T h i s n e w s w a s a c o m p l e t e s h o c k to my parents. T h e y k n e w m e a s t h e budding t e a c h e r w h o inhabited their b a s e m e n t e v e r y afternoon in a c l a s s r o o m of m y d e s i g n (complete with a blackboard, teacher's desk, a t a b l e a n d four c h a i r s built by m y father, a "library" shelf, globe, a b a c u s , and c o p i o u s s c h o o l s u p p l i e s p r o v i d e d by my mother). I s c r o u n g e d whatever student population I c o u l d (usually m y brothers a n d their friends). I m a d e up "real" story b o o k s to t e a c h my pupils h o w to r e a d a n d w e l e a r n e d about important things like h o w blind p e o p l e r e a d a n d deaf p e o p l e s p o k e to their children. W e studied what i n s e c t s ate w h i c h plants in the g a r d e n , how to draw m a p s a n d m a k e s u p p l y lists for field trips to hidden c u b b i e s of the house. W e m a d e p l a n s to r a i s e m o n e y to help t h o s e in n e e d a n d c o u n t e d any c o i n s d o n a t e d by my parents. T o learn their arithmetic, m y pupils kept log b o o k s recording t h e n u m b e r s of v a r i o u s c a n n e d g o o d s a n d p r e s e r v e s in the cold storage room adjacent to m y c l a s s r o o m . I often did mini l e c t u r e s to deconstruct the "secret" c o n v e r s a t i o n s our p a r e n t s held in a n t i - l a n g u a g e s at the dinner table. After that terrible spring d a y in M r s . Brown's c l a s s , I c l o s e d my s c h o o l despite the protestations of my parents. H o w c o u l d I t e a c h if I w a s g o i n g to fail s c h o o l m y s e l f ?  Early c h i l d h o o d e d u c a t o r s h a v e c o m e a long w a y in the m e t h o d s they u s e a n d curricular m a t e r i a l s t h e y e m p l o y in literacy instruction. I tell this story b e c a u s e it s t a y e d with m e o v e r t h e y e a r s a n d s e r v e d a s o n e of the lived e x p e r i e n c e s that w o u l d fuel m y motivation to c h a n g e the w a y students in my c h a r g e would e x p e r i e n c e c u r r i c u l u m . W h e t h e r t e a c h i n g in t h e pool, on t h e ice, in the m u s e u m , in the art studio or in a s c h o o l c l a s s r o o m , I tried to d e s i g n socially relevant curricula, taking inspiration f r o m m y students. In line with D e w e y (1956), I c o n c e i v e d of curriculum a s a negotiated p r o c e s s to g r o w out of t h e interests of the child and community.  M y t e a c h e r e d u c a t i o n (mid 1970s, E d m o n t o n , Alberta), in both E a r l y C h i l d h o o d  2  E d u c a t i o n a n d S p e c i a l E d u c a t i o n p r o g r a m m e s , w a s d e s i g n e d to reflect different a p p r o a c h e s to child development, and to p r e p a r e t e a c h e r s to m a k e e d u c a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n s b a s e d on p s y c h o l o g i c a l criteria.  In g r a d u a t e s c h o o l (early 1 9 8 0 s , Bristol,  E n g l a n d ) , it w a s e m p h a s i s e d that p r o g r a m m e innovations w e r e to b e e v a l u a t e d in t e r m s of d e v e l o p m e n t a l a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s , w h i c h w a s m e a s u r e d using  psychological  criteria. A t this time, E l k i n d (1981, 1987a, 1987b) hit a r e s p o n s i v e c h o r d in t h e e a r l y c h i l d h o o d c o m m u n i t y with his m e s s a g e that W e s t e r n s o c i e t i e s w e r e p u s h i n g c h i l d r e n too h a r d a n d c h i l d h o o d i n n o c e n c e w a s in n e e d of protection. S o m e of m y c o l l e a g u e s s e e m e d to interpret this to m e a n protection from h a r s h realities, rather t h a n a call for a d u l t s to help c h i l d r e n t a k e time to reflect, ponder, a n d e x p l o r e .  A l t h o u g h I w a s a w a r e of the impact critical theory w a s m a k i n g on g e n e r a l s c h o o l i n g (Apple, 1 9 7 9 ; Freire, 1 9 7 0 ; Giroux, 1 9 8 3 ; Smart, 1983), it wasn't until d o c t o r a l s t u d i e s (1990s) that I e n c o u n t e r e d critical theorists in the a r e n a of early c h i l d h o o d education.  Q u e s t i o n s about the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of D e v e l o p m e n t a l l y A p p r o p r i a t e  P r a c t i c e w e r e finally b e i n g r a i s e d and not solely from a cultural a n g l e ( E g a n , 1983, 1988; N A E Y C ,  1  1 9 9 6 ; P a g a n o , 1 9 9 0 ; Silin, 1 9 9 5 ; Short, 1 9 9 1 ; S h o r t a n d C a r r i n g t o n ,  1 9 8 7 ; S t e v e n s , 1982). 1975, 1 9 9 1 ;  M y rather belated introduction to feminist d i s c o u r s e ( G r e e n e ,  G r u m e t , 1981, 1988, 1992; Miller, 1 9 9 0 ; P a g a n o , 1990, 1 9 9 1 ;  Witherell  a n d N o d d i n g s , 1991), a n d autobiographical d i s c o u r s e (Aoki, 1 9 9 2 ; Butt a n d R a y m o n d , 1 9 8 9 ; E g a n , 1 9 9 5 ; Pinar, 1988, 1994) in curriculum s t u d i e s v a l i d a t e d m y belief in t h e u s e of story a n d narrative a s primary t o o l s in e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h . In trying to m a k e s e n s e of t h e s e and other c o n t e m p o r a r y d i s c o u r s e s in t h e c u r r i c u l u m field, I w a l k e d m a n y p a t h s before realising my trails i n t e r c o n n e c t e d . I d i s c o v e r e d I h a d  The National Association for the Education of Young Children adopted a new position statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Practice based on new discussions and research findings reported in the early 1990s.  3  r e a c h e d a position w h e r e the v a r i o u s d i s c o u r s e s I had studied no longer s e e m e d to c o m p e t e for p r i m a c y in m y thinking: instead, I w a s able to c e l e b r a t e t h e p o l y v o c a l nature of e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h .  I felt a harmony overriding what might o t h e r w i s e h a v e  b e e n a strident a n d contentious a s s e m b l y of a c a d e m i c s a n d practitioners. T o g e t h e r , the e d u c a t i o n a l c o m m u n i t y w a s testing a n d resisting a long tradition of h e g e m o n i c patriarchy in e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h . With this a w a r e n e s s , I b e g a n to b e l i e v e t h e r e w a s room for a dissertation that attempted to bridge the c o m m o n a l i t i e s b e t w e e n v a r i o u s d i s c o u r s e s that h a d e s t a b l i s h e d t h e m s e l v e s in opposition to this h e g e m o n y .  Perhaps  m y work c o u l d contribute to a larger reflective a w a r e n e s s of t e a c h i n g a n d c u r r i c u l u m .  At a p e r s o n a l level, this reflective a w a r e n e s s p l a c e d m e at a central point w h e r e m y trails of a c a d e m i c study intersected. T h i s central point w a s not a destination, but c a n best b e d e s c r i b e d a s the springboard to a new understanding. I h a v e c o m e to refer to this a s a "global/diversity perspective," which I d e s c r i b e in m o r e detail in c h a p t e r s t h r e e a n d four. In short, I'm referring to the nurturing of a lens through w h i c h to view p e r s o n a l , local, a n d global interactions. Characteristics of s u c h a l e n s i n c l u d e : • • • • • • • • •  e m b r a c i n g equality of opportunity, s e e k i n g m o r e information, e x a m i n i n g information s o u r c e s critically, s u s p e n d i n g judgment, entertaining contrary positions, anticipating complexity, tolerating ambiguity, e m p a t h i s i n g with others, and overcoming chauvinism.  T h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e s e characteristics f o r m s a strong foundation u p o n w h i c h to build t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d t o l e r a n c e n e c e s s a r y for p e a c e f u l living in a d i v e r s e society.  Nurturing a "global/diversity" p e r s p e c t i v e a n d e m p l o y i n g p r i n c i p l e s of  g e n e r a t i v e curriculum, e m p o w e r m e n t education, a n d story t h e m i n g a l l o w e d m e to s e e  4  curriculum a s a living entity rather than a static structure.  I bring m a n y v o i c e s to this text, e a c h with its own influence a n d b a g g a g e . T h e r e is t h e d e d i c a t e d early c h i l d h o o d educator, t h e s p e c i a l n e e d s consultant, tutor a n d a d v o c a t e , the e c l e c t i c children's librarian a n d her roving library (yes, it h a s a v o i c e too), t h e d o c t o r a l student, t h e p r o f e s s i o n a l storyteller, the harried single parent of two b o y s a g e d 9 a n d 10 y e a r s , the artist of m a n y media, the 41 y e a r old w o m a n of E u r o heritage b a c k g r o u n d , a n d t h e lucky survivor of e x t e n d e d d o m e s t i c v i o l e n c e .  These  identities d o not w e i g h equally in m y exploration of curriculum, but a r e p r e s e n t in varying d e g r e e s a c c o r d i n g to context. In writing this work, I c e l e b r a t e a p l a c e f o u n d t h r o u g h i n t e r c o n n e c t e d w a y s of knowing, w h e r e I c a n m e d i a t e the o p p o s i t i o n s of p e r s o n a l a n d p r o f e s s i o n a l lives.  In t h e first chapter, I e x a m i n e the s c h o l a r s h i p relating to autobiographical text a s a r e s e a r c h m e t h o d o l o g y in educational curriculum studies. Specifically, I look at t h e c o n c e p t of currere d e v e l o p e d by Pinar a n d G r u m e t (1976) a s a m e t h o d to g a i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g about curriculum a n d the w a y it s h a p e s individuals.  B a s e d in  p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l , a n d p s y c h o a n a l y t i c a l theories, currere benefitted by a s s o c i a t i o n with other R e c o n c e p t u a l i s t d i s c o u r s e s , before it r o s e to popularity in t h e 1 9 9 0 s .  In t h e following chapter, which spirals throughout the text, I study t h e contribution s c h o o l i n g h a s m a d e to my understanding of curriculum through a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l a c c o u n t s of key e x p e r i e n c e s . I e m p l o y Pinar's four s u g g e s t e d s t e p s of currere: r e g r e s s i v e , p r o g r e s s i v e , analytical and synthetical to m a k e m e a n i n g of m y e d u c a t i o n a l experience.  5  In c h a p t e r three, I d i s c u s s adding a fifth step to Pinar's method of currere that w o u l d e n c o u r a g e "visioning  a n d action" a s an o u t c o m e of "synthesis." It is not e n o u g h to  u n d e r s t a n d t h e p o w e r s involved in curriculum d e v e l o p m e n t or e v e n to d e v e l o p a p e r s o n a l p h i l o s o p h y if s u c h learning d o e s not act a s a springboard for s o c i a l c h a n g e . Attempting to integrate the m a n y competing d i s c o u r s e s in c o n t e m p o r a r y curriculum s c h o l a r s h i p with my o w n understanding of the field, I m o v e d from c o n c e r n s regarding content a n d relevant materials to describing a fluid curriculum that w o u l d flow a r o u n d the nurturing of "global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e s " in y o u n g c h i l d r e n .  In c h a p t e r s four a n d five, I d e s c r i b e more fully how I envision global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e s a n d the b o d y of written a n d oral literature I draw from in o r d e r to nurture t h e s e p e r s p e c t i v e s . In c h a p t e r four, I s h a r e how abstract t h e m e s of c o n t e m p o r a r y s o c i a l i m p o r t a n c e e m e r g e d naturally out of the "critical literature" e x p l o r e d in two pilot "global" p r o g r a m m e s run at the University of British C o l u m b i a , C h i l d S t u d y C e n t r e . In this chapter, I a l s o look at the fluidity a n d r e s p o n s i v e n e s s of curriculum that is negotiated collaboratively between t e a c h e r and children in the l a n g u a g e of story. T h e r e a d e r is a s k e d to e x a m i n e how c o n c e p t i o n s of k n o w e r a n d k n o w n i m p e d e or facilitate the c r e a t i o n of socially livable curriculum.  In chapter five, c o n s i d e r a b l e attention is  g i v e n to e x a m i n i n g t h e d e v e l o p m e n t a l t h e o r i e s that h a v e s o firmly c o n t r o l l e d e a r l y c h i l d h o o d curriculum until recently. Developmentally A p p r o p r i a t e P r a c t i c e G u i d e l i n e s w e r e initially d e v e l o p e d to improve practice and elevate the status of t h e e a r l y childhood educator.  B y defining and categorising children's capabilities, t h e  g u i d e l i n e s a l s o c r e a t e d an unintended by-product: they left room for e d u c a t o r s to u n d e r e s t i m a t e children's intellectual abilities and their n e e d to m a k e s e n s e of difficult s o c i a l realities, in turn limiting the potential social growth a n d c h a n g e in t h e c l a s s r o o m . R e c e n t a m e n d m e n t s to the N A E Y C position statement on  6  Developmentally  A p p r o p r i a t e P r a c t i c e a c k n o w l e d g e the d a n g e r c a u s e d by o v e r g e n e r a l i s a t i o n  in  diverse contexts.  I also d i s c u s s in this c h a p t e r the n e e d to include vision and efficacy in curriculum d e s i g n (Werner, 1999) so a s to avoid o v e r w h e l m i n g children with f e e l i n g s of insecurity and/or c y n i c i s m .  I d e s c r i b e a b o d y of children's literature that e n c o u r a g e s critical  m i n d e d n e s s , while illuminating m e s s a g e s of hope. A n e x t e n s i v e bibliography of children's b o o k s that stimulate vicarious e x p e r i e n c e with "sensitive i s s u e s , " like d e a t h , street p e o p l e , physical a p p e a r a n c e , racism, gender, ecological d e s t r u c t i o n , s o c i a l c h a n g e , familial d i s c o r d , the social power of literacy, and h u m a n conflict, c a n b e found in A p p e n d i x A.  G i r o u x a n d S i m o n (1989) a c k n o w l e d g e the "substantial p e r s o n a l investment of time a n d energy" required in the practice of critical p e d a g o g y and ask their r e a d e r if "it [critical p e d a g o g y ] requires the n e a r a b a n d o n m e n t of a teacher's private life?" (p.252) In the final section, I posit that by a c k n o w l e d g i n g interconnected w a y s of knowing, o n e s y n e r g i s e s the learning and work of private a n d public worlds.  Personal and  public  lives a r e t r a n s f o r m e d and revitalised, creating u n e x p e c t e d s p a c e s for reflection a n d illuminating routes to personal efficacy for both t e a c h e r and student.  In c h a p t e r s e v e n ,  I a s k myself q u e s t i o n s about possible limitations and implications that s t u d i e s of this nature r a i s e in the a c a d e m i c community. I h a v e refrained from including a specific s e c t i o n entitled Implications for Practitioners, but h a v e identified a n d d e s c r i b e d m a n y p e r s o n a l implications for practice throughout the text. I feel it is very important not to g i v e the i m p r e s s i o n that there are "instant pudding" instructions for internalising one's learning.  T h e hard work of constructing, deconstructing, and rebuilding k n o w l e d g e in  a p e r s o n a l l y practical w a y c a n n o t be prescriptively laid out.  7  Living Curriculum with Young Children is about my own struggle to find authenticity in curriculum for y o u n g children who live in a time of "posts," "isms," a n d "nounified" verbs.  U n c e r t a i n t y a n d c r i s i s dominate our society w h e r e m a n y individuals a r e  overwhelmed  a n d d e s e n s i t i s e d by the information e x p l o s i o n a n d c h a l l e n g e s to  traditional w a y s of thinking. W e s e e m to h a v e lost touch with our ability to i m a g i n e a n d s e e k out alternative w a y s of knowing a n d problem solving, so that w e m a y fear of ambiguity.  overcome  Ultimately, this is a book about facing f e a r s a n d finding t h e stories  that will help c h i l d r e n f a c e their own lives with understanding, c o n f i d e n c e , h o p e a n d a s e n s e of efficacy. I invite the reader to journey with m e along the path that brought authenticity to t h e v o i c e I u s e in "living" curriculum with both children a n d early childhood colleagues.  If I d e s c r i b e the journey well e n o u g h , your s t o r i e s will a l s o  c o m e forth b e g g i n g a n a l y s i s a n d s y n t h e s i s within your u n d e r s t a n d i n g of curriculum and young children.  8  Key to Narrative Voices in this Work Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers I love m a p s of all types, poring o v e r them with e q u a l e n t h u s i a s m . W h e t h e r they are road m a p s , historical renderings of R o m a n Britain, or c o d e d k e y s for u n d e r s t a n d i n g T h o m a s King's c o n v o l u t e d mind a s it is represented in Green Grass Running Water. I s h y from m a k i n g a key or m a p for this work b e c a u s e to d o s u c h m a k e s it s e e m m o r e t h a n it is. I think of k e y s a s n e c e s s a r y for c o m p l e x texts and m a p s a s r e f e r e n c e g u i d e s for j o u r n e y s o n l e s s travelled roads.  I c o n c e i v e of m y writing a s a s i m p l e recording of  events, reflective thoughts, s n a t c h e s of thought from others, and practical tips. P e r h a p s it w o u l d b e helpful to explain the various f o r m s of narrative I d r a w o n in pulling t o g e t h e r m y learning.  Narrative  of Autobiographical  Research  T h i s v o i c e f o r m s the m a i n text of this work and incorporates all the other f o r m s of narrative d e s c r i b e d below. I h a v e tried to find the social f o r c e s that drive m y story of "Living C u r r i c u l u m " and to a c k n o w l e d g e the intrusion of m y b i a s e s in the telling. In the s e c o n d c h a p t e r the  reflective component of m y run with currere is r e c o r d e d in bold  type. I did this in a n effort to differentiate t h e s e attempts to fit m y learning within a larger context from the main telling of m y story.  Poetic Ruminations T h e s e poetic, if you c a n call them that, ruminations - why d o I write t h e m ? W h y d o they p o p up w h e n I a m troubled about e x p r e s s i n g a particular i d e a ?  9  U p o n reflection, I a m most fluid a n d literate w h e n I speak, I d o not c e n s o r m y s p e e c h t h e w a y I d o in m y writing. Ruminations a r e s o m e w h e r e in b e t w e e n s p e a k i n g a n d writing - they a r e m o r e restricted than s p e e c h but freer than "writing."  Clips from my Healing Journal H e a l i n g j o u r n a l s h a v e c h a r a c t e r i s e d m y m o m e n t s of reflection s i n c e t h e m i d 1 9 8 0 s . I u s e d them to h o u s e o d d s c r a p s of writing that relate m y f e e l i n g s a n d insights a s I lived a n d p r o g r e s s e d through t h e battered wife s y n d r o m e . I s h u n n e d support groups, denying that m y e x p e r i e n c e could b e c a t e g o r i s e d a s a s y n d r o m e or anything but a set of unique c i r c u m s t a n c e s . T h e s e j o u r n a l s r e p r e s e n t m o m e n t s I stole for myself to try to m a k e s e n s e of a life o t h e r w i s e o n a u t o m a t i c pilot. T h e first two of t h e s e journals w e r e d e s t r o y e d by m y h u s b a n d w h e n h e f o u n d t h e m a n d t h e third w a s merely s h e e t s of paper squirreled a w a y in s e c r e t p l a c e s . Eventually, a s I started m y life a n e w in V a n c o u v e r (1992), t h e fourth journal e v o l v e d a s a file o n m y computer. After a h o m e invasion late in 1 9 9 7 , I a m left with o d d p i e c e s that I h a d printed from the file a n d t h e c o l l e c t e d p i e c e s of t h e third j o u r n a l .  Notes about Education I write in another journal I have kept since starting my doctoral studies in 1992. One of my classmates suggested it as a valuable data bank for future writings. Here, I keep notes on anything that relates to education, no matter how divergent from my thesis topic. For example, I have references to my first clashes with the various "isms" of education, reflections and observations that arose from my teaching (both children and adults), concerns regarding education that sprout from my sons' schooling, and general recordings of my views regarding the education system as a whole.  Lived Experience Narrative F o r the most part, t h e s e w i n d o w s into m y past h a v e b e e n integrated into t h e m a i n autobiographical narrative. In c h a p t e r two I attempt to follow t h e life of certain stories throughout m y learning journey in a m a n n e r similar to Pinar's work.  10  Journey Notes  The Garden Plan At o n e of m y c o m m i t t e e meetings, a question w a s raised regarding t h e actual f o c u s of m y t h e s i s . O n c e o v e r t h e initial d i s m a y that m y c o m m i t t e e m e m b e r s d i d not a l r e a d y k n o w this, I w a s a b l e to t a k e time to d i s c o v e r w h y they w e r e having difficulty. I r e a l i s e d I w a s battling a n o l d e n e m y : how to translate something that is for m e integrated, encompassing  a n d fluid into a concrete, sequential format for m y a u d i e n c e .  I l i s t e n e d to what e a c h p r o f e s s o r thought my t h e s i s w a s about, a n d f o u n d myself both relieved a n d c o n c e r n e d .  E a c h h a d b e e n c a p t u r e d by the p a s s i o n I felt about a  particular t h e m e . O n e c o m m e n t e d o n m y a p p r o a c h to c o u n t e r - h e g e m o n i c literature, a n d t h e w a y I h a d c h a l l e n g e d t h e b o r d e r s of d e v e l o p m e n t a l a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s . A n o t h e r w a s t a k e n by t h e u s e of autobiography a n d storying a s e d u c a t i o n a l strategies. Y e t a n o t h e r identified t h e u s e of narrative a s a tool in curriculum d e v e l o p m e n t a n d implementation.  M y c o m m i t t e e h a d identified key a r e a s of m y study, but at t h e s a m e  time h a d m i s s e d what I w a s trying to c o m m u n i c a t e a s a whole.  It s e e m e d I w a s a b l e to  d e s c r i b e t h e individual parts of my study, but h a d m i s s e d the whole, w h i c h for me, w a s g r e a t e r t h a n t h e s u m of the parts.  M y c o m m i t t e e h a d identified s o m e of t h e fixed stars from t h e constellation of i d e a s present in m y t h e s i s . But it is the fluid s p a c e between stars that actually c r e a t e s c o n s t e l l a t i o n s . I r e a l i s e d that it w a s this s p a c e that g a v e m e a n i n g a n d context to the i d e a s I w a s d e s c r i b i n g . T h i s s p a c e between the i d e a s w a s t h e p e r s p e c t i v e I h a d tried to d e s c r i b e : t h e n e c e s s a r y d i s t a n c e required to understand i d e a s in relation to o n e another. I h a d c o n c e i v e d of this a s a journey, a n d p e r h a p s that is still t h e strongest 11  m e t a p h o r for what I e x p e r i e n c e d . In moving b e t w e e n t h e s e ideas, I h a d d e v e l o p e d a l e n s that a l l o w e d m e to navigate c h a n g e .  T h e f i x e d points within m y t h e s i s a r e t h e v a r i o u s d i s c o u r s e s I c a m e u p a g a i n s t in t h e c o u r s e of m y studies, a n d the principles I u s e in my t e a c h i n g . T h e flexible s p a c e b e t w e e n t h e m is currere -- the reflective time a n d s p a c e allotted for self-examination. It is the c o n t e x t u a l s p a c e I w e a v e through "storying" w h e n I situate stories in meaningful c o n t e x t s for c h i l d r e n . It is the journey I undertake a s an educator, w h i c h shifts a n d c h a n g e s a s I m o v e through it. T h e interrelated whole with its stars a n d s p a c e c o m e s together a s t h e global c o n c e r n s a n d i s s u e s that e d u c a t o r s must c o n t e n d with. In relating b e t w e e n the fluid s p a c e a n d the stars, I w a s able to sculpt the l e n s t h r o u g h w h i c h I c o u l d view incidents from a global perspective. Of e q u a l importance, however, w a s t h e ability to turn that l e n s a n d f o c u s o n local a n d p e r s o n a l i s s u e s . It a l l o w e d m e to study t h e world in a tidal pool.  Begin/Ending Reflecting on the c o m m e n t s of my committee, reviewing the body of my work, struggling to find sequential order, in s o m e t h i n g global, I a m left with the perception to read this work, you have to have read it.  12  1  Autobiography as Education Reading the Gardener's Almanacs A writer is an individual  who does their education Leonard Cohen,  in public. 1963  It is far more important that one's life should be perceived than that it should be transformed; for no sooner has it been perceived, than it transforms itself of its own accord. Maurice Maeterlinck, 1896  Introduction S t r a n g e a s it must s e e m to t h o s e w h o h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d the red t a p e of large institutions, I f o u n d s p a c e at the University of British C o l u m b i a . I a m referring to the a c a d e m i c f r e e d o m f o u n d in the loosely knit C e n t r e for the S t u d y of C u r r i c u l u m a n d Instruction in t h e Faculty of Education. T h i s s p a c e w a s t e e m i n g with possibilities, positions, intersections, p a s s a g e s , detours, U-turns, d e a d ends, o n e - w a y s , etc. T o o m a n y possibilities i n d e e d - a c h a s m to indecisiveness, but a h a v e n to " w e b b e r s " a n d storytellers. F o r me, the C e n t r e for the Study of Curriculum a n d Instruction w a s o n e of the l o o p h o l e s for "abstract random" thinkers in what I p e r c e i v e d a s a largely "concrete s e q u e n t i a l " F a c u l t y of E d u c a t i o n .  It o p e n e d up p a t h w a y s in other d e p a r t m e n t s a n d  faculties with learning e x p e r i e n c e s far richer than I h a d e n v i s i o n e d in m y narrowly f r a m e d statement of intent that g a i n e d m e entrance to doctoral study. I w a s 2  e n c o u r a g e d to investigate First Nation resistance, political, post-colonial, multicultural, intercultural, anti-racist, a n d feminist d i s c o u r s e s .  post-modern,  E a c h h a d e v o l v e d its  This statement of intent focused around an interest regarding the impact of culturally relevant curriculum materials on literary acquisition by First Nations children. 2  13  o w n identity a n d platform in a n effort to raise distinctive i s s u e s that w e r e o t h e r w i s e lost in a traditional h e g e m o n i c a p p r o a c h to curriculum d e v e l o p m e n t .  E a c h illuminated a  s e p a r a t e a r e a , providing m e with a n exciting opportunity to learn from a distinct perspective.  H o w e v e r , t h e e x p e r i e n c e w a s ultimately disappointing b e c a u s e t h e  opportunity to integrate m y divergent v o i c e s in a n y o n e d i s c o u r s e e l u d e d m e .  Finding My Voice in Qualitative Methods F o r m y doctoral r e s e a r c h , I h a d originally p l a n n e d to do a n e t h n o g r a p h i c study w h e r e I w o u l d d e s c r i b e t h e characteristics of emergent literacy a s e x p e r i e n c e d a n d u n d e r s t o o d in t h e h o m e s a n d daily lives of a First Nation c o m m u n i t y . C o n s e q u e n t l y , I w a s required to t a k e a qualitative m e t h o d s c o u r s e which, in t h e s u m m e r of 1 9 9 3 , w a s taught by S h a r o n M e r r i a m , a noted scholar from t h e University of G e o r g i a .  I f o u n d this  p r o f e s s o r to b e s o m e o n e I r e s p e c t e d both a s a n intellect in t h e a r e a of qualitative e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h , a n d a s a very gifted p e d a g o g u e .  In t h e c l a s s following our midterm e x a m , s h e d e s c r i b e d a qualitative study that p r o d u c e d conflicting results. S h e then a d d r e s s e d t h e c l a s s with t h e q u e s t i o n , " W h a t do y o u d o w h e n your d a t a d o e s not conclusively prove or d i s p r o v e your h y p o t h e s i s ? " W e started shooting back a n s w e r s like: "Repeat the study," " G a t h e r m o r e d a t a , " " D o u b l e - c h e c k your findings," "Conduct more d a t a triangulation u s i n g other s o u r c e s . " After waiting, s h e replied, " G o o d , now what d o y o u d o if your efforts still r e n d e r inconsistent findings?"  W h e n w e l o o k e d rather stumped, s h e said, "This is w h e r e y o u s t a n d back, like y o u d o f r o m a g o o d p i e c e of art, d i s t a n c e yourself from t h e d a t a a n d look for s o m e larger, m o r e global explanation that e n c o m p a s s e s findings from both e n d s of t h e s p e c t r u m . "  14  I r e m e m b e r e x a c t l y w h e r e I w a s sitting w h e n s h e said this, a n d t h e p r o f o u n d s e n s a t i o n of d i s a p p o i n t m e n t that I felt with what s e e m e d a "less rigorous" a p p r o a c h to r e s e a r c h . H e r q u e s t i o n d i d not o p p o s e her previous teaching. T h e n why w a s I s o u p s e t ?  It took m e a while to u n d e r s t a n d my reaction. T h e p r o c e s s b e g a n w h e n I went h o m e a n d pulled out that day's readings. I w a s arrested by the i d e a s S m i t h a n d H e s h u s i u s (1989) p r e s e n t e d o n qualitative a n d quantitative m e t h o d o l o g i e s . T h e y p o i n t e d out that s o m e r e s e a r c h e r s , tired of the continual d e b a t e between s u p p o r t e r s of e a c h p a r a d i g m , h a d b e g u n looking for w a y s to draw on both styles at appropriate t i m e s a n d in a p p r o p r i a t e a m o u n t s ( C r o n b a c h et al., 1980). However, t h e y c a u t i o n e d a g a i n s t a l e a p to compatibility b e t w e e n quantitative a n d qualitative p a r a d i g m s , citing c o n v o l u t i o n in the r e a d i n g a n d evaluation of study results. T h e y a r g u e d that w h e n a c l a i m is true to a particular world view, it c a n be evaluated a s s o u n d or not only within that f r a m e of reference.  B y identifying with a particular paradigm, the r e s e a r c h e r a b i d e s by  e s t a b l i s h e d n o r m s that g u i d e her analysis.  T h e d i l e m m a d e s c r i b e d in the r e a d i n g s originated in an inherent conflict b e t w e e n qualitative a n d quantitative m e t h o d s . W a s this the s o u r c e of m y p r o b l e m ? R e f l e c t i n g o n this q u e s t i o n , I b e g a n to realise that while I w a s thinking, identifying a n d m a k i n g m e a n i n g within t h e qualitative paradigm, I w a s u n c o n s c i o u s l y r o o t e d in quantitative m e t h o d s of validation a s a result of my schooling and s o c i a l context. I a l s o r e a l i s e d that I h a d h e a r d this d i s c u s s i o n before. I started thinking about m y M a s t e r ' s thesis, c o m p l e t e d in 1 9 8 2 at the University of Bristol, in which I had investigated t h e effects of using literature a s the stimulus for developing curriculum. During my r e s e a r c h , I a c c u m u l a t e d a longitudinal d a t a b a s e on sixteen families, f o c u s i n g o n t h e involvement of n u r s e r y - s c h o o l children in literature a n d e m e r g e n t literacy. 15  T h a t s a m e night, I w a s driven to s e a r c h out the letter that my external e x a m i n e r , Kathy S y l v a , h a d written regarding my t h e s i s . A light switched on a s I slowly u n d e r s t o o d the import of t h e w o r d s that h a d so offended me eleven y e a r s earlier. Dr. S y l v a felt that my work w a s s e r i o u s l y f l a w e d by the application of statistical a n a l y s i s to what w a s e s s e n t i a l l y a n e t h n o g r a p h i c study. S h e c h a s t i s e d the c o m m i t t e e for failing to direct m e to a p p r o p r i a t e m e t h o d s of analysis.  S h e went on to s a y s h e w a s o b l i g a t e d to p a s s t h e  work b a s e d o n t h e importance of the d a t a b a s e , the creativity of t h e o b s e r v a t i o n t o o l s that w e r e d e v e l o p e d , a n d the practical application of the r e s e a r c h findings.  However,  s h e h a d s e r i o u s c o n c e r n s regarding the inappropriate application of C h i - s q u a r e s  and  T-tests to what s h o u l d h a v e stood a s "rich, thick description." In retrospect, I w a s c l e a r l y forcing a s q u a r e p e g into a round hole.  At t h e t i m e I r e c e i v e d the letter, I couldn't h e a r what Dr. S y l v a h a d written, but only felt a t r e m e n d o u s s e n s e of failure at s o m e h o w not measuring up to her e x p e c t a t i o n s . A s I re-read t h e letter in the s u m m e r of 1993, her m e a n i n g w a s abundantly c l e a r . I h a d u s e d quantitative a n a l y s i s in a n attempt to validate qualitative d a t a . H o w c o u l d I h a v e c o m m i t t e d what I now k n e w to be s u c h a c l a s s i c error? In reviewing t h e m e t h o d s c o u r s e required for my programme,  I found it heavily weighted in statistical a n a l y s i s . In  1980, t h e S c h o o l of E d u c a t i o n at the University of Bristol offered no qualitative m e t h o d s c o u r s e s . ( T h e r e w e r e exciting seminars, often held in the S c h o o l of S o c i o l o g y , that c e n t e r e d a r o u n d longitudinal s t u d i e s using small population s a m p l e s a n d e t h n o g r a p h i c d a t a collection methods.)  I w a s trying to c a p t u r e t h e s o c i a l context  of the n u r s e r y c l a s s r o o m through the observation tools I d e s i g n e d , but I h a d no formal t e a c h i n g that p r e p a r e d m e for appropriate a n a l y s i s of my o b s e r v a t i o n s .  Returning to Dr. Merriam's c l a s s r o o m , I could now u n d e r s t a n d m y f e e l i n g s of 16  disappointment:  s h e h a d f o r c e d m e to confront a pervasive but u n a c k n o w l e d g e d  a s s u m p t i o n that h a d profoundly affected my a p p r o a c h to learning.  I subconsciously  felt that in o r d e r for r e s e a r c h to be legitimate within the a c a d e m y , it h a d to p a s s t h e test of statistical significance. A l t h o u g h I believed in my heart that s o m e q u e s t i o n s c o u l d o n l y b e a n s w e r e d through qualitative methods, a n d I could a d d r e s s i s s u e s of predictability, generalisability a n d validity within that context, t h e r e w a s a part of m e that still felt credibility w a s attached to m e a s u r e s of statistical significance.  M y s c h o o l i n g h a d reinforced t h e p r e m i s e that valid, g e n e r a l i s a b l e r e s e a r c h r e s u l t s w e r e n e c e s s a r i l y b a s e d on the scientific method.  A controlled p r o g r a m m e of  h y p o t h e s e s , isolated v a r i a b l e s a n d statistical a n a l y s e s w e r e my touchstones.  subconscious  A n e x p e r i e n c e completely r e m o v e d from t h e world of a c a d e m i c s  and  t e a c h i n g b e c a m e a metaphor for imperfections in variable control.  T h e w o r d s , "Control T h r o u g h Isolation," f o r m e d the title of a b r o c h u r e that profiled the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of an a b u s i v e s p o u s e . It w a s sent to me in the fall of 1 9 8 6 by a w o m e n ' s support group. At the time, I couldn't hear the w o r d s a n d hid t h e m in a file. It w a s o n l y m u c h later that they had a n y r e s o n a n c e .  I n e e d e d d i s t a n c e from my  situation in o r d e r to p e r c e i v e their m e a n i n g . A n d later still, the title inspired t h e following lines:  Control through Isolation.... I didn't realise it at the time, but it was ALL about control. Control maintained through isolation, severed family ties, severed friendships, severed freedoms of space.  17  own  His fatal error - my saving grace: imperfection in his control through isolation he couldn't bring himself to destroy my career space. After all he fell in love with my brain or so I prefer to thinkI can't abide other people's theories of ulterior motives. Why else did he leave my work connections intact? Oh he came closethere were the mornings I'd address an audience with the kind of make-up no girl should wear, and the students who saw nothing but quietly asked if they could help, and the insidious web of lies told to cover a secret life. I have so many people to thank, but I'll always be grateful to him for leaving me with something that would pull me up, something I was good at a part of my life that was whole a tiny corner of empowerment. When I was teaching I was connected, I was strong, inoculated against all the insults and blows. His fatal error, my ticket out. What a gift. Entry in m y "healing" journal - O c t . 5th, 1 9 9 3  A n y m e t h o d of control is ultimately imperfect, whether in h u m a n relations o r cognitive development.  C o n t r o l through isolation of variables brings clarity to isolated a g e n t s of  e d u c a t i o n a l activity, but it ignores the fluid, multidimensional w h o l e that a c c o u n t s for s o c i a l context. P e r s p e c t i v e is g a i n e d through integration, not isolation. G r u m e t (1992) s u m m a r i s e s this point in t e r m s w h i c h I h a d a l w a y s k n o w n a n d yet s o m e h o w not internalised until that d a y in S h a r o n Merriam's c l a s s : A l t h o u g h s t u d i e s of the cognitive p r o c e s s e s a n d t h e organisation of t h e a c a d e m i c d i s c i p l i n e s illuminate parts of the whole, they isolate o n e a g e n t in t h e negotiation f r o m o t h e r s in order to study its activity. A n d if t h e world w e r e e x p e r i e n c e d in discretely o r g a n i s e d units by p e r s o n s w h o c o u l d isolate  18  emotional r e s p o n s e s from intellectual o n e s , past from present, p r e s e n t from future, I from me, a n d m e from us, then p r o g r a m m e d instruction, behavioral adjectives, a n d other products of t h e "divide and c o n q u e r " a p p r o a c h to learning might b e justified (p.31). H a v i n g put to rest a n y feelings that S h a r o n M e r r i a m had c o u n s e l l e d us to a l e s s legitimate f o r m of r e s e a r c h , I w a s able to go back and try to u n d e r s t a n d what s h e actually w a s s a y i n g with respect to our n e e d to "look for s o m e larger, m o r e global explanation that e n c o m p a s s e s findings from both e n d s of the s p e c t r u m . " W h a t w a s it that s h e really m e a n t ?  I w a s reminded of Riegel's (1973) work in which h e posited a  fourth s t a g e of cognitive d e v e l o p m e n t - " d i a l e c t i c a l operations" - in addition to t h e three in Piaget's d e v e l o p m e n t a l s c h e m e .  