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Adult composition instruction in a northern native community : a case study of cultural and ideological.. 1991

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ADULT COMPOSITION INSTRUCTION IN A NORTHERN NATIVE COMMUNITY A CASE STUDY OF CULTURAL AND IDEOLOGICAL RESISTANCE by ELEANOR RAE MILLARD B. A., University of B. C., 1965 M.,Ad. Ed., St. Francis Xavier, 1983 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Language Education We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1991 (c) Eleanor Rae M i l l a r d 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT This thesis reports an in t e r p r e t i v e case study of adult composition i n s t r u c t i o n i n a native community i n northern Canada. Although the e x i s t i n g l i t e r a t u r e contains much theory about l i t e r a c y and cr o s s - c u l t u r a l r e l a t i o n s , l i t t l e research has examined p a r t i c u l a r contexts of writing i n s t r u c t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y f o r native populations. The present research focused on students' responses to s p e c i f i c approaches to composition, using participant-observation by the author and an emergent research design which considered classroom events i n r e l a t i o n to the l o c a l community and i t s history. The study found much behaviour by the students which was described as resistance to the instruction, behaviours which were consonant with d e t a i l s of the community context. Interpretations of these student behaviours were f i r s t made i n reference to theories of cr o s s - c u l t u r a l differences, which proved to be less s a t i s f a c t o r y to account for them than theories which would characterize the behaviours as ideologically-based. The thesis suggests that possible explanations for t h i s s p e c i f i c population's lack of success and nonparticipation i n l i t e r a c y education would be too narrowly defined as cro s s - c u l t u r a l differences. Understanding both the c u l t u r a l and id e o l o g i c a l foundations of resistance behaviour may help to guide l i t e r a c y pedagogy i n northern native adult i n s t r u c t i o n . i i i FOREWORD It should be noted that t h i s thesis uses the terms "the north" and "northern" to mean the areas of Canada north of the 60th p a r a l l e l , which also comprise the Yukon Te r r i t o r y and the Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s . Much of the d e t a i l of the thesis can, however, be applied to s i m i l a r situations i n the north of the provinces and to Indian reserves further south. The actual research location i n the Yukon T e r r i t o r y has been disguised by a pseudonym as have the people involved. The choice of composition i n s t r u c t i o n for the research rather than a broader approach to l i t e r a c y which included reading was deliberate. It was f e l t that writing required more active involvement by students, allowing f o r more choice on the student's part which would r e f l e c t more accurately than reading the response to innovative techniques. The written products i n composition also give more readily accessible data whereas reading s k i l l s are measured i n d i r e c t l y . Distinguishing between the terms "culture" and "ideology" was not a simple task, since elements of one include those of the other, depending on how broadly used they are. It was recognized that there i s a modern culture which i s as pervasive as any t r a d i t i o n a l one i n Bear River. i v To help separate these terms, "culture" was used i n i t s s t r i c t anthropological sense and c u l t u r a l behaviour was defined as behaviour described as Athapaskan i n various anthropological and s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c texts only. The thesis analyses focus on behaviour taking an emergent interpretive approach rather than one of s c i e n t i f i c measurement or based on any one theory of behaviour. Because of t h i s , a s t r i c t delineation between "culture" and "ideology" was useful i n keeping the data and analyses as c l e a r as possible. The research and writing for t h i s thesis has been a personal journey of professional development f o r me. I have experienced a p o s i t i v e change of attitude toward the teaching of composition to native students. The i n t e l l e c t u a l framework offered by the process of analysis i n the thesis has made sense of the resistance that I had previously seen only as an unsurmountable obstruction to learning. V TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract. i i Foreword i i i Figures ix Chapter I: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Research Problem 1 1.2. Resistance, Culture and Ideology Defined 2 1.3. Outline of the Thesis 3 Chapter II: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Introduction 6 2.2. The Autonomous Model of Literacy 2.2.1. Basic Thought i n the Autonomous Model 8 2.2.2. Culture and Schooling 9 2.2.3. Culture and Language Education...12 2.2.4. Culture and S o c i a l i z a t i o n 15 2.2.5. Community Inclusion i n Schooling 15 2.2.6. Reform i n Northern Native Literacy and Education 17 2.3. The Ideological Model of Literacy 2.3.1. Street's Ideological Model 18 2.3.2. The Context of Literacy 19 2.3.3. Reproduction Theory 21 2.3.4. Literacy and Power Relations 22 2.3.5. Resistance Theory 24 2.3.6. Pedagogy and the Ideological Model 27 2.3.7. C r i t i q u i n g C r i t i c a l Pedagogy 29 2.4. Literacy and Power i n Northern Canada 30 2.5. Summary 32 v i Chapter III: METHODOLOGY 3.1. Research Approach 3.1.1. Introduction 35 3.1.2. Research Design 35 3.1.3. Data C o l l e c t i o n 41 3.1.4. Data Analysis 44 3.1.5. Limitations of Interpretive Analyses 52 3.1.6. Summary 58 3.2. Instructional Approach 3.2.1. Introduction 59 3.2.2. Rationale and Design of the Composition Instruction 59 3.2.3. Instructional Content 62 3.2.4. Instructional Conditions 63 3.2.5. Summary 65 Chapter IV: THE COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL CONTEXT 4.1. Bear River 4.1.1. Introduction 66 4.1.2. History of Bear River 67 4.1.3. Present Day Bear River 70 4.1.4. Summary 74 4.2. The Educational Context 4.2.1. Introduction 74 4.2.2. Educational Background 75 4.2.3. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Education 78 4.2.4. Educational Settings 81 4.2.5. Adult Education Personnel and Curricula 82 4.2.6. Literacy i n Bear River 85 4.2.7. Summary 86 4.3. The Cultural Context 4.3.1. Introduction 87 4.3.2. Anthropological Background 87 4.3.3. S o c i o l i n g u i s t i c Background 92 4.3.4. Summary 97 Chapter V: FINDINGS 5.1. The Classroom Context for Resistance 5.1.1. General Findings 98 5.1.2. Individual Resistance Behaviour: Communication 101 v i i 5.1.3. Group Resistance Behaviour: Pressures and R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ... 107 5.1.4. Li t e r a t e and Scholarly Resistance Behaviour: Learning Through Literacy I l l 5.1.5 Summary 116 Chapter VI: INTERPRETATIONS 6.1. Why Resistance? 117 6.2. Cultural Interpretation 6.2.1. Individual Resistance Behaviour: Cultural Communication 118 6.2.2. Group Resistance Behaviour: Cultural Pressures and Re s p o n s i b i l i t i e s 122 6.2.3. Li t e r a t e and Scholarly Resistance Behaviour: Learning Culture Through Literacy 124 6.2.4. Summary 126 6.2.5. Limitations to the Cultural Interpretation 127 6.3. Ideological Interpretation 6.3.1. Introduction 128 6.3.2. Framework f o r an Ideological Interpretation 129 6.3.3. Individual Resistance Behaviour: Ideological Communication 131 6.3.4. Group Resistance Behaviour: Ideological Pressures and Re s p o n s i b i l i t i e s 133 6.3.5. Li t e r a t e and Scholarly Resistance Behaviour: Learning Ideology Through Literacy 134 6.3.6. Advantages and Limitations to the Ideological Interpretation 135 6.4. Summary 138 Chapter VII: SUMMARY AND IMPLICATIONS 7.1. Summary of Findings and Implications 139 7.2. Personal Reflections 141 v i i i 7.3. Implications for Pedagogy 144 7.4. Further Research 147 REFERENCES 151 APPENDICES 158 ix FIGURES Figure 1: Learning Potential Indicators as Active and Passive Accommodation and Resistance 48 Figure 2: Student Behaviours as Active and Passive Accommodation and Resistance 49 Figure 3: Instructor Responses to Resistance Behaviours 51 Figure 4: Lather's (1986) Research Guidelines Applied to the Present Analysis 56 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1.1. Research Problem This f i r s t chapter introduces the research problem, defines basic terminology used i n the thesis, and outlines the thesis chapters. Across northern Canada a free, compulsory school system has existed f o r two or three generations. Despite t h i s , low rates of l i t e r a c y p r e v a i l for the Indian and Inuit peoples l i v i n g there. Composition (planned written discourse) i s perceived as being e s p e c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t for most northern native students (Stairs, 1990). With these issues i n mind, the present researcher set out to o f f e r i n s t r u c t i o n through p i l o t classes to native adult ESL l i t e r a c y students using a t r a d i t i o n a l text-oriented approach to composition pedagogy and a more innovative process-oriented approach. Both approaches were offered to a l l students. To describe how students i n the one p a r t i c u l a r community responded to these i n s t r u c t i o n a l approaches t h e i r classroom behaviours were documented and an emergent research design was developed to interpret the l o c a l s i t u a t i o n as a case study. The basic question researched was: how do native adult ESL l i t e r a c y students i n the p a r t i c u l a r context of the research respond to innovative composition pedagogy? Explanations f o r t h e i r responses were sought to interpret the data gathered. 2 1.2. Resistance, Culture and Ideology Defined It was found that the students who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the classes displayed a variety of unco-operative, oppositional behaviours to both composition approaches, broadly l a b e l l e d as "resistance behaviour". A major purpose of t h i s thesis i s to explain the resistance behaviours documented i n response to the i n s t r u c t i o n . As described (rather than defined) by F r e i r e and Shor (1987), and F r e i r e and Macedo (1987) resistance i s : antagonism, c o n f l i c t , rejection, contradiction, and generally covert unco-operative behaviour by students. Quigley (1990) defines resistance as: "a struggle to become free i n the eyes, mind and heart of the r e s i s t e r on the basis of a s p e c i f i c l i b e r t y which had to be attained and held at any cost" (p.113). The d e f i n i t i o n closest to that adopted i n the present study i s McLaren's (1986): "oppositional student behaviour that has both symbolic, h i s t o r i c a l and ' l i v e d ' meaning and which contests the legitimacy, power and s i g n i f i c a n c e of school culture i n general and i n s t r u c t i o n i n p a r t i c u l a r " (p.143). Giroux and Aronowitz (1985) c r i t i q u e the lack of clear d e f i n i t i o n i n resistance theory i n t h e i r analysis of resistance behaviour, o f f e r i n g a more exacting one. Their theories of ideology and education are discussed i n Chapter 5. In contrast to these concepts are notions of "culture" 3 i n the t r a d i t i o n a l anthropological sense, which i s the d e f i n i t i o n of culture generally favoured by native peoples. The present study considers behaviours to be of c u l t u r a l o r i g i n when they f i t into known values and a c t i v i t i e s i n relevant anthropological and s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c texts. Behaviours that did not display t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t u r a l patterns and which f i t into a more general pattern of response to s o c i a l , economic, h i s t o r i c a l and p o l i t i c a l pressures and values were presumed to derive from i d e o l o g i c a l influences. 1.3. Outline of the Thesis Chapter 2 reviews the t h e o r e t i c a l and research l i t e r a t u r e on l i t e r a c y and pedagogy to i d e n t i f y current ideas of the r e l a t i o n between theory and practice i n t h i s f i e l d . The chapter relates ideas of theory and practice to student resistance and the northern native context of the study. The review uses the framework of Street's (1984) description of two conceptual models of l i t e r a c y : the "autonomous" and the "id e o l o g i c a l " . Examination of the l i t e r a t u r e revealed that some l i t e r a c y theory and practice appears to reproduce and reinforce domination of minority students and that that may be expected to produce resistance i n educational situations. The l i t e r a t u r e review also shows that although there i s considerable t h e o r e t i c a l research on the phenomenon of resistance i n education, l i t t l e work has been done to date to document l o c a l community and classroom contexts or processes 4 of resistance behaviour, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n view of issues unique to northern Canadian aboriginal populations. The f i r s t part of Chapter 3 explains the research approach used f o r t h i s case study and describes the methodologies used f o r data c o l l e c t i o n and analyses. The d i f f i c u l t i e s of accounting f o r the researcher's values i n the present case study are assessed using Lather's (1986) c r i t e r i a f o r ideologically-based research. The second part of Chapter 3 outlines the i n s t r u c t i o n a l approach used i n the p i l o t classes, presenting the design, content and conditions of the i n s t r u c t i o n on which the research was based. Chapter 4 describes the community and c u l t u r a l context of the research. In order to situate students' behaviours i n t h e i r l o c a l , s o c i a l context, t h i s chapter f i r s t describes the his t o r y and present day setting, then the educational and c u l t u r a l background of the community i n which the research took place. Chapter 5 reports the findings from the classroom context of the case study, presenting these as three categories of behaviour: (1) i n d i v i d u a l , (2) group and (3) l i t e r a t e and scholarly. Chapter 6 interprets the findings of resistance behaviours f i r s t by considering c u l t u r a l differences. 5 However, t h i s explanation of re s i s t a n t behaviour because of c u l t u r a l forces f a i l s to explain f u l l y the phenomena documented. A second interpretation reconsiders the data on resistance behaviour as i d e o l o g i c a l action r e j e c t i n g s o c i a l domination, following Giroux and Aronowitz (1985). Chapter 7 summarizes the thesis findings and interpretations, b r i e f l y presents a personal response to the to the resistance behaviour found from the viewpoint of the instructor, then discusses implications of the research f o r northern native l i t e r a c y pedagogy and for further research. 6 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Introduction This review examines the relat i o n s h i p between theory and practice i n minority l i t e r a c y education, looking c r i t i c a l l y at recent publications on t h i s topic from the perspective of c u l t u r a l and id e o l o g i c a l domination and resistance. The analysis i s framed by the d i s t i n c t i o n between l i t e r a c y models proposed by Street (1984), who posits that e i t h e r "autonomous" or "i d e o l o g i c a l " concepts inform current ideas of theory and practice i n l i t e r a c y education and research. The autonomous model i s evident i n much cr o s s - c u l t u r a l theory of pedagogical practice, whereas the id e o l o g i c a l model points toward assessment of power relations i n l i t e r a c y classrooms. Examination of the l i t e r a t u r e reveals that some l i t e r a c y theory and practices appear to reinforce domination which may lead to student and group resistance. The review concludes that although relations between l i t e r a c y and resistance have been studied from a t h e o r e t i c a l perspective, there i s need f o r research which i s based i n the interactions and perceptions of classroom situations, p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r native Canadians. Brian Street (1984) defines l i t e r a c y as the s o c i a l 7 practices and conceptions of reading and writing. He describes two models of l i t e r a c y theory and practice: the "autonomous" and the "i d e o l o g i c a l " . The autonomous model, af t e r which many l i t e r a c y campaigns have been designed, views l i t e r a c y as a value-free neutral technology, detached from i t s s o c i a l context. This perspective presumes there i s a causal r e l a t i o n s h i p between l i t e r a c y and economic development and between l i t e r a c y and change i n human processes of thought and s o c i a l organization. Learning to read and write, both for individuals and so c i e t i e s , r e s u l t s i n the expansion of l o g i c a l , abstract thinking. A "great divide" between l i t e r a t e and non-literate s o c i e t i e s i s assumed from t h i s perspective. In contrast, the id e o l o g i c a l model considers the importance of i n s t i t u t i o n a l s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n the process of making individuals and soc i e t i e s l i t e r a t e . Literacy's functions and consequences are seen as embedded i n t h e i r s o c i a l contexts. Literacy may be used as a t o o l of those who control the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l (ideological) l i f e of a society. Rather than a r t i f i c i a l l y separating l i t e r a t e and non-literate uses of language, the ide o l o g i c a l view emphasizes i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p s between oral and written language. The d i f f e r i n g philosophical positions between the autonomous and ide o l o g i c a l views of l i t e r a c y a f f e c t the theory and practice of l i t e r a c y education profoundly. 8 2.2. The Autonomous Model of Literacy 2.2.1. Basic Thought i n the Autonomous Model The arguments of Jack Goody (1968, 1977) form one of the foundations of the autonomous model of l i t e r a c y . By contrasting uses of p r i n t technologies i n c e r t a i n l i t e r a t e and non-literate s o c i e t i e s , Goody argues that the thinking processes of p r e - l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s are concrete and t h e i r language expression r e f l e c t s basic, personal needs. The introduction of l i t e r a c y changes s o c i e t a l needs by allowing for permanency of expression which gives r i s e to the p o s s i b i l i t y of c r i t i c i s m and l o g i c . C i t i n g recent work in the f i e l d s of s o c i a l anthropology, l i n g u i s t i c s and philosophy, Street takes Goody to task by suggesting that Goody overstates the significance of the differences between or a l and l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s . Street claims that l i t e r a c y i s a socially-constructed medium whose influence i n a society depends on p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l formations. Street further argues that p r i n t and a l l technology i t s e l f i s not neutral, but arises from p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l processes and i n s t i t u t i o n s . Not mentioned by Street, but equally supportive of the autonomous view i s Walter Ong (1982), who proposes that written communication i n contrast to oral language i s not 9 dependent on the s i t u a t i o n i n which i t i s used and i s therefore objective and abstract. Ong argues that these q u a l i t i e s form the basis f o r the development of science, history, philosophy, and for the explanation of language i t s e l f . For both Goody and Ong, l i t e r a c y i s not only equated with but the cause of the "domestication of the savage mind" and the consequent progress of c i v i l i z a t i o n with i t s economic and s o c i a l benefits. 2.2.2. Culture and Schooling The causes of f a i l u r e to learn l i t e r a c y through schooling has been a concern of many l i t e r a c y theorists who have developed the autonomous model of l i t e r a c y . A common approach i s to point to the lack of preparation f o r schooling in c u l t u r a l l y d i f f e r e n t s o c i e t i e s and to the difference i n culturally-based learning patterns. A d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between c u l t u r a l behaviour and l i t e r a c y a c q u i s i t i o n i s assumed. This p o s i t i o n may appear to place these theorists i n Street's i d e o l o g i c a l model, since s o c i a l i z a t i o n through culture i s argued as the causal f a c t o r f o r i l l i t e r a c y . However, these theori s t s propose a po s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between acculturation and l i t e r a c y a c q u i s i t i o n , with no recognition of p o l i t i c a l , h i s t o r i c a l or s o c i a l influences. Moreover, because t h e i r d i s t i n c t i o n s between l i t e r a t e and non-literate groups are based s o l e l y on acculturation, they do not take into consideration c r o s s - c u l t u r a l relationships 10 of domination and subjugation. These positions indicate that they f i t into Street's autonomous model. Exemplifying t h i s p o s i t i o n are s o c i o l i n g u i s t s such as Jenny Cook-Gumperz and John Gumperz (1986) who focus on the school and home i n explaining l i t e r a c y d i f f i c u l t i e s . They show that school demands a d i f f e r e n t communicative approach from the concrete and situation-based discourse used i n many homes. Children at school must have the a b i l i t y to "decontextualize" information to use i t . If i n s u f f i c i e n t l i t e r a t e preparation i s done at home (e.g. by introduction of ideas through books and other l i t e r a t e a c t i v i t i e s ) the c h i l d suffers i n the school setting. Likewise, James C o l l i n s and Sarah Michaels (1986) observe that p r i o r knowledge powerfully influences i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of discourse. They point out that knowledge of c u l t u r a l conventions i n l i t e r a t e expression provides an important framework fo r readers' interpretations since the natural feedback resources of face-to-face communication are not available i n written discourse (p.209). Ron Scollon and Suzanne B. K. Scollon (1981, 1984) follow t h i s l i n e of thought i n research done with northern Athapaskans i n Canada and Alaska, the group which i s the" subject of the present study. D i f f e r e n t i a t i n g between what they c a l l "bush" and "modern consciousness", they explore the inherent opposition that modern l i f e holds f o r Athapaskans. World views, discourse patterns, and educational approaches 11 a r e r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t between Athapaskan and " w h i t e " c u l t u r e s . C o n t r a s t i n g t h e i r own c h i l d t o an Athapaskan c h i l d i n view of each one's l i t e r a t e a c t i v i t i e s , S c o l l o n and S c o l l o n argue t h a t t h e i r own c h i l d ' s t h o r o u g h p r e p a r a t i o n i n th e d e c o n t e x t u a l i z a t i o n of i d e a s and t h e " f i c t i o n a l i s a t i o n of s e l f " i n t h e i r p a r e n t i n g made f o r a p r e p a r a t i o n f o r l i t e r a c y t h a t was not p o s s i b l e f o r t h e Athapaskan c h i l d from an o r a l c u l t u r e . S c o l l o n and S c o l l o n c o n c l u d e t h a t t h e d i f f e r e n c e s between " w h i t e " and Athapaskan are so g r e a t t h a t l i t e r a c y may p r e c i p i t a t e a c r i s i s i n e