H e believed maturation at this s t a g e of  d e v e l o p m e n t w o u l d m e a n the individual would be able to live with c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e m a s a n e c e s s a r y c o m p o n e n t of k n o w l e d g e .  T h e i m p o r t a n c e of Merriam's w o r d s w a s to r e s u r f a c e at later t i m e s in m y e d u c a t i o n a l development.  T w o specific times stand out in my m e m o r y . T h e first w a s during a  c o n f e r e n c e o n global education in a s e s s i o n presented by Dr. R o l a n d C a s e .  His  m e s s a g e w a s that, rather than infuse an already burgeoning curriculum with m o r e content, w e c o u l d a c h i e v e the s a m e g o a l of helping children e n g a g e with significant s o c i a l i s s u e s personally, nationally, a n d globally, by nurturing a p e r s p e c t i v e : a l e n s through w h i c h to a p p r o a c h pressing societal i s s u e s .  Immediately, I thought of S h a r o n  Merriam's c o u n s e l to s t a n d back a n d s e e the larger picture. U p to that point, I h a d b e e n struggling to u n d e r s t a n d how curriculum could possibly r e p r e s e n t t h e d i v e r s e interests of c o n t e m p o r a r y d i s c o u r s e s I had c o m e to appreciate in m y d o c t o r a l s t u d i e s . In other w o r d s , w o u l d there e v e r be time to properly represent First N a t i o n s c o n c e r n s , r e s i s t a n c e t h e m e s , feminist i s s u e s , d i v e r s e cultural p e r s p e c t i v e s , political inequities, racial prejudices, a n d other social i s s u e s in the daily implementation of s c h o o l  19  curriculum?  B y nurturing a global perspective through which to v i e w t h e s e i s s u e s , w e  c o u l d m o v e from a preoccupation with content to a f o c u s on p r o c e s s : w e c o u l d d e v e l o p t h e t o o l s children n e e d to critically a p p r o a c h i s s u e s , rather than o b s e s s i n g  on  how to identify a n d include every p o s s i b l e issue.  T h e s e c o n d i n s t a n c e w h e r e Merriam's w o r d s on the n e e d for p e r s p e c t i v e c a m e back to m e w a s during another c o n f e r e n c e , this time on "Lingering With N a r r a t i v e . " During the c o u r s e of hearing other's stories, I w a s reminded of my o w n  educational  e x p e r i e n c e s a n d how t h e s e had s h a p e d my understanding of curriculum. T e d Aoki's c l o s i n g a d d r e s s s e e m e d to direct m e to stand back a n d linger in past lived e x p e r i e n c e s long e n o u g h to understand how they inform my present journey a s a n e d u c a t o r . F o r t h e first time, I believed that through autobiography I c o u l d m a k e a legitimate contribution to t h e field of curriculum scholarship. T h r o u g h t h e r e m e m b e r i n g a n d telling of t h e s e lived e x p e r i e n c e s , I would g a i n a n e w v a n t a g e point from w h i c h to view curriculum, a n d learn to t r a n s c e n d curriculum a s p l a n n e d , in o r d e r to live it with t h o s e I t e a c h a n d learn from. Prior to this c o n f e r e n c e , w h e r e I w a s s o m o v e d by other people's personal stories, I would not h a v e entertained t h e c o n c e p t of u s i n g a u t o b i o g r a p h y a s a r e s e a r c h methodology, or believed that the r e c o r d i n g of my journey w o u l d b e of a n y c o n s e q u e n c e to other e d u c a t o r s . I now c o u l d s e e that my v o i c e w o u l d b e a d d e d to m a n y other voices, a s I realised that their s t o r i e s r e s o n a t e d with my o w n  experiences.  T h r o u g h autobiography, I stand back and watch all the Impressionistic little d o t s of my different a r e a s of learning connect together in a fluid, ever-changing whole.  The  d i s c r e p a n c i e s , a s well a s confirmations c o m e into b a l a n c e c h a r a c t e r i s e d by a t o l e r a n c e of ambiguity a n d narrated in the v o i c e of story.  20  R e d a n d blue d o t s distinct s w a t c h e s of colour I stand back the lilac petal of a delicate flower I stand back a flower a m o n g m a n y dotting a m e a d o w I stand back a painting s o fresh I c a n feel the d e w I stand back a painting a m o n g m a n y in a s h o w I stand back dwellings in a life story I stand b a c k . . .  Autobiography as One of the Reconceptualist Discourses in Curriculum Scholarship T o this point, I h a v e u s e d autobiography to clarify an e s s e n t i a l turning point in m y a c c e p t a n c e of qualitative r e s e a r c h methods. In the following p a g e s , I will e x p l o r e the a c a d e m i c g r o u n d i n g w h i c h validates the u s e of autobiography in s c h o l a r l y writing. I will c o v e r t h e s t r e n g t h s of autobiographical narrative a s an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l tool in c u r r i c u l u m s c h o l a r s h i p , a n d s o m e points of critique.  In t h e 1 9 7 0 s a m o v e m e n t of curriculum s c h o l a r s h i p e m e r g e d that w o u l d later b e referred to a s t h e " R e c o n c e p t u a l i s a t i o n " of curriculum studies (Pinar et al., 1995). n u m b e r of s t u d i e s h a v e detailed the history of t h e R e c o n c e p t u a l i s a t i o n m o v e m e n t (Huber, 1 9 8 1 ; Miller, 1 9 7 9 ; Schubert, 1980, 1 9 8 6 ; Brown, 1988; J a c k s o n , 1 9 9 2 ; Lincoln, 1992), but P i n a r h a s b e e n the major force in d o c u m e n t i n g a n d m a p p i n g r e c o n c e p t u a l i s i n g d i s c o u r s e s in his effort to d e m o n s t r a t e a paradigm shift from positivism a n d structuralism. H e tried to capture the interrelationships b e t w e e n individual theoretical p e r s p e c t i v e s in t h e formulation of a collective driven to u n d e r s t a n d c u r r i c u l u m in w a y s empirical r e s e a r c h cannot.  21  W h i l e d i v e r s e in their  A  subject pursuits, t h e R e c o n c e p t u a l i s t s s h a r e d : 1) a dissatisfaction with the Tyler Rationale, 2) the e m p l o y m e n t of e c l e c t i c traditions to e x p l o r e curriculum, s u c h a s psychoanalytic theory, p h e n o m e n o l o g y , existentialism, a n d 3) a left-wing political b i a s that d r e w o n M a r x i s t a n d n e o - M a r x i s t thought a n d c o n c e r n e d itself with s u c h i s s u e s a s racial a n d ethnic inequalities, f e m i n i s m , a n d the p e a c e m o v e m e n t ( J a c k s o n , 1 9 9 2 a s q u o t e d in P i n a r et al., 1995, p. 39). R e c o n c e p t u a l i s t d i s c o u r s e s sought to clearly distinguish "effects of s o c i a l structure a n d e d u c a t i o n a l or g o v e r n m e n t a l bureaucracy" from the turns of h u m a n intention.  Pinar  d e s c r i b e s t h e primary m o d e of s c h o l a r s h i p a n d p e d a g o g y in the m o v e m e n t a s a drive for " u n d e r s t a n d i n g " curriculum rather t h a n "developing" c u r r i c u l u m . T h i s c h a n g e in orientation w o u l d s l o w t h e school's overwhelming  p r e o c c u p a t i o n with control o v e r  c u r r i c u l u m content, a n d m a k e s p a c e to understand p r o c e s s e s both explicit a n d implicit s o that f r o z e n s t r u c t u r e s c o u l d be transformed into m o r e fluid a n d r e s p o n s i v e o n e s .  T h e first of t h e R e c o n c e p t u a l i s t d i s c o u r s e s in the 1 9 7 0 s w e r e political a n d a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l , with t h e political gaining the upper h a n d under t h e l e a d e r s h i p of M i c h a e l W. A p p l e (1975, 1979).  B u o y e d by curriculum theorists s u c h a s M a d e l e i n e  G r u m e t , J a n e t Miller, a n d S a n d r a Wallenstein, feminist theory e m e r g e d by t h e late 1 9 7 0 s a n d quickly r o s e in force. W h i l e autobiographical d i s c o u r s e s , a s d e s c r i b e d by William P i n a r (1974), took a back seat to mainstream feminist a n d political d i s c o u r s e s , feminist a u t o b i o g r a p h y e v o l v e d in t h e 1 9 8 0 s in a n effort to r e c l a i m v o i c e a n d u n d e r s t a n d alternate w a y s of knowing. T h e influences of other R e c o n c e p t u a l i s t d i s c o u r s e s in curriculum r e s e a r c h (racial, p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l , post-structural, aesthetic, t h e o l o g i c a l a n d global) w e r e to further b r o a d e n a n d strengthen s c h o l a r s h i p in a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l r e s e a r c h . D e s p i t e consistent writings by n u m e r o u s s c h o l a r s s i n c e the 1 9 7 0 s , a u t o b i o g r a p h y didn't really take hold a s a significant c o n t e m p o r a r y  22  c u r r i c u l u m d i s c o u r s e until t h e 1 9 9 0 s (Pinar et al., 1995). G r u m e t (1991) r e c a l l s this period: W h e n I first started working with narrative in the early 1970s, I w a s b u s y justifying it to the p s y c h o m e t r i c i a n s (Pinar a n d Grumet, 1976). T h a t d e f e n s e m o u n t e d , I turned to a n s w e r the M a r x i s t s who identified a u t o b i o g r a p h y with b o u r g e o i s individualism, a retreat to interiority by t h o s e unwilling to d o n their leather j a c k e t s a n d storm the barricades, or at least picket G e n e r a l D y n a m i c s (Grumet, 1981). But finally the querulous visitors h a v e left, a n d at last w e a r e a l o n e (p.67).  In 1995, P i n a r et al. (p.516) identified three major s t r e a m s of s c h o l a r s h i p w h i c h s e e k to u n d e r s t a n d c u r r i c u l u m a s autobiographical a n d biographical text. T h e b a n k s of t h e s e s t r e a m s a r e not high, a n d there exists a fair amount of overflow a n d running t o g e t h e r of t h e m e s , m e t h o d s , a n d aspirations between the following three s t r e a m s . 1. a u t o b i o g r a p h y t h e o r y a n d practice - major c o n c e p t s include currere, collaboration, voice, d i a l o g u e journals, place, post-structuralist portraits of self, e x p e r i e n c e , myth, d r e a m s a n d imagination. - k e y r e s e a r c h e r s a r e Pinar (1974, 1988, 1994, 1995) P i n a r a n d G r u m e t (1976), G r u m e t (1981), N o d d i n g s (1986), Miller (1990), Butt a n d R a y m o n d (1989), S a l v i o (1990, 1996), K i n c h e l o e (1991), Daignault (1992), T a u b m a n (1993), a n d Doll (1982). 2. feminist a u t o b i o g r a p h y - major c o n c e p t s include community, the middle p a s s a g e ( p e r s o n s a r e m a d e p r e s e n t through contact with moving curriculum), a n d r e c l a i m i n g the self. - k e y r e s e a r c h e r s are G r u m e t (1981, 1988, 1991), Miller (1990, 1993), P a g a n o (1990), Witherell a n d N o d d i n g s (1991), R e i n i g e r (1989). 3) u n d e r s t a n d i n g t e a c h e r s autobiographically a n d b i o g r a p h i c a l l y - major c o n c e p t s include p e r s o n a l practical knowledge, t e a c h e r lore, c o l l a b o r a t i v e biography and autobiographical praxis, a n d b i o g r a p h i c a l s t u d i e s of t e a c h e r s ' lives. - k e y r e s e a r c h e r s a r e Clandinin a n d C o n n e l l y (1987, 1988, 1992), Butt a n d R a y m o n d (1987, 1989), S c h u b e r t a n d A y e r s (1992), G o o d s o n (1992). I find myself o n a tributary b e t w e e n the first two s t r e a m s : drawing o n currere a s d e s c r i b e d by P i n a r a n d G r u m e t , a n d the i n t e r c o n n e c t e d n e s s of "the middle p a s s a g e "  23  a s d e s c r i b e d by G r u m e t a n d Miller.  Currere P i n a r a n d G r u m e t formulated the c o n c e p t of currere a s an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l text in t h e 1 9 7 0 s . T h e y u s e d t h e Latin infinitive of "curriculum," w h i c h m e a n s "to run t h e c o u r s e , " to e n c a p s u l a t e one's "existential e x p e r i e n c e of institutional structures" (Pinar et al., 1995, p.518).  Individuals would then e n d e a v o u r to d e s c r i b e what t h e y m a k e of t h e s e  experiences.  P i n a r (1994) u s e s t h e q u e s t i o n "what h a s b e e n a n d what is now t h e nature of m y e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e ? " (p.20) to invoke the method of currere. Currere, running t h e c o u r s e of one's e d u c a t i o n , is: a strategy d e v i s e d to d i s c l o s e e x p e r i e n c e , s o that w e m a y s e e m o r e of it a n d s e e m o r e clearly. With s u c h s e e i n g c a n c o m e d e e p e n e d u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the running a n d with this, c a n c o m e d e e p e n e d a g e n c y (p.vii). T h e w o r d s " d e e p e n e d a g e n c y " s t a n d out for m e b e c a u s e they hint at p u r p o s e a n d p o s s i b l e v i s i o n s of c h a n g e of the individual a n d society. A d h e r e n c e to one's inner v o i c e s f o r m s the b a s i s of new strategies a n d creative a p p r o a c h e s to c u r r i c u l u m d e s i g n that allow for shifts b e t w e e n private a n d public s e l v e s .  In s e e k i n g to u n d e r s t a n d the contribution a c a d e m i c s t u d i e s m a k e to one's u n d e r s t a n d i n g of h e r or his life, Pinar s u g g e s t s four s t e p s : 1. 2. 3. 4.  r e g r e s s i v e - recall lived e x p e r i e n c e a s a d a t a s o u r c e p r o g r e s s i v e - e x a m i n e what is not yet present analytic - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l bracketing, biographic t h e m e s synthetic - re-enter the present a n d find m e a n i n g in it  I w o u l d a d d a fifth s t e p of " d e e p e n e d a g e n c y " to e n c o u r a g e visioning a n d a c t i o n . In  24  the p r o c e s s of relating to old structures, new, m o r e fluid o n e s a r e r e v e a l e d . Pinar et al. (1995) q u o t e N o r q u a y a s reminding s c h o l a r s of the problematic p r a c t i c e of s i m p l y u s i n g " m e m o r i e s of e x p e r i e n c e to explain c l a s s r o o m practice [and curriculum philosophy], without exploring the possibility of using m e m o r i e s a s a s p r i n g b o a r d for c h a n g e " (p.566).  Critics of autobiography, which initially included myself, h a v e d i s m i s s e d it a s a "narcissist withdrawal," referring to t h e mythic character, N a r c i s s u s , w h o d i e s w h i l e pining after his o w n reflection in a spring. T h i s characterisation l e a d s to t h e incorrect a s s u m p t i o n that a u t o b i o g r a p h y allows for an i n t e r c o n n e c t e d n e s s only within t h e writer, rather t h a n acting a s a m e a n s to c o n n e c t to others. T h e autobiographer must r e m a i n  connected with t h e a n c e s t o r s w h o m a k e up t h e plurality of her identity. R u s h d i e (1980) tries to d e s c r i b e the plurality of our identities w h e n h e e x p l a i n s t h e length of t i m e it t a k e s to tell of his birth in Midnight's Children. "To u n d e r s t a n d o n e life, y o u h a v e to s w a l l o w t h e w h o l e world" (p. 126).  H e r s h l o c k (1994) also c o m m e n t s o n the plurality  of identity: [T]here is nothing that w e a r e not responsible for, nothing w h i c h w e c a n point to a n d s a y "that is not me." A s narration, our distinction of inside a n d o u t s i d e is purely dramatic. In actuality, there is no outside, (as quoted in R o s e n b e r g , 1996, p.58-59). G r u m e t (1989) s e e s the method of currere a s the wrestling of individual e x p e r i e n c e "from t h e a n o n y m i t y a n d generalization that had d o m i n a t e d s o c i a l s c i e n c e a n d e v e n literary interpretation in the h e y d a y of structuralism and s y s t e m s t h e o r i e s a n d returning it to the particular p e r s o n s who lived it" (as quoted in Pinar et al., 1995, p.521). S h e d e s c r i b e s her particular a p p r o a c h to currere a s : ".. .an attempt to reveal the w a y s that histories (both collective a n d individual) a n d h o p e s u f f u s e our m o m e n t s , a n d to study t h e m t h r o u g h telling our stories of educational e x p e r i e n c e " (as q u o t e d in P i n a r et al.,  25  1995, p.521).  G r u m e t ' s (1981) u s e of the word "hope" r e s o n a t e s with W e r n e r ' s (1995) a d d r e s s , " T e a c h i n g for H o p e , " that he p r e s e n t e d to a g r o u p of "global" e d u c a t o r s at t h e Imagining a P a c i f i c C o m m u n i t y C o n f e r e n c e , University of British C o l u m b i a .  He  c a u t i o n e d that in our efforts to acquaint children with t h e realities of a larger i n t e r d e p e n d e n t world, s o m e students may construct the view of "a crisis-ridden a n d c o n f u s i n g world c r e a t e d by adults who s e e m unwilling or unable to c h a n g e it" (p.1). S u c h a view c o u l d l e a d to f e e l i n g s of insecurity or c y n i c i s m about individual or collective futures. W e r n e r went on to d i s c u s s the important r o l e s that emotion, information, vision, a n d efficacy play in strengthening y o u n g people's belief/hope in their future.  Sailing the Middle Passage G r u m e t (1989) d e s c r i b e s t e a c h i n g and curriculum a s a middle w a y b e t w e e n public a n d private lives: informed a n d a l w a y s c h a n g i n g in r e s p o n s e to e x p e r i e n c e s of both lives. I h a v e often felt like an errant c o b w e b in the c l e a n h o u s e of a c a d e m i a , w h e n I d a r e to introduce p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e to support a particular o b s e r v a t i o n or thought in a n a c a d e m i c paper. O d d l y , I don't e x p e r i e n c e t h e s a m e f e e l i n g of alienation w h e n I introduce a s c h o l a r l y r e f e r e n c e into a c a s u a l c o n v e r s a t i o n with a friend. T h e r e f e r e n c e l e n d s c r e d e n c e to what I say, but lived e x p e r i e n c e d o e s not support a s c h o l a r l y observation.  Yet the relationship b e t w e e n what h a p p e n s in s c h o o l s a n d t h e e v e n t s  that s h a p e our lives is p r e c i s e l y what motivates us to adapt curriculum a n d infuse it with t h e c o u n t e r - v i s i o n s that k e e p it moving. A s Silin (1995) a r g u e s , "curriculum h a s too often b e c o m e an injunction to desist rather than an invitation to e x p l o r e our life worlds" (p.40). T h r o u g h autobiographical methods, t h e author m a k e s p e a c e "between  26  the individuality of his or her subjectivity and the intersubjective a n d public c h a r a c t e r of m e a n i n g " (Grumet, 1990, P . 3 2 4 ) .  T o d a y ' s f e m a l e scholar, c u m t e a c h e r , c u m mother, c u m d o m e s t i c s u r v i v e s through c o n n e c t e d w a y s of k n o w i n g in order to c o n s e r v e energy a n d r e s p o n d to the multiplicity of w o r l d s s h e e x p e r i e n c e s . G r u m e t c l a i m s that writing a n d reading of a u t o b i o g r a p h y provide a m e a n s of c o n n e c t i n g public and private worlds in a "coming to f o r m . " I will a r g u e in c h a p t e r six that the act of "living curriculum," c h a r a c t e r i s e d by a will to u n d e r s t a n d in t h e f a c e of conflict, a d e s i r e to vision a n d revision t h e future, a n d a c a r e f u l exploration of routes to e n h a n c e personal a n d collective efficacy, c a n facilitate a p e a c e f u l "middle p a s s a g e " b e t w e e n private a n d public worlds. I want to clarify that I d o not b e l i e v e this a p p r o a c h is e x c l u s i v e to w o m e n , but a g r e e with G i l l i g a n (1982) that m e n t e n d to b e directed toward s e p a r a t e w a y s of knowing.  Legitimacy of Knowledge Achieved through Autobiographical Study There is no better way to study curriculum than to study ourselves. ( C o n n e l l y & C l a n d i n i n , 1988,  p.31)  T h e efforts of m a n y s c h o l a r s to understand curriculum through a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l a n d b i o g r a p h i c a l text h a v e e s t a b l i s h e d a growing c o n t e m p o r a r y curriculum d i s c o u r s e . D e f e n s e for t h e u s e of autobiography a n d biography a s legitimate a n d authentic w a y s to r e s e a r c h e d u c a t i o n a l activities is substantial (Abbs, 1979; A o k i , 1988, 1 9 9 2 ; A r c h i b a l d , 1992, 1 9 9 3 ; Butt a n d R a y m o n d , 1987, 1989; C l a n d i n i n a n d C o n n e l l y ,  1987,  1992, 1 9 9 5 ; C o n n e l l y & Clandinin, 1988; Daignault, 1 9 9 2 ; Doll, 1982, 1 9 9 5 ; E g a n , 1 9 9 5 ; G o o d s o n , 1 9 9 2 ; G r a h a m , 1 9 9 1 ; Grumet, 1981, 1988, 1991, 1 9 9 2 ; K i n c h e l o e , 1 9 9 1 : Miller, 1990, 1 9 9 3 ; Pinar, 1974, 1988, 1994; P i n a r et.al., 1 9 9 5 ; P i n a r & G r u m e t , 27  1 9 7 6 ; R o s e n b e r g , 1 9 9 6 ; S c h u b e r t , & Ayers, 1992; Witherell a n d N o d d i n g s , 1991). T h e work of t h e s e s c h o l a r s h a s b e e n published over three d e c a d e s , but real m o m e n t u m a s an e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h methodology h a s b e e n felt in the past six y e a r s .  T o m a k e a n y statement about k n o w l e d g e and curriculum, o n e inevitably c o m e s to "self," a n d t h e w a y that self m a k e s m e a n i n g of the flux of e x p e r i e n c e lived, a n d yet to b e lived. G r a h a m notes, "if all k n o w l e d g e begins in self-knowledge, or is a function of s e l f - k n o w l e d g e , then w e cannot be s a i d to truly k n o w s o m e t h i n g until w e h a v e p o s s e s s e d it, m a d e it our own" (1991 p.3). Autobiographical work g i v e s t h e r e s e a r c h e r opportunity to gain, reflect on, and rework s u c h insight: a n opportunity lost to t h o s e c o n f i n e d to empirical r e s e a r c h .  " A u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l work is a political, intellectual project d e v o t e d to t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , " not only of its participants, but also of the curriculum field (Pinar et al., 1995, P . 5 6 5 ) .  Few  w o u l d d i s p u t e t h e p o w e r of story a n d metaphor to inspire a n d influence c h a n g e . Listening to t h e radio, o n e h e a r s the statistics of h o m e l e s s p e o p l e on the streets with little m o r e than s u r f a c e interest. W h e n a sensitive reporter tells the lived story of just o n e street p e r s o n , w e a r e m o v e d - s o m e t i m e s e v e n into action. U s i n g a c c o u n t s of lived s t o r i e s in curriculum a n d r e s e a r c h often provides t h e s p r i n g b o a r d for c h a n g e , a n d m o r e potential for c h a n g e a s the stories c h a n g e .  K i n c h e l o e a n d P i n a r (1991) point out, T h e a p p r e c i a t i o n of individual s e n s a t i o n c a n be t h e g e n e s i s of larger political a w a r e n e s s — t h e refusal to d e n y r e s t l e s s n e s s , discomfort, moral ambiguity, a n d the i m p u l s e to reject. A s o n e struggles with t h e problematic nature of t h e lived world, h e or s h e b e g i n s to s e n s e the unity of self a n d situation ( K i n c h e l o e & Pinar, 1991, p 21).  28  In s o doing, t h e individual c a n confront that which is uncomfortable, struggle in t h e s e a of ambiguity a n d reconstruct a social vision a n d curriculum authentically h e r o w n . G r u m e t (1990) writes: N a r r a t i v e s of e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e c h a l l e n g e their r e a d e r s a n d writers to find both individuality a n d society, being a n d history a n d possibility in their texts. It is a b r a v e c o m p a n y of e d u c a t o r s w h o f o r s a k e simplistic polarities of t h e individual a n d society to write, to r e a d a n d to d o scholarly work in t h e s e w a y s . It c h a l l e n g e s f e m i n i s t s to e n c o d e the body a n d idioms of meaningful lived relations without a b a n d o n i n g t h e disciplines of k n o w l e d g e . It c h a l l e n g e s t e a c h e r s to listen to stories a n d to hear their r e s o n a n c e in t h e distant o r c h e s t r a t i o n of a c a d e m i c k n o w l e d g e (p.323)!  Limitations of Narrative/Autobiographical  Methods  W h e n critics a p p r o a c h autobiography needing proof of truth in s o m e verifiable way, they h a v e m i s s e d t h e very e s s e n c e of the method which a c c e p t s the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the author's c o n s c i o u s n e s s a s a form of " d e f e n s e against all the f o r c e s that m a k e for conformity a n d prediction" ( G r a h a m , 1991, p. 17).  Critique of t h e a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l  m e t h o d p o o l s a r o u n d t h e c o m m o n l y held limitations of qualitative study: subjectivity a n d identity politics, true v s . fictional accounts, a n d practical implications of r e s e a r c h o b s e r v a t i o n s (generalisabiltiy a n d predictability).  Subjectivity  and  Identity  Politics  In t h e following p o e m , I tried to explore a small corner of m y literary subjectivity a s s o m u c h of m y life c e n t r e s a r o u n d story a n d literature.  "You Are What You Read" Well now, w h o a m I? M y favourite novels... the o n e s I've r e a d m o r e than once, a r e  29  Green  Grass, Running Water T h o m a s King Shark Dialogues Kiana Davenport Jitterbug Perfume Tom Robbins The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan The Strength and Delicacy of Lace J a m e s Wright and Leslie M a r m o n Silko The Storyteller Leslie Marmon Silko The Book of Jessica L i n d a Griffiths and M a r i a C a m p b e l l Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie The English Patient Michael Ondaatje The Evening Class Maeve Binchy  Hmmm, I guess this means.... eclectic, brancher, weaver storyteller artist activist shapeshifter, incurable romantic.  Reflecting o n t h e p o e m now, I find the c o m m o n thread linking t h e s e n o v e l s is that the storylines d e f y c h r o n o l o g i c a l s e q u e n c i n g , requiring the r e a d e r to tolerate s o m e ambiguity b e f o r e the story unfolds.  Also, all of the authors confront difficult s o c i a l  i s s u e s without rendering didactic prescriptions.  A u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l d i s c o u r s e s are not p r e o c c u p i e d with d e v e l o p m e n t of s t a n d a r d s , but are unified a r o u n d a preoccupation with understanding a n inter-subjectivity that e x i s t s within.  30  E v e r y text is an articulation of the relation between texts, a product of intertextuality, a w e a v i n g together of what h a s a l r e a d y b e e n p r o d u c e d e l s e w h e r e in d i s c o n t i n u o u s f o r m ; every subject, e v e r y author, e v e r y self is t h e articulation of an inter subjectivity structured within a n d a r o u n d t h e d i s c o u r s e s a v a i l a b l e at a n y m o m e n t in time. (Sprinker, 1 9 8 0 a s q u o t e d in G r a h a m , 1991, p. 146) B y a s k i n g t o u g h q u e s t i o n s originating in politically transformative e p i s t e m o l o g y , a u t o b i o g r a p h y s c h o l a r s c a n work to confront the contradictory p o w e r relations that m a k e up t h e plurality of their identities.  A by-product of R e c o n c e p t u a l i s a t i o n h a s b e e n the a c c e p t e d practice that r e s e a r c h e r s d i v u l g e sufficient information about p o s s i b l e p e r s o n a l b i a s e s , s o a s to a i d a critical r e a d i n g of their work. Typically, the reader would be treated to a short list of c a t e g o r i e s like: Euro-heritage, middle-class, male, etc. Rather than e n c o u r a g e a critical reading, this p r a c t i c e c a n e n c o u r a g e stereotypical g e n e r a l i s a t i o n s regarding particular g r o u p biases.  A p p l e , in a d d r e s s i n g the politics of power relations, c l a i m s that "[A]ll of our d i s c o u r s e s a r e politically uninnocent. T h e y o c c u r within a shifting a n d d y n a m i c s o c i a l c o n t e x t in w h i c h t h e e x i s t e n c e of multiple s e t s of power relations are inevitable" (quoted in Lather, 1991, p.vii).  B y a c k n o w l e d g i n g this a m b i g u o u s position, w e begin to g u a r d  against s t e r e o t y p i c a l g e n e r a l i s a t i o n s a n d e n c o u r a g e critical c o n s c i o u s n e s s  in the  reader.  G r u m e t h a s g i v e n e x t e n d e d thought to identity politics a n d admits: I w o u l d b e naive if I refused to admit influence in what w e notice, what w e c h o o s e to tell, a n d in how and why we tell what we do. N e v e r t h e l e s s autobiographical m e t h o d invites u s to struggle with t h o s e determinations. It is that struggle a n d its r e s o l v e to d e v e l o p o u r s e l v e s in w a y s that t r a n s c e n d the  31  identities that o t h e r s h a v e constructed for u s that b o n d s t h e projects of a u t o b i o g r a p h y a n d e d u c a t i o n . (Grumet, 1990, p.324). S c r u t i n y of "place" ( K i n c h e l o e & Pinar, 1991) brings t h e particular into f o c u s , a n d at t h e s a m e t i m e e x p o s e s e m b e d d e d social f o r c e s which have s h a p e d our subjectivities of self. W h i l e w e c a n n o t help but be f r a m e d in the c a t e g o r i e s of our time, w e c a n u s e self-reflexivity to p r o m o t e gradual subjectivity shifts in the direction of o u r longing.  Fictional  Accounts  Butt a n d R a y m o n d (1989) r a i s e the i s s u e that individual a u t o b i o g r a p h y c a n b e limited by t h e u s e of b i a s e d or incomplete d a t a and marginalised by the "entropic t e n d e n c y to 'over-fictionalise'" (p.414).  T h e y p l a c e v a l u e on a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l a c c o u n t s a c c o r d i n g  to t h e extent that t h e y c a n be c h e c k e d against s o m e previous accounting, s u c h a s a p e e r o b s e r v a t i o n r e c o r d . A large part of Butt a n d R a y m o n d ' s (1989) r e s e a r c h is a r o u n d what t h e y term collaborative autobiography. T h i s m e t h o d a l l o w s for other t e a c h e r s ' stories to act a s counter-biographies, thereby e n s u r i n g that one's stories a r e g r o u n d e d in current reality.  It is true that a u t o b i o g r a p h y r e v e a l s p e r s o n a l bias a n d s e l e c t i v e recall, s h a p e s stories a c c o r d i n g to dispositions, c r e a t e s c o h e r e n c e w h e r e there m a y be c r a c k s , flaws, a n d p r o b l e m s , a n d r e s h a p e s t h e nature of how e x p e r i e n c e s a r e k n o w n a n d u n d e r s t o o d ( G r a h a m , 1991), but s u c h interpretation is profoundly h u m a n . I h a v e f o u n d readera u d i e n c e to act a s a control on b i a s e d , fictional, or incomplete a c c o u n t i n g s of a story. T h e r e e x i s t s a strong drive to present e v e n t s a s accurately a s possible, s o a s to be true to other p l a y e r s in m y stories.  G r u m e t w a r n s of the risk involved in telling stories a n d how s e l f - d i s c l o s u r e to t e a c h e r s  32  and/or r e s e a r c h e r s c a n c o m p l i c a t e relationships, a n d in turn affect content of future story tellings. A s G r a h a m pointed out in his book Reading and Writing the Self, this is a d r a w b a c k of autobiographical r e s e a r c h and must b e a d d r e s s e d frankly b e t w e e n writer a n d r e a d e r s o a s to m i n i m i s e fictional constructions m a d e in r e s p o n s e to p o w e r relations ( m a n y s t u d e n t s put great effort into r e s e a r c h i n g what they think t h e t e a c h e r or p r o f e s s o r w a n t s to hear, a n d then attempt to produce what will p l e a s e ) .  G r a h a m puts forth that "the intuitive a p p e a l of autobiography is justified by its results rather t h a n by t h e sophistication or theoretical a c u m e n that h a d g o n e into providing the w a r r a n t s for its use" (1991, p.116). O n the other hand, Lather f e e l s t h e r e i s room for " a t h e o r y g r o u n d e d in t h e 'hunkering d o w n o n detail"' that w o u l d lend s o m e direction for t h e task of producing c o h e r e n c e a n d continuity from " r e g i m e s of m e a n i n g . " P i n a r a n d G r u m e t (1974) h a v e attempted to lay that g r o u n d i n g with their narrative o n currere.  Generalisability  and  Predictability  " G o o d narrative must g o b e y o n d reliability, validity, and generalisability: a 'plausible' o n e t e n d s to 'ring true'" (Pinar era/. 1995, p.560). While fantasy m a y be d e s i r a b l e in fictional narratives, the m o r e plausible a n autobiography, the m o r e weight it c a r r i e s in scholarly discourse.  R e s o n a n c e inspires a s e n s e of a g e n c y within t h e reader, a  characteristic w h i c h w o u l d s e e m to mark a strong autobiographical study.  Conclusion In this c h a p t e r I h a v e e x p l o r e d curriculum a s p r o c e s s . G r u m e t (1978) d e s c r i b e s curriculum a s t h e p r o c e s s of p e r s o n s coming to form ; in other words, a p r o c e s s of u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d reflection that l e a d s to personal transformation. S h e further  33  d e s c r i b e s a u t o b i o g r a p h y a s the method by which curriculum c a n d o its work.  Through  a u t o b i o g r a p h y w e c h r o n i c l e significant e v e n t s from our lived e x p e r i e n c e , v i e w i n g t h e m from a t e m p o r a l d i s t a n c e that affords us clarity a n d perspective.  B y unearthing s t o r i e s of my e x p e r i e n c e , I gain new p e r s p e c t i v e s o n t h e interplay b e t w e e n differing identities, differing paths of learning, a n d differing p l a c e s of context. A n a l y s i s of how t h e s e stories transform and inform my understanding of curriculum s p u r s m e to r e c o v e r t h e volition I n e e d to c r e a t e fluidity in a "living curriculum" - a p l a c e with s p a c e for m e a n d t h e storied lives of t h o s e I teach/learn f r o m .  A s G o r d o n W e l l s (1984) said in an a d d r e s s to Early C h i l d h o o d t e a c h e r s , w e e x p e r i e n c e our lives a s a s e r i e s of stories. H i s m e s s a g e a l w a y s rang true with me, but it h a s particular s i g n i f i c a n c e now a s I m a k e storying my methodology. p h e n o m e n o n and method have merged -Autobiography/Lifestory.  34  The  2  My Run with Currere Grafting Hybrids Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something moulded. Saint-Exupery, 1939 One of the difficulties in seeking to develop new perspectives is the obvious and oft-pointed-to distinction between theory and practice or, to put it in common sense language, merely understanding the world and changing it. Apple,  1990  Introduction T h e n e e d to u n d e r s t a n d curriculum is a recurring t h e m e in the l a n d s c a p e of m y lifeworld. A s a child, university student, t e a c h e r a n d mother, I h a v e a l w a y s b e e n interested in what w e learn a n d why, a s m u c h a s what w e don't l e a r n . W h o d e c i d e s what is important a n d what isn't? What a r e the political c o n s e q u e n c e s ?  W h y can't  learning b e m o r e socially r e l e v a n t ? A s a n education student, m y interaction with c u r r i c u l u m c o u l d b e l i k e n e d to t h e rebellious t e e n a n d h e r parent. M y rejection of w h a t I s a w to b e static structures with little room for t e a c h e r creativity c a u s e d m e to s h u n a n y c o u r s e s o r s e m i n a r s that e m p h a s i z e d the w o r d s curriculum a n d instruction. W h a t I l e a r n e d a b o u t c u r r i c u l u m d e v e l o p m e n t w a s in spite of a n y c o n s c i o u s d e s i g n o n m y part. N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e bulk of my t e a c h i n g e x p e r i e n c e a n d a c a d e m i c r e s e a r c h h a s f o c u s e d a r o u n d c r e a t i n g socially relevant curriculum.  After r e a d i n g P i n a r a n d Grumet's (1976) work o n currere, I w a s inspired to d r a w o n lived e x p e r i e n c e s that s e e m e d to b e k e y in directing m y e d u c a t i o n a l life story. T h e  35  e x p e r i e n c e s I h a v e d r a w n o n for this chapter w e r e carefully s e l e c t e d . E a c h o n e w a s 3  a n important part of t h e context in w h i c h I d e v e l o p e d a global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e myself, a n d p l a y e d a n important role in a w a k e n i n g global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e s in o t h e r s t h r o u g h re-tellings. T h e s e stories also helped m e f a c e t h e o v e r w h e l m i n g s p e c t r e of multiculturalism a n d e m b r a c e generative curriculum. T h e y w e r e later to inspire m e to find a v e n u e s of e m p o w e r m e n t a n d routes for efficacy with m y children a n d m y students.  P i n a r s u g g e s t s that the central question of currere asks, "What is your e x p e r i e n c e of e d u c a t i o n a l institutions?" U n d e r s t a n d i n g e x p e r i e n c e involves a p r o c e s s of reflection, w h i c h i n c o r p o r a t e s the s t a g e s identified by Pinar a s r e g r e s s i o n , p r o g r e s s i o n ,  analysis  a n d s y n t h e s i s . W h i l e I certainly incorporate t h e s e s t e p s in m y e x p e r i e n c e of currere, I find it s o m e h o w difficult to present what I e x p e r i e n c e a s fluid, in s e q u e n t i a l units of analysis.  I h a v e c h o s e n a n organic a p p r o a c h that more reflects m y w a y s of k n o w i n g .  In recalling t h e lived e x p e r i e n c e s that a r e central to m y run with currere, I h a v e p a u s e d at significant points a l o n g m y journey w h e r e I c a n s e e that m y e d u c a t i o n a l practice a n d p e r s o n a l p h i l o s o p h y h a v e b e e n affected. I found that e a c h of t h e s e k e y lived e x p e r i e n c e s intersected with m y journey more than o n c e .  B y "bracketing" t h e s e  e x p e r i e n c e s - by isolating, examining, a n d analyzing them -1 w a s a b l e to extract m e a n i n g that in turn translated into practice.  E d u c a t o r s borrow t h e t e c h n i q u e of "bracketing" from p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l s c h o l a r s h i p .  While I say these stories were carefully selected, it is also true that they could have been other ones. Why did I choose these? They represent difficulties that forced me to realise boundaries and horizons. Next year, I might choose different ones. At this time, these particular lived experiences stand out as the building blocks I used in developing a global perspective, and in nurturing such a perspective in the children I work with and learn from. They also link a diverse group of characters in a colourful community of learners. 