t h n i c i d e n t i t y f o r Athapaskans, a r e a s o n t o r e s i s t i t . John Ogbu (1982, 1987) has a l s o used a c o m p a r a t i v e c u l t u r a l p e r s p e c t i v e t o a d d r e s s t h e q u e s t i o n of why some m i n o r i t y c u l t u r e s do w e l l i n N o r t h American e d u c a t i o n a l systems and some do not. Ogbu c l a s s i f i e s m i n o r i t i e s i n t o immigrants and i n v o l u n t a r y m i n o r i t i e s w i t h t h e l a t t e r i n c l u d i n g American b l a c k s and n a t i v e I n d i a n s . I n c o n t r a s t i n g t h e two, Ogbu says t h a t c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s of i n v o l u n t a r y m i n o r i t i e s can be based i n o p p o s i t i o n t o t h e m a j o r i t y c u l t u r e , o r i n " c u l t u r a l i n v e r s i o n " . T h i s o f t e n r e s u l t s i n i n v o l u n t a r y m i n o r i t i e s d e v e l o p i n g d i f f e r e n t frames of r e f e r e n c e and c r i t e r i a f o r s u c c e s s , c o n c e i v i n g some b e h a v i o u r t o be a p p r o p r i a t e f o r themselves w h i l e o t h e r b e h a v i o u r i s a p p r o p r i a t e o n l y f o r t h e m a j o r i t y c u l t u r e . A p o s s i b l e i m p l i c a t i o n i s t h a t i f l i t e r a c y i s v a l u e d by t h e dominant c u l t u r e , i t may not be by i n v o l u n t a r y m i n o r i t i e s because of 12 t h i s oppositional s o c i a l i d e n t i t y . Oppositional i d e n t i t y may give r i s e t*b resistance behaviour. For instance, involuntary minorities may not t r u s t majority i n s t i t u t i o n s such as schools i f they perceive t h e i r experience of oppression by the dominant group to be l a s t i n g and i f they view the learning of English as destruction of an o r i g i n a l c u l t u r a l frame of reference. Ogbu claims that c u l t u r a l differences encountered i n school may be seen as indicators of i d e n t i t y to be maintained, not as b a r r i e r s to be overcome i f accommodating the school's attitudes and practices threaten such markers of e t h n i c i t y as t h e i r language, culture, and i d e n t i t y (1987, p.330). Pressures mitigate against "acting white". These "boundary- maintaining mechanisms" (1987, p.327) work counter to academic success. Ogbu concludes that involuntary minorities have p e r s i s t e n t l y high rates of school f a i l u r e because they have d i f f i c u l t y crossing these self-imposed c u l t u r a l boundaries. 2.2.3. Culture and Language Education Language education's response to the dilemma of c u l t u r a l differences has been the production of a wide range of innovations i n materials and methods which mainly conform to the autonomous model. A long-standing approach focuses on contrastive analysis of languages to reconcile l i n g u i s t i c 13 differences (e.g. Fi s i a k , 1981). For North American Indians, considerable research has been done i n the Southwest United States with the Navajo and other t r i b e s . Attempts have been made to generalize these findings to a l l American Indian languages (Fletcher, 1983; Leap, 1974). Many approaches have attempted to incorporate native language and culture into school c u r r i c u l a i n order to minimize the perceived gap between school discourse and that of the home and native community. Bernard Spolsky (1982) described the educational s i t u a t i o n at Rock Point where the spoken language has been Navajo, and the written, English. Changes i n the school curriculum allowed f o r Navajo as a written medium i n the lower grades with p o s i t i v e results i n general l i t e r a c y . Spolsky c i t e d another example on the P a c i f i c Northwest of the United States which brings s p e c i f i c Indian content to an English reading program, increasing motivation towards reading. Teresa McCarty (1980) detailed s i m i l a r curriculum changes fo r the Yavapai-Apache, advocating the use of legends and elders i n the school. Karen Ann Watson-Gegeo (1988) reported on a program i n the Solomon Islands where classroom strategies were developed to be c u l t u r a l l y appropriate to the l o c a l native s o c i e t i e s . The Kamehameha Early Education Program has been successful i n r a i s i n g reading scores on normed tests by introducing reading lessons which are based on a "talk-story" format of narration which was adapted from native Hawaiian culture. 14 Courtney Cazden and Vera John (1971) and John (1972) exemplify the enthusiasm f o r native learning s t y l e s . They claimed that Indian children learn more v i s u a l l y than verbally and learn best through observation and imitation. They point out that t h i s i s i n d i r e c t contrast to the usual classroom techniques requiring verbal and l i t e r a t e language s k i l l s . They stress that Indian learning s t y l e s can be used as a foundation f o r a l t e r i n g language teaching techniques to be more d i r e c t l y responsive to native students. Nancy Modiano (1974) advocated a d i r e c t b i l i n g u a l approach to language i n s t r u c t i o n from her work with Indians i n the Chiapas Highlands of Mexico. She argued that the most e f f e c t i v e language of i n s t r u c t i o n f o r beginning reading i s the mother tongue. J e f f r e y Kobrick (1974) likewise argued that the most fundamental need i n Indian education i s a change i n point of view to seeing b i l i n g u a l students as advantaged, and to b u i l d on that advantage. Jim Cummins and M e r r i l l Swain (1986) have discussed the re s u l t s of Canadian studies on immigrant students' second language a c q u i s i t i o n and studies r e l a t i n g b i l i n g u a l language use i n the home to academic achievement. They posit that a minority student's f i r s t language cognitive/academic s k i l l s are as important as second language exposure f o r the development of proficiency and academic s k i l l s i n the second language. 15 2.2.4. Culture and S o c i a l i z a t i o n The autonomous model supports the idea of s o c i a l conditioning through education, or " l i f e s k i l l s " components to l i t e r a c y education. These s k i l l s are assumed to be technically-based and not bound to s o c i a l or p o l i t i c a l influences. Some educators advocate a conscious e f f o r t to teach the expected modes of oral and l i t e r a t e i n t e r a c t i o n and l i f e styles so that the Indian c h i l d i n p a r t i c u l a r w i l l know what i s expected by the majority culture and w i l l have a choice of access to appropriate action. Judith K l e i n f e l d (1979) i n Alaska has claimed that resistance responses i n education by another culture can best be dealt with by an approach which promotes " c u l t u r a l fusion at least i n such areas as values and attitudes" (p.135). She advocated a system where students would analyse value c o n f l i c t s and learn how to apply t r a d i t i o n a l native values i n contemporary l i f e . Anything short of that, says Susan P h i l i p s (1972), would re s u l t i n learning d i f f i c u l t i e s and feelings of i n f e r i o r i t y amongst native students. 2.2.5. Community Inclusion i n Schooling Theorists and pr a c t i t i o n e r s have proposed reform not only to the content and methodology of minority education but also to broader educational and community structures. Jim 16 Cummins (1986) documents the persistence of minority students' school f a i l u r e and contends that most attempts at curriculum change have f a i l e d to a l t e r the r e l a t i o n s h i p between teachers and students and the school and the community. He proposes " i n s t i t u t i o n a l r e d e f i n i t i o n s " (p.19) to reverse t h i s pattern, and directions for change fo r policymakers "at a l l levels of the educational hierarchy" ( i b i d . ) . These include the incorporation of minority students' culture and language i n the curriculum, the changing of pedagogical assumptions and practices e s p e c i a l l y i n assessment, and the incorporation of minority communities into the education of t h e i r children. Cummins' proposals draw on numerous accounts of minority education i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y . Ralph Folds (1989) argues that b i l i n g u a l programs f o r aboriginal Australians have had mixed results because too l i t t l e attention has been paid to the s o c i o - c u l t u r a l conditions surrounding the programs. Folds claims that s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c information has been ignored and the Aboriginal communities have been subjugated rather than involved i n the programs. Luis Moll and Stephen Diaz (1987) and H. Trueba (1984) reported case studies which appear to counter these tendencies among Hispanic students, teachers and communities i n the United States by implementing reading and writing i n s t r u c t i o n courses which are c u l t u r a l l y relevant to the l o c a l s o c i a l context. They describe the community sett i n g through microethnographic techniques, then integrate 17 t h e i r findings into classroom methods and c u r r i c u l a . They have established what they c a l l "educational laboratories" where research on s p e c i f i c educational issues i s done through f u l l involvement of the community members, students, and teachers. K l e i n f e l d (1979) would s i m i l a r l y enhance s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n native schools i n Alaska by promoting community esteem on the sides of minority and majority cultures a l i k e and by central i n s t i t u t i o n s fusing elements of both cultures rather than separating them. Seeing an increasing problem with " c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s " she noted that such an approach might help "prevent school subjects or ways of behaviour that bring access to modern l i f e from becoming p o l i t i c i z e d " (p.135). However, the proposals advanced by t h i s i n f l u e n t i a l educator i n Alaska have not emerged in the decade since she wrote, despite the enormous impact of a land claims settlement. Indeed, the native emphasis has been strongly p o l i t i c a l , and the decade has seen instead firm resistance to established i n s t i t u t i o n s and promotion of self-determination. Rather than a "fusion", a further separation between majority and minority society appears to have been reinforced on a l l fronts, including education. 2.2.6. Reform i n Northern Native Literacy and Education Cultural reforms to syllabus content and methodology 18 have been advocated f o r many years i n Indian pedagogy but have not been implemented to any great degree. In a few cases aboriginal languages are being incorporated into school s y l l a b i to a minimal degree (Shearwood 1987) and courses i n adult aboriginal language i n s t r u c t i o n have begun to emerge. Where such supplementary c u r r i c u l a have been used, they s t i l l confront a general s i t u a t i o n where dropout of native students from schools and adult i l l i t e r a c y rates are exceptionally high. The 1986 Census Canada reports the percentage of registered Indians with less than grade nine i n the Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s as 60.4 while the percentage of the same category for the general population i s 28.8. The same s t a t i s t i c s f o r the Yukon T e r r i t o r y are 35.6% registered Indians with less than grade nine and 7.5% f o r the general population. Non- recognition or outright r e j e c t i o n of aboriginal language, values and learning systems by the dominant culture have been met by resistance i n native communities (Haig-Brown, 1988). Today t h i s i s often expressed through independent p o l i t i c a l and educational structures. 