3  36  T h i s t e c h n i q u e is e m p l o y e d to c o n n e c t with one's lifeworld or " e x p e r i e n c e d context" ( G r e e n e , 1973). T o "bracket," o n e reflects on the "taken for granted," in o r d e r to u n d e r s t a n d e x p e r i e n c e profoundly a n d authentically (Pinar et. al., 1995). O n c e in t o u c h with one's lifeworld, the r e s e a r c h e r h a s a place from w h i c h to a s k q u e s t i o n s a n d s h a p e her learning.  Bracketing - [The U s u a l B e c o m e s U n u s u a l ! [Killing a M o t h ! - T h o u g h t s That R u n T h r o u g h M y H e a d A n o t h e r moth, another hunt. W h a t a r e they infesting n o w ? It's a never ending battle every s p e c k of f o o d e n c a s e d in T u p p e r w a r e (thank G o d for t h o s e d e s p e r a t e d a y s - singing the T u p p e r w a r e s o n g ) H a s this o n e already laid its e g g s or a m I in time to prevent the dirty d e e d ? P e r h a p s the b o y s n e e d a r a i s e 10 up to 12 c e n t s per larva 15 to 18 c e n t s per moth 18 x 4 is 4 x 8 at 3 2 plus 4 x 10 at 4 0 ; y e s 7 2 c e n t s that should stretch their mental math. A h , the goalie judge following a tiny s p e c k of rubber I follow a flitting s p e c k of wing dust T h e hunt is on, I force her high, s p e n d her flight r e s e r v e s , s h e rests, I raise my hand, w h o p she's d e a d . ( S e v e n Y e a r s in Tibet m o n k s carefully transferring w o r m s the guilt - o h why do I do it I must perfect a method to trap them live.) Wait a minute wow, a c h a n c e d i s c o v e r y ! Her little c o r p s e d r o p s into the c a g e below  37  S n u g g l e s , the m o u s e , r u s h e s to the s c e n e S n u g g l e s s a v o u r s the taste of wing dust. I a m no longer the s a v a g e moth "waster". I a m merely a catalyst in o n e of nature's f o o d c h a i n s .  I wrote t h e a b o v e p o e m w h e n I got up from reading v a n M a n e n ' s paper, Practicing  phenomenological  writing (1984), to kill a moth. At the time, I r e m e m b e r b e i n g  s o m e w h a t t a k e n a b a c k by t h e n u m b e r of a s s o c i a t i v e thoughts a n d i m a g e s that flew through m y h e a d in that two minute bracket. T h e s e w e r e : • our k i t c h e n infestation of moths a n d my s u b s e q u e n t study of their different s t a g e s of life • m y d o w n a n d out d a y s , selling T u p p e r w a r e • m y c o m m i t m e n t to e n c o u r a g e mental math skills in meaningful settings • h o u r s spent at t h e rink being a h o c k e y m o m • e x p e r t i s e in killing the moths • impact of B u d d h i s t t e a c h i n g s and an i m a g e from the m o v i e Seven Years in Tibet • recollection of Biology c l a s s , in which w e d i s c o v e r e d m i c e enjoy eating insects. T h e m u n d a n e is so exotic under the m i c r o s c o p e .  A s I reflect on t h e s e i m a g e s now, I  a m a l s o struck by the shift in perspective: moth waster to nature's catalyst, a n d how this s y m b o l i s e s m y e x p e r i e n c e with curriculum -- learning to s e e things in n e w w a y s .  W h a t follows is a n a c c o u n t of the central lived e x p e r i e n c e s relevant to m y run with  currere.  E a c h o n e is b r a c k e t e d : it is followed by a s e r i e s of vignettes depicting other  settings in w h i c h the e x p e r i e n c e lived and c h a n g e d .  T h e s e vignettes c a n t a k e the  form of re-tellings, reflections, a n d p o e m s . Finally, I reflect on how t h e s e inform my p r e s e n t u n d e r s t a n d i n g of curriculum. Although t h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s d o not offer g e n e r a l i s a b l e d a t a , I h o p e to kindle in the reader m e m o r i e s of like e x p e r i e n c e s , t h e r e b y s p a r k i n g reflections relevant to self.  38  T h e structure of e a c h lived e x p e r i e n c e follows the s a m e format, loosely b a s e d o n the s t a g e s of currere identified by Pinar:  • Lived experience: the original e x p e r i e n c e recalled a s a d a t a s o u r c e (regressive);  • Retellings: the examination of latent m e a n i n g s that s u r f a c e from t h e original e x p e r i e n c e through re-tellings (progressive, analytic);  • Reflections: c o n t e m p l a t i o n s on how t h e s e m e a n i n g s relate to t e a c h i n g a n d  curriculum, a n d how they might be integrated into practice (synthetic, agency).  T o p r e s e r v e t h e autobiographical flow of currere I h a v e kept the  Reflections succinct.  H o w e v e r , t h e continuing significance of how t h e s e stories impact o n  educational  d i s c o u r s e a n d practice is r a i s e d w h e r e relevant throughout the r e m a i n d e r of t h e text, particularly in c h a p t e r three w h e r e I e x a m i n e my a c a d e m i c s e a r c h for inclusive relevant curriculum a n d in chapter four w h e r e I look at practical implications in t h e classroom.  LIVED EXPERIENCE  ONE  Hating Math with Mrs. Sturbv, (Edmonton -- Winter  1964)  It w a s G r a d e T h r e e , a n d another morning of multiplication facts with my t e a c h e r , M r s . Sturby. M r s . S t u r b y had a prosthesis, which meant s o m e kids c a l l e d her " P e g L e g . " I lived in fear of the distinctive s o u n d of her u n e v e n footstep up the aisle, a n d t h e heartstopping c r a c k of the yardstick that s h e a l w a y s carried - a d r e a d e d c o m b i n a t i o n . Y o u s e e , e v e n t h o u g h I k n e w my multiplication facts from doing them with my d a d o n t h e w a y to a n d from skating e a c h day, for s o m e r e a s o n I'd f r e e z e at the front of my row in M r s . Sturby's c l a s s . I r e m e m b e r writing d o w n e a c h equation, but by the time I m a d e it to t h e e q u a l s sign, M r s . S t u r b y w a s already starting the next q u e s t i o n . I h a d to d e c i d e w h e t h e r to write d o w n t h e a n s w e r or go a h e a d with the next equation. M y brief m o m e n t of indecision c a u s e d m e to m i s s the first n u m b e r of the s e c o n d t i m e s fact. A n d then that leg w o u l d m a k e its irregular rhythm up my aisle. T h a t m o r n i n g in 1964, I w a s just writing d o w n 3 x 1 2 w h e n M r s . Sturby's ruler c r a c k e d a c r o s s the c o r n e r of my d e s k . "Christianne, you haven't written a single answer." T h i s w a s t r u e : I w a s at least 6 or 7 lines d o w n , with nothing but blanks b e s i d e e a c h e q u a l s s i g n . S o m e t h i n g s n a p p e d in my h e a d , a n d I hated M r s . Sturby.  39  W h e n t h e r e c e s s bell went, I took a tack off the bulletin b o a r d by her d e s k a n d put it, point u p w a r d s , on her seat. I t h e n went outside to join my f r i e n d s in C h i n e s e skipping a n d let out a sigh of relief. M y r e v e n g e w a s s o c o m p l e t e that I n e v e r c o n s i d e r e d M r s . S t u r b y actually sitting on the tack, or e v e n r e m e m b e r e d what I h a d d o n e w h e n I c a m e b a c k in from r e c e s s . I w a s lost in the e u p h o r i a of getting to "hipsies" in s k i p p i n g . It w a s a spine-straightening s h o c k w h e n I h e a r d M r s . Sturby yell a n d turned to s e e t h e c o l o u r in her f a c e . H e r skin h a d that ruddy colouring, that g i v e s a blue tinge to a red flush. S h e w a s w e a r i n g a tartan skirt that f l a p p e d a s s h e s t a m p e d her g o o d foot helplessly, d e m a n d i n g to k n o w who had put the tack on her chair. M y f a c e went c r i m s o n with o n e of t h o s e ear-burning b l u s h e s w h i c h I thought w a s a sure g i v e a w a y of m y guilt, yet I w a s d u m b with fear a n d couldn't say, "It w a s me!" I fully e x p e c t e d that at a n y moment, o n e of m y c l a s s m a t e s would tell on me. W o u l d it be T o d d M a s o n ? I mentally went through e a c h o n e of m y c l a s s m a t e s . In her exasperation, M r s . S t u r b y a s s i g n e d u s s o m e t h i n g to d o a n d d i s a p p e a r e d d o w n to the office, grimly s a y i n g , " W e l l s e e about this!" T h e next thing w e knew, our c l a s s r o o m "snitch" h i s s e d that M r . R a m s a y , t h e principal, w a s c o m i n g d o w n the hall with M r s . Sturby. Mr. R a m s a y s p o k e to us about t h e s e r i o u s n e s s of t h e crime, a n d a s s u r e d us w e would b e better off if w e admitted our guilt. N o b o d y s a i d anything. I maintained a brilliant tomato r e d . (In retrospect, I w a s p r o b a b l y s e e n a s far too s h y a child to do s u c h a thing a n d m y m o r e b o i s t e r o u s m a l e c l a s s m a t e s w e r e receiving the usual scrutiny.) W h e n n o b o d y w o u l d s a y anything, M r . R a m s a y tried to c o n v i n c e us that this w a s s u c h an important incident that it w o u l d not b e c o n s i d e r e d tattling (although I r e m e m b e r thinking, what e l s e c o u l d it p o s s i b l y b e ? ) Finally, half a n hour past the final bell, Mr. R a m s a y said he had to let us go a s h e didn't want our p a r e n t s to worry over our late arrivals h o m e . But before d i s m i s s i n g us, h e w a r n e d that h e w o u l d s e e us the following afternoon a n d every d a y thereafter until o n e of u s c o n f e s s e d . I r e m e m b e r f e e l i n g that my world had e n d e d , that I'd d o n e a v e r y b a d thing a n d that the trouble w o u l d never go away. T h e clear options I had w e r e to run away, or to a p p e a l to m y p a r e n t s for help. I a v o i d e d the subject until I h a d to f a c e the dark in m y room alone, a n d I c a l l e d to my d a d . W h i l e m y d a d s e e m e d to u n d e r s t a n d , h e s a i d t h e h o n o u r a b l e thing to d o w a s to c o n f e s s , and c o u n s e l l e d m e that things w o u l d b e e a s i e s t if I a s k e d to s e e the principal before s c h o o l - that w a y I c o u l d c o n c e n t r a t e the rest of t h e day. I m i s s e d that opportunity, but g a t h e r e d my wits at t h e r e c e s s bell a n d h e a d e d to t h e office. T o this day, M r . R a m s a y r e m a i n s o n e of my educational mentors. H e didn't strap me, a s I e x p e c t e d h e would. H e simply a s k e d m e why I thought that M r s . Sturby w o u l d h a v e c r a c k e d t h e ruler a c r o s s my desk, and a s k e d m e what I k n e w about M r s . Sturby. T o m a k e a long story short, he told m e about her brave battle with b o n e d i s e a s e a n d her belief in t h e c o r n e r s t o n e s of learning. H e a c k n o w l e d g e d that t h e t i m e d e l e m e n t of her m a t h e m a t i c a l drills w a s nerve-wracking, but a s k e d that I try to u n d e r s t a n d her  40  p e r s p e c t i v e at h a v i n g to t e a c h the largest c l a s s of g r a d e t h r e e s multiplication f a c t s by the provincial e x a m d a t e (we h a d 31 kids in our c l a s s ) . M r . R a m s a y d i d c o m m e n d m e for m y h o n e s t y a n d b r a v e n e s s , a n d a s a reward, he s a i d he would s p e a k to M r s . Sturby a n d that the matter would not be brought up in c l a s s . H i s parting w o r d s w e r e that I s h o u l d c o m e to s e e him in future, if I had a problem. I felt a s if I h a d a friend. T h e r e w a s a lightness in my step a s I h e a d e d outdoors. It w a s a s if I w a s party to two important s e c r e t s : the principal w a s really a nice g u y a n d t h e s e r g e a n t drill m a s t e r w a s quite h u m a n ! Nothing w a s ever s a i d to m e about t h e tack incident by M r s . Sturby. A short while later, s h e attached a note to m y drill s h e e t s a y i n g I n e e d not write d o w n the equations. Strangely, after sitting in M r . R a m s a y ' s office, I lost t h e jitters during timed math drills a n d very s o o n after w a s m a n a g i n g both e q u a t i o n s a n d t h e a n s w e r s , within the allotted time. Did M r s . S t u r b y s l o w d o w n or did I speed up?  Retellings: * Student Teachers in a Methods Course at University of Alberta Spring of 1984. W h i l e e n g a g e d a s a Kindergarten teacher, I w a s a s k e d to a d d r e s s a n E d u c a t i o n c l a s s at t h e University of Alberta. T h e professor who invited m e w a s particularly i m p r e s s e d with m y s y s t e m of individualised programming, a n d a s k e d if I'd b e interested in talking to his students about integrating individualized p r o g r a m m i n g into c l a s s curriculum. W h e n I s p o k e to his s t u d e n t s about t h e benefits a n d d r a w b a c k s of having s o m e students perform different t a s k s , I h a d to d e a l with their c o n c e r n that s u c h differentiation s o m e h o w a l l o w e d c e r t a i n s t u d e n t s to "get away" with less. I u s e d M r s . Sturby's story to illustrate that this n e e d not n e c e s s a r i l y b e the c a s e . I e x p l a i n e d the a r r a n g e m e n t M r s . S t u r b y a n d m y p a r e n t s h a d r e a c h e d , w h e r e I w a s permitted to write d o w n only t h e a n s w e r s without listing t h e equations like e v e r y b o d y e l s e . M r s . S t u r b y r e c o g n i s e d m y a n x i e t y difficulties a n d m a d e what s h e felt w a s a significant c o n c e s s i o n . S h e w o r r i e d that children lost their place without writing d o w n the q u e s t i o n s , w h i c h s h e felt p r o v i d e d a r e f e r e n c e point. However, s h e r e a l i z e d -- a n d also taught m e -- that individualized training is more about e q u a l opportunity, t h a n about e v e r y o n e getting the s a m e treatment.  * Storytelling Club, Southlands Elementary School -  Fall of  1996.  C h i l d r e n from g r a d e s T w o to S i x c a m e together o n c e a w e e k to listen to m e read/tell stories. A rash of tattling b e g a n to spill into my story hour. W h e n it b e g a n to get out of hand, I u s e d M r s . Sturby's story, f o c u s i n g o n t h e t h e c h o i c e m y c l a s s m a t e s m a d e not to tell on me. I explained how this action in t h e e n d g a v e m e t h e room I n e e d e d to turn my own self in to c o n f e s s . I let t h e story c l u b m e m b e r s k n o w m y feeling of disbelief a n d e u p h o r i a at not b e i n g e x p o s e d by kids w h o w o u l d normally get a rush from telling on me, e s p e c i a l l y with t h e  41  e n c o u r a g e m e n t of the principal. T h e s i l e n c e of my c l a s s m a t e s a l l o w e d m e to s a v e f a c e , a n d g a v e m e the s e n s e that I w a s part of the student body, e v e n t h o u g h I w a s u n b e a r a b l y s h y a n d only e v e r s p o k e to two or t h r e e c h i l d r e n in t h e c l a s s . In finishing the d i s c u s s i o n with my story-telling students, I a s k e d , "as long a s no o n e is e n d a n g e r e d , what harm would it do to give a c l a s s m a t e a little s p a c e to d e a l with one's own m i s d e m e a n o u r ? " W e d i s c u s s e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e of e s t a b l i s h i n g a n environment that affords s p a c e to individuals without j e o p a r d i s i n g the c l a s s r o o m community. I d i d not e x p e c t my c o u n s e l to t h e c h i l d r e n to b e internalised that day. I h a d merely planted the s e e d with t h e k n o w l e d g e I w o u l d n e e d to water it m a n y t i m e s afterward, a n d with t h e h o p e they w o u l d c o m e to a p p r e c i a t e what Mr. R a m s a y h a d k n o w n that d a y .  * A school discussion with my niece - Fall of 1997. M y n i e c e w a s c o m p l a i n i n g bitterly about a t e a c h e r at her junior high s c h o o l , w h o s e e m e d to b e underestimating the abilities of his s t u d e n t s . In h e r opinion, h i s c h o i c e of curriculum content w a s not appropriate to their level of u n d e r s t a n d i n g , a n d he s p o k e in a w a y that w a s better suited to a y o u n g e r a u d i e n c e . M y r e s p o n s e was, o n c e again, to tell the M r s . S t u r b y story, this time f o c u s i n g m o r e o n M r . R a m s a y ' s chat with m e in his office. M r . R a m s a y h a d taught m e that t e a c h e r s a r e really only h u m a n b e i n g s a n d I e x p l a i n e d to m y n i e c e that I w o u l d never h a v e s e e n M r s . Sturby a s the g a r d e n e r M r . R a m s a y s a i d s h e w a s , or a s s o m e o n e w h o had suffered t r e m e n d o u s p e r s o n a l l o s s e s a n d yet still b e l i e v e d in the ultimate i m p o r t a n c e of c h i l d r e n d e v e l o p i n g g o o d math skills. I h a d fallen into the comfort z o n e of branding her with a stereotype, a s my peers had done. I a l s o related to m y niece how a simple a n a l o g y that w a s u s e d to e x p l a i n an o b s e r v a t i o n c o u l d play a part in simplifying a m u c h m o r e difficult c o n c e p t . I u r g e d h e r to g i v e t h e t e a c h e r a c h a n c e to e x p l a i n w h y h e u s e d s u c h a s i m p l e e x a m p l e , w h i c h would help d e m o n s t r a t e a willingness to s h a r e in t h e responsibility for her learning.  * Jamil in the car on the way home from school — March 1998. M y ten-year-old s o n , J a m i l , w a s beginning to d e v e l o p an a p p r e c i a t i o n for history that went b e y o n d n a m e s a n d d a t e s . F o r a project o n " e x p l o r e r s of C a n a d a , " h e h a d just c o m p o s e d a detailed diary imagining himself a s a c o o k o n J e a n C a b o t ' s s h i p . I felt this d e v e l o p i n g interest j e o p a r d i z e d w h e n J a m i l a s k e d , " M o m , for our s o c i a l s test tomorrow, why d o w e h a v e to k n o w all t h e e x a c t d a t e s , like w h e n p e o p l e l a n d e d and left? W h y can't w e just write about what the p e o p l e d i d ? " H e w a s quick to remind m e that e v e n his uncle, t h e ultimate trivia buff, couldn't p r o d u c e the exact date of Pierre L a V e r e n d r y e ' s last e x p e d i t i o n to the Mandans. I w a n t e d to uphold my son's respect for his teacher, yet, I c l e a r l y u n d e r s t o o d his  42  d i l e m m a . In r e s p o n d i n g to his question, I b e g a n by sharing m y p e r s o n a l belief, w h i c h w a s in line with his: if y o u n e e d to know a specific date, r e m e m b e r the r e f e r e n c e s o u r c e y o u c a n turn to for locating that exact information. T h e e m p h a s i s in learning history is to understand the nature of historical e x p e r i e n c e , not to m e m o r i z e specific d a t e s . However, having s a i d that, I told him s o m e e x e r c i s e s at s c h o o l w e r e important for r e a s o n s w h i c h w e r e not i m m e d i a t e l y apparent. S o m e t i m e s it's hard to s e e what you're getting out of a n a s s i g n m e n t -- it m a y not m a k e s e n s e to y o u . I e x p l a i n e d this w a s part of what I h a d l e a r n e d through M r s . Sturby's story. T h e things w e learn a r e part of a m o r e c o m p l i c a t e d picture which t a k e s time to appreciate. M r s . S t u r b y felt that t h e timing e l e m e n t s h e u s e d in t e a c h i n g multiplication t a b l e s w a s critical to o u r d e v e l o p m e n t . It required u s to u s e s p e e d , which in turn led to automaticity -- a critical skill for higher mathematical operations. In t h e meantime, t h e actual e x e r c i s e of m e m o r i z a t i o n strengthened the a s s o c i a t i v e links n e c e s s a r y to m o v e items from o u r short term m e m o r y to our long term m e m o r y b a n k s . T h i s c l e a r l y m a d e s e n s e to J a m i l a s his next question w a s , "Do y o u h a v e a n y tricks for r e m e m b e r i n g d a t e s ? " F o r the rest of the evening J a m i l a n d I put o u r collective c r e a t i v e j u i c e s into drawing links b e t w e e n e x p l o r e r s a n d d a t e s .  Reflections: The message reminding educators of the need to treat children individually is a strong one in this story. The space Mrs. Sturby and Mr. Ramsay afforded me was unusual for the day, but it freed me up to confront myself and in the end, meet their original demands regarding math drills. Their actions not only left a lasting impression on me, but they have impacted on those I work with. Themes of this story and its new lives in other contexts cause me to encourage myself and those I work with to develop a problem-solving approach characterized by the need to seek more information, avoid judgments, and anticipate complexity rather than try to confine myself to the most simple, blackor-white, right-or-wrong configuration.  It also reminds us how  important it is to take responsibility for one's own feelings, actions, and learning.  43  Perhaps an even stronger implication for curriculum is the wideranging benefit of bringing lived experience to the classroom.  Stories  can easily raise moral dilemmas around which children can begin to develop and test the tools necessary to deal with such experiences in their own lives. If I were to tell this story again in a classroom of young children, I would develop "What if..." questions, in order to explore the fuzzy areas so characteristic of moral dilemmas.  What if Mr. Ramsay had actually strapped me? What might have happened if I had written "PEG LEG" on the blackboard? What might have happened if I was an outspoken child and admitted my crime in class? me?  What might have happened if one of my classmates told on  What if my parents had either taken my side against the teacher,  or given me the strapping Mr. Ramsay didn't? What impact does a student's fear have on her ability or inclination to learn?  LIVED EXPERIENCE TWO A Subtle Lesson from Two Wise Elders, (Edmonton and the Tvendinaga Reserve. Ontario -- Spring 1978) In m y final y e a r at t h e University of Alberta, I wrote a paper titled Children's literature by and/or about native peoples. It w a s well received a n d Dr. J o n Stott, m y p r o f e s s o r a n d a children's literature expert, s u g g e s t e d I publish it. In t h e e n d , I n e v e r got a r o u n d to publishing b e c a u s e I started a d d r e s s i n g o n e of the main t h e m e s of t h e p a p e r - "the lack of suitable N a t i v e l e g e n d s available to children." I h a d written that t e a c h e r s of y o u n g c h i l d r e n f o u n d a l r e a d y published l e g e n d s a w k w a r d , either b e c a u s e of a d v a n c e d content (sexual references) or the anthology format (rather t h a n picture book). A s a n artist without a project, I h a d found a mission: I w o u l d illustrate t h e l e g e n d s from v a r i o u s anthologies I h a d c o l l e c t e d . In m y naivete at t h e time, I d i d not u n d e r s t a n d t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e of appropriating s o m e o n e else's cultural property. T h i s is surprising b e c a u s e earlier that year, I w a s o n e of the few Provincial m u s e u m staff w h o s u p p o r t e d t h e return of a Blackfoot medicine bundle to its p l a c e of origin. W a s it m y p a s s i o n for illustrating that blinded m e in the o n e instance a n d not t h e o t h e r ? D i d I  44  allow myself to b e s e d u c e d by the Dr. Stott's w o r d s of praise, to the detriment of what I k n e w to b e right? I w a s particularly t a k e n with the collection, Sacred Legends of the Sandy Lake Cree by C a r l R a y a n d J a m e s S t e v e n s . I d e c i d e d to start by d o i n g a book with two l e g e n d s and illustrations m o d e l e d after C a r l Ray's distinctive style. I u s e d India ink a n d c o l o u r w a s h e s o n rice p a p e r with italic lettering for the text. E a c h p a g e w a s 10" x 1 4 " with text a l o n g the bottom a n d a large illustration taking up the top two thirds of t h e p a g e . I d i v i d e d Geen-go-hongay's Bath and Wee-sa-kay-jac and the Weasel into ten s e c t i o n s e a c h , s o that with e n d p a g e s , an author's note page, and a title/contents p a g e , I h a d the 2 4 f r a m e s of a picture book. Shortly after finishing this first book and reading it to s e v e r a l g r o u p s of kindergarten children, I visited my grandfather, Mr. W. S . Blake, on his P r i n c e E d w a r d C o u n t y farm o p p o s i t e T y e n d i n a g a in S o u t h e r n Ontario. I s h o w e d him the book, a n d h e h a d s o m e q u e s t i o n s a b o u t p e r m i s s i o n which m a d e me squirm, but basically c o m p l i m e n t e d m e o n t h e illustrations a n d overall a p p e a r a n c e of the book. T h e next d a y w e w e r e g o i n g to T y e n d i n a g a , a s w e often did, to visit Chief M a r a c l e . G r a m p s insisted that I t a k e the book, e v e n t h o u g h I protested s a y i n g that the l e g e n d s w e r e C r e e , not M o h a w k . M r . M a r a c l e w e l c o m e d us a n d s h o w e d interest in the book. H e didn't o p e n it, but b e g a n e x c h a n g i n g s t o r i e s with my grandfather and I w a s treated to a brief history of J o s e p h Brant's historic victories a n d how the M o h a w k p e o p l e w e r e split b e t w e e n C a u g h n a w a g a a n d T y e n d i n a g a . W h e n it w a s time to go, M r . M a r a c l e still h a d not o p e n e d the book a n d h e a s k e d if he could k e e p it for a few d a y s to s h o w the s c h o o l staff. T h e b o o k w a s never returned, but I went back to E d m o n t o n with a pair of m o o s e hide gauntlets from M r . M a r a c l e . W a s he really keeping the book for the s c h o o l or w a s it his diplomatic w a y to get it out of circulation? H e a n d my grandfather h a d b e e n f r i e n d s for a long time - w a s h e trying to protect my f e e l i n g s ? W a s my grandfather part of the p l a n ? I'll n e v e r k n o w what both he and Mr. M a r a c l e w e r e thinking -- t h e y h a v e both p a s s e d o n -- Is it selfish to pray that Mr. M a r a c l e had a g o o d fire that night? P e r h a p s , t h e b o o k h a s b e e n kept to illustrate f o r m s of appropriation. I c a n live with that. If I can't own up to my m i s t a k e s a n d then reframe them a s lessons, I haven't really internalised my t e a c h e r = l e a r n e r philosophy.  Retellings * Meeting with Verna Kirkness, Director of NITEP, University of British Columbia Spring 1992 I arrived at the University of British C o l u m b i a with definitive i d e a s a b o u t the f o c u s of my doctoral study. M y previous consulting work with P e i g a n a n d S i k s i k a in A l b e r t a (1988 - 1992) had contributed to high levels of frustration regarding t h e lack of culturally appropriate curriculum a n d in particular, the  45  paucity of published children's literature written with Native content. T h e r e w a s e v e n l e s s material written or illustrated by First Nations. M y study intent w a s to r e s e a r c h appropriate materials a n d test e f f e c t i v e n e s s through a n e x p e r i m e n t a l a n d control g r o u p study with First Nations children. M y b a c k g r o u n d a r e a s of e x p e r t i s e in literacy, children's literature, a n d culturally d i v e r s e early c h i l d h o o d curriculum d e v e l o p m e n t fueled my c o n f i d e n c e that I h a d s o m e t h i n g to contribute to t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of culturally relevant First N a t i o n s c u r r i c u l u m . M y c o n f i d e n c e w a s put in c h e c k w h e n I sought out Dr. V e r n a K i r k n e s s , t h e n director of t h e First Nations H o u s e of Learning, to a s k for a d v i c e regarding t h e a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of my study f o c u s . Dr. K i r k n e s s w a s direct in her m a n n e r a n d a s k e d that I a n s w e r t h e following q u e s t i o n s in writing b e f o r e s p e a k i n g with h e r again: "1) W h a t is your burning 'passion' to work with First N a t i o n s p e o p l e ? 2) W h a t b a c k g r o u n d do you bring to the r e s e a r c h ? 3) W h a t exactly do you want to d o ? 4) W h a t d o you n e e d from m e ? 5) W h a t d o e s the c o m m u n i t y get out of your w o r k ? " ( P e r s o n a l C o m m u n i c a t i o n , 1992). A s I l a b o u r e d o v e r a n s w e r s , I slowly b e c a m e a w a r e of how d i s r e s p e c t f u l I h a d b e e n : p r e s c r i b i n g curriculum d e s i g n s without first h a v i n g a s k e d t h e p e o p l e i n v o l v e d what t h e y n e e d e d a n d the particular constraints a n d c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h e y f a c e d . E v e n though I often s p o k e of the importance of curriculum evolving from t h o s e w h o u s e i t , I w a s caught in the d r e a d e d "White" c l i c h e - talking without first h a v i n g carefully a n d respectfully listened. I h a d e v e n r e a d o n e of Dr. K i r k n e s s ' s p a p e r s (1991) which referred to the 4 R's of e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h : R e s p e c t , R e l e v a n c e , Reciprocity and Responsibility, a n d s t r e s s e d the i m p o r t a n c e of listening. O n c e in Dr. Kirkness's office and twice while trying to a n s w e r her q u e s t i o n s , my m i n d s p u n back to t h o s e two l e g e n d s I had illustrated, h a d a p p r o p r i a t e d . I h a d l a c k e d r e s p e c t then a n d not listened carefully e n o u g h to what Native p e o p l e w e r e s a y i n g about cultural property. I burned with s h a m e a n d guilt inside a n d tried to bury t h e s e e m o t i o n s in volunteer activities at the 1 9 9 2 M o k a k i t (First Nations) C o n f e r e n c e o n c a m p u s a n d by enrolling in c o u r s e s taught by First N a t i o n s that a d d r e s s e d i s s u e s in First Nations E d u c a t i o n . I tried in e a r n e s t to listen.  * Listening to Maria Campbell, Metis author, Vancouver Writer's Festival -- Winter 1993 I a m a great admirer of M a r i a Campbell's writing and storytelling, a n d s o w h e n I h e a r d she'd b e at the V a n c o u v e r Writer's Festival, I m a d e the effort to attend her s e s s i o n . It w a s only w h e n I entered the Arts C l u b T h e a t r e a n d s a w her sitting  46  with a p a n e l of two others under a sign indicating the topic w a s "Appropriation of Native Stories," that I realised s h e w o u l d not b e talking about her b o o k s . T h e w o r d s on the banner s e e m e d to c o m e out a n d w r a p t h e m s e l v e s a r o u n d m e : "Appropriator of Native Stories." A friend tried to e n g a g e m e in c o n v e r s a t i o n , but my " S a c r e d L e g e n d s " secret w a s c h o k i n g m e -I couldn't s p e a k . M a r i a C a m p b e l l ' s v o i c e p i e r c e d t h e air with a plaintive, " S a v e m e from p e o p l e that m e a n well!" (Lutz, 1991). C o u l d s h e hear t h e v o i c e s in m y h e a d ? ! Did C h i e f M a r a c l e forgive my t r a n s g r e s s i o n b e c a u s e he thought I m e a n t w e l l ? I tried to think of all t h e well-meaning p e o p l e M a r i a must h a v e put up with to b e s o e x a s p e r a t e d . I c r i n g e d . W h y can't I bury this story from m y p a s t ? Neither G r a m p s or M r . M a r a c l e is h e r e to m a k e m e c o n f e s s .  * Dinner with Renee, Manager of Chief's Mask - Spring 1993 I w a s a frequent c u s t o m e r at the Chief's M a s k B o o k s t o r e a n d R e n e e , t h e m a n a g e r , a n d I often d i s c u s s e d the c h a l l e n g e s First N a t i o n s f a c e d w h e n trying to publish their work. W e chatted about books, how to u s e t h e m , a n d First N a t i o n s traditional curriculum. N o w and again w e went for c o f f e e a n d I tried to b e a g o o d listener. I r e s p e c t e d R e n e e ' s k n o w l e d g e of Native literature a n d I w a n t e d to s e e what s h e thought of s o m e of the b o o k s I w a s thinking of using with c h i l d r e n in a pilot study. I invited her for dinner a n d brought a bibliography of t h e b o o k s in m y Native collection. I hit a hot wire. S h e w a s visibly a n g r y w h e n s h e a s k e d , "Don't y o u think it would b e appropriate that y o u r e f e r e n c e t h e bibliographic s o u r c e s that y o u u s e d in compiling your b i b l i o g r a p h y ? " I didn't k n o w what to s a y . I hadn't u s e d any s o u r c e s ; the bibliography I s h a r e d with her w a s m e r e l y a c a t a l o g of my collection, yet I didn't want to s a y s o - it s e e m e d s o unfair that I w o u l d h a v e this a m a z i n g collection w h e n m a n y s c h o o l s m a k e d o with 10 - 2 0 titles. P e r h a p s I failed to d e f e n d myself, b e c a u s e e v e n t h o u g h I h a d not d o n e what I w a s being presently a c c u s e d of, I h a d d o n e s o m e t h i n g that to m e s e e m e d e v e n m o r e insensitive. R e n e e a n d I got e m b r o i l e d in a d i s c u s s i o n about appropriation w h i c h u n e a r t h e d all m y ugly m e m o r i e s about the stories I h a d s o naively lifted. I w a s about to c o n f e s s to R e n e e w h e n s h e r e m e m b e r e d s h e h a d another a p p o i n t m e n t s h e n e e d e d to get to a n d I r e m e m b e r e d Maria's w o r d s about t h o s e w h o m e a n well. I s u d d e n l y r e a l i s e d that I w a s trying to get f o r g i v e n e s s from this w o m a n ~ I w a n t e d her to heal me. H o w a b s u r d ! Did I e x p e c t this w o m a n to not only heal with her o w n people, but to find room to look after m e a s w e l l ? N o , I n e e d e d to work things through myself a n d s a v e my c o n f e s s i n g for s o m e o n e w h o might learn to avoid similar mistakes. I n e e d e d to tell this story to m y o w n people. T h a t night I felt c o m p e l l e d to rethink the f o c u s of m y r e s e a r c h . I h a d no b u s i n e s s trying to d o for First N a t i o n s what t h e y n e e d e d to d o t h e m s e l v e s . I c o u l d best help by giving t h e m s p a c e a n d taking responsibility for  47  m y m i s t a k e s a n d s u b s e q u e n t learning.  * A chat with my son, Jamil, regarding good literature - February 1998 I r e a d J a m i l an excerpt from Bettelheim's The uses of enchantment while w e w e r e eating dinner a n d a s k e d if he thought that all the g o o d s t o r i e s h e k n e w w e r e fairy tales, a s Bettelheim s u g g e s t s . At first, he a n s w e r e d that s o m e of his favourite stories w e r e fairy tales, a n d then he c o r r e c t e d himself by running a list of f a v o u r e d stories that w e r e not fairy tales. T h e n he a s k e d , " M o m , w h y d o all the really g o o d stories h a v e s u c h s a d n e s s in t h e m ? " W e r e v i e w e d a n u m b e r of the titles h e h a d mentioned (The Snow Goose, Pink and Say, Jacob's Story (in Stories From the Road Allowance People), Star of Fear, Star of Hope, Sadako) a n d I r e m i n d e d him of the hope in e a c h of t h e m . "I k n o w M o m , I learn to never let s u c h m i s t a k e s h a p p e n again, but they still m a k e m e s a d . " I a s k e d him what parts a n d h e s a i d , "just to know my people did t h o s e things." I took a breath a n d tried to r e m e m b e r w h e n it w a s that I took o w n e r s h i p for m y people, certainly not w h e n I w a s ten. H o w did he carry this great weight of guilt a n d yet love all of his r e l a t i o n s ? I clearly recall m a n a g i n g historical stories of injustice by c a r e f u l l y d i s t a n c i n g myself -- "those terrible things w e r e d o n e long b e f o r e m y g r a n d p a r e n t s a n d n o n e of my relatives would d o s u c h things," a n d t h e n d o i n g everything I c o u l d to correct the wrongs. But b e c a u s e I r e f u s e d to integrate t h e b a d with the g o o d in my own ancestry, my efforts to correct injustices w e r e a l w a y s d o n e from a p l a c e of power. I s h a r e d my thoughts with J a m i l a n d tried to s h o w him that my m e t h o d s of coping with past injustices h a d led m e to d i s t a n c e myself from the very people I s o wanted to help. I told him that by feeling s o r r y for o t h e r s without a c k n o w l e d g i n g my part in their o p p r e s s i o n , I w a s not r e s p e c t i n g t h e m a s equals. I b r a c e d myself to tell him t h e story of h o w m y renditions of Geen-go-hongay's Bath and l/Vee-sa-/cay-y'ac and the Weasel e n d e d up in T y e n d i n a g a with Chief M a r a c l e a c r o s s the bay from G r a m p s ' f a r m . 4  I let him tell m e what I did wrong -- "you c o p i e d their stories a n d didn't a s k p e r m i s s i o n ! " It didn't t a k e him long. W h y did this 10 y e a r old child u n d e r s t a n d what I m i s s e d a s a y o u n g adult? W h y w a s h e a l s o a b l e to a c k n o w l e d g e that his a n c e s t o r s h a d b e e n involved in social a n d cultural injustices, c o p e with t h e s a d n e s s , a n d learn from it instead of running the other w a y ? After sitting quietly for a f e w minutes, J a m i l s u g g e s t e d that I write to C a r l R a y a n d a p o l o g i s e . I e x p l a i n e d that C a r l had died, under tragic c i r c u m s t a n c e s , three m o n t h s after I h a d m a d e t h e book. Together, w e d e c i d e d my m i s t a k e w o u l d m a k e a g o o d story to tell o t h e r s s o that they would not m a k e the s a m e one. J a m i l r e m a r k e d o n t h e w a y out to t h e car, " T h o s e gauntlets sure have lasted a long time, M o m ; y o u s h o u l d t a k e t h e m with you w h e n you tell the story." W h y after all t h e s e y e a r s did I tell m y s o n ? W h y w a s I not c o n c e r n e d about Bibliographic information about titles mentioned in this section is included in the extended bibliography in Appendix A.  4  48  losing f a c e ? R e n e e h a d s h o w n m e a w a y I could help. It w a s m y responsibility to listen not only to her, but to my o w n heart a n d to s h a r e what I l e a r n e d in t h e w a y C o y o t e w o u l d - through stories of my o w n cultural i g n o r a n c e s .  F o u r "A's" of Indian Control - Four "D's" o n O u r Report C a r d Assimilation oops that didn't work; they're more different than we thought Acculturation take them from their families break the links with teachings strong and true, but somehow, as the aspen, they survive. Anthropology maybe we better study their ways learn the names of the diseases we passed on figure out the roots of all this resistance. Heh, there's truth, spirituality, and healing happening here! Appropriation (the world's a pretty bad place right now) How can we get some of this healing for ourselves? Let's get some of those fetishes, dream catchers, sweet grass, spirit stones and oh, some of those real traditional s-t-o-r-i-e-s Dishonour, Destruction, Degradation, Duplicity  Reflections: As I sit here, I know what I must do: send a copy of the above to the Sandy Lake First Nation.  I can at least apologise. Printed and mailed -  wow, 20 years late!  One may ask what my true motivation is in doing this. Is it to assuage my guilt - not really - I know I am guilty. I do it because it needs to be done. Over and over I hear First Nations expressing frustration that we deny  49  culpability for land grabs, abuse in residential schools, acculturation, and appropriation. Am I looking for forgiveness - not really.  In telling  Jamil the story that day, I began my expiation in the manner of Coleridge's Ancient Mariner.  In confronting and admitting our mistakes, we open the door to personal growth and enhance credibility in what we attempt to communicate. We also encourage an environment where teachers can be learners and learners can be teachers.  Children are freed to confront their mistakes  and learn from them without fear of judgment. If a teacher you will be, by your students you will be taught.  Other themes of relevance to curriculum emerge as I reflect on my decision to illustrate the legends. We need the opportunity to engage with sensitive cultural issues in the classroom, so that we can prepare children to anticipate complexity, seek more information, listen with respect, and accept diversity.  In order for there to be reciprocity between cultures, we have to come to understand our personal position in the oppressed/oppressor cycle.  I  learned that by trying to address the lack of Native children's literature, I was thinking as an oppressor. I had not sought shared understanding through dialogue. Instead I had taken the role of "helper" to those who did not seem to be able to help themselves. I was wrong, as is shown by the burgeoning number of First Nations authors and illustrators. As  50  educators, we foster equality in the classroom when we promote dialogue in a spirit of reciprocity and personal responsibility.  Would these lessons have been as powerful, if Chief Maracle had confronted me on my act of appropriation?  LIVED EXPERIENCE THREE Margaret Meek and the Politics of Rabbit Warrens, Spring 1981, England  London,  M y M . E d , r e s e a r c h c e n t e r e d around the benefits of literary t h e m e d e v e l o p m e n t in the n u r s e r y c l a s s r o o m . T h i s involved my using longer s e l e c t i o n s of literature to allow for a t h r e e to four w e e k e x t e n s i o n of the literary t h e m e into the various activity c e n t e r s . S e v e r a l p e o p l e q u e s t i o n e d my u s e of b o o k s like Charlotte's Web, The Secret Garden, The Wizard of Oz, and Watership Down with p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n . M y a c a d e m i c s u p e r v i s o r at the University of Bristol s u g g e s t e d that I m a k e a trip to L o n d o n to m e e t with M a r g a r e t M e e k in the R e a d i n g C e n t r e at the L o n d o n S c h o o l of E d u c a t i o n . S h e w a s a noted authority in the a r e a of emergent literacy. M y s u p e r v i s o r s a i d that s h e thought w e both w o u l d h a v e m a n y things in c o m m o n to d i s c u s s . In retrospect, m y s u p e r v i s o r w a s not strong in the a r e a of children's literature a n d m a y h a v e w a n t e d m e to work through t h e difficult i s s u e s of developmentally appropriate literature with s o m e o n e w h o s e opinion would count. I clearly r e m e m b e r Dr. M e e k ' s a g h a s t look w h e n I d i s c u s s e d u s i n g Watership Down with p r e s c h o o l a g e d c h i l d r e n . S h e a s k e d if I h a d r e a d t h e book a n d then e x c l a i m e d that with all the excellent picture b o o k s available, s h e couldn't u n d e r s t a n d my d e c i s i o n to u s e c h a p t e r b o o k s . In a c h a l l e n g i n g t o n e s h e s a i d "Watership Down is a political c o m m e n t a r y on society, not a n u r s e r y story!" H e r c o u n t e n a n c e m a d e it c l e a r that this w a s a bad thing a n d I r e a c t e d defensively, s a y i n g that I hadn't found it to be political, but instead, c e l e b r a t e d it a s a tightly knit story about the natural habits of rabbits. S h e r e s p o n d e d by s a y i n g it w a s a book intended for adults a n d I c o u n t e r e d by saying that A d a m s , the author, h a d written it from t h e r a m b l i n g s h e s h a r e d with his two children while walking t h e d o w n s o n w e e k e n d s . I read/told the story rather than reading it word for word, staying true to d i a l o g u e a n d s u m m a r i s i n g wording settings. I finished by drawing her attention to t h e children's picture plate edition I had brought with me. S h e r e s p o n d e d by s a y i n g her s c h e d u l e w a s tight, a n d s h e felt s h e could best help m e by giving m e a c o p y of t h e latest R e a d i n g C e n t r e a p p r o v e d bibliography of children's quality picture b o o k s . I f o u n d myself o u t s i d e her office d o o r s 2 0 minutes after arriving. I h a d a long train ride back to Bristol in which to think through my deviant behaviour a n d c o m e up with s o m e kind of rational a c c o u n t i n g for my committee of my visit with the great M a r g a r e t M e e k . 51  W h y did I u s e c h a p t e r b o o k s with Kindergarten c h i l d r e n ? I w a s s e a r c h i n g for texts with s o m e grit, that w e c o u l d get our teeth into. I n e e d e d stories w h e r e c h a r a c t e r s w e r e c o m p l e x , rather than over simplified to m a k e a point. I u s e d short picture b o o k s daily during a s e c o n d reading time, but I built curriculum around s t o r i e s of s u b s t a n c e that fuelled m e a t y d i s c u s s i o n s . Watership Down w a s p e r f e c t . W e could a n a l y s e t h e root of evil b e h a v i o u r in the villain, G e n e r a l Woundwort, contemplate t h e price of f r e e d o m with H a z e l , a n d feel with Fiver, t h e soothsayer, the fear that a c c o m p a n i e s people's right to remain ignorant of the f o r c e s that control t h e m . M y favourite part h a s a l w a y s b e e n the c h a p t e r s d e s c r i b i n g C o w s l i p ' s w a r r e n . T h e lead c h a r a c t e r s arrive at a s t r a n g e smelling warren in n e e d of shelter. All but t h e s o o t h s a y e r w e l c o m e t h e shelter a n d the delicious f o o d a c q u i r e d from t h e n e a r b y farmer's g a r d e n . Fiver i s s u s p i c i o u s of the h u m a n smell e v e r y w h e r e a n d t h e s t r a n g e rule about not a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s starting with where, why, or w h e n . T h e r e a r e a l w a y s g a s p s of s h o c k a n d s i g h s of disbelief w h e n the children in m y c l a s s e s d i s c o v e r that t h e f a r m e r g i v e s the rabbits food, b e c a u s e he is actually raising t h e m to eat t h e m . H e i s c l e v e r l y b y - p a s s i n g t h e c h o r e of maintaining m a n - m a d e h u t c h e s . C o w s l i p ' s w a r r e n i s a s o c i e t y of rabbits that m a k e the mistake of e m b r a c i n g ignorance for short term g a i n . W h e n I r e a d my t h e s i s from the University of Bristol, I s e e t h e impact of M a r g a r e t M e e k ' s c o m m e n t s that d a y in her L o n d o n office. H e r w o r d s e s t r a n g e d m y a c a d e m i c a p p r e c i a t i o n of what I intuitively k n e w to be crucial to effective curriculum. In d e f e n d i n g m y u s e of c h a p t e r books, there is no mention of the opportunity to work t h r o u g h sociopolitical i s s u e s over a n e x t e n d e d period a n d to d e v e l o p multidimensional appreciation of c h a r a c t e r s -- e v e n though this is what I firmly b e l i e v e d . I don't talk about using texts to confront a problem or i s s u e s o that t h e c h i l d r e n m a y c o m e to know their o w n b o u n d a r i e s and horizons. R a t h e r I d e f e n d the u s e of c h a p t e r b o o k s b e c a u s e they provide continuity, a n d allow t e a c h e r s to adapt a n d u s e curriculum t h e m e materials over a longer period. T h e r e is n o mention of t h e a d v a n t a g e s children s t a n d to gain from the u s e of more c o n c e p t u a l l y c h a l l e n g i n g texts.  Retellings * Defending My Use of Watership Down to the Local Advisory Committees, Edmonton Autumns in 1983 and 1984 W h i l e I r e a d this story to m a n y c l a s s e s of kindergarten children, two particular g r o u p s s t a n d out, b e c a u s e of the c o n c e r n s parents r a i s e d about p e r c e i v e d u n d e r t o n e s of t h e text. I had a n extremely supportive principal w h o a n n o u n c e d to p a r e n t s that t h e book would be read a s planned, but I w o u l d meet with c o n c e r n e d parents to d e m o n s t r a t e how I would be read/telling t h e story. A s with M a r g a r e t Meek, I d e f e n d e d the text a s a realistic w i n d o w into rabbit behaviour. I e x p l a i n e d h o w I d e v e l o p e d individual c h a r a c t e r s a n d h o w I e n c o u r a g e d children to a c c e p t diversity in c h a r a c t e r s k e t c h e s , rather than c a s t c h a r a c t e r s in stereotypical roles. But not o n c e , did I mention sociopolitical  52  awareness!!  * 601 seminar in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of British Columbia -- Fall 1992 I w a s intrigued by a c l a s s r o o m d i s c u s s i o n regarding M i c h a e l A p p l e ' s study of h e g e m o n y a n d ideological f o r c e s in curriculum. W e w e r e exploring t h e n e e d for a n a l y s i s a n d greater understanding of the latent a s s u m p t i o n s that c r e a t e h i d d e n c u r r i c u l u m . A s c e n e from Cowslip's W a r r e n (chapter 13 in Watership Down) c a m e to mind, w h e r e t h e rabbits w e r e g a t h e r e d u n d e r g r o u n d to p a r t a k e in t h e cultured activity of listening to poetry while nibbling o n t h e s p o i l s from t h e farmer's g a r d e n . In order to maintain this lifestyle, they h a d to shut out k n o w l e d g e of how the carrots got there a n d the l o s s of life that w a s n e c e s s a r y to support their luxurious tastes. Suddenly, I s a w Watership Down a s a political text a n d I u n d e r s t o o d its d e e p e r hold over me. T h i s s a m e story h a d p r o v i d e d the m o r a l d i l e m m a s around which to d e v e l o p d i s c u s s i o n s in m y k i n d e r g a r t e n c l a s s r o o m s (I h a v e r e a d a n d w o r k e d Watership Down with 8 g r o u p s of children a n d e a c h g r o u p r e s p o n d e d differently to the moral d i l e m m a s raised).  * Using the Image of Cowslip's Warren as a guide in selecting books - 1992-1998 I u s e t h e w o r d s "Cowslip's W a r r e n " a s a c o d e n a m e with m y favourite b o o k s e l l e r to refer to b o o k s that e n c o u r a g e children to shift g e a r s on an a c c e p t e d p e r s p e c t i v e a n d entertain alternative p e r s p e c t i v e s . I also refer to b o o k s of this kind a s c o u n t e r - h e g e m o n i c , and m a r k e r s of d e c o l o n i s a t i o n . B y collecting a n d using s u c h b o o k s with children, I hope to "rattle their c a g e s " e n o u g h that t h e y m a y g l i m p s e the m e a n i n g behind "false c o n s c i o u s n e s s " a n d a v o i d finding t h e m s e l v e s "underground with C o w s l i p . " C h i l d r e n a r e e n c o u r a g e d to w o n d e r what h a v e b e e n e r a s e d a n d written over in the m a k i n g of t h e m o d e r n world (Willinsky, 1998, p. 52).  * Feeling the night time hunger in downtown east side Vancouver — November 1997 I h a d d o n e a lot of work at understanding the h o m e l e s s a n d poverty-stricken in V a n c o u v e r . I also had a fairly substantial collection of children's b o o k s that h u m a n i z e d street p e o p l e a n d m a d e them a p p r o a c h a b l e . Y e t w h e n m y laptop c o m p u t e r a n d b a c k u p d i s k s w e r e stolen, I w a s f o r c e d to confront d o w n t o w n a n d e a s t s i d e V a n c o u v e r . I went with my two b o y s to the p a w n s h o p s , flop h o u s e s a n d n e i g h b o r h o o d b a r s to post notices about my stolen computer, a n d a d v e r t i s e a $ 5 0 0 r e w a r d for the back-up d i s k s . T h r o u g h this e x p e r i e n c e , I r e a l i s e d I h a d m u c h to learn about what downtown life w a s really like. T o begin with, I w a s p r e o c c u p i e d with my own c o n c e r n s : t h e urgency of r e c o v e r i n g the lost d a t a , a n d the e x p e n s e of replacing the stolen equipment. Yet in s e a r c h i n g for m y o w n n e e d s , I b e c a m e increasingly aware of the environment of o v e r w h e l m i n g n e e d that s u r r o u n d e d us. I s a i d to my children, " F e e l the hunger. F e e l t h e n e e d . T h i s  53  is h e r e w h e n you go to s c h o o l . T h i s is here w h e n w e g o to t h e b e a c h . T h e s e p e o p l e a r e stealing to support habits that started a s w a y s to c o p e with s e v e r e h o p e l e s s n e s s . " I c o m p a r e d the feeling outside the d o o r s of o u r c a r or a s w e w a l k e d t h r o u g h P i g e o n Park, to Cowslip's warren in W a t e r s h i p D o w n . I talked about how, w h e n w e w e r e in our apartment eating dinner, t h e s e p e o p l e w e r e out h e r e a n d that a s long a s w e a n d the government ignored their n e e d a n d the reality of their hunger, the robberies would continue. T h e b o y s a n d I h a v e spent m a n y hours trying to envision a v e n u e s for efficacy. W e thought of m a k i n g quilts, but Karim a s k e d , "What if they don't want t h e m ? " I said, "You're absolutely right. W h a t w e n e e d to do is a s k t h e m what t h e y n e e d . " J a m i l a s k e d querulously, " C a n w e ask them in t h e daytime, M o m ? " W e d e c i d e d to t a k e b a t c h e s of c o o k i e s to P i g e o n Park a n d give them out to p e o p l e . O v e r time, p e r h a p s w e could ask what would be a p p r e c i a t e d , what w e c o u l d d o to help. T h e key thing about Karim's question w a s what pulled m e up by m y b o o t s t r a p s --1 h a d to really think about the fact that p e o p l e aren't a s k e d what they want. T h e y a r e a l w a y s told by s o m e o n e in an office with a d e g r e e in s o c i a l planning, w h o is c o m i n g up with s c h e m e s to solve their p r o b l e m s . A s w e p r e p a r e d to m a k e our apartment a s s e c u r e a s p o s s i b l e following t h e burglary, I kept thinking that no matter what w e did, there w o u l d a l w a y s b e w a y s to get in -- just a s rabbits would a l w a y s die in Cowslip's w a r r e n -- until w e f a c e d the reality of t h e s o c i a l crisis festering and boiling over d o w n t o w n .  * Explaining to my children the dependence of educators on casinos - Winter 1998. I w a s a s k e d o n e day, in front of my children, if I could volunteer s o m e time to work t h e c a s i n o that h a d b e e n applied for a s a s c h o o l fund raiser. I d e c l i n e d a n d if t h e b o y s h a d not a s k e d m e why, I probably would h a v e m i s s e d out o n an excellent d i s c u s s i o n with my children. I would also h a v e a v o i d e d h a v i n g to write a letter to t h e parent advisory committee. I e x p l a i n e d to my s o n s that the r e a s o n I couldn't help the s c h o o l with this project w a s that I didn't support fund raising through c a s i n o s . T h i s nice, e a s y w a y of getting f u n d s is strongly addictive. M a n y of the L o w e r M a i n l a n d s c h o o l s h a v e b e e n d e p e n d e n t for y e a r s . W h a t a r e the long term r a m i f i c a t i o n s ? W e a r e actually no different than the c a s i n o e m p l o y e e who p i c k s up our friend S h e i l a ' s s e v e n t y y e a r old mother in her bathrobe a n d slippers s o that s h e c a n g a m b l e a w a y t h e last of t h e m o n e y s h e and her h u s b a n d had put a s i d e for their h a n d i c a p p e d s o n , who will s o o n h a v e to live off t h e state. A w h o l e g e n e r a t i o n of c h i l d r e n h a s b e e n raised hearing the word "casino" in t h e s a m e vein a s " S a n t a C l a u s . " M y b o y s got the point, but I continued, " S c h o o l s justify their position, b e c a u s e they've b e e n told people will g a m b l e a n y w a y . T h e y might a s well m a k e g o o d out of b a d . But they unwittingly contribute to others' addiction  54  t h r o u g h their o w n . T h e provincial government couldn't pull out of c a s i n o s now; they t h e m s e l v e s a r e dependent, a n d now s o are we." I told t h e m that at the parent advisory meeting, the predominant feeling w a s that fund-raising is a drain on family time a n d that no other activity c o u l d give t h e s a m e return for a s little effort a s the casino. I lamented to my b o y s that I hadn't s a i d what w a s bursting to c o m e out ~ "I've got a great fund-raiser! Let's g o out a n d rob s o m e of the h o m e s in S o u t h l a n d s . That's minimal effort a n d it's fast. You'll get t o n s of m o n e y - a whole bay of c o m p u t e r s - f r e e hot d o g d a y s a n d m o r e ! " I e x p l a i n e d that the r e a s o n t h e s e p e o p l e couldn't s e e anything w r o n g with c a s i n o s is that they w e r e r e m o v e d from the event a n d like C o w s l i p ' s rabbits, put off thinking about future implications in return for short term gratification. K a r i m s a i d , " But M o m , you've got to tell s o m e b o d y about this!" T h a t night I h a d to write a letter to the s c h o o l parent advisory e x e c u t i v e c o m m i t t e e , outlining the c o n c e r n s I h a d raised earlier with my boys. In reading t h e letter to t h e m t h e next morning, I e x p l a i n e d o n e of my s u g g e s t i o n s : T o slowly w e a n o u r s e l v e s off "casino d e p e n d e n c e , " by a s k i n g for l e s s m o n e y in our a n n u a l a p p l i c a t i o n s , w o u l d not constitute a c o p out. I likened our d e p e n d e n c e to the s m o k e r . M a y b e w e w o u l d be m o r e s u c c e s s f u l if w e a s k e d p e o p l e to r e d u c e gradually. J a m i l w a s still for t h e "cold turkey" a p p r o a c h . But then, h e hadn't s e e n t h e f a c e s of the p a r e n t s a n d staff w h e n confronted with the c o n s e q u e n c e s of their a d d i c t i o n . I f i n i s h e d by cautioning that w h e n p e o p l e criticise, they must be r e a d y to c o m e up with alternatives a n d be p r e p a r e d to roll up their s l e e v e s a c c o r d i n g l y .  Reflections: Sometimes "walking your talk" can be very time-consuming.  How am I to  write a thesis, if I have to stop to write these letters; where do I find the time to go to the school parent meetings and try to present an unpopular view? On the other hand, if I don't respond to these opportunities as they arise, they may never recur and I lose the relevance of the situational context. I am reminded of the saying, "pay now or pay double later." I realise now that Margaret Meek unknowingly gave me a precious gift. 55  She had difficulty dealing with the concept of innocent  children  being  exposed to adult politics. In effect, she forced me, albeit belatedly, to confront my own perceptions of how socially relevant issues do get introduced to children. In a democratic society, it seems particularly important that we start early in encouraging critical thought as part of the ongoing process of individual growth. and when.  The challenge becomes the how  I have found that by using literature that engages children,  we can create non-threatening environments in which to face sensitive social issues.  Here children can develop and test skills needed to live in  today's diverse society. They get messy with alternative perspectives, they learn to cope with levels of ambiguity, and they get practice making pro-active decisions.  LIVED EXPERIENCE FOUR A Taste of Empowerment with Dr. Colleen Stainton. 1988 and 1989, Calgary S h e w a s different from all t h e others -- s h e w a s the only o n e w h o h e a r d m y story without e x c l a i m i n g , "You've got to l e a v e him." I w a s referred to Dr. C o l l e e n Stainton by the high-risk obstetrics unit for consultation regarding s t r e s s o n the fetus I w a s c a r r y i n g . I w a s not only d e a l i n g with unusually high levels of stress, but a l s o h a d to c o p e with t h e p o s s i b l e o u t c o m e s of the violent d o m e s t i c situation I lived in. I h a d b e e n to a string of c o u n s e l l o r s before, but h a d e x p e r i e n c e d little m o r e t h a n frustration a n d a h u g e dent in m y b a n k account. C o l l e e n s a w m e e v e r y two to three w e e k s during the last three m o n t h s of m y p r e g n a n c y a n d t h r e e t i m e s after Karim's birth. At the e n d of e a c h s e s s i o n , s h e w o u l d a s k m e , "What w o u l d m a k e your life m o r e satisfying?" Without the p r e s s u r e of h a v i n g to d e f e n d m y h u s b a n d , or m y d e c i s i o n to try a n d work things out from inside the marriage, I w a s freed to reestablish c o n n e c t i o n s with reality rather than sink further into the s u r r e a l environment I h a d c o m e to accept a s my d u e . I e n t e r e d a p l a c e w h e r e I c o u l d look in a g a i n at m y life a n d take o w n e r s h i p of m y f e e l i n g s about it. I w a s e m p o w e r e d to s e e the part I played in sustaining t h e  56  relationship. T h e s p a c e a n d respect C o l l e e n g a v e to me, rekindled m y c o n f i d e n c e a s a n individual c a p a b l e of m a k i n g informed d e c i s i o n s , a n d allowed m e to r e c o n n e c t with m y responsibilities a s a mother. O n e of m y biggest f e a r s w a s that the c y c l e of violence would repeat in m y s o n s . C o l l e e n a s k e d , "What d o y o u s e e a s your position in preventing that from h a p p e n i n g ? You're a n e a r l y c h i l d h o o d educator: this is your field, C h r i s t i a n n e . " B a c k in m y field of expertise, I w a s a b l e to re-vision m y future a n d t a k e s t e p s to m a k e it h a p p e n .  Retellings * Lunch with Dr. Debra Anderson, Oreste's in Calgary — Fall 1991 W e k n e w e a c h other through our work a s a consulting t e a m helping "gifted learning d i s a b l e d " children s u c c e e d in public a n d private s c h o o l s . D e b r a g r a d u a l l y l e a r n e d of m y p e r s o n a l situation b e c a u s e m y r e q u i r e d court a p p e a r a n c e s n e c e s s i t a t e d explanations for m y a b s e n c e s . I f e a r e d that I would l o s e credibility a s a professional b e c a u s e of m y d o m e s t i c situation. I a l s o worried that D e b r a would lose respect for m e a s a friend -- s h e is a fiercely i n d e p e n d e n t w o m a n . H e r profession, a s a psychiatrist, naturally left her c u r i o u s about t h e c o u n s e l l i n g I h a d r e c e i v e d . O n e d a y o v e r lunch, I f o u n d myself telling her a b o u t C o l l e e n ' s a p p r o a c h a n d w h y it w a s s o e m p o w e r i n g to m e . I h o p e d s h e w o u l d s e e that I w a s taking positive s t e p s to e n s u r e the safety of myself a n d the b o y s . S h e w a s f a s c i n a t e d that this c o u n s e l l i n g style h a d brought a b o u t s u c h e m p o w e r m e n t -- a resolve to c h a n g e that w a s u n u s u a l for w o m e n in m y situation. S h e w a s s o t a k e n by what I h a d to say, a n d w h y I f o u n d this a p p r o a c h s o helpful, that s h e a s k e d m e to record what I c o u l d r e m e m b e r of C o l l e e n ' s questions a n d counselling approach. T h e a s p e c t of Colleen's a p p r o a c h that affected m e m o s t profoundly w a s h e r a p p r o a c h to e m p o w e r m e n t . Without directly s a y i n g so, s h e e n c o u r a g e d m e to t a k e responsibility for the w a y s in which I reacted to m y situation. S h e a s k e d m e for m y o w n j u d g m e n t s without judging m e herself. H e r g o a l w a s to help m e gain i n d e p e n d e n c e from her a s a counsellor. S h e pointed to m y strengths, rather t h a n m y w e a k n e s s e s : instead of chastising m e for taking t h e a b u s e , s h e w o u l d tell me, " Y o u a r e strong for making it through this week." O t h e r s , w h o p r e s c r i b e d a c o u r s e of action for me, either m a d e m e feel d e f e n s i v e o r contributed to m y f e e l i n g s of guilt, a n d in the e n d only m a d e it h a r d e r for m e to leave. H e r a p p r o a c h w a s not to tell m e what I h a d to d o , but to help m e define what w a s right for me, a n d this kept m e in t o u c h with reality.  * Lunch with a sessional instructor colleague, University of British Columbia -Spring 1992 T h i s w a s a difficult meeting, partly b e c a u s e I w a s s o u n p r e p a r e d for t h e direction it took, a n d partly b e c a u s e I let myself b e c o m e d e f e n s i v e . M y  57  c o l l e a g u e h a d set up the meeting to thank m e for t e a c h i n g a c l a s s of h e r s a n d to plan future liaisons. T h i s instructor s e e m e d truly appreciative of m y k n o w l e d g e r e g a r d i n g literary theming in early childhood p r o g r a m m e s a n d w a s a n x i o u s to e x p l o r e other opportunities for us to s h a r e expertise. A s t h e d i s c u s s i o n turned m o r e to personal chit-chat, I h a d difficulty s h a k i n g t h e polite r e f e r e n c e s to my "husband." Finally, I explained that I w a s o n m y o w n with t h e children, a n d s h e e x c l a i m e d , "Oh I'm so sorry!" I h a s t e n e d to explain that t h i n g s w e r e improving a n d s h e n e e d not feel sorry. B e f o r e I k n e w it, I w a s telling this lady m o r e than I intended. However, I s n a p p e d to attention w h e n s h e uttered, "I just can't understand a w o m a n like you taking it?" O l d d e f e n s e s r e g a r d i n g s t e r e o t y p e s of the a b u s e d w o m a n o v e r w h e l m e d me. I e x p e r i e n c e d r e s e n t m e n t for t h e position in which I found myself. I also s e n s e d a m a r k e d c h a n g e in the w a y this w o m a n perceived m e a n d what I might h a v e to offer. C o i n c i d e n t a l l y or otherwise, no further d i s c u s s i o n of future c l a s s e s I might t e a c h took place. I w a s a n g r y a n d hurt by what I s e n s e d w a s a c o n d e s c e n d i n g attitude, a n d felt a n irresistible urge to s h a m e her into realising her own i g n o r a n c e a n d insensitivity. I d e c i d e d to d e s c r i b e how an insightful individual might d e a l with t h e s a m e topic. I went o n to relate my e x p e r i e n c e with C o l l e e n Stainton, but t h e impact of m y story w a s lost b e c a u s e through temporary c o l l a p s e of s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , I h a d n e g l e c t e d to s h o w c o m p a s s i o n for my listener. I had m u c h time later to a n a l y s e how pride h a d got the better of m e a n d how m u c h self repair I still h a d to d o . A s a p e d a g o g u e , I k n e w it w a s my responsibility to c o n t e x t u a l i s e m y learning s o that o t h e r s might find links to understanding. I first h a d to c o m e to t e r m s with m y o w n feeling of s h a m e , before o t h e r s w o u l d be able to s e e past it.  * Speaking with Margot about Death - Spring 1996 M a r g o t a n d I w e r e graduate students in the field of early c h i l d h o o d e d u c a t i o n , both c o n d u c t i n g r e s e a r c h on controversial topics. W e w o r k e d t o g e t h e r in the library of t h e C h i l d S t u d y C e n t r e , and Margot c a m e to refer to m e a s her storytelling mentor. S h e originally a p p r o a c h e d m e with c o n c e r n s about t h e introduction of sensitive t h e m e s , s u c h a s d e a t h , in the early c h i l d h o o d c l a s s r o o m . I r e s p o n d e d by pulling out my materials a r o u n d t h e t h e m e of "Finding Life in D e a t h . " W e had m a n y e x t e n d e d d i s c u s s i o n s r e g a r d i n g t h e a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of using lived e x p e r i e n c e s to put stories in context. H e r o w n m o t h e r h a d recently died, a n d I r e m e m b e r her insecurities about using her p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s of d e a t h a s a point from w h i c h to o p e n d i s c u s s i o n . I p e r s i s t e d in cajoling her to integrate her lived e x p e r i e n c e in her t e a c h i n g . U p o n r e r e a d i n g Margot's t h e s i s a n d o n c e a g a i n e n g a g i n g with her i n t e n s e inner wranglings, I a m r e m i n d e d that while I d e a l with m a n y s o - c a l l e d s e n s i t i v e i s s u e s , I h a v e only just recently been able to a d d r e s s the i s s u e of d o m e s t i c v i o l e n c e with children in the c l a s s r o o m . I thought of C o l l e e n a n d her faith in m y  58  ability to steer my o w n path. I s e e m to h a v e set a s i d e m i s p l a c e d e m o t i o n s of s h a m e a n d c a n finally r e p a y her investment in m e by investing in others. T o g e t h e r w e knock d o w n stereotypes a n d build u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  * Chatting with my friend, Dunbar Community Centre - Winter, 1998 A friend at work w a s lamenting about her girlfriend who w a s in a v e r y a b u s i v e relationship. S h e w a s frustrated in her h e l p l e s s n e s s b e c a u s e her friend wouldn't a c c e p t "leaving a s the only answer." I c o u l d feel h e r fear a n d i n t e n s e pain at having to s t a n d by a n d watch her friend "self-destruct" in her i n d e c i s i o n . A n d then, after all t h e s e y e a r s , I felt the pain of t h o s e who h a d to s t a n d by, w a t c h i n g m e . I p a s s e d on what I h a d learned from C o l l e e n , but this t i m e I internalised her w o r d s a n d m a d e them my own. To Those Who Love Me  Don't feel sorry forme.... I think I c a n understand how y o u must feel then again, m a y b e it is i m p o s s i b l e to feel another's pain I know you love m e a n d a c h e to put your protective cloak a r o u n d m e to m a k e it all go away. I k n o w you feel h e l p l e s s just standing by I understand your n e e d to feel y o u tried, but I n e e d to do this myself I n e e d to know that I c a n do it, to find strength in my c h o i c e , know that I'm strong e n o u g h to break the c y c l e that I d e n y exists You can help by showing your trust in my abilities  Don't feel sorry for me.... I u s e s o m u c h e n e r g y d e f e n d i n g him, our marriage, a n d cultural m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s there is little left to entertain other p e r s p e c t i v e s . H e o n c e levied I would help the drug addict or a l c o h o l i c " W h y can't y o u help m e ? " H e s a i d the high from the adrenaline r e l e a s e of v i o l e n c e w a s just another addiction. I never h a d the nerve to s a y I c o u l d not help a s long a s I w a s part of the c y c l e . O h , how I fought the s y n d r o m e label,  59  the suffocation felt in being pigeon-holed, a w o m a n blindly d e f e n d i n g her m a n through a veil of bruises.  You can help by giving me space to see  Don't feel sorry for me.... I can't stand the pity, I a m not a helpless victim. If I let myself think that w a y I will fail to gather the strength I n e e d to get out Y e s , things a r e tight a n d I often worry how I'll hold things together, but what of t h o s e w h o do not have the s u p p o r t s I d o ? H o w do they get up e a c h d a y ? Y o u hate that I give w h e n others s e e m m o r e able, but t h e b o y s a n d I are rich in w a y s that really count a n d w e n e e d to s h a r e s u c h wealth You can help by letting me give instead of always owing to others  Don't feel sorry for me.... W h e n you leave, I cry tears that refuse to s l o w it's s o h a r d to do it on my own, but if I hide inside your protective a r m s I'll n e v e r last the p l e a s to c o m e back, o n c e I'm out I must take ownership for my d e c i s i o n H e will know if I w a s c o e r c e d a n d lever the thin e d g e of the w e d g e Both h e a n d I must know that I a l o n e m a k e my d e c i s i o n that I r e m e m b e r the love e v e n a s I c h o o s e safety N o w that I h a v e children of my own, I think I c a n understand how you feel / don't know if I could do what I ask you to do  * Personal Journal Entry -- May 11th,  1998  "Thesis" was on Jamil's spelling list today. It was one of his 10 "student - choice" words, to be matched by the teacher's 10. The impact of my doctoral work on • my boys is huge! When I pick them up after a day at the computer, they spill out  60  all their school concerns. Then, they turn their attention to me and always ask the same question. "Did you write any of your stories today, Mom ?" Both boys love to have me read from the computer the very tales they were suckled on. Well, last night was different -- Jamil saw three new files on the computer (The Moth - Poem, Don't Feel Sorry - Poem, and Book Talk - Poem) and asked me to read them to him. Karim had already fallen asleep. Jamil loved "Book Talk" because he knew the books and I've often referred to the "conversations" of my library. He was troubled that he couldn't remember Emily and wouldn't stop until I dug out the book for him. He enjoyed it on a completely new level. He laughed at "The Moth" as something so familiar in our household. His countenance was completely different when I read "Don't feel sorry for me..." and he quietly said "that one's about Daddy." I nodded, and then he asked, "What are you using these for, Mom?" Trying to flush him out, I countered, "What do you mean?" "Well, are these going in your thesis?" I could feel he was troubled about my putting in the one that referred to his father, so I waffled. "I don't know yet, maybe...maybe not..." He interjected, "Oh well, I like the 'book talk' one best - it's really neat -- just like what they do." Long ago, my children and I came to the understanding that as storytellers, our lives were open books, except for what we agree is private. In Jamil's reaction, I could see I was stepping over a line by mentioning his father. I must talk with him and explain more fully the autobiographical process -1 must show Jamil that "Don t feel sorry for me..." is about me, not his Daddy. It reflects what I've learned.  Reflections: The lessons I have learned through my contact with Colleen and subsequent developments encourage me to create opportunities for children to discuss and gain understanding of the complexities inherent in victim cycles. This helps them to avoid taking judgmental stances. The impact of Colleen's counselling approach followed a progression from the direct experience of empowerment, to its gradual internalisation, and finally the ability to empower others. already knew:  Her approach reinforced what I  individuals need acknowledgement of their integrity and  some area of personal strength if they are to turn the tide of 61  defensiveness and free themselves from reminders of their weakness. Only then can they take responsibility for their own part in whatever challenges they face.  Until you see yourself as an active participant, you  cannot take ownership for your own learning, or be a truly equal partner in others' learning.  Pity serves only to introduce a hierarchy, when true  negotiation between differing parties requires them to meet on an equal plane.  I learned from Jamil that sharing personal experiences and reflections does have a cost. How can I deal with the potential for exposure and embarrassment?  I must always bring balance to the characters I portray,  and grant them the dignity of complexity. Storying is a responsibility, not a right.  My own sons stand as a reminder to not underestimate the ability  of young children to deal with complex social issues. Often, it is the adults who are uncomfortable in answering the questions that children are comfortable asking. It seems to me, that as long as children are involved in visioning possible futures of hope, they can cope with difficult subject matter and a measure of ambiguity.  Despite the pain involved in making mistakes, there is much to be said for the depth of learning that derives therefrom.  If this is true for adults,  the curricular implications for young children cannot be ignored.  LIVED EXPERIENCE FIVE My roving library speaks. Vancouver. Winter 1994 I h a d a l w a y s c o n s i d e r e d myself a n o p e n minded, culturally sensitive individual.  