2.3. The Ideological Model of Literacy 2.3.1. Street's Ideological Model Street refutes the autonomous model of l i t e r a c y by f i r s t reviewing the findings of research by Sy l v i a Scribner and Michael Cole (1978, 1979, 1981), who assessed the 19 cognitive consequences of l i t e r a c y amongst the Vai people of L i b e r i a . Scribner and Cole found l i t e r a t e and non-literate Vai performed cognitive tasks at s i m i l a r l e v e l s of proficiency and that schooling appeared to improve some cognitive tasks, but not others. They concluded that s o c i a l and educational factors other than l i t e r a c y have a greater influence on thinking than does the technology of l i t e r a c y : It i s apparent that Vai people have developed highly d i v e r s i f i e d uses f o r writing, and that a host of pragmatic, i d e o l o g i c a l , and i n t e l l e c t u a l factors sustain popular l i t e r a c y (1981, p.86). Street concludes from t h i s that written discourse i s as l i k e l y to be changeable as o r a l discourse, and that the uses of l i t e r a c y are based on s o c i a l conventions rather than being universal technical s k i l l s which transform thinking as proposed by the autonomous model. 2.3.2. The Context of Literacy Street proposes that the perpetuation of l i t e r a c y (and i l l i t e r a c y ) i s through i n s t i t u t i o n s that reinforce the domination of cert a i n groups. He defines the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of what he terms the i d e o l o g i c a l model of l i t e r a c y as follows (condensed from p.8): 20 1. the meaning of l i t e r a c y depends upon the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i n which i t i s embedded; 2. l i t e r a c y can only be known i n p o l i t i c a l l y and i d e o l o g i c a l l y - s i g n i f i c a n t forms and cannot be treated as i f i t were "autonomous"; 3. the practices of reading and writing taught i n any context depend upon aspects of s o c i a l structure such as s t r a t i f i c a t i o n and the role of educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . Street finds further support f o r his i d e o l g i c a l model i n the work of S h i r l e y Brice Heath (1984) on l i t e r a c y a c q u i s i t i o n among neighbouring American black and white communities. Brice Heath rejects the idea of reading as a technical s k i l l (which i s the autonomous position) and prefers i t to be seen as a way of "taking meaning" from the environment. For her, reading i s a part of learned behaviour, but i n contrast to Cook-Gumperz and Gumperz (1986) and Ogbu (1987), she argues that l i t e r a c y varies across and within cultures according to ideology and s o c i a l i z a t i o n - patterns. In one a r t i c l e , not reviewed by Street, Brice Heath observes that "becoming l i t e r a t e i s not the same thing as learning to read and write; i t i s learning to t a l k reading and writing" (1984, p.15), and concludes: 1 21 Li t e r a t e understanding requires f a r more than basic l i t e r a c y s k i l l s and the current emphasis on basic s k i l l s to eliminate the " l i t e r a c y c r i s i s " w i l l not give us l i t e r a t e students (p.27). Street states that the meaning of l i t e r a c y i s therefore context-dependent, that we should refer not to one l i t e r a c y , but to " l i t e r a c i e s " and that the uses and consequences of l i t e r a c y are profoundly affected by the b e l i e f s and fundamental concepts through which a society creates order of i t s world. Further, these systems are not "natural", but are s o c i a l l y constructed and a r e s u l t of p r e v a i l i n g ideologies. 2.3.3. Reproduction Theory A simple i d e o l o g i c a l view of schooling i s that i t i s bound to reproduce the majority culture, p a r t i c u l a r l y the domination of one group by another, because of the c a p i t a l i s t economic system. Carnoy (1974) i s t y p i c a l of t h i s Neo- Marxist i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i tion: schools are primarily places to develop vocational (cognitive) s k i l l s that f i t i n with a s o c i e t a l objective of maximising economic growth...Schools transfer culture and values and they channel children into various roles. They help maintain s o c i a l order. The common school i s the i n s t i t u t i o n that developed 22 within c a p i t a l i s t economic and s o c i a l structures to prepare individuals f o r assuming various roles i n those structures (p.330). This argument says that reform i n the education system i s not l i k e l y to lead to change because the larger economic and c u l t u r a l problems are not dealt with. Schools are only one part of the whole system needing transformation. However, more complex issues need to be accounted for to determine the relations between l i t e r a c y , education, and society (Mallea, 1989; Street, 1984). 2.3.4. Literacy and Power Relations Street discusses Harvey Graff's (1979) h i s t o r i c a l research on l i t e r a c y i n 19th century Canada. Graff shows that l i t e r a c y did not overcome s o c i a l disadvantages and that employment depended not on l i t e r a c y , but on e t h n i c i t y . Those who were amongst the advantaged were further advantaged by being s o c i a l l y appropriate so that English i l l i t e r a t e s gained more rewards than immigrant i l l i t e r a t e s . Graff argues that greater l i t e r a c y i s not consonant with increased equality and democracy but with further s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n and i s used f o r s o c i a l control. According to Street, l i t e r a c y campaigns i n the United States and the United Kingdom blame the i n d i v i d u a l f o r 23 i l l i t e r a c y and unemployment, ignoring the f a c t that poverty and class structure are more responsible f o r low lev e l s of l i t e r a c y than the reverse. Street claims that i l l i t e r a c y i s simply one factor i n t e r a c t i n g amongst many others such as class, race, sex, welfare dependency, unemployment, poor housing, and a general sense of powerlessness. Rather than working to change individuals, Street proposes that the only long-term way of dealing with l i t e r a c y levels i s to change i n s t i t u t i o n s . The i n s t i t u t i o n s of society are the perpetuating mechanisms f o r l i t e r a c y or non-literacy (and hence power and powerlessness) for Street, but other theor i s t s look beyond i n s t i t u t i o n s to more pervasive structures and mechanisms. James Ryan (1989) discusses the high drop-out rate of the Innut of Labrador from the t h e o r e t i c a l perspective of Foucault (1979). The modern Western system of s o c i a l organization which Foucault c a l l s " d i s c i p l i n e " i s i n Ryan's view the c o n t r o l l i n g mechanism which "normalizes" deviants from the acceptable standards imposed by the dominant group. Ryan observed incidents of d i s c i p l i n e i n an Innu community and school which he concluded led to the characterization and s e l f - c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the students as negative. This picture i s perpetuated by both those dominating and the dominated. It i s compounded by learning impediments such as language and c u l t u r a l differences, a culturally-inappropriate curriculum, s o c i a l promotion, r e j e c t i o n of the process of 24 schooling as being i r r e l e v a n t and perceptions that schooling does not lead to employment. Ryan i s pessimistic that changes brought about within the school system w i l l change the situation, since the problem l i e s i n the broader society. On a more optimistic note, McLaughlin's (1989) analysis of Navajo l i t e r a c y shows that i t i s used by individuals i n the community he studied f o r a v a r i e t y of purposes useful for maintaining t r a d i t i o n a l culture and for promoting s e l f - understanding. He states that: we need to examine the i n t e r a c t i o n a l minutiae of l i t e r a c y events... to understand the practices and ideologies of l o c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s that constrain and enable interaction, that render readers and writers as objects and subjects (p.286). McLaughlin concludes that the ideologies and practices of i n s t i t u t i o n s can both l i m i t and allow action and that student understanding of the ideologies of l i t e r a c y i n s t i t u t i o n s w i l l a s s i s t i n action f o r change. 2.3.5. Resistance Theory McLaughlin's b e l i e f that student involvement w i l l bring change i s r e f l e c t e d by resistance theorists such as A l l e n Quigley (1990). Quigley discusses nonparticipation i n 25 l i t e r a c y programs as resistance to the dominant society which i s reproduced i n schooling. Using a phenomenological research method he analyses .the phenomenon of resistance through analysis of selected works of f i c t i o n . Quigley describes i n d e t a i l what he found to be the stages of resistance, noting that t h i s process did not take place with the same degree of v i s i b i l i t y or speed with each r e s i s t e r . He emphasizes that resistance was not against learning nor objective knowledge but against the subjugation f e l t i n the school. He claims there i s a need to change the " d e f i c i t perspective" of adult basic education and to recognize that nonparticipation i s a deliberate choice. Models must be designed with the r e s i s t e r s and be grounded i n relevant values and c u l t u r a l systems with recognition of the "courageous i n d i v i d u a l s " who r e s i s t . Henry Giroux (1981, 1983) and Giroux and Stanley Aronowitz (1985) have expanded on the s t r i c t l y economic reproduction theory of Neo-Marxists educators. They describe s o c i a l reproduction theory of education as "a view of schooling and domination that appears to have been pressed out of an Orwellian fantasy" (1985, p.71) and r e j e c t i t because: human subjects generally "disappear" amidst a theory that leaves no room f o r moments of s e l f - c r e a t i o n , 26 mediation, and resistance (ibid.) Giroux (1983) argues that: in no sense do teachers and students uniformly function i n schools as simply the passive r e f l e x of the l o g i c of c a p i t a l . . . they also serve other interests as well, some of which are i n opposition to the economic order and the needs of the dominant society... teachers and students do not simply receive information; they also produce and mediate i t (p.58). By ignoring resistance, reproduction theories o f f e r l i t t l e hope f o r changing the repressive features of schooling (1985, p.71). The student should be viewed as an actor i n the struggle f o r human l i b e r a t i o n and the school as a s i t e where action can be both constrained and mobilized. Social domination i s not seen by Giroux as a process that i s s t a t i c or complete, but one that i s d i a l e c t i c a l . Moreover the role that students play i s not only one of challenge to the most oppressive elements of schooling but also one of compliance. Oppositional behaviour can be emancipatory or can contain i n i t s e l f a dominating rather than a l i b e r a t i n g l o g i c . For instance, sexual behaviour of students may be taken as challenging to the domination around them but can have within i t s e l f elements of sexism which lead to more oppression. 27 McLaughlin and Quigley discuss l i t e r a c y as being a too l of s o c i a l domination and r e s i s t e d because of i t . In the introduction to a publication by F r e i r e and Macedo (1987), Giroux supports t h i s idea and says that the refusal to become l i t e r a t e should therefore: be seen as an opportunity to investigate the p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l conditions that warrant such r e s i s t a n c e . . . [ i t ] provides the pedagogical basis f o r engaging i n a c r i t i c a l dialogue with those groups whose t r a d i t i o n s and cultures are often the object of a massive assault and attempt by the dominant culture to delegitimate and disorganize the knowledge and t r a d i t i o n s such groups use to define themselves and t h e i r view of the world (p.13). In McLaughlin, Quigley and Giroux's terms, resistance to becoming l i t e r a t e can be based on more than opposition to c u l t u r a l domination. It can be the product of ide o l o g i c a l values and t h i s can be an opening f o r further learning. Seeing resistance as ideologically-based exposes and enables educational and li b e r a t o r y p o s s i b i l i t i e s which can be used to reform education through c r i t i c a l action. 