62  It w a s  only w h e n I d i s c o v e r e d , a n d deliberately a n a l y s e d , a p h e n o m e n o n at work in my private children's library (6,000 books) that I realised I still h a d work to d o in claiming a global perspective B e i n g a children's book collector for over three d e c a d e s , I h a v e d e v e l o p e d a n e x t e n s i v e "working" children's library. (I s a y working b e c a u s e my b o o k s a r e u s e d widely by t e a c h e r s , children a n d families. T h e b o o k s I collect reflect my p h i l o s o p h i c a l a p p r o a c h to education, a n d t h e v a l u e s I live by.) A s C a n a d i a n s o c i e t y b e g a n grappling with multiculturalism in the eighties, children's picture b o o k s d e p i c t i n g c h a r a c t e r s f r o m a variety of cultures e b b e d into my library. I s e t a s i d e a "multicultural" section for t h e s e books, while the rest of my collection w a s c a t e g o r i s e d into t h e m e s that mirrored m y t e a c h i n g curriculum interests. T h i s a r e a of my library g r e w s o rapidly that I w a s s o o n subdividing it a c c o r d i n g to cultural groups. B y t h e early nineties, I h a d 5 8 h e a d i n g s including C h i n e s e , A m e r i c a n - C h i n e s e , J e w i s h , E u r o p e a n immigrants, C r e e , D a k o t a , L a k o t a , Blackfoot, a n d H a i d a . I b e g a n putting together b i b l i o g r a p h i e s o n t h i s s e c t i o n of my library, a n d giving presentations on how t h e s e b o o k s c o u l d b e u s e d to m a k e curriculum m o r e culturally relevant. I e n c o u r a g e d student t e a c h e r s to think in t e r m s of "inclusion curriculum" rather t h a n u s i n g t h e m o r e traditional isolated units depicting a particular culture. I u s e t h e term "Inclusion C u r r i c u l u m " to m e a n t h e u s e of a broad, e n c o m p a s s i n g t h e m e to c o n n e c t b o o k s a n d d i s c u s s i o n t o p i c s from a wide spectrum of p e r s p e c t i v e s . A n e x a m p l e might be " P e r s o n a l C h a l l e n g e s . " E v e n a s I e s p o u s e d this a p p r o a c h to curriculum, I still kept my multicultural section a n d its subdivisions very s e p a r a t e from the rest of m y library. L i k e m a n y C a n a d i a n s , I had b e e n caught up in the m o v e m e n t that b r a n d e d C a n a d i a n multiculturalism a s the creation of a m o s a i c or quilt rather than the melting pot of o u r s o u t h e r n neighbours. In my d e s i r e to avoid assimilatory ideas, I had in effect g h e t t o i s e d my library. E v e n though Grandfather's Dreams by Holly K e l l e r c l e a r l y b e l o n g e d in my "Conservation/Preservation" section, it w a s kept with its A s i a n c o m p a t r i o t s . Similarly, Fire on the Mountain w a s filed with "Ethiopian Literature" rather than u n d e r " P e r s o n a l C h a l l e n g e . " I r e m e m b e r having difficulty with s o m e b o o k s that c r o s s e d cultures, but I quickly solved that by setting up yet another s u b d i v i s i o n for "intercultural" b o o k s . T i m e p a s s e d a n d I c o n c e n t r a t e d o n my studies, c h a s i n g d o w n e l u s i v e "isms" a n d looking for their reflections in curriculum. M y library w a s left to fallow a n d I m a d e little effort to f o r c e c a t e g o r i s a t i o n o n particular b o o k s that s e e m e d to h a v e wills of their own, in that they w e r e never in the section they w e r e meant to be in. In the fall of 1993, I w a s invited to give a presentation highlighting b o o k s appropriate for multicultural E C E p r o g r a m m e s . A s I b e g a n to pull titles f r o m m y s h e l v e s , I w a s s u r p r i s e d to find m a n y "multicultural" titles missing. Confident that I c o u l d not h a v e lost s u c h a large n u m b e r of books, I b e g a n s e a r c h i n g neighbouring s h e l v e s a n d slowly u n e a r t h e d t h e m i s s i n g titles. It would s e e m I had u n c o n s c i o u s l y b e g u n to v i e w a n d  63  s h e l v e my b o o k s a c c o r d i n g to story lines, rather than by cultural g r o u p r e p r e s e n t e d . I f o u n d m y "multicultural" b o o k s in abstract t h e m e c a t e g o r i e s s u c h a s " P e r s o n a l C h a l l e n g e s , " "Little P e o p l e M a k e Big C h a n g e s , " a n d "Judging O t h e r s by A p p e a r a n c e . " A s I struggled to a n a l y s e this roving library, I b e g a n to s e e correlations b e t w e e n my c o n s c i o u s efforts to d e v e l o p inclusive curriculum t h e m e s a n d my u n c o n s c i o u s "deghettoizing" of t h e multicultural section of my library. W h e n f a c e d with t h e task of r e s h e l v i n g t h e s e b o o k s after the presentation, I distinctly r e m e m b e r a feeling of s h a m e that I hadn't internalised t h e m e s s a g e of inclusion I w a s t e a c h i n g o t h e r s . I c e l e b r a t e d that no o n e w a s in m y h o u s e while I ripped out the red coroplast d i v i d e r s a n d finished the job of reorganization that I had u n c o n s c i o u s l y started. In t h e end, my "multicultural" s e c t i o n w a s left with b o o k s like All the Colors of the Earth by S h e i l a H a m a n a k a , Everyone Cooks Rice by N o r a h Dooley, a n d This Is The Way We Go To School by Edith B a e r .  Retellings * Presentation to the Parents' group at the UBC Child Study Centre- Fall of 1995. I clearly recall c o m i n g to grips with my f e e l i n g s of  s h a m e regarding the d i s c o v e r y of C h i n a t o w n a n d Little Italy in my library. It o c c u r r e d to m e that the sharing of this story might ring true with o t h e r s a s it d e m o n s t r a t e d t h e lag time between a c a d e m i c understanding a n d a c t i v e e n g a g e m e n t of k n o w l e d g e a n d beliefs. T h e first p l a c e that I tried out t h e story of my roving library w a s in a presentation d e s i g n e d to e d u c a t e p a r e n t s about t h e literature available for their p r e s c h o o l e r s a n d primary-aged c h i l d r e n . I c h o s e to talk about t h e sharing of literature a s a s p a w n i n g place from w h i c h to d i s c u s s i s s u e s of s o c i a l c o n c e r n within a family unit. W h e n referring to t h e difficulty involved in respecting diversity, I u s e d my library story to d e m o n s t r a t e how e a s y it is for us to c a t e g o r i s e according to difference: to d e s c r i b e a p e r s o n a s A s i a n rather than a s a n individual wearing a brown coat. T h e r e s p o n s e to my story lifted f e e l i n g s of guilt a n d c o n v i n c e d me I had a powerful new t e a c h i n g tool.  * "Lingering with Narrative" Conference at UBC - Spring of  1996.  A g a i n , I found a p l a c e to tell the story of my roving library. T h i s time, I a l s o s p o k e of t h e noticeably different way I had treated my First N a t i o n s collection. W h e n I h a d d i s m a n t l e d my multicultural section, I left my rather large s e c t i o n of First N a t i o n s b o o k s intact. I explained how this mirrored m y b i a s regarding First N a t i o n s ' n e e d for a time of separation a n d healing, a n d for self-government to c e m e n t b e f o r e they could negotiate equally with the nation of C a n a d a . I l e a r n e d from my s t u d i e s in post-colonialism a n d aboriginal a n t i - l a n g u a g e s that I w a s o n e of t h e p e o p l e who, through my counteract o p p r e s s i o n , w a s overc o m p e n s a t i n g a n d in doing so, inflicting another kind of o p p r e s s i o n ( H a y w a r d , 95). T h r o u g h children's picture b o o k s s u c h a s A Coyote Columbus Story by  64  T h o m a s King, Onkwehonwe-Neha by S y l v i a M a r a c l e , The Ghost Dance by A l i c e M c L e r r a n , We Are All Related by G e o r g e Littlechild, In Honour Of Our Grandmothers by R e i s a S m i l e y S c h n e i d e r a n d G a r r y Gottfriedson, Stories of the Road Allowance People by M a r i a C a m p b e l l , a n d m a n y m a n y o t h e r s , I c a m e to a p p r e c i a t e that m y well-intentioned attempts to o v e r c o m p e n s a t e for cultural m i s t a k e s of the past w e r e impeding a powerful force of r e s i s t a n c e a n d revisionist writing. T h e cultural mutilations of the past a r e still manifest in First N a t i o n s ' culture today. M i s s i o n a r i e s stole their religion, politicians stole their land, a n d residential s c h o o l s stole their l a n g u a g e . E d u c a t i o n b e c a m e t h e w e a p o n u s e d to f o r c e assimilation, yet aboriginal p e o p l e s h a v e s u r v i v e d a s distinct cultures. First N a t i o n s m a s t e r e d resistance, a n d through its d i v e r s e f o r m s , eventually o v e r p o w e r e d colonial intentions (Calliou, 1 9 9 2 ; A r c h i b a l d , 1992, 1993). T h e m e s s a g e that o v e r - c o m p e n s a t i o n carried with it s m o t h e r i n g a n d stagnation w a s o n e I had learned y e a r s earlier with relation to s p e c i a l n e e d s children, yet s o m e h o w it h a d e l u d e d m e until now in this context. G r a d u a l l y , m y First N a t i o n s b o o k s a l s o found new h o m e s a c c o r d i n g to story-line rather than culture.  * Presentation on Global Curriculum as created through my pilot programme at the UBC Child Study Centre, Spring of 1997. At t h e 1 9 9 7 B C E a r l y C h i l d h o o d E d u c a t i o n C o n f e r e n c e , I m a d e a p r e s e n t a t i o n titled "Moving T o w a r d G l o b a l Curriculum." A s part of this presentation, I told t h e story of m y roving library. T h i s time, I w a s able to stand b a c k e v e n further a n d reflect o n t h e e x o d u s of b o o k s from my S p e c i a l N e e d s s e c t i o n to o t h e r s h e l v e s in m y library. "Book migration" h a d affected all a r e a s of my collection that w e r e g r o u p e d a c c o r d i n g to diversity characteristics. W h e n I w a s preparing the bibliography for this s e s s i o n , I e x p e r i e n c e d m o r e frustration t h a n usual. T h i s s t e m m e d from having to either a s s i g n b o o k s that fit s e v e r a l t h e m e s to o n e particular category, or further lengthen t h e d o c u m e n t with c r o s s - r e f e r e n c e s . I felt c o m p e l l e d to offer an apology, explaining that t h e list of b o o k s a n d t h e w a y they w e r e a r r a n g e d w a s appropriate only to that day's p r e s e n t a t i o n . T h e d o c u m e n t a n d t h e list of b o o k s w o u l d c h a n g e o n a n o t h e r day, d e p e n d i n g o n m y s u b c o n s c i o u s thinking and the s u b s e q u e n t m o v e m e n t s of m y library. I a l s o e x p l a i n e d m y observation that in accepting g e n e r a t i v e curriculum in m y t e a c h i n g , a n d through encouraging the t o l e r a n c e of ambiguity a s part of t h e learning p r o c e s s , I a l s o h a d g a i n e d a comfort level with the roving nature of my library. In t h e past, I h a d e n v i s i o n e d cataloging my b o o k s w h e n time permitted, a n d a l w a y s carried a certain s e n s e that the collection l a c k e d credibility without a f o r m a l c a t a l o g . I now realized that I couldn't t e a c h the w a y I do, or work a s tightly with m y library a s I do, if it w e r e o r g a n i z e d in a static way. I s a y this b e c a u s e I learn s o m u c h from the reflections I m a k e regarding the m o v e m e n t s  65  of m y b o o k s . B y articulating this s u b c o n s c i o u s p r o c e s s , I w a s a b l e to find new w a y s to link b o o k s in the c l a s s r o o m a n d s h a r e t h e s e links with m y s t u d e n t s .  * Children in Dunbar Storytelling Class, Spring of  1998.  I w a s telling stories around the t h e m e " F o r every action there is a c o n s e q u e n c e . " T h e storytelling format is for m e to u s e four or five picture b o o k s to d e v e l o p a t h e m e . W h e n e v e r I u s e the story, Miss Rumphius, I b a l a n c e it with The Story of Rosy Dock, The Queen Who Had Bees In Her Hair, a n d The Ladybug Garden. W h e n preparing to do the c l a s s , I w a s u n a b l e to l o c a t e my c o p y of The Ladybug Garden, but I d e c i d e d to tell the story a n y w a y . J e n n y a s k e d w h y I didn't bring the book, a n d I e x p l a i n e d that I couldn't find it in t h e s e c t i o n of m y library I thought it would be in, a n d didn't h a v e e n o u g h time to find out w h i c h book it w a s chatting with. In r e s p o n s e to the p u z z l e d look o n her f a c e , I d e s c r i b e d a library of b o o k s that get up from o n e set of f r i e n d s a n d m o v e o n to c h a t with a n o t h e r set that they may have other things in c o m m o n with ( s o m e t i m e s t h e y e v e n mingle with b o o k s just to get in a n argument). O n e little boy, w h o w a s particularly attentive during the telling, c a m e up a f t e r w a r d s a n d a s k e d me, "Is that t r u e ? H o w do you know t h e y really walk -- h a v e y o u s e e n t h e m ? " I s a i d to him, "I haven't actually s e e n them, but I b e l i e v e in m a n y t h i n g s that I can't s e e -- like love. All I know is that I don't r e m e m b e r m o v i n g t h e books, a n d they're not w h e r e I put t h e m . "  Book Talk I k n o w s o m e o n e e l s e who suffered the taunts of others, you remind m e of her.  Who? Emily, t h e r e c l u s e I w a s talking about the other night the o n e who writes poetry on s c r a p s of paper. Y o u should go visit her, she'd learn a lot from you a n d your poetry might improve.  I doubt that, but where does she live anyway? Y o u h a v e to go d o w n to " F r i e n d s h i p s C a n be Difficult" a n d just h a n g out. S h e doesn't o p e n her c o v e r s easily, but her little friend who lives a c r o s s the street loves c o m p a n y . H e h , R o s e , r e m e m b e r that old lady who a b u s e s her d e a d h u s b a n d ' s c a t ? You'd h a v e thought no animal c o u l d forgive what he went through true blue he was, true blue.  No I don't, but I did go see that old dancing bear poor thing! Next Door, the Hutterite Colony was all abuzz, 66  English teacher sprung a trap, freeing an old coyote. Elders don't know what to do punish or praise the boy trapping's not against their ways. C o y o t e s a v e d by a h u m a n ! ! She'll l o s e h e r n o s e l a u g h i n g s o hard.  Speaking of Coyote, did you hear all the commotion down in the "Human Conflict" section? NOooo?!  Ghost Dance was flapping about some scraps of paper disappearing from inside his front cover. (Personally speaking, I've never had rags inside my covers, don't know what all the fuss is about Aida strutting by with tattered ends showing beneath her skirts recycled trash as far as I'm concerned.) Y o u shouldn't talk like that -t h o s e bits of p a p e r are just like b o o k s with real stories, a n d s o m e of u s get real c l o s e to t h e m .  Anyway, every book on the shelf was being interrogated for those bits of paper Guess who? Coyote!  Why?  Oh, she's been out for attention ever since the Columbus screw-up. Well, there you have it, Anise, we saved the salmon and a little of ourselves on that hot summer night in the middle of Coney Island. W o w , my kind of story, m a k i n g m a g i c h a p p e n in real life, breaking t h e rules, p e o p l e who haven't died inside. Y o u know it sort of reminds m e of P e a r l -now, there's a w o m a n who ain't t h e least bit frightened by rules.  Who's Pearl, is she down your end? I've never ventured west of "Personal Challenge and Growth." O h , s h e h a n g s out with the g r e e n people, although I s a w her out this w a y last y e a r chatting to that poor trainer of the e l e p h a n t s the o n e s starved to death in J a p a n during t h e war.  67  Oh I know the chap you mean, very sad really. Have you ever looked at the back of his cover? I can't believe that someone of Japanese heritage would actually "tell all" like that!! I don't know, m a k e s his tale stronger, don't y o u t h i n k ? C o m e o n ,1'H t a k e y o u a n d m y little friend C i n d y h e r e o v e r to s e e P e a r l . I feel like s o m e of that h o m e m a d e l e m o n a d e s h e m a k e s .  I don't think we've been introduced.  O h sorry, Cindy's from " P e t s H a v e Rights T o o " S h e ' s b e e n putting p e n to p a p e r to c h a n g e t h e w a y p e o p l e treat a n i m a l s . Y o u know - t h e power of literacy. Now, I want her to meet the p o w e r of w o m e n . P e a r l is a w o m a n who k n o w s her bottom line, a n d is not afraid to act o n it!!  Sometimes I don't understand the Big Mama! She's moved poor little Louise back to "Human Conflict" again, don't she know the girl's tight with Fritha? Who's Fritha?  Fritha and her beloved Rhayader forever confined to "Finding Life in Death"? W h y d o y o u think the Big M a m a m o v e s t h e m w h e n s h e is s o free a n d e a s y with t h e rest of u s ?  She's stuck in a rut, thinking only of Louise's father. She likes that sentimental stuff Churchill's speech, the Dunkirk evacuation. She gets to thinking war and back Louise goes to "Human Conflict." On Louise's part, no one's got the time o'day for her accounts of what she saw. The village folk and soldiers too say "no girl crossed the channel with Stuka's in the air!" On the other hand, it's just what Fritha wants to hear she's powerful tired of listening to folk mourning, mourning, moaning. She needs to talk of love with someone who was there. The two of them find solace in each other. M a y b e L o u i s e c o u l d l e a v e her c o v e r in " H u m a n Conflict"  68  --as a sort of "cover" ~ a n d carry o n with Fritha o v e r in "Finding Life in D e a t h . "  Do you remember the little kitchen maid? the o n e in love with the g e n t l e m a n of the roving e y e ?  Yes, well you'll never believe it, I heard her chatting to the young widow who took a shining to Jonathan Toomey.  Y o u m e a n the w o o d c a r v e r w h o lost his wife a n d c h i l d ?  Well, the maid and widow are planning a double wedding in the common outside Jonathan's shop, oooohh...  You haven't heard it all! Jessie, the child the rabbi treated as his prodigy, who took his place in the new world? Well, she's going to marry them! Both couples! No Way... now, that's n e w s ! B r e a k s with tradition, impossible, I don't believe y o u !  Well, I've seen a lot of rules broken up here! Tradition - where does it start? where does it end? I guess they're starting a new tradition of their own, and I, for one, am going to be there to witness it.  O h , o h t h e big m a m a is w a k i n g up hold your p l a c e s e v e r y o n e !  I do wish she'd follow the age-old rule - turning out the lights at night. As someone who pontificates about the environment, you'd think she'd be more concerned about saving energy. O h , I don't know I quite like being able to visit in the light, s u r e b e a t s the bookstore I w a s in last month. T h e r e , t h e p e s k y w o r k e r s s e e m to h a v e nothing better to d o t h a n break up friendships all d a y long. I think w e h a v e it g o o d h e r e !  69  T a l k i n g B o o k s include: Aida by Leontyne Price, The Catfish Palace by H a z e l Hutchins, A Coyote Columbus Story by T h o m a s King, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey b y S u s a n W o j c i e c h o w s k i , Eleanor b y B a r b a r a C o o n e y , Emily by M i c h a e l B e d a r d , Faithful Elephants by Yukio T s u c h i y a , The Ghost Dance by A l i c e M c L e r r a n , The Goodman of Ballengiech by L a s z l o G a l , The Gentleman and the Kitchen Maid b y D i a n e Stanley, The Little Ships by L o u i s e B o r d e n , Mr. Bear and the Bear by F r a n c e s T h o m a s , Coyote Winter by J a c q u e l i n e White, Pearl Moscowitz's Last Stand by Arthur Levine, Salmon Moon by Mark Karlins, The Stone Dancers by N o r a Martin, The Snow Goose b y P a u l G a l l i c o , The Tunnel b y A n t h o n y B r o w n e , The Very Best of Friends by M a r g a r e t Wild, a n d When Jessie Came Across the Sea by A m y Hest.  Reflections: "Hearing" my books talk in the above poem validates my rationale to avoid static catalogue referencing.  Being able to tolerate fluidity in my  library opens exciting possibilities for re-visioning themes of social influence.  Accepting my library as being in a constant state of flux helps me to appreciate the value of fluidity in the creation of curriculum. I liken listening to the teachings of my library to listening to the teachings of my students.  LIVING EXPERIENCE SIX Inviting curriculum into mv home. Global Issues Summer Programme. UBC Child Study Centre -- Summer 1996 (I give a detailed description of this programme in Chapter 4: Nurturing Global Perspectives in the Classroom.) In t h e following account, t h e lived e x p e r i e n c e s e v o l v e d in t h e p r o c e s s of d e v e l o p i n g curriculum rather t h a n a s independent daily life e v e n t s which o n e later reflects o n in order to d r a w c o n n e c t i o n s to curriculum. It w a s b e c a u s e I h a d to c r e a t e curriculum about t h e m e s that I h a d little personal k n o w l e d g e of, that I w a s f o r c e d to g a t h e r relevant lived e x p e r i e n c e s .  70  In a n effort to b a l a n c e the "human conflict" a n d "oppressor" t h e m e s in t h e p r o g r a m m e with c o n c e r n s a b o u t M o t h e r Earth, I d e c i d e d to d e v e l o p two sub-units: "conservation/ p r e s e r v a t i o n " a n d "pollution a n d recycling." It w a s important to m e that I c h o s e i s s u e s that w o u l d r a i s e c o n t r o v e r s y in c l a s s d i s c u s s i o n s . I would h a v e a n e x c e l l e n t literature b a s e for both s u b j e c t s if I collected a few m o r e materials presenting p e r s p e c t i v e s from the forestry s i d e . A l t h o u g h my two b o y s a n d I collected m a n y e x p e r i e n c e s a s w e c r e a t e d c u r r i c u l u m , two stand out a s particularly relevant: our a d v e n t u r e in t h e C a r m a n a h V a l l e y a n d t h e p o w e r of t h e p e n in dealing with a l a r g e c o r p o r a t i o n .  I.  Carmanah Valley: S o m e people might think I w a s c r a z y to t a k e two little b o y s , 7  a n d 8 y e a r s old, s u b s i s t e n c e c a m p i n g for four d a y s in t h e C a r m a n a h V a l l e y . After r e a d i n g t h e Carmanah - Artistic Visions of an Ancient Rainforest, p u b l i s h e d by t h e W e s t e r n W i l d e r n e s s C o m m i t t e e , the three of us w e r e bound a n d d e t e r m i n e d to s e e R a n d y S t o l t m a n n ' s " C a r m a n a h Giant," t h e tallest k n o w n s p r u c e in t h e w o r l d . R a i s e d a c a m p e r , I felt confident I c o u l d handle this adventure. Before I c o u l d t e a c h about c o n s e r v i n g w a t e r s h e d s a n d o l d growth forests, I n e e d e d to u n d e r s t a n d what w a s being protected. I w a s in for a small a w a k e n i n g in that the rainforests of British C o l u m b i a a r e quite different from the boreal forests of my c h i l d h o o d . T h e c l e a r - c u t s o n t h e w a y into the C a r m a n a h h e l p e d to conjure a n i m a g e of t h e logger a s a big b a d g u y in the m i n d s of my boys. A s a bibliophile a n d u s e r of w o o d , I felt u n c o m f o r t a b l e letting this i m a g e stand u n c h e c k e d . W e n e e d e d to b a l a n c e o u r G r e e n p e a c e f e e l i n g s with p e r s p e c t i v e s from the forest m a n a g e m e n t s i d e . I s e i z e d t h e bull by t h e h o r n s a n d d r o v e straight into a M a c M i l l a n B l o e d e l logging c a m p about 2 5 m i n u t e s from t h e C a r m a n a h . I doubt that a nuclear reactor plant h a s a s m a n y security m e a s u r e s a s o n e of t h e s e c a m p s . A truck beetled over to us a s s o o n a s I s t e p p e d u n d e r t h e e n t r a n c e g a t e . Luckily, the driver w a s an older g e n t l e m a n interested in c h i l d r e n a n d r e a d y to t a k e a c o u p l e of hours to a n s w e r our q u e s t i o n s . H e w a s a nonunion logger w h o had e n o u g h silver w h i s k e r s that he c o u l d tell stories of t h e c h a n g e in the industry o v e r the last three d e c a d e s . H e certainly had the interest of m y two b o y s . Both b o y s w e r e particularly i m p r e s s e d by a large sign a n n o u n c i n g that t h e c a m p h a d a c h i e v e d 5 a c c i d e n t free d a y s . O u r logger friend talked of the old d a y s w h e n three v a l l e y s over, t h e y often h a d r e c o r d s of 6 0 d a y s and higher. I c o u l d s e e Karim's i m a g e of a r u t h l e s s m o n s t e r raping the forest shape-shift into a s o m e w h a t s m a l l e r P a u l B u n y a n figure with a b a n d a g e on his h e a d . O u r friend also e x p l a i n e d s o m e of t h e difficulties in c o n t e m p o r a r y forestry, a n d stood Karim against a tower of c o d e b o o k s . T h e y m e a s u r e d o v e r h i s h e a d a n d w e all marvelled at how c o m p l e x t h e industry m u s t be. W e left with substantial reading material, a R E A L m a p identifying all t h e logging roads, a f e w funny stories a n d a m o r e friendly i m a g e of loggers. After six h o u r s of hiking d o w n into the C a r m a n a h , it w a s nearly five a n d a l r e a d y getting dark, s i n c e t h e density of the forest o c c l u d e s late evening r a y s of s u n . I h a d five feet with blisters a n d only f o u r b a n d a i d s . Both b o y s w e r e wet, w e w e r e in a rainforest after all, a n d I h a d to m a k e c a m p on a gravel bar bordering t h e creek, with no fire. W e h a d 71  not s e e n a n y o n e (and no children whatsoever), s i n c e T e n P e r s o n Hollow T r e e two h o u r s back, a n d t h e towering sitka s p r u c e c l o s e d in a r o u n d us. A t t h e trailhead, w e h a d s e e n a b e a r warning a n d I w a s f a c e d with s o m e h o w c a c h i n g our f o o d 10 feet up with t r e e s that h a d no lower b r a n c h e s . T h a t night, w e c h e a t e d a n d lit a m e t a l - e n c a s e d c a n d l e i n s i d e t h e tent until t h e b o y s fell a s l e e p . T h e trail to t h e C a r m a n a h giant had b e e n c l o s e d b e c a u s e of l o s s of h u m a n life a n d t h e d e s i r e to protect the tree. W h e n w e h a d c o m e in, w e d i s c u s s e d breaking our o w n trail a n d w h e t h e r this w a s w i s e or not. After w e lived and c o n v e r s e d with t h o s e old t r e e s for two m o r e d a y s , our d e c i s i o n not to g o to the C a r m a n a h Giant w a s b a s e d m o r e o n the n e e d to protect the tree itself, than on the inaccessibility of the trail. W e c o u l d love it without s e e i n g it - w e c o u l d love its story. T h i s w a s a v e r y powerful realisation, that w o u l d provide a n excellent s e e d i n g for the global i s s u e s p r o g r a m m e at t h e C h i l d S t u d y C e n t r e . W h e n it c a m e to c h o o s i n g projects to support with t h e m o n e y t h e c h i l d r e n r a i s e d in a "conservation fair," the c l a s s s p o n s o r e d two D o u g l a s Fir t r e e s a n d d o n a t e d $ 4 0 for trail making, s o that people could find out what they w e r e w o r k i n g to s a v e . T h e y a l s o d o n a t e d $ 4 0 to the S e y m o u r Demonstration Forest, to support r e s e a r c h o n r e s p o n s i b l e forest m a n a g e m e n t . A g o o d b a l a n c e !  2. The Power of the Pen W h a t started a s curriculum preparation for this global i s s u e s p r o g r a m m e e n d e d up b e c o m i n g o u r life. I w a s c o m p e l l e d to confront i s s u e s of recycling that h a d l o n g b e e n put a s i d e b e c a u s e of time a n d m o n e y constraints. I felt a responsibility to "walk the talk" that w a s circulating in the c l a s s , but the reality w a s that r e c y c l e d toilet p a p e r c o s t m o r e that t h e regular kind a n d c h e c k i n g packaging for the right r e c y c l e l o g o s w a s t i m e - c o n s u m i n g . F i e l d trips to t h e recycling depot a n d landfill c e m e n t e d a family c o m m i t m e n t to c r e a t e only o n e bag of g a r b a g e a week. W e built a h o m e m a d e c o m p o s t e r a n d l e a r n e d to a c c e s s the appropriate p e r s o n n e l to follow-up o n t h e u s e of i t e m s r e c y c l e d . W e l e a r n e d that the rethink part of the recycling motto (reduce, r e u s e , r e c y c l e a n d rethink) w a s the most difficult to incorporate into fast p a c e d living. B e c a u s e I w a s motivated to t e a c h m y children, I did things I wouldn't normally do, like a s k to s p e a k with the m a n a g e r at S a f e w a y . I n e e d e d to p u r c h a s e s o m e j u i c e s for t h e field trip to t h e S e y m o u r Demonstration Forest, but I could only find t e t r a - p a k s (nonr e c y c l a b l e at t h e time). T h e store m a n a g e r w a s short in his m a n n e r a n d stated h e h a d s t o p p e d carrying bottled juice a y e a r ago. I r e m e m b e r Jamil's frustration, " M o m , why don't w e get t h e tetra o n e s just this time, s o w e c a n go home." I w a s tired too, but if I didn't m o d e l p e r s e v e r a n c e , then I k n e w I would slide back d o w n . W e f o u n d s o m e bottled j u i c e s in a little fruit store o n the w a y h o m e a n d the next d a y wrote a c l a s s letter to S a f e w a y before g o i n g on our trip. W e r e c e i v e d a letter two w e e k s later, thanking t h e children for their c o n c e r n a n d a s s u r i n g them that bottled j u i c e s w o u l d b e o n t h e s h e l v e s t h e following w e e k . T h e power of literacy w a s u n d e r s t o o d in a m o s t t a n g i b l e way!  72  Retellings * Evening Presentation to Southlands Elementary School, Vancouver -- 1996 T h e topic w a s "Family Story Sessions: A Socialising Process" a n d I h a d p r e p a r e d a list of b o o k s that spark d i s c u s s i o n of c o n t e m p o r a r y s o c i a l i s s u e s . I t a l k e d about t h e difficulty s c h o o l s f a c e in covering the diversity of i s s u e s today's c h i l d r e n will n e e d to negotiate a n d live with. C o n s t r u c t i n g opportunities for f a m i l i e s to e n g a g e difficult subjects through select children's literature w a s the t h e m e of t h e a d d r e s s . I e m p h a s i s e d the importance of building in h o p e w h e n d i s c u s s i n g difficult i s s u e s with their c h i l d r e n . T h i s w a s d o n e t h r o u g h visioning a n d exploring routes for efficacy a s a family. I also u n d e r s c o r e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e of parents modelling the kind of problem solving a n d critical thinking skills w e want to e n c o u r a g e . I told t h e a b o v e two stories to illustrate these messages. W h i l e I w a s putting a w a y the b o o k s I had brought, o n e of t h e s c h o o l staff c a m e up a n d s a i d that my presentation h a d rung true with her in a different way. A s a t e a c h e r , s h e h a d fought the first 15 y e a r s of her c a r e e r to k e e p her private life s e p a r a t e from her teaching a n d to leave her c l a s s r o o m in t h e s c h o o l . If required, s h e w o u l d stay late rather than t a k e things h o m e . S h e s a i d that through c i r c u m s t a n c e s similar to t h o s e I had d e s c r i b e d , s h e w a s f a c e d with t e a c h i n g s o m e t h i n g about which s h e had little r e s o u r c e material. B y d e v e l o p i n g curriculum at h o m e , s h e w a s able to invigorate a l a c k l u s t r e d o m e s t i c life a n d actually got an energy boost at s c h o o l .  * My Son, Karim, Internalises Lessons from a Global Summer Programme at the Child Study Centre, Vancouver —Winter 1998 I w a s at a w e a k point, hating the w h o l e lunch-making ritual w h e n a c o u p o n for L u n c h m a t e s , a r e a d y m a d e lunch m a r k e t e d by S c h n e i d e r s , t u r n e d u p in m y h o u s e . I bought four p a c k a g e s a s a treat for my b o y s a n d a s two l u n c h - m a k i n g free m o r n i n g s for myself. I did so without examining the p a c k a g i n g , a s h a d b e c o m e a family practice. M y son, Karim, c a m e h o m e from s c h o o l e x c l a i m i n g how m u c h h e loved his beef taco Lunchmate, a n d then in a quieter voice, a s k e d if I h a d noticed that the p a c k a g i n g w a s not r e c y c l a b l e . R e c a l l i n g t h e letter about bottled juice, K a r i m s a i d h e w o u l d write a letter if h e c o u l d u s e t h e n e w writing p r o g r a m m e on the computer. A family friend helped him o r g a n i s e his i d e a s for the following letter:  73  D e a r Sir or M a d a m e , I a m n i n e y e a r s o l d a n d I really like y o u r L u n c h M a t e T a c o s a n d p i z z a . M y b r o t h e r a n d I e a t t h e m o n c e a w e e k for a treat.  W e w a n t to k e e p o n  buying a n d eating your products. The them.  p r o b l e m is y o u r p a c k a g e s a r e not r e c y c l a b l e a n d w e f e e l guilty e a t i n g A l s o w e h a v e to b e g o u r m o m to g e t t h e m , b e c a u s e s h e ' s pretty f u s s y  about recycling.  S h e s a y s s h e will b u y t h e m for a n o t h e r e i g h t w e e k s a n d t h e n  if w e h a v e n o n e w s a b o u t p o s s i b i l i t i e s for r e c y c l i n g , w e d o n ' t g e t a n y  more  lunch Mates. P l e a s e help us b e c a u s e both my brother a n d I love your b e e f t a c o s . Y o u r s sincerely, Karim Hayward-Kabani  PS  I w r o t e this letter b e f o r e I r e a d a b o u t y o u r terrible p r o b l e m with f o o d  poisoning.  I'm s o r r y for all t h e t r o u b l e s y o u h a v e , but I think it w a s really g o o d  o f y o u r c o m p a n y to t a k e t h e p r o d u c t s of t h e s h e l v e s b e f o r e y o u w e r e to.  asked  I h o p e y o u s o r t t h i n g s o u t s o o n a n d that while y o u s o l v e t h e c h e e s e  p r o b l e m y o u c a n a l s o think a b o u t r e c y c l a b l e p a c k a g i n g .  After s i x m o n t h s of waiting, Karim h a d yet to receive a response, a n d m a i l e d a s e c o n d c o p y in c a s e his first letter w a s m i s p l a c e d or lost in the mail.  Reflections: These experiences indicate to me, that as an educator, my comfort level with difficult subjects can be immeasurably enhanced through first hand experience.  Educational systems might consider facilitating such 74  experiences through existing professional development programmes.  Controversial issues have at least two sides to them and even if it is difficult or politically incorrect, curriculum must allow for balanced presentation of differing perspectives. Students deserve access to the tools they need to make informed decisions. Readiness of the MacMillan Bloedel logger to spend some time with my boys, begs the question of whether or not educators might make better use of guest speakers to present issues with which they themselves may not be comfortable.  Presenting children with what sometimes may be opposing viewpoints, can lead to student inertia and frustration.  It is not enough to merely  open a can of worms, educators and their students need to work together to vision and revision responses to the issues raised.  Karim's letter to Schneiders causes me to reflect on other ways I might have guided him. Would the response of Schneiders have been different if Karim had taken his letter to school to be signed by all of his classmates?  Would the response have been different if I had called to  get the name of the company president and his address? What if he had sent a copy of his correspondence to the editor of a local paper?  Concluding Remarks T h e p r o c e s s of s y n t h e s i z i n g previous lived e x p e r i e n c e s with m y present a p p r o a c h e s to curriculum reinforced specific characteristics of the lens I call global/diversity curriculum.  I didn't appreciate at the time how effective this p r o c e s s w o u l d b e . In  75  reflecting o n what I h a v e written, I s e e this journey h a s h e l p e d m e r e a l i z e that in o r d e r to e n g a g e respectfully with others, I must first t a k e responsibility for my o w n a n d behaviour.  learning  O n l y then c a n I m o d e l the v a l u e s a n d principles that underpin  my  teaching.  It is t h e difficult e x p e r i e n c e s in life that g a l v a n i s e learning a n d c h a l l e n g e us to s e e t h e b r o a d e r implications for other a s p e c t s of our lives. T h r o u g h storying a n d b o o k s , I h a v e attempted to c r e a t e situations that e x p o s e children to sensitive i s s u e s a n d p r o v i d e t h e m with t h e opportunity to get m u d d y in exploring o p p o s i n g p e r s p e c t i v e s .  Socially  a n d culturally relevant c o n t e x t s c a n e n s u r e that t h e s e v i c a r i o u s e x p e r i e n c e s help t h e m a p p r o a c h new situations respectfully and sensitively, but with a s e n s e of their o w n agency.  M y intuitive u n d e r s t a n d i n g of curriculum through lived e x p e r i e n c e s w a s s e v e r a l y e a r s a h e a d of my g r o u n d i n g in a c a d e m i c theories. In my doctoral studies, I w a s s e a r c h i n g for s y n t h e s i s b e t w e e n intuitive k n o w l e d g e a n d intellectual u n d e r s t a n d i n g . juxtaposition that I will a d d r e s s in t h e next chapter.  76  It is this  3  Imaging a Global /Diversity Perspective Experimenting with Landscape Architecture  "There is no longer one right answer to any question asking." Pearson & Stephens, 1998  worth  If a narrative a c c o u n t is to contribute anything worthwhile to curriculum d i s c o u r s e , it must b e situated within a broader context of educational p h i l o s o p h y a n d instruction. L i n e s of applicability to theory a n d practice n e e d to b e e s t a b l i s h e d b e t w e e n  personal  e x p e r i e n c e a n d a c a d e m i c discipline. A n attempt at establishing r e l e v a n c e is to l o c a t e my narrative within t h e fields of tension existing within c o n t e m p o r a r y curriculum scholarship.  T h e s e fields of tension a r e c r e a t e d by o p p o s i n g viewpoints a n d  p h i l o s o p h i e s that p e r m e a t e t h e discipline of curriculum d e v e l o p m e n t a n d instruction. M y f o r m a l study of curriculum a n d instruction at the University of British C o l u m b i a led m e t h r o u g h a s e r i e s of dialectical tensions.  I b e g a n to e x p l o r e the v a r i o u s d i s c o u r s e s  that h a d b e e n tugging for m y allegiance -- First Nations education, f e m i n i s m , postm o d e r n i s m , post-colonialism, multiculturalism, interculturalism, a n d a n t i - r a c i s m . doing, I b e g a n a c o n v o l u t e d journey that would eventually illuminate  In s o  connections  b e t w e e n m y experiential k n o w l e d g e a n d d i s c o u r s e in t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y field of curriculum a n d instruction. In a n effort to assist the reader, I h a v e included a s i m p l e visual r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of that journey on t h e following p a g e .  77  A n A c a d e m i c ' s S e a r c h for a n Inclusive A p p r o a c h to C u r r i c u l u m Studied Culturally Relevant First Nations Curriculum  Explored Contemporary Curriculum Discourses  Multicultural Anti-Bias Post-Modem  Post Colonial  4  Phenomenologcal,  Anthropological  X Identified Key Dialectics in Contemporary Curriculum Discourse  Oppressor/ Oppressed  Separatism/ Pluralism  Infusion/ Inclusion  ^Generalist/ Specialist  Advocacy/ Conflict/ Neutrality Consensus  Broadened Understanding of Unequal Power Relations in Diverse Society  G  Visioned Global Diversity Perspective  1  J  Internalised Global Diversity Dive Perspective  Personal Philosophy  Guide to Curriculum Development  78  Lived Experience  Feminist*  Studying Curriculum and Instruction through First Nations Issues M y initial a p p r o a c h to the a c a d e m i c study of Curriculum a n d Instruction w a s to explore w a y s of m a k i n g curriculum m o r e socially a n d culturally relevant.  R e s p o n d i n g to  a d v i c e that m y study w o u l d best b e s e r v e d with a tighter focus, I d e c i d e d to narrow m y r e s e a r c h to culturally relevant curriculum for First Nations children.  I h a d w o r k e d with C r e e , Blackfoot, S i k s i k a , a n d P e i g a n p e o p l e s in A l b e r t a .  Most  recently, I h a d g i v e n a presentation o n early literacy at a First N a t i o n s E d u c a t i o n c o n f e r e n c e in Brock, A l b e r t a (1991). T h e r e , I felt the frustration First N a t i o n s e d u c a t o r s h a d with a s y s t e m that not only did not meet their needs, but w a s actually h a r m i n g their children.  I w a s s o b e r e d by a pervasive s e n s e of a n g e r a n d betrayal exhibited b y t h e s e  t e a c h e r s o v e r inappropriate curriculum content a n d materials. T h e y e m p h a s i z e d t h e n e e d to e n g a g e c o m m u n i t i e s in the act of creating t h o s e m e a n i n g s a n d v a l u e s they w a n t e d to b e p r e s e n t e d in the education of their children. Tightening m y r e s e a r c h f o c u s to e x a m i n e culturally relevant curriculum for First nations children s e e m e d a g o o d fit.  I b e l i e v e d that m y b a c k g r o u n d e x p e r i e n c e working with Native people, m y e x t e n s i v e collection of First N a t i o n s literature a n d my interest in early literacy b e h a v i o u r s w o u l d l e a v e m e well positioned to work with First Nations c o m m u n i t i e s in d e v e l o p i n g culturally relevant curriculum.  In my d e s i r e to effect c h a n g e , which I p e r c e i v e d a s  positive, I v i s u a l i s e d myself a s a researcher/facilitator without a n a g e n d a . At the s a m e time I w a s attending a doctoral s e m i n a r in which c l a s s r o o m participants w e r e c h a l l e n g e d to u n c o v e r their hidden a g e n d a s .  Reflecting o n what might b e mine, I w a s  f o r c e d to confront m y interest in getting a P h D . I would get the a c c o l a d e s a n d prestige d e r i v e d from helping t h e s e people, which would further contribute to m y i m a g e a s a n  79  expert. I rationalised that the First Nations c o m m u n i t y I would work with w o u l d benefit by receiving a literacy curriculum organic to their community.  In recalling Freire's a n a l y s i s of t h e "helper" relationship, I realise I w a s c a u g h t in t h e "expert-recipient" cycle, which put m e in a position of a d v a n t a g e over t h o s e I w a s working with. F a i r negotiation c o m e s of e q u a l opportunity to participate in d i a l o g u e a n d reciprocity within the relationship. I am reminded of V e r n a K i r k n e s s ' (Director of First N a t i o n s H o u s e of Learning) suggestion, early in my p r o g r a m m e , that I enroll my o w n 2 children in t h e First Nations s c h o o l with which I would work/research. In this way, I w o u l d be getting something out of the s y s t e m that I w a s contributing to.  Slowly, I b e g a n to internalise the ideological  foundations of First N a t i o n s control o v e r  First N a t i o n s education, a n d I w a s f o r c e d to reflect o n the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of E u r o heritage individuals d o i n g First Nations r e s e a r c h . I d e c i d e d to d i s c u s s my c o n c e r n s with m y d e p a r t m e n t h e a d a n d a s k what he k n e w of mutually s u c c e s s f u l c o l l a b o r a t i v e research models.  At t h e time, he q u e s t i o n e d whether E u r o - h e r i t a g e individuals s h o u l d  i m p l e m e n t a moratorium on r e s e a r c h in First Nations education.  M y idealism  my h e a r i n g his m e s s a g e or querying t h e a s s u m p t i o n s b e n e a t h his a d v i c e .  impeded  H e felt that  a moratorium w o u l d g i v e t h e time n e e d e d for healing and revisioning, without p r e m a t u r e intervention. M y view w a s that it wasn't fair to children currently in t h e s y s t e m to h a v e to go through a period of waiting which would further alienate t h e m from a n i m p a i r e d education s y s t e m . I also felt my g o o d intentions c o u l d b e a catalyst in t h e healing p r o c e s s . W h a t I did not appreciate w a s that First N a t i o n s n e e d e d a c o m p l e t e break to d i s s o c i a t e their thinking from E u r o p e a n h e g e m o n i c s t r u c t u r e s a n d ideologies.  T h e y n e e d e d time to heal, regroup, a n d revision a w a y to transmit their  o w n m o r a l s a n d v a l u e s to their children. T h i s w a s the s a m e s p a c e a n d time that  80  C o l l e e n S t a i n t o n k n e w I n e e d e d in order to reframe my o w n life of a b u s e from a position of strength. O n l y w h e n I had had time to regroup a n d revision, w a s I a b l e to identify w h a t h e l p w o u l d b e s t a d d r e s s my n e e d s a n d t h o s e of m y c h i l d r e n .  M y idealism led m e to think I could offer sensitive help in an a r e a greatly disadvantaged.  J u s t t h e fact that I w a s thinking in t e r m s of First N a t i o n s a s  d i s a d v a n t a g e d led to two p r o b l e m s : looking through deficit e y e s c a u s e d m e to m i s s out o n strength of r e s i s t a n c e a n d prevented me from treating First N a t i o n s a s e q u a l . I w o u l d e a s i l y get c a u g h t "doing for" rather than "listening to," wanting to m a k e things better, but lacking true r e s p e c t . D e s p i t e my g o o d intentions, I w a s thinking m o r e in product t e r m s than about p r o c e s s .  I w a s thinking in t e r m s of adapting a n e s t a b l i s h e d  s y s t e m rather than giving First Nations people the s p a c e a n d time to c r e a t e s o m e t h i n g new that w o u l d reflect their own values, perspectives, and beliefs about e d u c a t i o n . I c a m e to r e a l i s e that the crux of the problem lay in the imposition of my o w n cultural v a l u e s o n a journey that w a s not my own.  Although my plan h a d b e e n to act a s a  "facilitator" rather t h a n "director," I increasingly s a w e v e n this role a s interventionist. A l s o , at t h i s time, I w a s reading The Book of Jessica: A Theoretical  Transformation  about a painful collaborative p i e c e of work between M a r i a C a m p b e l l , M e t i s activist a n d author, a n d L i n d a Griffiths, Euro-heritage a c t r e s s a n d playwright. T h e r e a d e r is thrown into s o m e of t h e most e x p l o s i v e i s s u e s facing First N a t i o n s a n d non-natives t o d a y a n d c a n n o t fail to s e e that t h e a u t h o r s a r e trying to heal a w o u n d s o o n e r t h a n i s p o s s i b l e . M a r i a C a m p b e l l stated d e c i s i v e l y in her interview with Hartmut L u t z : I don't n e e d to r e a d b o o k s written by white people about m y p e o p l e that s h o w m e a s being o p p r e s s e d and poor a n d c o l o n i s e d . I k n o w that, a n d I c a n talk about that. It might take me a while, but I c a n do it, thank y o u . If y o u really are my friend, then get out of the road a n d let m e do it. A n d if it t a k e s 2 0 y e a r s , it will take 2 0 y e a r s . W e will tell our own story. (Contemporary Challenges, p. 60)  81  C a m p b e l l ' s w o r d s struck h o m e for me.  E v e n though I felt the u r g e n c y of c h i l d r e n  presently in n e e d , it w a s not my p l a c e to c h a n g e priorities a n d r u s h time lines within a n o t h e r culture. W h i l e I might d i s c e r n a n e e d for culturally appropriate curriculum material, it w a s not up to m e to define either the problem or its solution. M y p l a c e in the p r o c e s s w a s "to get out of the road" s o First N a t i o n s t e a c h e r s ( c o n t e m p o r a r y a n d traditional), s t u d e n t s a n d f a m i l i e s could do the hard work of reflecting, healing, revisioning, a n d finally, problem solving. Trying to facilitate this p r o c e s s w a s at best m i s g u i d e d , a n d at worst, presumptuous.  T h i s doesn't m e a n turning m y back, just  s t e p p i n g a s i d e . I c o u l d be ready to work collaboratively w h e n the time w a s right, but at this point, First N a t i o n s must t a k e whatever time they n e e d .  When a man does what needs to be done, he does not know the meaning of time. -Chief Dan George A p p r e c i a t i n g that m y original study p l a n s would leave m e "teaching a n d r e s e a r c h i n g o n s t o l e n g r o u n d " ( C a l h o o n , 1997), p e r h a p s I w a s better to follow M a r i a C a m p b e l l ' s s u g g e s t i o n to Hartmut Lutz w h e n he a s k e d what non-native p e o p l e c o u l d d o r e g a r d i n g native oral a n d written literatures. S h e s a i d that "border w o r k e r s " with privilege in t h e " m a i n s t r e a m " e d u c a t i o n a l community could work to promote First N a t i o n s storytellers a n d literature by First N a t i o n s authors in a sensitive a n d inclusive m a n n e r . With a recent s u r g e of children's literature by First Nation authors, this w o u l d b e e a s i e r to d o now, t h a n it h a s b e e n previously.  M y study m o v e d from a specific First Nations f o c u s to a g e n e r i c n e e d to u n d e r s t a n d u n e q u a l p o w e r relations a n d how t h e s e are, or are not, p r e s e n t e d in t h e c l a s s r o o m . T h e r e a d e r m a y q u e s t i o n why after investing three y e a r s of study in First nations literature a n d e d u c a t i o n i s s u e s , I w o u l d t a k e a "leave of a b s e n c e " f r o m s o m e t h i n g that h a s i n f l u e n c e d m e s o profoundly. H a d I not m a d e this initial investment, I doubt that  82  the insights I h a v e a c h i e v e d could h a v e o c c u r r e d .  I also feel in a better position to a s k  the k i n d s of q u e s t i o n s that n e e d to b e a s k e d .  Listen and Observe I went to the First Nations c o m m u n i t y a n d offered m y help They responded: "but y o u don't know the i s s u e s " I countered "please t e a c h me, I want to learn" T h e y said, "listen a n d o b s e r v e " After listening a n d watching I l e a r n e d that m y e d u c a t i o n would unravel a s a story without e n d . W h a t s e e m e d succinct a n d g r a s p a b l e before, is n o w e v e r y bit a s convoluted a n d fluid a s other c o m m u n i t i e s How c a n I reciprocate t h e investment of m y t e a c h e r s ? I cannot t e a c h what is clearly theirs to t e a c h I c a n tell my story to help break d o w n h e g e m o n i c barriers that k e e p o t h e r s from hearing First N a t i o n s v o i c e s  Exploring Contemporary Curriculum Discourses and Identifying Key Dialectics A s I w r e s t l e d with q u e s t i o n s of r e l e v a n c e a n d privilege, I tried in practical t e r m s to v i s u a l i s e "what inclusive would curriculum look like, a n d how it w o u l d b e i m p l e m e n t e d  83  and maintained."  I b e g a n in earnest to explore the "isms" a n d the "posts" of  c o n t e m p o r a r y s c h o l a r s h i p a n d was, in turn, excited a n d disillusioned. T h e c h a l l e n g e to try to unlock a new c o d e word, w a s a l w a y s a thrill, followed by t h e s e n s e of c o l l e g i a ! b e l o n g i n g , a n d ultimately, t h e disappointment in d i s c o v e r i n g limitations a n d e x c l u s i o n a r y terminology.  A s D e w e y (1938) said,  ...in spite of itself a n y m o v e m e n t that thinks a n d a c t s in t e r m s of a n 'ism' b e c o m e s s o involved in reaction against other 'isms' that it is unwittingly controlled by t h e m . F o r it then f o r m s its principles by reaction against t h e m instead of by a c o m p r e h e n s i v e , constructive survey of actual n e e d s , p r o b l e m s , a n d possibilities (p.6). T h e v a r i o u s curricular d i s c o u r s e s I studied (multicultural, anti-racist, anti-bias, postm o d e r n , post-colonialist, p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l , anthropological, feminist) w e r e all struggling with t h e s a m e dialectics a n d the implications of inherent  methodological  conflicts. M y exploration of the field b e c a m e a n attempt to situate m y e x p e r i e n c e within t h e s e dialectics.  In t h e following pages, I d e s c r i b e a little of m y interaction with  key d i a l e c t i c s like: o p p r e s s o r / o p p r e s s e d , separatism/plurality,  infusion/inclusion,  generalist/specialist, advocacy/neutrality, and conflict/consensus.  W a s there a n  ideological s t a n c e that w o u l d bring inclusivity to this exploration? S t r u g g l i n g to find this s t a n c e furthered m y p r o g r e s s i o n toward imaging a global p e r s p e c t i v e .  Oppressor/Oppressed self-affirming cycle?  - Is there a way to break away from this  insidious,  A l t h o u g h I h a d c o m e to understand something of the o p p r e s s o r / o p p r e s s e d c y c l e from my interaction with First N a t i o n s education, I found it to be a t h e m e that p e r v a d e d m y future learning.  O p p r e s s i o n w a s a c y c l e that I wrestled with in m y exploration of  multiculturalism, interculturalism, feminism, anti-racism, post-colonialism, a n d diversity education.  All w e r e about power relations. 84  E d u c a t i o n is n e v e r neutral. Implementing a n y curriculum is a political act, m a k i n g the n e e d to e n c o u r a g e d i a l o g u e a n d reciprocity b e t w e e n l e a r n e r s an e s s e n t i a l counterb a l a n c e ( T e d A o k i , 1983).  I w a s to rely heavily on Freire's Pedagogy of the  Oppressed  in learning to s e e how I personally carried out roles of both o p p r e s s o r a n d o p p r e s s e d . In particular, his demystification of "helping" relationships m a d e c l e a r for m e t h e n e e d to break f r e e of old c y c l e s of charity a n d to c r e a t e new partnerships of r e c i p r o c a l e m p o w e r m e n t . " T h e master's tools will never dismantle t h e master's h o u s e " (Lorde, 1984, p. 112).  I r e n e w e d my c o m m i t m e n t to the importance of d i a l o g u e a n d b e g a n to review the i m p o r t a n c e of reciprocity from a different v a n t a g e point. T a k e for e x a m p l e a quick note I wrote to t h e registration committee for a Mokakit c o n f e r e n c e on S e p t . 9, 1 9 9 2 : T o w h o m it m a y c o n c e r n ; I a m a student at U B C a n d appreciate y o u m a k i n g y o u r c o n f e r e n c e affordable to s t u d e n t s ! I would like to volunteer s o m e time, but a m not interested in having my f e e s waived. I'd love to help with signs, d i s p l a y layout, or anything artistic. I h a v e a vehicle (not new) a n d w o u l d b e willing to pack, carry, or just c l e a n up. It s o u n d s like a wonderful c o n f e r e n c e a n d I a m very m u c h looking f o r w a r d to t h e S u n r i s e c e r e m o n i e s ! Y o u r s truly, Christianne  Hayward-Kabani  A s I reflect o n this note now, I s e n s e my u n c o n s c i o u s m e s s a g e of being m o r e e q u a l than First N a t i o n s students. I s a y this b e c a u s e w e r e this not an aboriginal c o n f e r e n c e , I m o s t certainly w o u l d h a v e t a k e n a d v a n t a g e of t h e offer to w a i v e f e e s for v o l u n t e e r s (after all, I a m raising two children on my own).  I felt guilty taking from a p e o p l e who I  s a w a s n e e d i n g the s c a l e s tipped to their side. W h a t I m i s s e d w a s how my note c o u l d  85  s o u n d c o n d e s c e n d i n g a n d how it could also be s e e n a s marginalising t h e efforts of First Nation student volunteers who had their f e e s w a i v e d .  M y well-intentioned action  w a s actually b a s e d on s e e i n g First Nations a s d i s a d v a n t a g e d , a belief that e n c o u r a g e s deficit thinking rather than respectful thinking. I h a d yet to o w n m y past - I kept trying to d i s t a n c e myself from a history I didn't trust or like by giving to t h e disadvantaged.  If I w a s s o c o n c e r n e d about giving to an organisation I b e l i e v e d in, I  might h a v e b e e n better to c o n v i n c e o n e of my Euro-heritage c o l l e a g u e s to attend t h e conference.  In guiding students' a p p r o a c h e s to i s s u e s of conflict, e d u c a t o r s must b e s u r e that all learners, including t h e m s e l v e s , a r e equal parties with e q u a l opportunities for participation in reflective action. M o v i n g a w a y from the tradition of equating difference with deficit m a y b e o n e of the most formidable c h a l l e n g e s of our times, not only for d e v e l o p m e n t a l p s y c h o l o g y but also for education a n d other h u m a n s e r v i c e d i s c i p l i n e s a n d professions. (Marfo, 1993,p.7) In t h e s a m e vein, it is important for e d u c a t o r s to demystify the teacher/learner relationship a n d a c k n o w l e d g e that learning is reciprocal in o r d e r to nurture e q u a l participation in praxis. Non-reciprocal relationships h a v e a n implicitly o p p r e s s i v e c h a r a c t e r . A r e t h e r e w a y s to help children e x p e r i e n c e reciprocal r e l a t i o n s h i p s a n d g u a r d against c y c l e s of o p p r e s s i o n both inside a n d outside the c l a s s r o o m ?  Both  t e a c h e r / l e a r n e r s w o u l d n e e d to a n a l y s e personal philosophical s t a n c e s in o r d e r to unearth s k e l e t o n s that m a y be c o n c e a l e d in outward presentations (Derrida, 1982). Opportunity to f a c e a n d get to know personal negativity in a non  judgmental  e n v i r o n m e n t g u a r d s against the temptation to get rid of it by p u n c h i n g s o m e o n e in t h e f a c e , by s l a n d e r i n g s o m e o n e , or by r e p r e s s i n g it altogether ( C h o d r o n , 98). T h i s hard work c a n b e facilitated through the staging of problematised situations in t h e  86  c l a s s r o o m u s i n g story. In working through t h e s e d i l e m m a s , a p r o c e s s to i n c r e a s e self k n o w l e d g e , to c o m m u n i c a t e a c r o s s difference, a n d to e n c o u r a g e reciprocity w o u l d evolve.  T e a c h e r s c a n then help children d e v e l o p the tools n e c e s s a r y to d i s s o c i a t e  t h e m s e l v e s from h e g e m o n i c structures a n d to negotiate a learning path flexible to c h a n g i n g p e r s p e c t i v e s . Wrestling with this dialectic m a d e m e l o o s e n m y c o n c e r n s about content, a s I r e c o g n i s e d t h e overriding importance of p r o c e s s .  Ellsworth (1990) a n d her doctoral s e m i n a r students c a m e u p with a s t a t e m e n t that d e s c r i b e s a kind of c o m m u n i c a t i o n a c r o s s differences: If y o u c a n talk to m e in w a y s that s h o w you understand that your k n o w l e d g e of m e , the world, a n d 'the Right thing to do' will a l w a y s b e partial, interested, a n d potentially o p p r e s s i v e to others, a n d if I c a n d o t h e s a m e , then w e c a n work together o n s h a p i n g a n d r e s h a p i n g a l l i a n c e s for c o n s t r u c t i n g c i r c u m s t a n c e s in which students of d i f f e r e n c e c a n thrive (p.115). T h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g that w e all h a v e only partial p e r s p e c t i v e s of a n i s s u e s e t s a natural buffer a g a i n s t o p p r e s s i v e formations in the c l a s s r o o m .  Separatism/Pluralism  -  Dilemmas  and  Directions  O n e of t h e ideological p r o b l e m s I h a v e struggled with regarding multiculturalism is t h e t e n d e n c y to s t a s h aboriginal cultures under the equalising u m b r e l l a of b e i n g C a n a d i a n . T h i s u m b r e l l a image, while being m o r e palatable than a melting pot, did not d e a l with t h e very different i s s u e s of First Nations a s o p p o s e d to immigrants a n d r e f u g e e s . O g b u (1978, 1991) drew his readers' attention to the m a r k e d v a r i a n c e b e t w e e n non-establishment cultures, not just along racial o r ethnic lines but a l s o a l o n g the d i m e n s i o n s of historical c i r c u m s t a n c e , d e m o g r a p h i c peculiarities, s o c i a l mobility aspirations, a n d orientations a n d attitudes regarding p e r c e i v e d minority s t a t u s . Immigrants c o m e with a p u r p o s e or run from oppression, but they k n o w t h e y c o m e to a  87  d e v e l o p e d country with a n e s t a b l i s h e d government.  E m b o d i e d in "being C a n a d i a n " is  the responsibility of contributing to a n d living in a c c o r d a n c e with the C a n a d i a n g o v e r n m e n t a n d social justice s y s t e m .  R e f u g e e s c o m e with a different set of i s s u e s  b e c a u s e of the f o r c e d exit from their country of origin, but still a c k n o w l e d g e their " f r e e d o m " will b e in a country with an e s t a b l i s h e d g o v e r n m e n t a n d social justice system.  First Nations, o n the other hand, had established s y s t e m s of g o v e r n m e n t w h e n C o l u m b u s r e d i s c o v e r e d North A m e r i c a . T h e y did not leave or reject their g o v e r n m e n t s , but h a d another i m p o s e d upon them through c o l o n i s a t i o n .  Clearly, First  N a t i o n s i s s u e s don't fit under the multicultural umbrella in the s a m e w a y a s other cultural g r o u p s . T h e G u s w e n t h a or T w o R o w W a m p u m treaty belt p r o v i d e s a m e t a p h o r u s e d by s o m e Nations e v e n today.  It f e a t u r e s the i m a g e of two c a n o e s  travelling d o w n the s a m e river, e a c h with its own set of "neha" or g u i d e s for living (Skonaganleh:ra,  1994).  W h i l e there m a y be times w h e n o n e pulls up b e s i d e the  other, or o n e pulls the other through the rapids, they remain s e p a r a t e c a n o e s o n the s a m e water. T h e y s h a r e m a n y of the s a m e c h a l l e n g e s of life, but the "neha" t h e y e a c h u s e to meet t h o s e c h a l l e n g e s m a y be different.  First Nations h a v e b e e n fighting for  self-government a n d self-education, first a s their right, and now a s a w a y of promoting cultural healing, m a i n t e n a n c e , a n d retention.  A Declaration of First Nations W e the original p e o p l e s of this land know the C r e a t o r put us h e r e . T h e C r e a t o r g a v e us the l a w s that g o v e r n our relationships to live in h a r m o n y with nature and m a n k i n d . T h e l a w s of the C r e a t o r defined our rights and responsibilities. T h e C r e a t o r g a v e u s our spiritual beliefs, our l a n g u a g e s , our culture, a n d a p l a c e o n M o t h e r Earth which provided us with our n e e d s . W e h a v e m a i n t a i n e d our f r e e d o m , our l a n g u a g e s , and our traditions from time immemorial.  88  W e c o n t i n u e to e x e r c i s e t h e rights a n d fulfill the responsibilities a n d obligations g i v e n to us by the C r e a t o r for the land upon w h i c h w e w e r e placed. T h e C r e a t o r h a s g i v e n us the right to govern o u r s e l v e s a n d t h e right to self-determination. T h e rights a n d responsibilities given to us by the C r e a t o r c a n n o t b e altered or t a k e n a w a y by any other Nation. - A d o p t e d by the Joint C o u n c i l of C h i e f s a n d E l d e r s December 1980 T h e recent N i s g a ' a treaty settlement in British C o l u m b i a allows for a form of selfg o v e r n m e n t w h i c h will allow Nisga'a control o v e r e d u c a t i o n a n d s o c i a l s e r v i c e a n d taxation, but d o e s not e x c l u d e or d i s p l a c e provincial a n d f e d e r a l laws. this a s yet another form of prejudice through segregation.  S o m e describe  I question whether we can  a c h i e v e e q u a l participation of First N a t i o n s at t h e governing negotiation table without a period of s e g r e g a t i o n , w h e r e b y First N a t i o n s c a n reconnect with values, beliefs, attitudes, a n d b e h a v i o r s that s h a p e d their cultural heritages b e f o r e t h e d a m a g e d o n e by residential s c h o o l s a n d g o v e r n m e n t assimilation policies. C h a n g i n g r e s i s t a n c e e n e r g i e s b a c k into self-governing action will take time, but it w o u l d s e e m n e c e s s a r y to build t h e cultural strength n e e d e d in order to negotiate fairly with e s t a b l i s h m e n t cultures.  In 1995/96, I w a s invited to do s o m e b a c k g r o u n d r e s e a r c h regarding A b o r i g i n a l H e a d Start p r o g r a m m e s a n d participate in the imaging work being d o n e for a V a n c o u v e r b a s e d A b o r i g i n a l H e a d Start programme.  Early in the planning s t a g e it w a s  a c k n o w l e d g e d that t h e staff positions should be held by t h o s e of First N a t i o n s heritage. H o w e v e r , difficulty in setting criteria for determining First N a t i o n s heritage w a s t h e s o u r c e of m u c h d i s c u s s i o n .  Prior to getting involved with this project, I w a s against  s e g r e g a t i o n p r o g r a m m e s on d e m o c r a t i c grounds.  I also felt it w a s a d v a n t a g e o u s for  all s t u d e n t s to be in culturally a n d economically mixed g r o u p s .  89  After attending t h e s e  planning meetings, it b e c a m e clear to m e that this p r o g r a m m e w a s n e e d e d , at least temporarily, to offset the social ills suffered b e c a u s e of assimilation efforts by C a n a d i a n s o c i e t y . W h i l e I still believe cultural diversity in the c l a s s r o o m i s preferable, it d o e s not s u p e r s e d e the n e e d to promote social justice. In order to b e e q u a l at the finish gate, y o u m a y n e e d to give unequally to s o m e g r o u p s along the way.  To  b a l a n c e t h e slate for First N a t i o n s preschoolers, t h e s e children n e e d a n earlier start. T h a t start s h o u l d be g i v e n by the very p e o p l e w h o s e v a l u e s and m o r a l s h a v e b e e n d e n i e d to t h e m by C a n a d i a n society.  C o o m b s (1986) d e s c r i b e s a " S o c i a l Multicultural E d u c a t i o n " that s e e k s to p r e p a r e s t u d e n t s for r e s p o n s i b l e citizenship within a pluralistic society w h o s e m o s t f u n d a m e n t a l c o m m i t m e n t is to social justice. H e maintains that the s u c c e s s of a culturally pluralistic s o c i e t y lies l e s s in the u n e q u i v o c a l e m b r a c i n g of diversity than it d o e s in e a c h individual e m b r a c i n g equal rights. S o m e g r o u p s m a y n e e d s p e c i a l i s e d c i r c u m s t a n c e s in o r d e r to participate on equal t e r m s with m e m b e r s of other g r o u p s in negotiating s o c i a l justice. C o o m b s a r g u e s that a pluralistic s o c i e t y must a s s u r e e q u a l opportunities, thereby, requiring institutions within that society to b e "culturally sensitive, a s o p p o s e d to culturally neutral" (p. 6).  In M a y 1993, I attended an Early C h i l d h o o d E d u c a t o r s C o n f e r e n c e o n Multiculturalism. T h e keynote s p e a k e r , Kofi Marfo, s p o k e of reconstructing traditional a p p r o a c h e s to multicultural e d u c a t i o n to support what h e c o i n e d a "national m a c r o c u l t u r e . "  All  cultural g r o u p s w o u l d contribute n o r m s and v a l u e s y s t e m s to be i n c o r p o r a t e d in the national m a c r o c u l t u r e .  M a r f o e m p h a s i s e d that "at the heart of this m a c r o c u l t u r e will be  a p h i l o s o p h y of valuing and celebrating diversity" (p. 17).  W h i l e I certainly s e e merit in  celebrating diversity, I feel the heart of s u c h a macroculture must first b e the  90  e m b r a c i n g of e q u a l rights.  A p p l e t o n (1983) c a u t i o n s against over- g e n e r a l i s i n g in our  e x u b e r a n c e to h o n o u r diversity. H e d e s c r i b e s pluralism as, a n ideology to free individuals from social impositions b a s e d o n ethnic heritage. If a d o p t e d , it w o u l d b e illegitimate to c o e r c e individuals to g i v e up their ethnic cultural traditions and life style, to discriminate a g a i n s t individuals who did not give them up, or conversely, to f o r c e individuals into a n e t h n i c identification t h e y w i s h to a b a n d o n . . . . T h e condition of relative equality a n d opportunity would entail that w e do not d i s c r i m i n a t e a g a i n s t individuals on the b a s i s of their ethnic heritage, nor d o w e i m p o s e a n y s u c h heritage u p o n t h e m (p. 63). S u s t a i n i n g a national m a c r o c u l t u r e w o u l d require m u c h dialogue, negotiation  and  most importantly a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t that it is a p r o c e s s without e n d .  In N o v e m b e r 1993, I attended the Fifth National C o n f e r e n c e of Multicultural, Intercultural a n d R a c e R e l a t i o n s E d u c a t i o n a n d h e a r d the keynote a d d r e s s by W e n d y Grant, t h e n A s s i s t a n t Chief of the A s s e m b l y of First Nations. W e n d y held her a u d i e n c e s p e l l b o u n d with her c o m m e n t a r y o n education, r a c e relations, a n d First N a t i o n s youth. O n e t h e m e of her talk w a s to leave a lasting impression on m e : " R a t h e r than trying to r e d u c e d i f f e r e n c e s u n d e r b r o a d c a t e g o r i e s of s a m e n e s s would it not b e m o r e helpful to c o n c e n t r a t e o n building bridges or sites for intercultural c o n n e c t i o n ? " S h e a l s o u s e d t h e term "intracultural" to a d d r e s s the m a n y s u b c u l t u r e s (age-elders, gender, religious belief, s e x u a l orientation, occupation, cross-cultural m a r r i a g e s , appearance/ability, etc.) within a culture a n d i n d e e d within an individual. T h i s m o r e i n c l u s i v e interpretation of culture b r o k e d o w n s o m e of t h e barriers I h a d c o m e to s e e b e t w e e n "multicultural" a n d "anti-bias" s c h o l a r s h i p (Kehoe, 1984).  Perhaps we could  c e l e b r a t e " c o n n e c t i o n s " b e t w e e n and within cultures, t h e r e b y furthering t h e e m b r a c i n g of "equal rights" within a "macroculture."  T a k i n g m y c u e s from C o o m b s , Marfo, a n d Grant, I felt I h a d a n a p p r o a c h that c o u l d  91  support separatist a c t i o n s in the pursuit of social justice within a m a c r o c u l t u r e . It s e e m e d that I h a d f o u n d a philosophical grounding, but practical application in c u r r i c u l u m d e s i g n a n d material preparation still e l u d e d m e . I k n e w I w o u l d u s e story a s m y primary instrument to build c o n n e c t i o n s a n d d e c o n s t r u c t walls of misunderstanding.  N a r r a t i v e s help u s negotiate a n d renegotiate c o n n e c t i o n s within  o u r s e l v e s , to t h o s e a r o u n d us, a n d to our environment (Bruner, 1986). Yet, I still battled with w h e t h e r e d u c a t o r s w e r e best to infuse n e w material into e s t a b l i s h e d curriculum o r start o v e r with a n inclusive a p p r o a c h from the start.  Infusion/Inclusion  - Difficult  Questions  in  Approach  In t h e late 1 9 8 0 s a n d t h e 1990s, m u c h of multicultural a n d anti-racist c u r r i c u l u m d i s c o u r s e c e n t r e d o n t h e implementation of culturally sensitive c u r r i c u l u m material. T h e traditional e d u c a t i o n a l responsibility of s c h o o l s to transmit the culture of t h e d o m i n a n t g r o u p from o n e generation to another had b e e n c h a l l e n g e d b y culturally d i v e r s e populations.  A c k n o w l e d g i n g the importance of e x p e r i e n c e a n d e n v i r o n m e n t  in t h e f o r m a t i v e y e a r s , e d u c a t i o n s y s t e m s tried to provide s o m e continuity b e t w e e n h o m e a n d s c h o o l that took into account t h e cultural reality of all l e a r n e r s . E d u c a t o r s w e r e a s k e d to a b a n d o n tourist (food-costumes-customs) a p p r o a c h e s to multicultural e d u c a t i o n , b e c a u s e r e s e a r c h indicated t h e s e m e t h o d s w e r e actually reinforcing stereotypical p e r c e p t i o n s ( Z a c h a r i a h , 1989; S c h u n c k e , 1984).  T h e words "detached,"  "infusion" a n d "inclusion" e m e r g e d to d e s c r i b e a p p r o a c h e s to i m p l e m e n t i n g cultural diversity c u r r i c u l u m .  A d e t a c h e d m o d e l w o u l d involve learning about particular c u l t u r e s a s s e p a r a t e units of study. Unfortunately, this a p p r o a c h c a n s e p a r a t e cultural k n o w l e d g e from other a r e a s of c u r r i c u l u m for w h i c h cultural k n o w l e d g e h a s relevance.  92  A d e t a c h e d curriculum  study of culture subliminally e n c o u r a g e s s e g r e g a t i o n through isolation of cultural k n o w l e d g e into distinct units, stunting both intercultural a n d intracultural links. C h i l d r e n learn "distinction" through study of s e p a r a t e cultures, rather than learning w a y s to n e g o t i a t e s o c i a l i s s u e s prevalent in pluralistic s o c i e t i e s .  Kofi M a r f o ( 1 9 9 3 ) s u g g e s t s a n infusion m o d e l a s a strategy for cultivating c r o s s - c u l t u r a l c o m p e t e n c e w h e r e e d u c a t o r s c a n "take a d v a n t a g e of content from a c r o s s t h e curriculum to provide t h e context for a d d r e s s i n g i s s u e s a n d p r a c t i c e s pertaining to cultural variation" (p. 22). In this way, appropriate material c a n b e infused into a curriculum b a s e a s appropriate. Although this a p p r o a c h is p r e f e r a b l e to t h e d e t a c h e d m o d e l in that culture is r e c o g n i s e d a s an integral part of all learning, I still h a v e difficulty with this a p p r o a c h , b e c a u s e the curriculum b a s e into w h i c h cultural k n o w l e d g e is infused is built on an Eurocentric scaffold. M a r f o a r g u e s that e d u c a t o r s must m a k e efficient u s e of that which is already d e v e l o p e d , but I w o n d e r if w e c a n truly a p p r e c i a t e diversity, w h e n mainstream i d e a s form the underlying structure from w h i c h w e learn. T h e i m a g e that c o m e s to mind w a s a lecture in Bath, E n g l a n d (1981) w h e r e S h i r l e y H u g h e s , a r e n o w n e d author and illustrator, talked about the early attempts at multicultural children's literature w h e r e white f a c e s w e r e painted brown in primer reading materials.  C h u d a n d F a h l m a n (1995) refer to an Inclusion m o d e l w h e r e diversity (cultural a n d otherwise) is o n e of t h e criteria incorporated in the curriculum p l a n n i n g p r o c e s s from the b e g i n n i n g . T h e y d e s c r i b e diversity, "as a fundamental t h e m e a n d a p p r o a c h within early c h i l d h o o d e d u c a t i o n , [and] diversity i s s u e s must be incorporated a s u n d e r p i n n i n g s to all a r e a s of study." T h e y continue to s a y that, "[r]ather t h a n a d d i n g curriculum about diversity issues, our efforts must be directed to integrating  93  diversity  i s s u e s throughout curriculum" (p. 14). T h i s "fresh start" a p p r o a c h s e e m e d to m e to h a v e t h e g r e a t e s t c h a n c e of imparting a respect for diversity a m o n g both e d u c a t o r s a n d s t u d e n t s . Still, o n e i s a l w a y s f a c e d with t h e d i l e m m a of w h i c h cultural g r o u p s t o privilege with representation a n d how to respect intracultural variations.  T e a c h e r s are  often o v e r w h e l m e d by t h e m a g n i t u d e of diversity i s s u e s a n d feel ill-equipped to d e s i g n curriculum that i s inclusive.  C h r i s t e n s e n (1993) u n d e r s c o r e s this o b s e r v a t i o n :  C o n c e r n h a s b e e n e x p r e s s e d by t e a c h e r s in multicultural s e t t i n g s a b o u t their level of preparation for the realities of multicultural c l a s s r o o m s ( K e h o e , 1 9 8 5 ; S a m u d a a n d K o n g , 1986). Similar c o n c e r n s h a v e b e e n e x p r e s s e d by c o n s u m e r s of education throughout C a n a d a . In particular, c o n c e r n h a s b e e n e x p r e s s e d about whether: t e a c h e r s a r e sufficiently k n o w l e d g e a b l e about culturally-based roles, e x p e c t a t i o n s a n d l e a r n i n g s t y l e s w h i c h affect student-teacher relationships a n d student p r o g r e s s ( B u c h i g n a n i , 1 9 8 6 ) ; t e a c h e r s hold b i a s e d v i e w s a n d s t e r e o t y p i c a l e x p e c t a t i o n s of different g r o u p s (Singh, 1986); historical a n d current contributions to C a n a d a of g r o u p s other than t h e British a n d F r e n c h a r e r e c o g n i s e d appropriately a n d adequately. ( p. 2) M i n i m i s i n g t e a c h e r b i a s a n d resolving i s s u e s a r o u n d t h e difficulty of finding a p p r o p r i a t e r e s o u r c e materials still c h a l l e n g e e d u c a t o r s trying to k e e p u p with t h e e v e r i n c r e a s i n g d e m a n d s of c o n t e m p o r a r y s c h o o l s .  Teacher Bias - Journal Entry - April 12th, 1995 A practice that I found useful as a beginning step in combating teacher bias was to disseminate books that I wanted to use in the classroom to individuals whose cultures were represented in the stories. I was not looking for a rubber stamp of politically correct approval, but rather for the contextualising "support stories" that would breathe life into the books I would share with my students. When I was teaching at Menisa Elementary School in Edmonton, a parent of a newly immigrated Indian family asked to speak with me privately. She quietly explained that the books I had asked her to look at, representing East Indian cultures, gave the impression that there were no Christian Indian families. This woman explained the ostracism her nuclear family had experienced from other extended family members and leaders in her community, and how the move to Canada was in hope of escaping such prejudice. Here she experienced a reverse sort of prejudice in that her outward cultural practices made her religion invisible. This woman's story made a deep impression on me and while I still do  94  not have any stories that represent Christian Indian families, I always remember to tell her story when explaining the dangers of making cultural generalisations. T e a c h e r s u s i n g "emergent" a n d "generative" a p p r o a c h e s to curriculum h a v e t h e flexibility to integrate relevant i s s u e s a s they arise. T h e s e highly interactive a p p r o a c h e s r e s p e c t s t u d e n t s a s full partners in the teaching/learning p r o c e s s a n d t h e r e b y f o r c e a certain attention to diversity. A o k i (1993) talks about  "C&C  l a n d s c a p e s " w h e r e teacher/learners live a n d work in the s p a c e s b e t w e e n a s Planned and Curriculum a s Lived.  Curriculum  R e s p o n s i v e curriculum m o d e l s s u c h a s t h e s e  r e d u c e c o n c e r n s about content a n d concentrate more o n p r o c e s s e s that i n c o r p o r a t e c o m m u n i t y (local a n d global) strengths, traditions, a n d k n o w l e d g e a s living e l e m e n t s of t h e c u r r i c u l u m . A n inclusion a p p r o a c h to working with diversity i s s u e s w a s easily i n c o r p o r a t e d with m y overall a p p r o a c h to curriculum d e v e l o p m e n t .  