28 2.3.6. Pedagogy and the Ideological Model Much recent l i t e r a c y practice i n the id e o l o g i c a l model i s based on Paulo Freire's (1972, 1976, 1978, 1985) approach to teaching i l l i t e r a t e B r a z i l i a n peasants based on p o l i t i c a l action. F r e i r e and his followers believe that through problem-posing dialogue i n l i t e r a c y education, learners pass through a c r i t i c a l transformation stage ("conscientization") where an analysis of culture takes place which reveals the underlying i d e o l o g i c a l structures of society. Being aware of these structures leads to a conviction on the part of the learners that becoming active participants i n t h e i r own change and eventually i n p o l i t i c a l action to a l t e r dominating systems i s inevitable. In c r i t i c i z i n g the autonomous model of l i t e r a c y , Street argues that the idea of "functional l i t e r a c y " as endorsed by UNESCO disguises the relat i o n s h i p of l i t e r a c y programs to the underlying p o l i t i c a l and id e o l o g i c a l framework of the sponsors. He contrasts the early UNESCO l i t e r a c y programs which were assessed i n terms of economic return to the work of F r e i r e . Nina Wallerstein (1983) i s one of the few educators attempting to apply F r e i r i a n techniques i n North America, working with immigrants i n the United States. Using an inductive questioning strategy, she has students define a 29 s o c i a l problem they are experiencing through use of v i s u a l aids and dialogue, f a c i l i t a t i n g them to analyse t h e i r feelings and to explore s i m i l a r situations they have encountered. They are asked to discuss why they think c e r t a i n problems exist, and what they can do about the s i t u a t i o n . The syllabus i s generated from the r e s u l t i n g dialogue which provides material f o r reading and writing about change. 2.3.7. C r i t i q u i n g C r i t i c a l Pedagogy In the i d e o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e reviewed there i s l i t t l e mention made of the results of applying theory to educational practice i n any systematic way. Shor (1987) comes closest to i t i n describing some of his own experiments with white middle-class college students. Nor has i t been shown that l i b e r a t o r y c r i t i c a l action has led to e f f e c t i v e change amongst students. In discussing Wallerstein's and others' work i n c r i t i c a l pedagogy i n adult language education, Jackson (1987) notes that there i s no mention of the action that resulted from students' " c r i t i c a l consciousness". Thus these educators beg the question: to what extent does problem-posing education lead to r e a l action? It i s v i t a l that accounts of experiments i n problem-posing account .for the concrete results of the process as well as the theory behind i t (p.136). 30 2.4. Literacy and Power i n Northern Canada The lack of research on actual experiences of l i t e r a c y pedagogy i s very apparent i n the context of northern Canada. Perry Shearwood (1987) agrees that l i t e r a c i e s are derived from s o c i a l contexts and proposes a taxonomy of l i t e r a c i e s for the Inuit and Athapaskan peoples of the Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s which expresses the rela t i o n s h i p of kinds of l i t e r a c y to t h e i r s o c i a l functions. Shearwood i n d i r e c t l y acknowledges that although he proposes six types of l i t e r a c y for these peoples, i n many instances competency i n l i t e r a c y i s not widespread amongst the aboriginal peoples of the N.W.T. and suggests that "schooled vernacular l i t e r a c y " and "pragmatic English l i t e r a c y " may be t r a n s i t i o n routes i n the school to the expected a b i l i t y i n "essayist l i t e r a c y " (p.639). It remains to be seen i f Shearwood's ideas are tested or implemented i n the school system of the Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s . Arlene St a i r s (1990) reports her study of Inuktitut and English writing with elementary students i n northern Quebec as a "journey of r e d i r e c t i o n i n native educational and language research" (p.103). She reviews the research she did from the point of view of the Inuit community who expressed 31 concerns about c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y , c u l t u r a l evolution and assimilation. She states that these questions must e x p l i c i t l y precede and inform t h i s kind of research; i m p l i c i t assumptions such as the value of l i t e r a c y on the part of the researchers must be acknowledged. St a i r s says that while some Inuit agree with the c u l t u r a l assumptions of the non-Inuit, there i s overt c o n f l i c t and opposition to e x i s t i n g educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . The d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of the role of children i n society, the " d r i f t i n g into anomie and drugs" (p.118) and the overloading of children with decontextualised teaching pushes them outside the ecological harmony of t r a d i t i o n a l l i f e . This has created fear amongst elders that t r a d i t i o n a l ways are being t r i v i a l i z e d , the role of the community destroyed and s o c i a l cohesion abandoned. Loss of language i s paramount i n t h i s fear and the school i s seen as the instrument of destruction. St a i r s concludes that " c u l t u r a l bridges" may be b u i l t through " c u l t u r a l brokers" such as Inuit teaching assistants (p.119) and that we must ask what we can learn from t r a d i t i o n a l native ways of knowing, teaching and using language. Neither S t a i r s nor Shearwood seriously address the complex problem of the c o n f l i c t of cultures and ideologies between aboriginal peoples and the school. Both assume that solutions to aboriginal language d i f f i c u l t i e s can be found within and by the school. The l i t e r a t u r e reviewed i n 32 t h i s chapter points to schools as one of numerous i n s t i t u t i o n s with ideologies which reinforce e x i s t i n g c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l structures causing minority d i f f i c u l t i e s with l i t e r a c y . The extent of t h i s problem i s summarized by John Mallea (1989): rarely, indeed, have c o n f l i c t s over schooling i n a p l u r a l Canada been systematically examined i n socio- economic, p o l i t i c a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l and s t r u c t u r a l terms. P r e v a i l i n g theories have stressed instead the school's role i n c u l t u r a l transmission and emphasized notions of n e u t r a l i t y , s t a b i l i t y and consensus. P r i o r i t y i s given to t h i s r ole and educational i n s t i t u t i o n s and structures have been established whose primary function i s the maintenance of e x i s t i n g systems (p.115). Mallea concludes that more research i s needed to understand the school's contribution to the d i f f e r e n t i a l power rel a t i o n s which r e s u l t i n "the dominant r a c i a l , c u l t u r a l and l i n g u i s t i c groups i n Canada exercising control over the governance, administration, c u r r i c u l a and practices of p u b l i c l y funded school systems" (p.119). The present study i s a response to that need. 3 3 2.5. Summary This l i t e r a t u r e review has indicated that adherence to the autonomous l i t e r a c y model as described by Street (1984) may reinforce the practice of c u l t u r a l domination which leads to resistance i n education. Lack of success and c u l t u r a l resistance can be anticipated e s p e c i a l l y i n programs which do not integrate the language and c u l t u r a l perspective of the students being taught. Several sources have shown that s u p e r f i c i a l reforms have been attempted i n c e r t a i n i n s t i t u t i o n s and situations. These models are u n l i k e l y to lead to a l l e v i a t i n g resistance behaviour by c u l t u r a l l y dominated students who see themselves i n an oppressive system not of t h e i r choice or r e f l e c t i v e of t h e i r c u l t u r a l needs. Resistance to c u l t u r a l change (Kle i n f e l d , 1979) i s focussed on i n s t i t u t i o n s such as the school (Ogbu, 1987). Resistance, however, i s not only a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l phenomenon (Shor, 1987) but may be based on i d e o l o g i c a l values (Giroux and Aronowitz, 1985) held by dominated groups and communities. The present thesis attempts to document the c u l t u r a l and i d e o l o g i c a l contexts of one such community, interpreting evidence of resistance i n a few educational settings i n the community from both a c u l t u r a l and an i d e o l o g i c a l view. The case study described i n the following chapters takes up Mallea's (1989) c a l l "to ground studies of Canadian schooling firmly within t h e i r context" i n order to develop knowledge about ethnic and power relations i n education among d i f f e r e n t r a c i a l , 34 ethnocultural and l i n g u i s t i c groups (p.1 2 2 ) . The e x i s t i n g l i t e r a t u r e does not provide sytematic accounts of i d e o l o g i c a l theory applied to adult native education practice i n Canada at t h i s time. The lack of research suggests the importance of basing research not the theory but i n the context of resistance and f o r documenting examples of the northern native s i t u a t i o n . 35 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY 3.1. Research Approach 3.1.1. Introduction The f i r s t section of t h i s chapter describes the emergent design of the case study research c a r r i e d out i n the thesis. Data were gathered i n the context of adult l i t e r a c y classes i n a small community i n northern Canada, then categorized to form a descriptive paradigm which assisted i n the c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the concept of resistance i n the context of the research and i n the subsequent interpretations of the findings. The li m i t a t i o n s of t h i s type of q u a l i t a t i v e research are assessed i n t h i s section. The f i n a l section of t h i s chapter documents the approach used f o r composition i n s t r u c t i o n i n the classes taught f o r the case study. 3.1.2. Research Design The research f o r t h i s study was based i n four short composition courses over a six week period from mid-April to the end of May 1989 given to young and older adults i n a small native community i n the Yukon Ter r i t o r y . The research question was to determine how the native adult ESL l i t e r a c y 36 students i n the s p e c i f i c context of the research se t t i n g responded to an innovative composition pedagogy. A q u a l i t a t i v e research paradigm was chosen i n order to gather diverse contextual data of the kind which could not have been predicted i n advance by an experimental or pre- ordained type of research design. Much support f o r t h i s kind of research approach appears i n related studies. For example, i n her study of Inuktitut and English writing p r o f i c i e n c i e s , S t a i r s (1990) began with a quantitative paradigm which assessed Inuktitut and English writing samples gathered over two years from elementary school students, ra t i n g these q u a l i t a t i v e l y and analyzing them using quantitative l i n g u i s t i c indices of proficiency. As her project continued St a i r s realized, by her own admission, that these kinds of data did not respond to the basic questions of values which arose i n such an i n t e r c u l t u r a l educational context, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n regards such issues as c u l t u r a l a s s i m i l a t i o n and school dropout rates. Similar conclusions have been reached i n other studies where c u l t u r a l differences play an important part i n the approach to teaching and learning. Studies i n the l i t e r a t u r e s i m i l a r to the present one which used descriptive, action- oriented techniques i n cr o s s - c u l t u r a l settings were McLaren's (1986) study of Portuguese immigrants i n a Toronto high school, Moll and Diaz's (1987) and Trueba's (1984) study of 37 Hispanic ESL composition students i n C a l i f o r n i a , and McLaughlin's (1989) research with Navajo l i t e r a c y i n the American Southwest. Because the present research question li m i t e d i t s investigation to the p a r t i c u l a r context i n which the research took place, i t required a descriptive and i n t e r p r e t i v e response which would give a broad view of the subjects' l i v e s and values. A quantitative approach using survey questionnaires would have r e s t r i c t e d the data available on native ESL l i t e r a c y students' responses to innovative composition i n s t r u c t i o n . It would not have allowed f o r a l l possible student responses and research interpretations other than those b u i l t into the survey or t e s t i n g instrument. It i s important to note, however, that the present research i s not a f u l l - s c a l e ethnography, but rather a case study which used ethnographic techniques such as participant observation.and analyses of l o c a l history. Watson-Gegeo (1988) defines ethnography as "the study of people's behavior in n a t u r a l l y occurring, ongoing settings, with a focus on the c u l t u r a l interpretation of behavior" (1988, p.576). In o u t l i n i n g p r i n c i p l e s of ethnographic research, Watson-Gegeo warns that ethnography should not become a synonym fo r q u a l i t a t i v e or any and a l l descriptive observations i n nonlaboratory settings. Watson-Gegeo cautions about s u p e r f i c i a l studies where the researcher "'dive bombs' into a 38 setting, makes a few fixed-category or e n t i r e l y impressionistic observations, then takes off again to write up the r e s u l t s " (p.576). One of the hallmarks of ethnography i s observation of a set t i n g over a long period of time. An ethnographic approach was not f e a s i b l e f o r the present research because the students i n the study were available only for a li m i t e d length of time, and the research i t s e l f created an innovative approach to composition i n s t r u c t i o n which was not part of the l o c a l s o c i a l structure. The present research was, rather, a case study of the kind defined by Merriam (1980) as concentrating on a single phenomenon (the "case"), aiming to uncover the inte r a c t i o n of s i g n i f i c a n t factors c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the phenomenon. As Merriam observes, a case study can be further defined by ce r t a i n special features: i t i s p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c i n that i t focuses on a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n , event, program, or phenomenon; i t i s descriptive of the phenomenon under study, frequently using prose and l i t e r a r y devices rather than numerical data i n documenting the phenomenon; i t i s h e u r i s t i c , i n that i t illuminates understanding and gives new insights of the phenomenon under study; i t i s inductive, with generalisations or hypotheses emerging from an examination of the data which i s grounded i n the context. This type of research was considered most appropriate f o r the context of the study, the research question 39 formulated and the limited time available. The research would record a p a r t i c u l a r phenomenon, the response to one i n s t r u c t i o n a l methodology i n one setting; i t would be descriptive, describing behaviours, s o c i a l patterns and subjective perceptions; i t would be h e u r i s t i c i n that i t would assess how new approaches to composition i n s t r u c t i o n were received by the s p e c i f i c population; data would be analysed inductively as i t was collected, and an emergent inter p r e t a t i o n would be the r e s u l t . The research question required d i r e c t classroom observation of student response to innovative composition in s t r u c t i o n . .I was the one person who was able by t r a i n i n g , experience and a v a i l a b i l i t y to design and present the s p e c i f i c composition i n s t r u c t i o n . I decided to teach the courses, gathering data as a participant observer. A si m i l a r approach was taken by McLaughlin (1989) who acted as a participant-observer i n the Navajo community where he taught English i n the high school. This teaching p o s i t i o n f a c i l i t a t e d his access to reading and writing a c t i v i t i e s from which he developed research questions about l i t e r a c y over several years. Although Merriam (1988) c a l l s participant observation a "marginal p o s i t i o n " and a "schizophrenic a c t i v i t y " (p.94), she also advocates that because what i s being recorded are situations, motives, attitudes, b e l i e f s and values, the most careful data c o l l e c t i o n instrument can be a person who can observe, l i s t e n , probe, analyse and 40 organize (p.103). Since I had instructed native adult students over a period of many years and was acquainted personally with some of the students, I concluded that my participant observation would not be i n t r u s i v e and that the most d i f f i c u l t problem i n the s i t u a t i o n would be how to monitor the e f f e c t s of my a l t e r i n g i n s t r u c t i o n a l approaches to s u i t my perceptions of the needs of the classes. I was c e r t a i n that I would obtain an i n s i g h t f u l understanding of the classroom experience as a p a r t i c i p a n t - observer, a teacher/researcher. The observations I made of student resistance and my response to the students' resistance would not have been as cl e a r and immediate as a non-participant who had no d i r e c t involvement i n or control over the events of the classroom. Ryan (1989) supports t h i s decision i n reporting his research on the Innu of Labrador and recording his experience of being back i n the classroom where he had done his ethnographic research, t h i s time to teach: I went into the classroom i n i t i a l l y b e l i e v i n g I could f i n d alternate ways to teach that would a l l e v i a t e potential student stress. This was not to be the case. I found myself shackled to those teaching practices that I as a former student and teacher had been immersed i n f o r years...my expectations of what 41 i t meant to be a good teacher dictated that I adhere to such routines as esta b l i s h i n g classroom standards, keeping the students reasonably quiet, d i r e c t i n g what transpired, and sanctioning deviant indi v i d u a l s . . . I was powerless to act i n a way that would not reinforce these e f f e c t s (p.399). 3.1.3. Data C o l l e c t i o n Since I was the one person designing and implementing both the i n s t r u c t i o n and research, the re s u l t s of the research may have possible biases (to be discussed i n Section 1.5 of t h i s chapter). To counteract t h i s , I used several methods and data sources, t r i a n g u l a t i n g them to produce data from al t e r n a t i v e perspectives on the d a i l y classroom experiences. Moreover, to supplement these data, additional sources of data were gathered through a search of anthropological, s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c , demographic and h i s t o r i c a l documents on the l o c a l context surrounding the research. As a participant-observer I taught a l l four classes. I was able to use the syllabus to e l i c i t data on students' preferences f o r process-oriented or product-oriented approaches to i n s t r u c t i o n and i n other pedagogical areas such as methods of correction (discussed l a t e r i n t h i s chapter). Information was gathered weekly i n a l l the classes by requesting written responses from students' journals. These 4 2 journals were kept i n separate notebooks f o r each student, were retained by me between times of use each week, and were dis t r i b u t e d and c o l l e c t e d within the l a s t f i f t e e n or twenty minutes of the class i n which they were used. The journals provided documentation f o r students' responses to the in s t r u c t i o n . In many cases, i t was evident the journals were used as a d i r e c t t o o l by the students for manipulation. Because I stressed the importance of students' opinions of the ins t r u c t i o n , the journals were a l l the more e a s i l y a source of c o n f l i c t . The use of basic action- research methods--considering the students an i n t e g r a l part of the syllabus design--therefore l e f t openings f o r resistance behaviour that fed into the data c o l l e c t i o n for the emerging design of the research. As well as c o l l e c t i n g data through the journals, I di s t r i b u t e d questionnaires asking c l e a r l y directed questions about students' responses i n the f i n a l weeks of the classes. Short tests and written texts from the students provided further d i r e c t evidence of t h e i r responses to the inst r u c t i o n . Assignments f o r compositions were often a source of c o n f l i c t , ranging from opposition by refusing to do the work at a l l to producing work well below known levels of competence. No compositions were requested as homework although 43 students were encouraged to work at home on t h e i r assignments. Throughout the research I kept two journals. One detailed i n d i v i d u a l and class progress i n the designed lessons. The other was a personal, i n t e r p r e t i v e journal which I used as a means of sorting out confusing events, c o n f l i c t i n g ideas and the emerging patterns i n the data. In class or immediately afterward I recorded i n t h i s personal journal my observations of students' behaviour, reco l l e c t e d thoughts and spoken communications, and explored my feelings about the behaviour I was experiencing. Above a l l , t h i s personal journal kept the experience to some kind of exactitude and consistency. In i t I began to design a paradigm which presented the confusing amount of data i n consistent order to form the basis f o r l a t e r analyses. Students were formally and informally interviewed about t h e i r preferences for a process-oriented or product-oriented approach to composition i n s t r u c t i o n when other means did not produce r e p l i e s . Students were also informally interviewed both i n class and p r i v a t e l y about cert a i n behaviours observed. This was done only d i r e c t l y . In other words, the behaviours of one student were not discussed with another for reasons of c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y but also because i t was f e l t third-party discussion would only confuse the data by producing surrounding data which could not be synthesized 44 in a routine way. In one case, a t h i r d party discussion did take place. A student was asked to give her opinion on why others did not attend the class. She f e l t uncomfortable doing t h i s , gave vague responses, and ended up t a l k i n g about her own s i t u a t i o n . It was apparent from t h i s that the parameters I set up for interviewing students were supportive of data production which r e f l e c t e d i n d i v i d u a l experiences within the classroom and community. In addition, formal and informal interviews were conducted with professionals and community members i n the research s e t t i n g and two other s i m i l a r communities i n the Yukon about the behaviours being observed. These comments and observations were recorded and proved h e l p f u l i n the concurrent defining, analysing and int e r p r e t i n g of the data produced. 