It s e e m e d to m e  that in o r d e r to r e s p o n d to the "curriculum a s lived" by m y students, I w o u l d not only h a v e to b e a g o o d listener, but I w o u l d n e e d to be a generalist with c o n t a c t s to m a n y s p e c i a l i s t s . B y nature, I a m a generalist, in that I a m r e a s o n a b l y s u c c e s s f u l in a n u m b e r of disciplines, yet I a m repeatedly told that to e x c e l , o n e must s p e c i a l i s e .  Generalist/Specialist  - Can one be a "generalist  specialist"?  I r e m e m b e r winning m y g r a d e 9 public s p e a k i n g contest (at Stratford J u n i o r High S c h o o l in E d m o n t o n ) with a s p e e c h about how in m y generation, p e o p l e w o u l d c h a n g e c a r e e r s at least three t i m e s a n d that "broad b a s e " e d u c a t i o n a n d adaptability training w a s still n e c e s s a r y in a time of h e a v y specialisation. T w e n t y eight y e a r s on, I find myself singing t h e s a m e tune. I h a v e f o u n d it difficult to be a generalist in a university setting. I refer not to a n y o n e university in particular, but draw o n m y e x p e r i e n c e of three. In m y u n d e r g r a d u a t e  95  y e a r s , I w a s told I h a d to c h o o s e b e t w e e n E a r l y C h i l d h o o d E d u c a t i o n a n d S p e c i a l E d u c a t i o n --1 c o u l d not do both. I w a s likewise told to c h o o s e only o n e major, not t h e four I w a n t e d .  I s e e m e d to s p e n d all my time wheeling a n d d e a l i n g with t h e A s s o c i a t e  D e a n in o r d e r to p u r s u e m y interests. S h e repeatedly w a r n e d m e "that by c h a s i n g everything, I w o u l d do nothing well," and then w o u l d p r o c e e d , against her better judgment, to support m e in m y quest.  O v e r a n d over, I h a v e b e e n c o u n s e l l e d to  n a r r o w m y f o c u s in g r a d u a t e study a n d while I a c k n o w l e d g e that o n e n e e d s to c h o p b r a n c h e s in p r e s e n t i n g a tight argument, this is of little v a l u e if t h e tree c a n n o t b r a n c h to t h e s u n in t h e i m p o s s i b l y d i v e r s e world w e live in.  It must b e s h a p e d a s part of the  g r o u p within the context w h e r e it must grow.  T h a t is not to say, that there haven't b e e n attempts to w e a v e s c h o o l s of thought t o g e t h e r o r that t h e r e aren't p o c k e t s of study w h e r e c o m p a t i b l e links b e t w e e n r e s e a r c h m e t h o d s a n d t h e o r i e s a r e e x p l o r e d . It is to say, that the s y s t e m s u p o n w h i c h t h e institution i s a d m i n i s t r a t e d a r e reinforcing of individuality a n d indirectly of exclusivity. G e o r g e P o s n e r (1989) writes: R e s e a r c h efforts s h o u l d c o m p l e m e n t o n e another w h e n e v e r p o s s i b l e . Of c o u r s e , w e feel a competitive p r e s s u r e to promote a particular a p p r o a c h to curriculum r e s e a r c h a n d to denigrate others. W e get impatient with our c o l l e a g u e s (competitors?) b e c a u s e they a r e not doing what w e a r e d o i n g . T h e i r work r e p r e s e n t s other value s y s t e m s , a n d w e c o m p e t e a g a i n s t t h e m a s if w e w e r e in a marketplace. H o w e v e r it is doubtful that t h e r e i s o n e "best Buy" in this enterprise (p.360). V i e w s o n c u r r i c u l u m that m a y b e c o m p a t i b l e with e a c h other struggle a g a i n s t e a c h other a s r e s e a r c h e r s battle for attention a n d financial support through g r a n t s a n d scholarships.  96  Struggling for Attention and $$$ A m I guilty, t o o ? In my quest for this d e g r e e , do I not n e e d to prove, at least at s o m e level, originality? - distinct from a n d yet s o m e h o w c o n n e c t e d to t h e field. H o w big is the step from originality to exclusivity? (I fear I may not meet the test) Why, why t h e n d o I struggle against all o d d s to get this " b l e s s e d " d e g r e e ? S u r e l y it w o u l d b e e n o u g h to d o t h e learning a n d s o m e h o w m a k e it fit with my view of the w o r l d ? Why, the d e g r e e ? S o m e rite of p a s s a g e ? Is there a n e d u c a t i o n within the p r o c e s s or is it a d e s i r e to be t a k e n s e r i o u s l y ? (It a d d s credibility in the e y e s of s o m e ) Is there no way to e s c a p e the pull of this isolating c y c l e ? G r a n t s , S S H R C s , tenure, promotion all play a part in promoting exclusivity in a d i v e r s e society that must promote compatibility. Is it not in the best interest of institutions to e n c o u r a g e t h e s c h o l a r s h i p of compatible individuals? Not if they want the $ $ $ $ (After all, competition is s a i d to improve the product) No I don't want to stand out, or k e e p o t h e r s out W h a t I write about is nothing new to t h e curriculum c l u b It is merely a new vantage point for m e that h e l p s m e u n d e r s t a n d the s p a c e s in b e t w e e n  97  It is not a template but c o u l d b e inspiration for others to oil the dials o n their v a n t a g e s c o p e a n d e x a m i n e how a n d what they s e e Narrative a l l o w s u s to e x p l o r e t h e s p a c e s b e t w e e n e s t a b l i s h e d s c h o o l s of c u r r i c u l u m thought, to listen to the s i l e n c e s a n d to a p p r e c i a t e how t h e s e p l a c e s of in-between a r e a s vital to u n d e r s t a n d i n g a s the curriculum theories t h e m s e l v e s . P i n a r a n d R e y n o l d s (1992) c o n c e i v e of storytelling "as a firmament in which the s p a c e s b e t w e e n stars a r e a s c r u c i a l to a c k n o w l e d g e a n d portray a s the stars t h e m s e l v e s . " T h i s f i r m a m e n t is in a state of c o n s t a n t flux, m e a n i n g that stories a r e never-ending a n d what s e e m s p r e c i s e a n d c o n t a i n e d from o n e angle is c h a n g e d w h e n v i e w e d from another.  Story t e a c h e s u s t h e u s e of m e t a p h o r a n d irony, which in turn, allow u s to c r e a t e similarity ( E g a n 1997) in the act of making fresh c o n n e c t i o n s a n d a c k n o w l e d g i n g what is a b s e n t . G e t t i n g to k n o w t h e s e s p a c e s a n d developing a comfort level with t h e ambiguity that a c c o m p a n i e s "lingering with t h e c o n n e c t o r s " i s the job of t h e g e n e r a l i s t s p e c i a l i s i n g in b e i n g a generalist.  Advocacy/Agency/Neutrality In m y d o c t o r a l c o u r s e work, it w a s m a d e very clear that indication of a g e n c y o r a d v o c a c y in one's writing would be f r o w n e d upon by the a c a d e m i c c o m m u n i t y .  Why I  q u e r i e d ? B e c a u s e the r e s e a r c h e r must aim to b e a s neutral a s p o s s i b l e , t h e r e b y minimising c o n t a m i n a t i o n of their a r g u m e n t s . T h e m o r e I studied of Daignault a n d Derrida, t h e m o r e I c a m e to u n d e r s t a n d that there a r e no primary texts (texts without h u m a n mediation), only interpretations a n d interpretations of interpretations.  Pinar  a n d R e y n o l d s (1995) c o n t e n d that "original purity of e x p e r i e n c e c a n n o t b e a c h i e v e d ;  98  while it is implied, it d o e s not exist in text" (p.4). All writing is political a n d to insinuate that a c a d e m i c a r g u m e n t s c a n be free of influence is to put one's h e a d in t h e s a n d .  We  w o u l d b e letting d o w n o u r guard a n d reneging on our responsibility to b e critical readers. O n c e o n e b e g i n s to d e c o n s t r u c t d i s c o u r s e , the c o n n o t a t i o n s or " s e c o n d a r y m e a n i n g s " that c h a r a c t e r i s e h u m a n l a n g u a g e a r e illuminated. A s P i n a r a n d R e y n o l d s (1992) wrote, " A n y text is l a c e d with h u m a n p u r p o s e a n d c r o s s p u r p o s e s , m o t i v e s a n d c o u n t e r m o t i v e s - w h a t is stated a n d what is not" (p. 6). S o m e t i m e s what is not s a i d d o e s m o r e to highlight t h e b i a s of t h e speaker/writer than what is s a i d . A responsibility is p l a c e d o n t h e r e a d e r to b a l a n c e what s h e r e a d s a n d d e v e l o p strategies to u n c o v e r author bias. R e s p o n s i b l e a u t h o r s reflect on and bring to the fore their b i a s e s a n d v a l u e s . O v e r z e a l o u s efforts to remain neutral only s e r v e to c l o u d the real v o i c e .  Is a hint of a d v o c a c y r e a s o n to d i s m i s s the t h e s i s of a "scholarly" p a p e r ? T o a s p i r e to write a text that is d e v o i d of b i a s would likely result in a text without p a s s i o n . Without p a s s i o n , w e influence little c h a n g e .  In an article about the i m p o r t a n c e of building  h o p e b a c k into curriculum, W e r n e r (1999) wrote that learning is emotion/full -- what s t u d e n t s feel p a s s i o n a t e l y about, they tirelessly pursue. W e n e e d to set a n a t m o s p h e r e w h e r e writers a r e not only e n c o u r a g e d , but e x p e c t e d to reflect o n their b i a s e s a n d values.  T w e n t y y e a r s a g o it w a s by far the e x c e p t i o n for authors of children's b o o k s to include a note to their a u d i e n c e . T o d a y , t h e s e notations giving a brief evolution of t h e story a n d b a c k g r o u n d information about the author a r e e x p e c t e d by p u b l i s h e r s a n d a r e by far t h e norm.  W h e n w e a c k n o w l e d g e that s o m e level of a d v o c a c y e x i s t s in e v e r y  p i e c e of writing a n d w h e n w e a p p r e c i a t e the fragility of truth, w e n e g a t e s o m e of the  99  d a m a g i n g f e a t u r e s of b i a s a n d c a n t a k e m e a s u r e s to b a l a n c e our learning.  At this  moment, w e l e a v e the f a l s e security of certainty to step onto a never e n d i n g roller c o a s t e r ride of differing perspectives, competing c a u s e s a n d a m b i g u o u s directions.  A s t e a c h e r s , w e must support children in learning to r e s e a r c h the context in w h i c h t h e material they a r e studying w a s written and the particular b i a s e s of t h e author. T h i s responsibility is e v e n greater with the explosion of unedited, u n s c r e e n e d a n d often u n r e f e r e n c e d material on the Internet. A n y o n e c a n publish o n the net; t h e r e is no editor to get past, no r e v i e w e r s to a p p e a s e , a n d no h e g e m o n i c s t r u c t u r e s of t h e publishing world to s i d e step. It is a great equaliser a n d also a great a b y s s if children a r e not s u p p o r t e d in d e v e l o p i n g the tools they n e e d to be critical u s e r s .  The  globalisation of t h e net allows students to a c c e s s material from a variety of s o u r c e s , t h e r e b y e x p o s i n g them to multiple p e r s p e c t i v e s on any o n e i s s u e .  A r m e d with  s t r a t e g i e s to r e s e a r c h b i a s a n d accountability, students c a n aim to b a l a n c e their v e s s e l o n t h e w a t e r w a y s of t h e web.  At t h e e n d of his book Learning to Divide the World, Willinsky a s k s , " W h a t d o e s it m e a n to b e held in t h e t h r o e s of a past that we c a n no longer trust or b e c o m f o r t e d b y ? " (p. 249). H e refers to a past (not yet past) w h e r e k n o w l e d g e is s h a p e d a n d validated by a British imperial s y s t e m which divides the p e o p l e of the world a s s u p e r i o r a n d subordinate, worthy a n d unworthy, master and pliant servant. Q u e s t i o n i n g t h e authenticity of our past, a s it h a s b e e n taught in school, a n d a c c e p t i n g t h e possibility of multiple truths is a d i s a r m i n g a n d disorienting e x p e r i e n c e for w h i c h w e a r e ill-prepared by our e d u c a t i o n s y s t e m . S c h o o l i n g h a s traditionally p r e s e n t e d a n "official" v e r s i o n of k n o w l e d g e a n d d o e s not reinforce critique regarding the origin of that k n o w l e d g e a n d the possibility of alternative p e r s p e c t i v e s . C h i l d r e n are taught what is "right" a n d  100  partial truths a r e a v o i d e d b e c a u s e they complicate the t e a c h e r - s t u d e n t d y a d , w h e r e the t e a c h e r is all-knowing. Yet, a s already mentioned, all texts c o n t a i n bias. S c h o o l i n g is t h e t i r e l e s s chronicler of what divides u s (Willinsky, 1 9 9 8 p.1).  A g a i n , it s e e m s to c o m e d o w n to finding comfort in fluidity a n d o p e n i n g o u r m i n d s to revisionist s t o r i e s tainted with e l e m e n t s of a g e n c y knowing that there will b e r e v i s i o n s within r e v i s i o n s .  R e f l e c t i v e a w a r e n e s s a n d r e s p o n s i b l e action a r e lifelong j o u r n e y s .  What Are My Biases, What Divides/Connects Me from/to Others? I believe every child h a s a right to a n education in the public s y s t e m I a l s o support there being options a v a i l a b l e in alternative s c h o o l s I put d e v e l o p i n g a social c o n s c i o u s n e s s o n the top of my list of teaching priorities I believe a commitment to equity must b e the grounding of all t e a c h i n g I believe t e a c h i n g a n d learning a r e like reading a n d writing - o n e cannot b e s e p a r a t e d from the other the s a m e is true of teacher/learner I believe curriculum that e v o l v e s a s it incorporates a n d c h a l l e n g e s the lived e x p e r i e n c e s of c l a s s participants is relevant curriculum I believe w e under c h a l l e n g e children in o u r efforts to shield them from the l e s s savory a s p e c t s of life I believe t h o s e w h o a n s w e r the call of t e a c h i n g must b e prepared to toil in "watchfulness" a n d "thoughtfulness" fuelled by a n insatiable curiosity  101  I d o not believe there is o n e w a y to t e a c h anything I continually c h e c k out alternative m e t h o d s T h e " M a r y P o p p i n s bag" is a l w a y s r e a d y s o that I c a n s w a p tricks to c o n n e c t with a child I believe literacy is best c a u g h t through the contagion e m b o d i e d in a love of literature I believe in b a l a n c e scholar/practitioner nature/humanity art/technology security/freedom  Conflict/Consensus peacefully?  - Can we agree  to disagree  respectfully  and  A s I b e c a m e m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e working with d i a l e c t i c s in curriculum s c h o l a r s h i p , I started to q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r early c h i l d h o o d curriculum h a d to b e a c c r e d i t e d t h r o u g h c o n s e n s u s , or w h e t h e r it c o u l d grow out of conflict? M u c h of today's early c h i l d h o o d c u r r i c u l u m h a s b e e n d e s i g n e d around c o n s e n s u s o v e r " d e v e l o p m e n t a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e " (by Euro/Ameri/heritage s t a n d a r d s ) g o a l s a n d objectives. P r e p a c k a g e d a n d prestructured m a t e r i a l s b a s e d o n "developmentally appropriate" c o n s t r u c t s strongly influence t h e e v e r y d a y look a n d feel of early c h i l d h o o d c l a s s r o o m s .  (I will d i s c u s s  c h a l l e n g e s to d e v e l o p m e n t a l l y appropriate theory in c h a p t e r five.) Is t h e u s e of E u r o c e n t r i c support materials consistent with our d e s i r e to c r e a t e curriculum that e n c o m p a s s e s d i v e r s e v a l u e s a n d g o a l s for c h i l d r e n ? E v e n multicultural c o m p o n e n t s of p r e p a c k a g e d curriculum a r e d e v e l o p e d and taught from a p l a c e of c o n s e n s u s r e g a r d i n g w h a t i s "politically correct." T h e p u s h h a s b e e n to d r a w c o m m o n a l i t i e s a n d h o p e that b y avoiding differences, conflicts b a s e d in diversity i s s u e s w o u l d d i s s i p a t e . S o m e of this h a s c h a n g e d s i n c e L o u i s e D e r m a n - S p a r k s b e g a n promoting anti-bias  102  early c h i l d h o o d curriculum in the 1990s.  L o u i s e maintained that c h i l d r e n n e e d  g u i d a n c e to d e a l with differing a n d s o m e t i m e s conflicting viewpoints that rise out of t h e tough s o c i a l realities they grow up in. D e r m a n - S p a r k s (1989) also t a k e s t h e p e r s p e c t i v e that activism h a s a place in early childhood c u r r i c u l u m : C h i l d r e n learning to t a k e action against unfair b e h a v i o u r s that o c c u r in their o w n lives is at t h e heart of anti-bias education. Without this c o m p o n e n t , the curriculum l o s e s its vitality a n d power. F o r c h i l d r e n to feel g o o d a n d confident about t h e m s e l v e s , they n e e d to b e a b l e to say, "That's not fair," or "I don't like that," if they a r e the target of prejudice or discrimination. F o r children to d e v e l o p empathy a n d r e s p e c t for diversity, they n e e d to be a b l e to say, "I don't like what you a r e doing" to a child w h o is a b u s i n g another child. If w e t e a c h children to r e c o g n i z e injustice, t h e n w e must also t e a c h them that people c a n c r e a t e positive c h a n g e by w o r k i n g together. Y o u n g children h a v e an i m p r e s s i v e c a p a c i t y for learning how to be activists if adults provide activities that a r e relevant a n d d e v e l o p m e n t a l l y appropriate" (p.77).  B a s e d o n this thinking, it would s e e m important to d e v e l o p curriculum m a t e r i a l s that invoke i s s u e s of struggle - giving children opportunity to practise w a y s of relating to conflicting v i e w p o i n t s .  In m y e x p e r i e n c e a s a student, t e a c h e r a n d educational consultant, I h a v e e n c o u n t e r e d a certain r e s i s t a n c e a m o n g e d u c a t o r s to a d d r e s s difficult q u e s t i o n s with c h i l d r e n . T e a c h e r s t e n d to avoid s u b j e c t s which raise q u e s t i o n s for w h i c h t h e r e a r e no c l e a r a n s w e r s , a n d s i d e - s t e p ethical d i l e m m a s that might raise c o n t r o v e r s i a l i s s u e s in the c l a s s r o o m .  Yet children c o m e f a c e to f a c e with t h e s e i s s u e s through t h e m e d i a ,  a n d i n c r e a s i n g l y through p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e . In the e d u c a t i o n a l c o n t e x t s I h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d in m y work, e d u c a t o r s provide y o u n g children with few t o o l s to h e l p t h e m negotiate a meaningful a n d b a l a n c e d path o n c e this inevitable confrontation o c c u r s . ( M a n y s c h o o l s d o h a v e "second-step" p r o g r a m m e s w h e r e children a r e c o u n s e l l e d , through story a n d simulation e x e r c i s e s , how to d e a l with playground  103  squabbles,  bullying, a n d angry feelings. Unfortunately t h e s e s e s s i o n s a r e quite structured a n d rarely integrated into t h e g e n e r a t i v e curriculum of the c l a s s r o o m . )  Freire c l a i m e d that  in o r d e r to " d i s s o c i a t e ideas" legitimised by m a i n s t r e a m populations, e d u c a t o r s n e e d to t e a c h t h r o u g h conflict rather than c o n s e n s u s .  T o be critically a n d s o c i a l l y  c o n s c i o u s , c h i l d r e n require opportunities to get m u d d y with difficult i s s u e s , in s a f e settings with t h e support of trained adults. I believe the time to start mixing t h e water a n d dirt of diversity i s s u e s is in the early y e a r s (preschool, primary, a n d intermediate), s o that c h i l d r e n a r e e q u i p p e d to d e a l with the peer p r e s s u r e s that exert t h e m s e l v e s m o r e forcefully during their t e e n a g e y e a r s . T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n is reinforced in e d u c a t i o n a l theory, w h e r e r e s e a r c h e r s a r e increasingly pointing out that i n v o l v e m e n t in s o c i a l i s s u e s is m o r e constructive than a v o i d a n c e (Bruner, 1 9 9 6 ;  Derman-Sparks,  1 9 8 9 ; M c L a r e n , 1 9 8 9 ; N e u g e b a u e r , 1 9 9 2 ; W e r n e r a n d Nixon, 1990). A s Silin (1995) writes, Within p s y c h o l o g y itself, a multivocal c o n c e p t of subjectivity h a s e m e r g e d in t h e last d e c a d e , o n e that posits t h e individual a n d t h e s o c i a l not a s binary o p p o s i t e s but a s parts of a single reality a n d that a s k s u s to rethink o u r i d e a s about age-appropriate curriculum, (p. 104) With p r a c t i c e a n d self-confidence, I believe that e v e n y o u n g c h i l d r e n c a n learn to " a g r e e to d i s a g r e e " in a respectful manner.  T e a c h e r s / l e a r n e r s n e e d a framework for reaching a c o m m o n u n d e r s t a n d i n g of a p r o b l e m , but not n e c e s s a r i l y o n e that i m p o s e s a g r e e m e n t regarding s t r a t e g i e s for resolution. C h i l d r e n n e e d to be a s s u r e d that it is p o s s i b l e to u n d e r s t a n d alternative o p i n i o n s without n e c e s s a r i l y judging t h e m . T h e y a r e c a p a b l e of learning about a viewpoint different from their own, a n d understanding the c o n d i t i o n s that nurture it. C a n this a p p r o a c h l e a v e children with the i m p r e s s i o n that e v e r y point is p e r m i s s i b l e , in turn m a k i n g it difficult for t h e m to m a k e d e c i s i o n s ? I feel that children c a n benefit from  104  learning that d e c i s i o n s n e e d not be permanent.  You can make a decision  a c k n o w l e d g i n g that it is for the m o m e n t only, conditional o n t h e context peculiar to that i s s u e a n d subject to further information. C h i l d r e n c a n learn to listen a n d e m p a t h i s e , t e m p o r a r i l y s u s p e n d i n g their judgment in order to u n d e r s t a n d a n o t h e r viewpoint.  At  the s a m e time, t h e y a r e free to a c k n o w l e d g e that they a r e not c o m f o r t a b l e adopting that viewpoint t h e m s e l v e s .  F o r e x a m p l e , in t h e 1 9 9 6 s u m m e r p r o g r a m m e at t h e U B C C h i l d S t u d y C e n t r e , t h e c h i l d r e n r a i s e d f u n d s through a " C o n s e r v a t i o n Fair." A s t h e c h i l d r e n i n v e s t i g a t e d v a r i o u s c a u s e s that t h e y could support, it b e c a m e c l e a r they d i s a g r e e d o n a p p r o a c h e s to c o n s e r v a t i o n . T h e larger g r o u p w a s a n x i o u s to d o n a t e to w a t e r s h e d p r e s e r v a t i o n , while t h e other f a v o u r e d supporting forest m a n a g e m e n t e d u c a t i o n . R a t h e r t h a n f o r c e the c h i l d r e n to r e a c h c o n s e n s u s on a single a p p r o a c h to c o n s e r v a t i o n , t h e y w e r e a l l o w e d to d e b a t e their positions. In the end, they a g r e e d to d i s a g r e e o n a p p r o a c h e s to c o n s e r v a t i o n , but c o m p r o m i s e d o n a division of their funds, s o that t h e y c o u l d e a c h s u p p o r t t h e c a u s e of their c h o i c e . T h e l e s s o n learned w a s that y o u c a n  acknowledge  differing p e r s p e c t i v e s a n d not h a v e to fall in line with o n e or another. W e n e e d to find w a y s to t e a c h children to a c c e p t v a r i a n c e in beliefs a n d v a l u e s brought to t h e p r o b l e m solving table.  S o m e will a r g u e that s u c h a c c e p t a n c e m a y c a u s e insecurity in y o u n g  children w h o s e e things in t e r m s of black a n d white. It is our c h a l l e n g e a s e d u c a t o r s to reframe t h e e l u s i v e greys, s o that they represent the security a n d strength of t o l e r a n c e rather t h a n t h e insecurity a n d w e a k n e s s of indecision.  If w e follow Freire's enjoiner that effective problem-solving relies o n a dialectic that g r o w s from p r a x i s a n d g e n e r a t e s theory, curriculum is g r o u n d e d in e x p e r i e n c e rather than d e t a c h e d theory. T h e o r y a n d practice b e c o m e a simultaneous, reflective a c t i o n . 105  It seemed I was spending a lot of time getting everywhere. I needed to stand back...  no place,  but  being  In s e e k i n g to u n d e r s t a n d curriculum through a c a d e m i c study, I w a n t e d to g l i m p s e a w h o l e -- a n a p p r o a c h that w a s inclusive, yet respectful of diversity. Eventually, I c a m e to s e e that t h e w h o l e w a s in no o n e method o r a p p r o a c h , but instead r e s i d e d in a p e r s p e c t i v e : b y standing back, it w a s p o s s i b l e to s e e the intersections b e t w e e n v a r i o u s a p p r o a c h e s to curriculum. T h i s perspective e n c o m p a s s e s diversity, a n d a s in the evolutionary p r o c e s s of t h e biological world, m a k e s for a stronger o r g a n i s m .  M y e n g a g e m e n t with v a r i o u s dialectics within curriculum d i s c o u r s e taught m e that t h e b a c k g r o u n d of a picture n e e d s to be attended to a s m u c h a s the f o r e g r o u n d .  Then,  w a y s in w h i c h t h e t w o a r e differentiated a n d b l e n d e d c a n b e n o t e d . W e c a n t e a c h c h i l d r e n h o w to s t a n d back, get in touch with their o w n b i a s e s , a n d in s o d o i n g e m p o w e r t h e m s e l v e s with t h e k n o w l e d g e of how t h e y m a k e m e a n i n g . O n l y t h e n will t h e y b e r e a d y to a c c e p t individual responsibility in furthering inclusive b e h a v i o u r a n d action.  Visioning a Global/Diversity Perspective It w a s a t t e n d a n c e at two c o n f e r e n c e s that helped m e pull together a n inclusive a p p r o a c h to curriculum that c e n t r e d around t h e nurturing of a global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e in y o u n g children. T h i s involved the d e v e l o p m e n t of a flexible l e n s through w h i c h to v i e w personal, local, a n d global interactions. I briefly outline t h e influence of both c o n f e r e n c e s in the following  paragraphs.  1)  Conference,  "Imagining  a Pacific  Community"  UBC (April  1995)  T h i s c o n f e r e n c e h a d a broad c a s t of p r e s e n t e r s a n d s o m e high profile participants, but  106  o n e s p e a k e r in particular w a s to pluck s e v e r a l strings that r e s o n a t e d with m y e x p e r i e n c e . R o l a n d C a s e , a c o - p r e s e n t e r with Walt W e r n e r , introduced t h e i d e a of g l o b a l e d u c a t i o n with y o u n g children being m o r e about t h e d e v e l o p m e n t  and  nurturing of a p e r s p e c t i v e , rather than being about the presentation of s p e c i f i c content. C a s e (1995) d e s c r i b e d a "global perspective" a s the c a p a c i t y to s e e t h e "whole picture" w h e t h e r f o c u s i n g on a local or an international matter. A s h e w a s d e s c r i b i n g the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of this global perspective, I s a w p i e c e s of my p u z z l e c o m i n g together in how I c o u l d a p p r o a c h inclusive curriculum in the c l a s s r o o m .  It s e e m e d a  w o r k a b l e w a y to implement diversity of curriculum by helping c h i l d r e n to d e v e l o p a lens, a c o d e of behaviour, a n d a method of attack through w h i c h to a p p r o a c h p r o b l e m a t i c situations inherent in diversity e d u c a t i o n .  C a s e (1993) c l a i m s that o n e c a n m o r e fully a p p r e c i a t e "global e d u c a t i o n " by distinguishing b e t w e e n two interrelated d i m e n s i o n s of a global p e r s p e c t i v e -- t h e substantial a n d t h e p e r c e p t u a l . H e refers to C o o m b s explanation of p e r s p e c t i v e : [H]aving a p e r s p e c t i v e implies: (1) a "point of view" - a v a n t a g e point from which, or a l e n s through which, o b s e r v a t i o n s occur, a n d (2) s o m e "object of attention - a n event, thing, person, place, or state of affairs that is t h e f o c u s of t h e o b s e r v a t i o n s . F o r example, to s p e a k of v a r i o u s p e r s p e c t i v e s o n s c h o o l i n g s u g g e s t s looking at s c h o o l s - the object - t h r o u g h t h e e y e s , or in light of t h e c o n c e r n s or interests, of v a r i o u s people - t h e points of view, (as q u o t e d in C a s e , 1993, p.318). C a s e u s e d this definition of p e r s p e c t i v e to support his o w n distinction b e t w e e n substantive and the perceptual dimensions: t h e s u b s t a n t i v e d i m e n s i o n identifies the o b j e c t s of a global p e r s p e c t i v e t h o s e world events, states of affairs, places, a n d things that global e d u c a t o r s want students to understand. T h e perceptual d i m e n s i o n is t h e points of view - the matrix of c o n c e p t s , orientations, values, sensibilities, a n d attitudes - from which w e want students to p e r c e i v e t h e world (p.318). It is t h e p e r c e p t u a l d i m e n s i o n that I find most interesting in relation to c u r r i c u l u m . In m y  107  e x p e r i e n c e , it doesn't matter how m u c h e x p o s u r e a n individual g e t s to t h e s u b s t a n t i v e d i m e n s i o n ; they c a n n o t internalise responsibility if their m i n d s a r e not o p e n to alternative p e r s p e c t i v e s , trained to a c c e p t complexity, a n d c o m m i t t e d to r e c o g n i s e e q u a l rights of all m e m b e r s of the h u m a n family. L a m y (1990) e x p r e s s e d that " d e v e l o p i n g appropriate c o n c e p t u a l a n d moral l e n s e s through w h i c h to v i e w global interactions m a y b e more crucial than acquiring e x t e n s i v e information" ( a s q u o t e d in C a s e , 1993, p.319).  C a s e d e s c r i b e s e l e m e n t s of the perceptual d i m e n s i o n a s , (1) o p e n - m i n d e d - s u s p e n d judgment - entertain contrary positions, (2) full-minded - anticipate complexity - resist stereotyping, (3) fair-minded - e m p a t h i s e with others - o v e r c o m e c h a u v i n i s m . ( c o n f e r e n c e handout, 1995) In this description, I felt C a s e w a s getting at e l e m e n t s of the hidden a n d null c u r r i c u l u m s I w a s a n x i o u s to a d d r e s s , a n d I u s e d his framework to build m y o w n a p p r o a c h to nurturing global p e r s p e c t i v e s in y o u n g children.  2)  "Honouring Diversity within Child (November 1995)  Care and Early Education"  -  I a t t e n d e d t h e inaugural (3 day) training programme/in-service for h o n o u r i n g diversity, put o n b y E a r l y C h i l d h o o d Training a n d Labour.  Multicultural S e r v i c e s a n d the B C Ministry of Skills,  T h e w o r k s h o p w a s d e s i g n e d to train early c h i l d h o o d e d u c a t o r s  in m e t h o d s of promoting diversity education.  I w a s p l e a s e d that this training s e s s i o n  c o n c e n t r a t e d m o r e o n building a n ideological framework for diversity e d u c a t i o n than the m o r e u s u a l practice of dealing with t h e a c c e s s o r i e s of a "diversity" c l a s s r o o m . Early c h i l d h o o d t h e o r y a n d practice that respect cultural c o m m o n a l i t i e s a r e a b u n d a n t . However, t h e o r y a n d practice that respect diversity h a v e taken m o r e time to evolve.  108  B e i n g that w e a r e s u r r o u n d e d by cultural and social diversity, this i n s e r v i c e put o n by G y d a C h u d a n d Ruth F a h l m a n w a s timely. T h e y reminded us that w e h a v e to g e n e r a t e "new e x p e c t a t i o n s for respecting h u m a n variety a n d furthering equality, h u m a n rights, a n d social justice." (1995, p. x).  I f o u n d this i n s e r v i c e particularly interesting b e c a u s e it incorporated the p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t a n c e s of multiculturalists, anti-racists, feminists, and social activists into a n alle n c o m p a s s i n g fabric. T h e carefully g u a r d e d turfs I knew from a c a d e m i c study did not exist ~ the s i m p l e w o r d s "honouring diversity" allowed battle-weary a d v o c a t e s to put d o w n their a r m o u r a n d work together.  T h e facilitators w e r e able to a c c o m p l i s h this by working through two k e y principles with the participants. First, they r e c o g n i s e d the importance of knowing a n d o w n i n g one's o w n roots. T h e y c r e a t e d a neutral environment that legitimised e a c h  philosophical  g r o u p , allowing individuals to t a k e responsibility for their own intellectual position. S e c o n d l y , t h e y fuelled the creative drive that s p u r s continued learning, e n c o u r a g i n g participants to s p r e a d their w i n g s and explore different w a y s of u n d e r s t a n d i n g the rich diversity of c o m m u n i t y life. T h i s foundation is critical if e d u c a t o r s a r e to play their part in creating a n e q u a l society. T h r o u g h understanding their o w n roots, e d u c a t o r s a r e better a b l e to p e r c e i v e the impact their beliefs h a v e o n t h e w a y t h e y v i e w diversity i s s u e s , in turn leaving room for them to fulfill their creative role in e d u c a t i n g children.  C h u d a n d F a h l m a n (1995) a d v o c a t e two criteria essential to diversity e d u c a t i o n .  The  primary o n e is t h e c o m m i t m e n t of learners to self-reflection: " T h e c h a l l e n g e of h o n o u r i n g diversity in the teaching and learning p r o c e s s is to d o our best to practice  what we preach" ( p. x). T h i s a p p l i e s to t e a c h e r s and students alike, w h e t h e r they are  109  new to diversity e d u c a t i o n or long time supporters. T h e s e c o n d criterion is t h e a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t that learning i s a fluid p r o c e s s . "Diversity e d u c a t i o n i s f o r e v e r 'in p r o c e s s ' a n d d e f i e s c l o s u r e . T o m o r r o w , there will b e n e w thoughts, further insights, m o r e r e s e a r c h a n d greater refinements. S u c h is t h e nature of the t h e m e a n d t h e work." ( C h u d a n d F a h l m a n , 1995, p. x). O n e must truly internalise this fluidity, in o r d e r to d e a l with t h e ambiguities that n e c e s s a r i l y a r i s e from this a p p r o a c h . Diversity e d u c a t i o n must b e inherently reflective: actions n e e d to a r i s e from reflection, a n d further reflection must follow o n what is done. T e d A o k i (1983) refers to this reflective e l e m e n t a s "praxis" a n d a r g u e s that "praxis h a s at its main interest further praxis" (p. 26).  T h e two v o l u m e instructor's g u i d e c o m p i l e d by C h u d a n d F a h l m a n (1995) e m b o d i e d both m y v i e w s o n inclusive curriculum a n d m y belief that s u c h curriculum is a reflective p r o c e s s , e v e r in motion, ever evolving.  W h a t it w a s lacking w a s a g o o d bibliography of  children's b o o k s that help to raise sensitive i s s u e s in a non-didactic m a n n e r .  Having  just d o n e a pilot study o n emergent curriculum to nurture global p e r s p e c t i v e s at the U B C C h i l d S t u d y C e n t r e ( s u m m e r 1995), I w a s able to contribute a book list titled " B o o k s that C h a l l e n g e C h i l d r e n to Deal with S e n s i t i v e Issues," to b e a d d e d to C h u d ' s a n d F a h l m a n ' s r e s o u r c e listings. A n updated version of this bibliography is i n c l u d e d in A p p e n d i x A of this text.  Internalising Global/Diversity Perspective as a Personal Philosophy and Curriculum Guide I a m reluctant to g o to great lengths to define, clarify, a n d s t a n d a r d i s e what I h a v e f o u n d to b e a v e r y effective a p p r o a c h to inclusive curriculum d e s i g n . I s a y this b e c a u s e I b e l i e v e that t h e very e s s e n c e of this a p p r o a c h is its fluidity a n d its  110  r e q u i r e m e n t of reflective action. L o o s e l y defined c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n i d e a s allow what might o t h e r w i s e b e disparate factions to find a r e a s of compatibility. Yet, s o m e d e s c r i p t i o n is n e c e s s a r y for t h e r e a d e r to get a feel of what I m e a n w h e n I s p e a k of a curriculum that nurtures global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e s in y o u n g c h i l d r e n . (In t h e following chapter, I g i v e m o r e attention to describing practical a s p e c t s of global/diversity curriculum.)  After listening to R o l a n d C a s e s p e a k about nurturing a global p e r s p e c t i v e , I felt s u p p o r t e d in my belief that i n c l u s i v e n e s s is more about how o n e a p p r o a c h e s a n issue, a n d l e s s about e n c o u r a g i n g study of specific i s s u e s . T h e c h a l l e n g e w a s how to d e v e l o p curriculum a r o u n d p r o c e s s rather than content. Important to t h e s u c c e s s in nurturing a global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e in t h e c l a s s r o o m is a f a s t i d i o u s d e t e r m i n a t i o n to p r e s e n t a b a l a n c e of viewpoints.  It is important to go b e y o n d both t h e t e a c h e r ' s o w n  p e r s p e c t i v e a n d t h o s e e x p r e s s e d by the dominant culture in p r e p a r e d curricular materials. G i r o u x a n d S i m o n (1989) reiterate the n e e d for multiple p e r s p e c t i v e s in structuring a c l a s s r o o m that r e s p e c t s lived difference: ... [Creating s u c h a classroom] d o e s not require t e a c h e r s to s u p p r e s s or a b a n d o n what a n d how they know. Indeed, the p e d a g o g i c a l struggle is l e s s e n e d without s u c h r e s o u r c e s . However, t e a c h e r s a n d s t u d e n t s must find f o r m s within which a single d i s c o u r s e d o e s not b e c o m e t h e l o c u s of certainty a n d certification. Rather, t e a c h e r s must find w a y s of c r e a t i n g a s p a c e for mutual e n g a g e m e n t of lived e x p e r i e n c e that d o e s not r e q u i r e the silencing of a multiplicity of v o i c e s by a single d o m i n a n t d i s c o u r s e . (P- 243.) T e a c h e r s must d e v e l o p this s p a c e around a c o m m i t m e n t to equality of opportunity. C u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l s m u s t e n g a g e children a n d reject d e t a c h m e n t f r o m s o - c a l l e d s e n s i t i v e i s s u e s like d e a t h , victim cycles, A I D S , street people, h u m a n conflict, or disfigurement. C o m m i t m e n t to global education m e a n s a c o m m i t m e n t to equity.  