3.1.4. Data Analysis Two kinds of analyses were undertaken. The f i r s t was a search of relevant documentation on the history, society, and educational circumstances of the l o c a l community. Relevant documentation was gathered through Yukon College, the Yukon T e r r i t o r i a l Government Department of Education and Department of S t a t i s t i c s , and the Government Archives, i n Whitehorse. Results were compiled into the case study p o r t r a i t of the town and i t s c u l t u r a l background reported i n Chapter IV of 45 t h i s thesis. This analysis aimed to provide a s p e c i f i c background fo r interpreting the research question of how the students responded to the composition i n s t r u c t i o n provided. The second analysis b u i l t up a descriptive paradigm of classroom behaviours based on the journals, questionnaires, observations, and interviews to interpret the ongoing phenomena i n the writing classes. This second analysis aimed to answer the research question of how the p a r t i c u l a r students responded to the composition i n s t r u c t i o n i n terms which d i r e c t l y synthesized classroom events through my perceptions as participant-observer. The r e s u l t s of t h i s analysis are reported i n Chapter V of t h i s thesis. The second analysis began with the premise that co- operative classroom behaviour indicated potential f o r learning. Working i n i t i a l l y from observations i n my i n t e r p r e t i v e journal, I f i r s t delineated four categories of "learning p o t e n t i a l indicators": the students' physical and mental attention; oral and written communication; contributions to the lesson; and application of new concepts and s k i l l s . I assumed that, i d e a l l y , i f a l l four of these indicators were strongly present, involvement, and hence learning was possible (physical and mental attention); transacted (oral and written communication); engaged (contribution to the lesson); and u t i l i z e d (application of new concepts and s k i l l s ) . When the opposite s i t u a t i o n 46 occurred, with l i t t l e or no action being shown in these behaviours, I assumed that l i t t l e p otential f o r learning was possible, transacted, engaged or u t i l i s e d . For h e u r i s t i c purposes, I l a b e l l e d behaviours which displayed the greatest amount of attention, communication, contribution and application "accommodation", and behaviours which showed the least amount of these indicators, "resistance". Physical and mental attention ranged from being a l e r t f o r accommodation behaviour to displaying aversion and withdrawal fo r resistance. Oral and written communication ranged from above average fo r the class to abusive or none i n displaying on the one hand, accommodation, on the other hand, resistance. Contributions to the lesson ranged from supportive, unrequested i n t e r a c t i o n f o r accommodation behaviours to c l e a r refusals upon request, f o r resistance behaviours. Application of new concepts and s k i l l s appeared as accommodation i f i t was obvious i n present practice and was transferred to new situations, and resistance i f i t were not applied i n the present s i t u a t i o n and not transferred to new situations. The data recorded i n my journal presented not only the extremes of the learning potential indicators which I defined as resistance and accommodation, but also behaviours which did not f a l l i n either of these two categories, but somewhere in between. For t h i s reason, I further divided the data into 47 two l o g i c a l extremes based on active or passive demonstration of these behaviours. Figure 1 shows c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the behaviours that I perceived to indicate active and passive resistance and accommodation. A further pattern i n the journal data related to students' responses to the composition i n s t r u c t i o n concerned d i s t i n c t i o n s i n the s o c i a l organization of t h e i r behaviours: individual behaviours; group behaviours; and l i t e r a t e and scholarly behaviours. Individual behaviour appeared as an action unassisted or not promoted by the group as a whole. Group behaviour was action that was shared with or assisted by more than one student. L i t e r a t e and scholarly behaviour was action that d i r e c t l y involved reading and writing or other analytic a c t i v i t i e s such as c l a s s i f i c a t o r y or evaluative thinking and expression. Examples of student active and passive accommodation and resistance behaviour within the three behaviour categories are shown i n Figure 2. A t h i r d pattern i n the journal data concerned my reactions to the behaviour I was observing, engaged in, and e l i c i t i n g through my teaching. In much the same way that description of the behaviour of the students was ranging from active accommodation to active resistance my responses to t h e i r behaviour were also designated within that range. As Chapter V describes, many of the behaviours displayed were i n fact r e s i s t a n t to the i n s t r u c t i o n offered. Therefore, the 48 Figure 1: Learning Potential Indicators as Active and Passive Accommodation and Resistance INDICATORS 1. Physical and mental attention 2. Oral and written communication 3. Contribution to lesson 4. Application of new concepts and s k i l l s 1. Physical and mental attention 2. Oral and written communication 3. Contribution to lesson 4. Application of new concepts and s k i l l s A C T I ACCOMMODATION a l e r t above average for class supportive and unrequested obvious i n practice and new situations P A S S I present, attention when requested average for class some on request some i n practice and new s i t u a t i o n V E RESISTANCE aversion, withdrawal abusive or none refusal on request none i n practice and new situations V E not present, inattention a f t e r requested sporadic, unclear none on request minimal i n practice and new situations F i g u r e 2: S t u d e n t B e h a v i o u r s as A c t i v e and P a s s i v e A c c o m m o d a t i o n and R e s i s t a n c e A C T I V E Accommodation R e s i s t a n c e Type o f B e h a v i o u r I n d i v i d u a l G r o u p L i t e r a t e & S c h o l a r l y Yvonne comments i n j o u r n a l a b o u t s e p a r a t i n g f i r s t d r a f t f r o m l a t e r d r a f t s p a i r i n g o f M o l l y and Donna f o r p e e r t u t o r i n g i n w r i t i n g p a r a g r a p h p o s i t i v e r e s p o n s e by a l l t o w o r k s h e e t a c t i v i t i e s D o r a k e e p s h e a d i n arms, s w e a r i n g , no r e s p o n s e t o q u e s t i o n s , p u s h i n g p a p e r s g r a d e 8 t o 10 d i s r u p t i v e j o k i n g l o u d l y , p u s h i n g d e s k s a r o u n d , a r g u i n g v e r b a l r e f u s a l t o r e v i s e w r i t i n g P A S S I V E I n d i v i d u a l L i s a r e s p o n d s m i n i m a l l y i n N i c k a l w a y s 30-45 m i n s . j o u r n a l t o w r i t t e n q u e s t i o n l a t e t o c l a s s G r o u p g r a d e 8 t o 10 w r i t i n g i n c l a s s t o l e r a n c e o f o t h e r s ' t o a v o i d homework a s s i g n m e n t d i s r u p t i v e b e h a v i o u r L i t e r a t e & l e a r n i n g c e n t r e c l a s s no o r a l c o n t r i b u t i o n t o S c h o l a r l y s e t t i n g own l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y s u c h as p e e r o b j e c t i v e s : f o c u s on p r o b l e m s r e s p o n s e b u t no p r i o r i z a t i o n 50 responses I recorded were primarily about my responses to such behaviour. Figure 3 i l l u s t r a t e s the range of my reactions to student behaviours. These ranged from my active accommodation (changing my behaviour) to active resistance (confronting students' resistance). Passive accommodation appeared i n my ignoring resistance, whereas my passive resistance appeared through my i n d i r e c t manipulation of the resistance. A l l of these at t r i b u t i o n s of student or ins t r u c t o r behaviour to categories were highly i n t u i t i v e and impressionistic, serving as a h e u r i s t i c to organise my thinking i n preparation f o r interpretation of the data. After the experience of teaching, the tentative constructs developed i n t h i s manner i n my journals were checked i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c a l l y against the whole set of data gathered, categories were refined and elaborated, and considerable published l i t e r a t u r e on resistance behaviour and theory was consulted to make sense of t h i s predominant response to the composition i n s t r u c t i o n i n view of broader conceptions. Within t h i s analytic framework, the accommodation behaviours documented served as contrasts against the prevalent resistance behaviours or they supported arguments to be made in the f i n a l interpretations. The f i n a l stage of analysis involved i n t e r p r e t i n g the categorizations of the data within t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks capable of explaining the categorized responses to the composition in s t r u c t i o n . The 51 Figure 3: Instructor Responses to Resistance Behaviours A C T I V E Accommodation Resistance Changing own behaviour: Confronting resistance: e.g.: p o s i t i v e reinforcement e.g.: asking Marsha to modified to respond more r e a l - leave equivalency class i s t i c a l l y to student work at student's request P A S S I V E Ignoring resistance: e.g.: acknowledging Dora's active resistance only at end of class & providing journal writing as outlet f o r anger In d i r e c t l y manipulating resistance: e.g.: calm verbal r e j e c t i o n of resistance & reinforcement of courtesy 52 l i t e r a t u r e search yielded two relevant theories: (1) a c u l t u r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and (2) an id e o l o g i c a l interpretation. Both theories were assessed (see Chapter VI) in view of the data i n an e f f o r t to understand why the p a r t i c u l a r classroom responses to the composition i n s t r u c t i o n may have occurred. 