111  T h e s e p a r a t e e l e m e n t s that c h a r a c t e r i s e what I refer to a s the "global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e " find their roots in C a s e ' s description of a "global p e r s p e c t i v e . " I v i e w t h e s e e l e m e n t s a s foundational characteristics to be cultivated in e d u c a t o r s a n d learners: • e m b r a c i n g equality of opportunity, • • • • • • • •  s e e k i n g m o r e information, e x a m i n i n g critically information s o u r c e s , s u s p e n d i n g judgment, entertaining contrary positions, anticipating complexity, tolerating ambiguity, e m p a t h i s i n g with others, a n d overcoming chauvinism.  I a d d e d t h e first t h r e e characteristics to C a s e ' s list in order to m o r e fully d e s c r i b e t h e l e n s a s I u n d e r s t a n d it. W h i l e the characteristics listed together c o m p r i s e a lens for a s s e s s i n g a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g c o m p l e x situations, e a c h o n e d o e s not n e c e s s a r i l y play a similar, or e q u a l role from o n e problem/issue to the next. O n e m a y c o m e to t h e fore in working through a particular set of c i r c u m s t a n c e s , a n d yet r e c e d e into t h e b a c k g r o u n d in another.  W h y did I u s e t h e p h r a s e "global/diversity" a s a refinement of C a s e ' s "global" p e r s p e c t i v e ? B y a d d i n g diversity, I found a better description of m y interpretation of  global a s "unity in diversity." However, I could not simply r e p l a c e global with diversity, a s diversity on its o w n did not incorporate the concept of unity e m b r a c e d in global. O n l y b y u s i n g both t e r m s together could I c o n v e y both a s p e c t s of t h e p e r s p e c t i v e . I inserted a s l a s h to g i v e t h e two t e r m s e q u a l weight in the w a y I envision c u r r i c u l u m . I f o u n d this p h r a s e r e p r e s e n t e d m y i d e a s more fully, a n d w a s l e s s c o n f u s i n g to t h o s e who s e e "global e d u c a t i o n " more a s a study of other countries. T o m e , "global" c o n n o t e s t h e practice of studying broad i s s u e s within a m i c r o c o s m that h a s i m m e d i a t e  112  r e l e v a n c e for a g i v e n g r o u p of learners. S e e i n g the "world in a tidal pool"  allows  l e a r n e r s to o b s e r v e in detail at c l o s e hand, a n d then extrapolate to b r o a d e r i s s u e s a n d c o n t e x t s while retaining t h e vitality of that c l o s e o b s e r v a t i o n .  S o m e e l e m e n t s of the "global/diversity" p e r s p e c t i v e may s e e m to b e c o n t r a d i c t o r y o r e v e n mutually e x c l u s i v e . I h a v e b e e n a s k e d , "How do y o u critically e x a m i n e a situation while s u s p e n d i n g j u d g m e n t ? " In fact, this is the task a s s i g n e d to t h e "impartial c o u r t r o o m judge." T o maintain a critical outlook, you h a v e to continually m a k e t h e effort to s u s p e n d judgment.  F o r example, in the courtroom, t h e j u d g e must  s u s p e n d j u d g m e n t a n d project a n o p e n mind a s he critically e x a m i n e s t h e e v i d e n c e given.  E v e n so, h e r e a l i s e s h e h a s h i s o w n b i a s e s a n d any j u d g m e n t t a k e n is subject  to t h e p r o c e s s of a p p e a l .  N e w evidence/information m a y b e just a r o u n d t h e c o r n e r .  T h u s a n y d e c i s i o n is only a s g o o d a s the c u r r e n c y of the information o n w h i c h it is based.  My Lived Experience and Global/Diversity Perspectives C a s e ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of global perspective w e r e the s a m e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that I f o u n d at t h e v e r y c o r e of t h e e x p e r i e n c e s that d r o v e m e to find a n e w a p p r o a c h to c u r r i c u l u m . With M r s . Sturby, I learned the importance of suspending judgment, a s well a s the n e e d to seek more information, and empathise with others. I a l s o c a m e up a g a i n s t t h e p o w e r of chauvinist thought with r e s p e c t to her e x c l u s i o n a r y a p p r o a c h to skill d e v e l o p m e n t . With M a r g a r e t M e e k , I learned to entertain contrary positions, a n d to critically examine accepted practices. I a l s o g a i n e d new e x p o s u r e to c h a u v i n i s t thought in her rejection of my definition of developmentally appropriate literature. C o l l e e n S t a i n t o n reinforced for m e the importance of suspending judgment. In her ability to live with m y indecision, s h e a l s o illuminated t h e n e e d to tolerate ambiguity a n d empathise with others.  113  M y e x p e r i e n c e with Chief M a r a c l e a n d my grandfather g a v e m e p e r s p e c t i v e o n anticipating complexity, tolerating ambiguity, and critical reflection. It reinforced my c o m m i t m e n t to equality, while at the s a m e time e x p o s i n g my o w n chauvinism, evident in a misguided effort at cultural intervention. With my "roving library," I learned to tolerate ambiguity and entertain contrary positions. I a g a i n b e c a m e a w a r e of my own c h a u v i n i s m , e x p r e s s e d in a narrowly c o n c e i v e d classification of children's literature, a n d m y ability to o v e r c o m e it. O u r sojourn with t h e logger at the M a c M i l l a n B l o e d e l c a m p , near t h e C a r m a n a h Valley, u n d e r s c o r e d t h e importance of suspending judgment in o r d e r to critically examine information sources. T h r o u g h hearing the contrary positions of G r e e n p e a c e a n d the forestry industry w e learned to anticipate complexity a r o u n d i s s u e s of social c o n c e r n . R e f l e c t i n g o n my lived e x p e r i e n c e , I r e c o g n i s e the characteristics of that global p e r s p e c t i v e to w h i c h my a c a d e m i c s t u d i e s h a v e led m e .  W h e n I j u x t a p o s e m y intuitive  k n o w l e d g e with theory a n d scholarship, I arrive at the s a m e p l a c e : a p e r s o n a l i s e d a p p r o a c h to curriculum which I c h a r a c t e r i s e a s nurturing "global diversity p e r s p e c t i v e s . " T h i s conjunction of e x p e r i e n c e a n d a n a l y s i s  is what P i n a r refers to a s  synthesis, t h e fourth step in his definition of currere.  Visioning and Action Earlier, in t h e overview to this text, I mention adding another step to Pinar's four, to b e labelled "visioning a n d action" a s an o u t c o m e of "synthesis." After m a k i n g m e a n i n g of one's o w n e x p e r i e n c e of curriculum a n d juxtaposing this learning with one's p e d a g o g i c a l p r a c t i c e s , e d u c a t o r s are ripe for visualising s o c i a l c h a n g e .  A "visioning  a n d action" s t a g e of currere would m e a n : • u n d e r s t a n d i n g the power struggles involved in i m p l e m e n t i n g curriculum a s praxis, • integrating lived e x p e r i e n c e with socially relevant curriculum, • building in time for reflection a n d reflective action.  114  A s t h e t e a c h e r v i s i o n s an a p p r o a c h to inclusive curriculum a n d t a k e s t h e action n e c e s s a r y to m a k e it h a p p e n ( s o m e t i m e s an uphill grind), s h e  5  must a l s o build in  opportunities for her s t u d e n t s to explore routes of efficacy in the w a v e of s o c i a l change.  Louise  D e r m a n - S p a r k s (1989) w a s thinking along the s a m e vein a d e c a d e  ago: T h r o u g h activism activities children build c o n f i d e n c e a n d skills f o r b e c o m i n g adults who assert, in the f a c e of injustice, "I h a v e the responsibility to d e a l with it, I know how to deal with it, I will d e a l with it" (p.77). In e n c o u r a g i n g children to act, e d u c a t o r s n e e d not, a n d in fact s h o u l d not, direct t h e m t o w a r d s particular a v e n u e s of efficacy. T h i s is especially important w h e n learning o p p o r t u n i t i e s a r e p r e s e n t e d through problematised situations that c e n t r e o n a n inherent conflict. A s I mentioned earlier, resolution of conflict n e e d not n e c e s s a r i l y result in c o n s e n s u s .  C h i l d r e n c a n be s u c c e s s f u l l y introduced to c o m p l e x situations if  multiple f a c e t s of a problem a r e s e e n to offer multiple a v e n u e s for efficacy. T h e key point h e r e is that s t u d e n t s do not n e e d to m a k e e x c l u s i v e c h o i c e s in attempting to r e s o l v e complexity.  Part of t h e c h a l l e n g e is to t e a c h children to tolerate l e v e l s of  ambiguity while continuing their p r o c e s s of exploration. T h i s p e r m i t s a climate within the c l a s s r o o m w h e r e students c a n think b e y o n d c o n s e n s u s .  T h e y c a n e v e n c o m e to  a p p r e c i a t e that s o c i a l instability lies at the heart of social c h a n g e .  I will d e v e l o p this  further in t h e following chapter, and give specific e x a m p l e s of how to g u i d e a c l a s s t h r o u g h t h e p r o c e s s of a s s e s s i n g a n d supporting v a r i o u s alternatives f o r e f f i c a c y a n d advocacy.  A s I sit a d d i n g m y formal study of curriculum to my earlier d a n c e with currere, I s e e that I h a v e b e e n struggling to demystify my own e x p e r i e n c e of hidden a n d null c u r r i c u l u m s Wherever the words "he" or "she" are used to refer to either a child or adult, no gender exclusivity is intended.  5  115  a n d to c o n n e c t it to similar struggles others h a v e f a c e d .  I don't h a v e a n y p r e s c r i p t i o n s  a s a result of my work other than the observation that getting m u d d y in complexity, a n d tolerating a little ambiguity isn't nearly a s "derailing" a s I thought it w o u l d b e !  Further  to this e x p e r i e n c e , I a m committed to helping children b e c o m e c o m f o r t a b l e with the n e c e s s a r y period of ambiguity that a c c o m p a n i e s r e s p o n s i b l e  decision-making.  In t h e following c h a p t e r s , I will e n d e a v o u r to take the r e a d e r into t h e primary c l a s s r o o m a n d s h a r e what global/diversity curriculum might look like. I will also s h a r e m y t h o u g h t s o n children's literature, "working" stories, a n d i s s u e s of D e v e l o p m e n t a l l y A p p r o p r i a t e P r a c t i c e , both in a global s e n s e and a s they relate to m y practice.  116  4 Nurturing Global Perspectives in the Classroom Planting the Seeds "If he Is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind." Kahlil Gibran, 1923  of own  A s a t e a c h e r , m y r e a s o n for working with y o u n g children a n d their f a m i l i e s i s to further c h i l d r e n s ' ability to thrive within a n increasingly d i v e r s e a n d c o m p l e x society, not just in their public life, but at a p e r s o n a l level a s well, humanising process.  jn other words, I s e e e d u c a t i o n a s a  A s I d i s c u s s e d in t h e previous chapter, I b e l i e v e that this i s b e s t  a c h i e v e d through t h e u s e of a fluid curriculum that p l a c e s greater e m p h a s i s o n t h e p e r c e p t u a l d o m a i n , s t r e s s i n g t h e importance of how information a n d i s s u e s a r e a p p r o a c h e d rather t h a n f o c u s i n g o n content. W h i l e teaching in both t h e s u b s t a n t i v e a n d p e r c e p t i v e d o m a i n s is n e c e s s a r y , I feel that a f o c u s o n the p e r c e p t i v e e n a b l e s u s to c o n c e n t r a t e o n t h e p r o c e s s of d e v e l o p i n g viewpoints o n i s s u e s of social c o n c e r n a n d to e n c o u r a g e t h e e n v i s i o n i n g of a range of p o s s i b l e actions t o w a r d resolution. T h i s is particularly important a s w e negotiate our w a y through t h e Information A g e , a n d f a c e a n u n e n d i n g s u p p l y of information that is both o v e r w h e l m i n g in quantity a n d undifferentiated in bias.  In o r d e r to nurture a global/diversity perspective in y o u n g children, t e a c h e r s n e e d to c r e a t e a supportive environment.  T h e following three c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a r e important in  a c h i e v i n g this: • T h e c l a s s r o o m climate must support a n d reinforce equality while at t h e s a m e  117  time supporting d i v e r s i t y .  6  • O p p o r t u n i t i e s must b e provided for children to g a i n direct e x p e r i e n c e with global/diversity p e r s p e c t i v e s . T h i s c a n b e d o n e through d e v e l o p i n g p r o b l e m a t i s e d situations for children to resolve, a n d facilitating d i s c u s s i o n s that allow c h i l d r e n to e x p l o r e visioning a n d s o c i a l action either at t h e c o n c e p t u a l or experiential level. • O p e n d i s c o u r s e must b e facilitated o n a n o n g o i n g b a s i s in o r d e r to help c h i l d r e n d e v e l o p their rational a n d analytical abilities. T h i s is particularly important in t e a c h i n g children to navigate global diversity i s s u e s , w h i c h by nature a r e fluid a n d contextual. In t h e following chapter, I will d e s c r i b e curriculum that nurtures the d e v e l o p m e n t of "global p e r s p e c t i v e s " in the c l a s s r o o m . A s a foundation, I will first d e s c r i b e t h e p r i n c i p l e s that g u i d e m y t e a c h i n g a n d curriculum planning. T h e s e a r e really p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t a t e m e n t s that e x p o s e m y beliefs a n d values, giving t h e r e a d e r a f r a m e w o r k o n w h i c h to h a n g m y c o m m e n t s regarding global/diversity c u r r i c u l u m . Particular attention will b e given to the practices of nesting literature through storying, a n d of u s i n g literature-based inspirational t h e m e s to integrate multiple s u b j e c t s . T h e n , u s i n g d e s c r i p t i o n s of t w o "global p r o g r a m m e s " I set up at t h e U B C C h i l d S t u d y C e n t r e , I h o p e to give the r e a d e r a feel for how I visualise global/diversity curriculum for y o u n g children.  In reviewing t h e b a s i c p e d a g o g i c a l p r a c t i c e s o n which I b a s e m y t e a c h i n g a n d a p p r o a c h to curriculum development, I h a v e f o u n d five f u n d a m e n t a l p r e c e p t s to underlie m y work: The following reference guides provide important background reading for teachers interested in supporting diversity while forging a classroom community - Honouring Diversity within Child Care and Early Education - An Instructor's Guide - Gyda Chud and Ruth Fahlman; Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children - Louise Derman-Sparks; Deepening Our Understanding of Anti-Bias Education for Young Children: An Anthology of Readings - Louise Derman-Sparks and Dorothy Granger; Multicultural Issues in Child Care - Janet Gonzalea-Mena; Developing Roots and Wings: A Trainer's Guide to Affirming Culture in Early Childhood Programmes- - Stacey York). 6  118  • Emergent and generative curriculum m o d e l s foster p r o g r a m m e r e l e v a n c y by actively e n c o u r a g i n g c o m m u n i t y participation in curriculum d e v e l o p m e n t a n d delivery.  • Empowerment models of teaching which build on strengths, rather t h a n r e m e d i a t i n g w e a k n e s s e s a n d e n c o u r a g e reflective action rather t h a n apathy, s p a w n intrinsically motivated learners. • I b e l i e v e a k e y objective in e d u c a t i o n is to help s t u d e n t s find a s e n s e of s o c i e t a l unity a n d p e r s o n a l security in the celebration of  diversity through all  aspects of curriculum. • T h e u s e of  integrative themes is e s s e n t i a l to a c h i e v i n g a holistic a p p r o a c h to  learning in the c l a s s r o o m . C o n c e p t s are c o n n e c t e d within a f r a m e w o r k that p r o m o t e s u n d e r s t a n d i n g by d r a w i n g c o n n e c t i o n s a c r o s s d e v e l o p m e n t a l domains.  • Stories are the backbone of education fortifying all a c t s of learning. Storying, a p r o c e s s of contextualising information, is a most effective w a y of a c h i e v i n g s h a r e d u n d e r s t a n d i n g around c o m p l e x s o c i a l i s s u e s . S t o r i e s , oral a n d written, h a v e provided m e with the most c o m p e l l i n g t h e m e s a r o u n d w h i c h to link differing learning objectives. I will e l a b o r a t e o n e a c h precept below.  1.  Generative  curriculum  G e n e r a t i v e curriculum b r e a k s d o w n the barriers b e t w e e n t e a c h e r a n d learner by involving both in t h e learning p r o c e s s . I h a v e found this a p p r o a c h to b e highly motivating for both t e a c h e r a n d child, a s it distributes o w n e r s h i p of t h e p r o g r a m m e m o r e e q u a l l y a m o n g c l a s s r o o m participants ( P e n c e , 1993). C h i l d r e n c o m e to u n d e r s t a n d that t e a c h e r s a r e o n the s a m e river of life-long learning, a n d h a v e simply  119  spent m o r e time o n t h e water, gaining the knowledge that c o m e s from e x p e r i e n c e .  E d u c a t o r s w h o f a v o u r g e n e r a t i v e curriculum s e e t e a c h e r a n d student a s s h a r i n g t h e p r o c e s s of c h o o s i n g d i s c u s s i o n topics, learning objectives a n d e v a l u a t i o n m e t h o d s relevant to their n e e d s a n d interests. T h e s e e d u c a t o r s b e l i e v e that s t u d e n t s a r e intrinsically motivated w h e n they h a v e a v e s t e d interest in the p r o g r a m .  Taking  o w n e r s h i p for their learning d e m y s t i f i e s the education s y s t e m a n d g u a r d s a g a i n s t a p a t h y that often a c c o m p a n i e s the blind a c c e p t a n c e of h e g e m o n i c structures. T h e t e a c h e r is still r e s p o n s i b l e for ensuring b a s i c skills a n d c o n c e p t s a r e integrated into the o v e r a l l p r o g r a m m e .  Indeed, generative curriculum is m o r e t h a n a s k i n g c h i l d r e n to  identify their interests, a n d building activities around t h o s e interests. It involves a t h o r o u g h k n o w l e d g e of the b a s i c skills students n e e d to develop, a n d s t r a t e g i e s for using student interests to provide the motivation to gain c o m p e t e n c e in t h e s e skills.  O n e of t h e m o r e difficult a s p e c t s of working with g e n e r a t i v e curriculum is prioritising c l a s s r o o m t i m e to allow a m p l e opportunities for d i s c u s s i o n , critical reflection, a n d activities that e n c o u r a g e p e r s o n a l e m p o w e r m e n t through efficacy. C h i l d r e n a r e not born d e c i s i o n m a k e r s : t h e y n e e d to be given g u i d a n c e a n d practice in m a k i n g d e c i s i o n s a n d e x p r e s s i n g their interests. It is an u n u s u a l e d u c a t o r w h o c a n m o v e b e y o n d t h e "create a n d d i s p e n s e " teaching format. T h e s e individuals h a v e t h e ability a n d d e s i r e to r e s p o n d respectfully to student ideas, and to help s t u d e n t s work to a c h i e v e what t h e y envision within t h e larger framework of t h e c l a s s r o o m c o m m u n i t y . is a l s o important to involve families in this community a s m u c h a s p o s s i b l e in o r d e r to t a k e a d v a n t a g e of p o s s i b l e c o n n e c t i o n s to h o m e learning projects. T h e e d u c a t o r b e c o m e s a skilled facilitator, e n g r o s s e d in t h e give-and-take of providing stimulus, e n c o u r a g e m e n t , g u i d a n c e , a n d i n d e p e n d e n c e a s prompted by t h e child.  120  Knowing  It  w h e n to intervene a n d w h e n to stand b a c k i s a skill that c o m e s with e x p e r i e n c e a n d c a r e f u l reflection. T h e teacher's training and past e x p e r i e n c e allow her to illuminate c o n n e c t i o n s a n d links that will help students m a k e the most of their c r e a t i v e e n e r g y a n d find r e l e v a n c y in what they do a s part of a larger community.  G e n e r a t i v e c u r r i c u l u m p r o v i d e s e d u c a t o r s with a framework for c o n s i s t e n t l y introducing s o c i a l l y relevant t h e m e s . T h e s e t h e m e s contain t h e possibility of unfolding into m a n y o t h e r t h e m e s w h i c h call for n e w t a s k s to b e e x p l o r e d a n d fulfilled (Freire, 1970, p. 8 3 ) . B y nature of t h e p r o c e s s , g e n e r a t i v e curriculum h a s a higher likelihood of n e s t i n g c o n c e p t s in c o n t e x t s that a r e relevant to the s t u d e n t s a n d their families. T h i s , in turn, g i v e s s t u d e n t s the e x p e r i e n c e they require to thrive in t h e d i v e r s e a n d c o m p l e x s o c i e t y of w h i c h they a r e a part.  2. Empowerment  Education  V e r y m u c h a f o u n d a t i o n philosophy for generative curriculum, t h e e m p o w e r m e n t e d u c a t i o n m o d e l a s d e s c r i b e d b y York (1992) informs all f a c e t s of m y t e a c h i n g . It is a holistic a p p r o a c h that c o n n e c t s with all a s p e c t s of t h e learner. P a r t i c i p a n t s [in e d u c a t i o n for e m p o w e r m e n t p r o g r a m m e s ] a r e e m p o w e r e d b y i n c r e a s i n g their k n o w l e d g e a n d g a i n i n g n e w information. E m p o w e r i n g e d u c a t i o n i n c l u d e s a n affective c o m p o n e n t that p r o m o t e s s e l f - a w a r e n e s s a n d attitudinal c h a n g e . T h i s o c c u r s through p e r s o n a l a n d critical reflection. E m p o w e r i n g education s u p p o r t s action b y providing a n opportunity to practice skills a n d apply c o n c e p t s in t h e real world (York, 1992, pg. 21 a s quoted in C h u d a n d F a h l m a n (1995)). A s Y o r k states, a n important c o m p o n e n t of the e m p o w e r m e n t e d u c a t i o n m o d e l i s a d d r e s s i n g t h e affective d o m a i n . W e r n e r (1999) u n d e r s c o r e s this in his positional p a p e r about t h e i m p o r t a n c e "hope" plays in c l a s s r o o m d i s c u s s i o n s of g l o b a l i s s u e s . H e q u o t e s Philip P h e n i x (1974)  a s saying, "Without hope, t h e r e i s no incentive f o r  121  learning, for t h e i m p u l s e to learn p r e s u p p o s e s c o n f i d e n c e in t h e possibility of improving one's e x i s t e n c e " (p. 123).  A s educators, w e must give particular attention to  s t r a t e g i e s that will strengthen y o u n g people's belief in the future a n d their ability to effect c h a n g e (Kohl, 1998). T h e s e strategies will be d i s c u s s e d in c h a p t e r five a s important f a c t o r s in t h e exploration of sensitive i s s u e s with y o u n g c h i l d r e n .  Like o t h e r s in my field, I h a v e found helping learners get in t o u c h with their s t r e n g t h s g o e s a long w a y to mitigating their w e a k n e s s e s .  W h e n the student f e e l s positively  about his ability, he is more easily motivated into active learning -- a w a y f r o m t h e inertia that a c c o m p a n i e s f e e l i n g s of failure. T e a c h e r s must give just e n o u g h "scaffolding" to support t h e child in taking s t e p s to more c o m p l i c a t e d l e v e l s of understanding.  T h i s r e q u i r e s a s o u n d k n o w l e d g e of learning a n d d e v e l o p m e n t  c o n t i n u u m s , c l o s e o b s e r v a t i o n of children's e m e r g i n g abilities, a n d the ability to match e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s to children's c o m p e t e n c i e s , n e e d s a n d interests, s o that t h e y a r e c h a l l e n g e d , but not frustrated ( N A E Y C , 1997).  I h a v e found that it t a k e s a great  d e a l of inspiration, creativity a n d energy to t e a c h in s u c h a w a y that children a r e e m p o w e r e d to b e c o m e active learners.  Empowerment B o g g e d d o w n under never-ending d e m a n d s of administrating, planning, upgrading, sorting through psycho/socio/cultural c r i s i s e s , G r a p p l i n g with the impossible task of adjudicating the Information A g e , O v e r w h e l m e d by c y b e r h i g h w a y s of info-search-info-search-info, M e s m e r i s e d by the ambiguity of ethics, morals a n d standards,  122  T e a c h e r s struggle to find the time for inspiration, a n d t h e creative e n e r g y n e e d e d to scaffold t o w e r s of e m p o w e r m e n t for others. But, it only t a k e s the e m p o w e r m e n t of o n e child, to lift the weighty d e m a n d s from t h e teacher's back, so inspiration s h i n e s through, illuminating fresh b a n k s of creative e n e r g y n e e d e d to scaffold n e w towers of e m p o w e r m e n t .  In 1991, V e r n a K i r k n e s s a n d R a y Barnhardt wrote a s e m i n a l p a p e r that c h a l l e n g e d e d u c a t o r s to entertain t h e notion of e m p o w e r m e n t a s the heart of their t e a c h i n g a n d p r o g r a m m e d e v e l o p m e n t work. T h e y d e s c r i b e d e m p o w e r m e n t in t e r m s of four R's: R e s p e c t , R e l e v a n c e , Reciprocity, a n d Responsibility.  Addressing these characteristics  in one's curriculum a l l o w s for differences of perspective, r e d u c e s cultural d i s t a n c e s , m i n i m i s e s role d i c h o t o m y a n d helps students a c c e p t alternative a p p r o a c h e s to p r o b l e m solving.  I find myself returning to K i r k n e s s a n d Barnhardt's four R's a s a  c h e c k stop w h e n e v e r I get c a r r i e d a w a y with planning n e w p r o g r a m m e d i r e c t i o n s .  3. Diversity  Issues  as Underpinnings  of All Aspects  of  Curriculum  R e c o g n i t i o n of diversity (in t h e broadest interpretation of the word) a s a n integral part of t h e s o c i a l i s a t i o n p r o c e s s i s imperative to global learning.  I s s u e s of diversity a r e not  colourful tidbits to b e sprinkled o n curriculum n o w a n d again, but rather t h e y a r e integral d i m e n s i o n s that n e e d to b e w o v e n throughout all levels of curriculum. E d u c a t i n g t h r o u g h diversity i s a "dynamic a n d c o m p l e x p r o c e s s that i n v o l v e s reflection, self k n o w l e d g e , critical thinking, experiential learning a n d practical application" ( C h u d a n d F a h l m a n , 1995, p. 13). Like C h u d a n d F a h l m a n , I believe it is  123  our responsibility to "gain the attitudes, knowledge, a n d skills to u n d e r s t a n d , a p p r e c i a t e , value, a n a l y z e , a n d s y n t h e s i z e the role of diversity in our o w n lives a n d t h o s e of o t h e r s " (p. 13). T h i s inclusive a p p r o a c h to education is the g r o u n d i n g for what I refer to a s t h e nurturing of global p e r s p e c t i v e s in y o u n g children.  I often u s e t h e children's g a m e c a l l e d " S E T " a s a metaphor for finding unity in difference. In this g a m e , "sets" c a n be s c o r e d b a s e d on both " s h a r e in c o m m o n " a n d " s h a r e in d i f f e r e n c e " principles.  "SET" - UNITY IN DIVERSITY You've got to be quick! Find a set of three. A set must s h a r e something in c o m m o n number, colour, shape, texture, or all four. There's o n e more set -the o n e that s h a r e s difference in c o m m o n , " c o n s e n s u s in difference." What a concept! Different family structure, different skin colour, different physical stature, different cultural texture. Seemingly odd, but the most difficult set to s e e t e n d s to b e t h e o n e m a r k e d by difference.  S o m e people a r e a b l e to pick t h e "unity in diversity" set m o r e easily than others, but almost every time a child will best an adult. 124  W h y is this? C o u l d it b e that the child h a s h a d l e s s of society's conditioning? S e e i n g "unity in diversity" requires o n e to break "either/or" patterns of thinking that h a v e b e e n reinforced s i n c e infancy, a n d e m b r a c e "both/and" patterns of thinking. T h e National A s s o c i a t i o n for t h e E d u c a t i o n of Y o u n g C h i l d r e n , N A E Y C , h a s recently i s s u e d a strong r e c o m m e n d a t i o n of s u c h a m o v e in thinking a n d p r a c t i c e .  7  This seemingly  s i m p l e directive i s a big s t e p toward e m b r a c i n g diversity in a n i n c r e a s i n g l y pluralistic s o c i e t y a n d world w h e r e children not only n e e d to d e v e l o p a positive self identity, but a l s o n e e d to position t h e m s e l v e s a m o n g s t others with differing p e r s p e c t i v e s from their own.  4. Use  of Integrative  Themes  to Facilitate  a Holistic  Approach  It h a s long b e e n a c c e p t e d b y early c h i l d h o o d e d u c a t o r s (Asselin, P e l l a n d , & S h a p i r o , 1 9 9 1 ; J o b e & Hart, 1 9 9 1 ; L u k a s e v i c h , 1 9 9 3 ; M e a d o w s & H a y w a r d , 1 9 8 2 ; S h a p i r o , 1 9 7 9 ; W a s o n - E l l a m , 1991) that integrating v a r i o u s learning o b j e c t i v e s u s i n g a g e n e r a l t h e m e h e l p s children to m a x i m i s e their learning. B y integrating c l a s s r o o m activities a r o u n d a particular t h e m e , t e a c h e r s e n c o u r a g e students to m a k e a s s o c i a t i v e c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n o t h e r w i s e isolated p i e c e s of knowledge.  A c o m m o n context  e v o l v e s to w h i c h c a n b e a d d e d t h e d i v e r s e b a c k g r o u n d e x p e r i e n c e s of t h e c l a s s r o o m participants.  Traditionally, early c h i l d h o o d e d u c a t o r s u s e integration t h e m e s s u c h a s "animals," "transportation," "shapes," "colours," "seasons," or "holidays." T h e s e t h e m e s all d r a w on s i m p l e e l e m e n t s in the child's e v e r y d a y environment, a characteristic that s t e m s from t h e t h e o r y that children d e v e l o p c o n c r e t e c o n c e p t s before m o v i n g to abstract This recommendation was adopted in 1996 in a position statement about Developmentally Appropriate Practice.  7  125  ones.  I f o u n d two d r a w b a c k s w h e n using t h e s e elemental t h e m e s . O n e w a s that t h e  curriculum m a t e r i a l s t e a c h e r s typically p u r c h a s e to support t h e s e t h e m e s w e r e largely E u r o c e n t r i c . T h e m e s like "transportation" s p a w n materials that e x a m i n e travel by land, air, s e a a n d s p a c e w h e r e children learn about airplanes, yellow s c h o o l b u s e s , s t e a m e r s , t r u c k s a n d trains rather than water b u s e s , d o g sleds, umiaks, or r i c k s h a w s . R e a d y - p r e p a r e d m a t e r i a l s a n d bibliographies of related b o o k s t e n d to a v o i d representation of cultural diversity other than through stereotypical molds.  This meant  that in o r d e r to w e a v e m o r e natural representations of cultural diversity within the g e n e r a l t h e m e , t e a c h e r s h a d to r e s e a r c h a n d then m a k e their o w n materials. A s most t e a c h e r s a r e s t r a p p e d for time, diversity w a s often dealt with through d e t a c h e d units like "Indians," " J a p a n " or "cultural holidays" so that t e a c h e r s c o u l d a c c e s s p a c k a g e d m a t e r i a l s from s c h o o l b o a r d consultants. Unfortunately, t h e s e isolated units of study g a v e a n u n s p o k e n a n d unintended m e s s a g e that t h e s e "other" c u l t u r e s w e r e s e p a r a t e from t h e culture of t h e c l a s s r o o m a n d by association s e p a r a t e from s o c i e t y in g e n e r a l .  T h e s e c o n d problem I e n c o u n t e r e d m o r e a s an o u t c o m e of my p e r s o n a l t e a c h i n g style. M y p r o g r a m m e s h a v e a l w a y s b e e n heavily d e p e n d e n t on literature, a n d I f o u n d it difficult to fit g o o d b o o k s under s u c h simplistic t h e m e s .  I w a s often s c r a m b l i n g to find  e n g a g i n g p i e c e s of literature that centred on "transportation," "colours," or " s e a s o n s . " B y u s i n g simplistic t h e m e s , y o u r e d u c e the selection of potential b o o k s to t h e most basic, or e l s e y o u stretch the literature to m a k e an ungainly fit. W o n d e r f u l l y rich stories like William Tell a r e r e d u c e d to a simple element like "apples," a p o p u l a r fall t h e m e : t h e m e a t of t h e story is m i s s e d , a n d instead, a tiny c o n n e c t i o n is exploited that links t h e tale to a b a s i c t h e m e .  M y particular a p p r o a c h to the u s e of integrative t h e m e s e v o l v e d from a love of books,  126  a n d from a p r o f o u n d a w a r e n e s s of the impact g o o d literature, both oral a n d written, c a n m a k e o n a child's imagination.  Moving a w a y from simple, c o n c r e t e t h e m e s , I  b e g a n to d e v e l o p "literary" t h e m e s b a s e d o n b o o k s I c o l l e c t e d to u s e in t h e c l a s s r o o m . Initially, I u s e d c h a p t e r books, a s I found them t h e most s u c c e s s f u l v e h i c l e for capturing abstract, s o c i a l l y relevant i s s u e s . C h a p t e r b o o k s also provided s u b t h e m e s that allowed m e to e x p l o r e a range of i s s u e s through o n e familiar set of c h a r a c t e r s . I u s e d b o o k s like Charlotte's Web, The Secret Garden, Wizard of Oz, a n d Watership Down a m o n g o t h e r s to provide m e with the tools I n e e d e d : strong c h a r a c t e r s , interesting a n d w e l l - c o n s t r u c t e d settings, i s s u e s of g o o d a n d evil, a n d d y n a m i c p e r s o n a l s t r u g g l e s .  Challenging  Binary  Thinking:  Good  Guys, Bad Guys Education Journal - April 6th, 1996 In my early years of teaching kindergarten in Edmonton (1978-80 and 1982-85), I was keen to introduce "balance" into my students' thinking and help show them the importance of perspective in problem solving. I remember chunks of time being spent on challenging the binary thinking around good guys and bad guys. After the children were convinced of the pure evil make-up of the villain, I would help them find evidence that challenged their assumptions. As I did this, I also showed them the vulnerabilities of their heroes. This seemed to be an empowering experience for all, opening up endless possibilities for their own development.  Each day, I illustrated a sheet and wrote one or two key sentences on it that would stimulate discussion at home around the chapter we had read at school that day. After three or four weeks, the children would staple their sheets together and have a memory book of the chapter book we had read in class. Recently, I looked up some of my files of these sheets and came upon the Peter Pan collection. I was surprised to see the sophistication of character analysis I had done with young children (not that I do anything differently today - just that given the time, there must have been heavy critique from parents regarding developmental appropriateness). For example, we had tracked Hook's need to be in control and his greed back to not having a mother and having to fend for himself in the Eton's Boys School (he learned to be a valiant warrior, but had no development of heart). We noted that what bothered him most about Pan was the boy's obsession with 'good form,' because it was something Hook valued in the past and had neglected recently. As Hook prepares to meet his fate with the crocodile below the bulwarks, he is desperate to show that Pan is not all good. At the last moment.he thrusts his bottom out and manages to tempt Pan into  127  booting it so that as he falls he can shout, "Ah hah, bad form!" Somehow Hook's success at showing a flaw in Pan's character gave him a touch of dignity as he faced the jaws of the crocodile. This part of the story is left out in abridged versions for young children and by Walt Disney. Perhaps the authors feel that children are not yet ready to see greys, and do better with consistently black and white presentations of characters. I disagree -my artistic background meant the children in my classes knew how to make secondary colours from primary ones and knew the difference between tints and shades. Many of them grasped that the black and whites in the classroom were actually shades of grey. I felt it was important for them to learn that just as our eye sometimes tricks us into seeing grey as black, our mind tricks us into seeing people and issues from a narrow perspective. B y integrating s u b t h e m e s s u c h a s farm animals, spring, a n d s p i d e r s with Charlotte's  Web, o r rabbit life c y c l e , river features, d o m e s t i c pets, e c o l o g y of the d o w n s , a n d t h e o c c u p a t i o n of policing with Watership Down, I w a s also able to t a k e a d v a n t a g e of s o m e r e a d y - p r e p a r e d t e a c h e r materials. In other writings (Hayward, 1 9 8 2 , 1 9 9 2 ) I h a v e d e s c r i b e d h o w I started with social i s s u e s raised in t h e book a n d from t h e r e d e v e l o p e d math a n d literacy activities, s c i e n c e experiments, art projects, a n d all other a s p e c t s of t h e curriculum.  In t h e last t e n y e a r s , I h a v e relied o n a growing body of children's picture b o o k s that h a v e story lines rooted in socially relevant i s s u e s supported by strong illustrations. I often refer to t h e s e b o o k s a s "counter-hegemonic,"  either b e c a u s e t h e p e r s p e c t i v e s  d e v e l o p e d in t h e m c h a l l e n g e a n a c c e p t e d viewpoint, or b e c a u s e t h e y d e a l with a subject typically thought of a s taboo for y o u n g children. In using s e v e r a l s t o r i e s instead of o n e c h a p t e r book to explore a theme, I no longer h a d t h e continuity p r o v i d e d by the c h a p t e r book's c h a r a c t e r s a n d setting. S h o r t e r b o o k s n e c e s s i t a t e d that I find u m b r e l l a t h e m e s to connect them together a n d provide t h e continuity e s s e n t i a l for effective integration of learning objectives in the c l a s s r o o m .  128  At first, I tried  using t h e m e s like "Family," "Animals," "Friendship," a n d " O c c u p a t i o n s , " but s o o n f o u n d myself m o v i n g to t h e m e s like "Conservation," "Poverty," "Animal A b u s e , " " S o c i a l C h a n g e , " " G r o w i n g O l d . " T h e new, more abstract titles allowed m e to u s e stories that a d d r e s s e d conflict rather than c o n s e n s u s .  S i n c e I b e g a n e n g a g i n g with i d e a s about global education, I d e v e l o p e d a w a y of integrating children's literature through what I call "inspirational links" that tie t o g e t h e r books, t h e m e s , a n d learning activities. B y "inspirational links,"