3.1.5. Limitations of Interpretive Analyses The heavily i n t e r p r e t i v e descriptions and analyses used i n t h i s research are open to many questions of v a l i d i t y . The basic design and purpose of t h i s research evolved as the classroom events emerged. The pos i t i o n of the researcher as a participant-observer and teacher l e f t the implementation, analysis and interpretation of the i n s t r u c t i o n and the inquiry open to bias since personal observations of others' and my own behaviour formed the bases of the data. F l u i d and inexact d e f i n i t i o n s and descriptions, shaped by personal and s o c i a l experiences and perceptions permeated the data. Nonetheless, c e r t a i n methodological p r i n c i p l e s were adhered to i n order to ensure the personal perceptions of the researcher could be related to objective c r i t e r i a , v e r i f i c a t i o n , or alte r n a t i v e evidence to substantiate the analyses made. These p r i n c i p l e s can be likened to the kinds of research approaches which Lather (1986) reviews as inquiry which i s "openly i d e o l o g i c a l " (p.63) i n the neo-Marxist sense 53 of "transformative p o s s i b i l i t i e s of points of view" (p.78). Just as Lather considers feminist or neo-Marxist research to need guidelines which "guard against researcher biases d i s t o r t i n g the l o g i c of evidence within openly i d e o l o g i c a l research" (p.67), the present research draws on Street's (1984) d e f i n i t i o n s of l i t e r a c y education as fundamentally i d e o l o g i c a l and therefore including b e l i e f s or values transmitted through the s o c i o - c u l t u r a l medium of education and interpersonal classroom interactions. Lather proposes that ideologically-based research c a l l s f o r data c r e d i b i l i t y checks which are s e l f - r e f l e x i v e , rigorous, and relevant but may nonetheless challenge standards established i n the t r a d i t i o n a l human sciences i f i t " i s to be accepted as data rather than as metaphor by those who do not share i t s value premises" (p.77). To attempt to meet t h i s goal, the present research t r i e d to follow Lather's c r i t e r i a (p.78): 1. emergent, rather than pre-ordained, research design; 2. t r i a n g u l a t i o n of methods, data sources and theories; 3. r e f l e x i v e s u b j e c t i v i t y (documentation of how the 54 researcher's assumptions have been affected by the lo g i c of the data); 4. face v a l i d i t y (by r e c y c l i n g categories, emerging analysis, and conclusions back through at least a subsample of respondents); 5. c a t a l y t i c v a l i d i t y (documentation that the research process has led to insight and i d e a l l y , activism on the part of the respondents). The design of the present research was emergent, developing i n r e l a t i o n to the l o c a l context and s o c i a l interactions, rather than defining what these may have been i n advance through f i x e d categories f o r data e l i c i t a t i o n , such as te s t s , surveys or other preordained measures. In t h i s way, students' responses to the i n s t r u c t i o n provided were revealed i n t h e i r own terms and c u l t u r a l or i d e o l o g i c a l parameters. To triangulate methods and sources, the data f o r t h i s case study were gathered by various methods: my observing and recording the students' and my own behaviour; the student journals, compositions, tests and discussions; questionnaires designed to obtain data; and recorded formal and informal interviews with students, professionals and other community members i n the s i t e of the research. 55 Multiple methods of analysis were also used. Using the descriptive paradigm outlined above the data were compiled into three categories which were used f o r cross-comparison. Moreover, two t h e o r e t i c a l interpretations of the data, c u l t u r a l and i d e o l o g i c a l , also allowed for tr i a n g u l a t i o n of analysis. Lather mentions tr i a n g u l a t i o n of theories as well. This was approached through the search of a wide range of l i t e r a t u r e i n various related f i e l d s such as s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c s , anthropology, history and p o l i t i c s , then incorporated into the dual interpretations of the data within c u l t u r a l and i d e o l o g i c a l frameworks. Figure 4 i l l u s t r a t e s the t r i a n g u l a t i o n of data and analysis which was done i n the case study. Lather's t h i r d guideline, r e f l e x i v e s u b j e c t i v i t y , c a l l s f o r documentation on how the researcher's assumptions have been affected by the l o g i c of the data. This i s inherent i n the emergent design of the research r e f l e c t i n g the actual s i t u a t i o n being encountered. The way that my assumptions and actions were affected by the data recorded forms a part of the analysis of the case study. Data recorded i n my journal depicted me attempting to approach students' behaviour i n a range of responses from accommodation to resistance, as i l l u s t r a t e d i n Figure 3. In s i m i l a r manner, some degree of face v a l i d i t y was F i g u r e 4: L a t h e r ' s ( 1 9 8 6 ) R e s e a r c h G u i d e l i n e s A p p l i e d t o t h e P r e s e n t A n a l y s i s TRIANGULATION OF DATA: 1. M e t h o d s : n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e s e a r c h r e c o r d i n g i n own j o u r n a l s g a t h e r i n g d a t a : s t u d e n t j o u r n a l s s t u d e n t m a t e r i a l s q u e s t i o n n a i r e s i n t e r v i e w s m a n i p u l a t i o n o f e v e n t s 2. S o u r c e s : t h r o u g h a b o v e m e t h o d s a c a d e m i c l i t e r a t u r e d e m o g r a p h i c s t a t i s t i c s h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s own & o t h e r s ' r e l a t e d e x p e r i e n c e 3. T h e o r i e s : a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l TRIANGULATION OF A N A L Y S I S : A c t i v e P a s s i v e R e s i s t a n c e A c c o m m o d a t i o n 1 • L "1 I I I- i n d i v i d u a l r o u p l i t e r a t e & s c h o l a r l y J — > c u l t u r a l i d e o l o g i c a l 57 established by the r e c y c l i n g of categories, emerging analysis, and ideas back through a sample of respondents. However, t h i s process was r e s t r i c t e d to the teaching situations and informal discussions with community members. The present analyses and interpretations have not been presented to participants i n the classes i n any systematic way f o r t h e i r v e r i f i c a t i o n . Nor has Lather's guideline of c a t a l y t i c v a l i d i t y been undertaken to document whether the research process led to insight or activism on the part of the participants. Such an e f f o r t was constrained by the emergent design of the research which did not predict s p e c i f i c outcomes, nor plan for a time l i n e to assess such re s u l t s . The time factor i n t h i s research negatively affected a l l the v a l i d i t y tests l i s t e d by Lather, underscoring by ethnographers that s o c i a l research of t h i s type can only be done systematically through a lengthy investment of time. Although Lather's d e f i n i t i o n of c a t a l y t i c v a l i d i t y c a l l s f o r insight or activism on the part of the participants i n research, her d e f i n i t i o n might be broadened to include informants i n the present research such as other professionals and community members with whom the emerging analysis and implications were shared. The re s u l t s of the research have led to insight and changed pedagogical approaches not only on my own part but also on the part of others who were kept advised of i t and who contributed to i t 58 by interviews. Subsequent approaches to teaching and analysis of l o c a l events have been altered by a change i n attitude toward the role of resistance i n i n s t r u c t i o n for native people. One instructor, who was d i r e c t l y involved i n the case study s i t e i n s t r u c t i n g the oral communications course, has now begun a Master's program focusing on resistance theory. 3.1.6. Summary This section has outlined the research approach used i n t h i s i n t e r p r e t i v e case study. A major d i f f i c u l t y i n the research was separating my functions as the teacher from my role as researcher, p a r t i c u l a r l y when the natural response of the "teacher" meant interference with the objective of the "researcher". However, I found that the case study approach produced considerable experientially-grounded "thick" data which was useful i n understanding the phenomena and the context. 3.2. Instructional Approach 3.2.1. Introduction The following section of t h i s chapter describes the in s t r u c t i o n a l approach used i n the case study, documenting the rationale and content of the composition i n s t r u c t i o n 59 and the conditions i n which i t took place. 3.2.2. Rationale and Design of the Composition Instruction Written composition has conventionally been perceived as one of the least successful areas f o r native Indian l i t e r a c y students (see St a i r s , 1990). I f e l t that a fresh look at the methodology of teaching composition f o r t h i s population was warranted i n l i g h t of changes which have taken place i n composition pedagogy i n the past ten years: a movement away from the t r a d i t i o n a l pedagogy focusing on usage, structure and correct form to a more recent emphasis on strategies f o r generating ideas, on recursive thinking, on audience orientations and other cognitive processes of composing. Whereas t r a d i t i o n a l pedagogy was product-oriented, emphasising completed discourse, more innovative approaches are process-oriented, emphasizing the acts of composing (Zamel, 1982, 1983; Raimes, 1985). This movement has greatly influenced writing i n s t r u c t i o n i n mother-tongue (Hillocks, 1986) and English as a second language settings. (Zamel, 1982, 1983; Raimes, 1985). Inspired by these innovations and the sense that native students' past problems with writing may have arisen from unfavoured teaching techniques, I designed an approach to teaching composition which would use both the process- oriented and product-oriented methodologies to c a p i t a l i z e on 60 the learning potential promised i n professional publications (Raimes, 1983; Zamel, 1982). The decision to focus on writing meant excluding i n s t r u c t i o n i n reading, which has been the major focus of most adult l i t e r a c y i n s t r u c t i o n and research to date. This had the advantage, however, of narrowing the scope of the i n s t r u c t i o n to a set of student and teaching behaviours which could be c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d within one pedagogical paradigm. The composition i n s t r u c t i o n was organised to d i s t i n g u i s h the process and product orientations and to make them readi l y apparent to the students. The process orientation was assumed to be a teaching approach which emphasized conceptual and i n t e r a c t i v e elements. Following Raimes (1985) and Zamel (1987) these were defined as: audience awareness; thinking and writing structures; and peer input and response. The product orientation was assumed to be a more text-based approach with an emphasis on the grammar and mechanics of writing. The process-oriented i n s t r u c t i o n was presented i n the f i r s t part of each lesson, followed by a break, then the product-oriented i n s t r u c t i o n was introduced. Students soon referred to the process-oriented i n s t r u c t i o n as "ideas" and to the product-oriented i n s t r u c t i o n as "grammar". It was presumed that to discern how the students would respond to innovative, process-oriented i n s t r u c t i o n , i t would also be necessary to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r responses to more product- oriented lessons within the same classes. 61 Additional features of the i n s t r u c t i o n a l approach were the use of c u l t u r a l l y - o r i e n t e d materials, as suggested by much of the l i t e r a t u r e on i n s t r u c t i o n with native Indian students. Sawyer's (1984) suggestion that contemporary and t r a d i t i o n a l native culture should be at the centre of a l l subjects and a c t i v i t i e s was followed i n a li m i t e d way, for example, by using l o c a l and t r a d i t i o n a l subjects and materials f o r writing assignments. Co-operative learning techniques were also implemented i n both kinds of i n s t r u c t i o n using a va r i e t y of group, small group and dyad arrangements. Individualized assistance and i n s t r u c t i o n were also used i n each approach. Examples of course outlines f o r three of the classes are shown i n Appendices A and B, and a t y p i c a l lesson plan for the t h i r d and fourth weeks fo r the learning centre class appears i n Appendix C. The o r i g i n a l intent was to teach only i n the community campus classroom of the T e r r i t o r i a l college with students who were regularly enrolled i n the upgrading program there, twice a week. This soon expanded to an evening course requested by the Indian Band and to two classes given i n the l o c a l school. In a l l cases, i n s t r u c t i o n took place twice weekly f o r a minimum of one and a half hours each session. The course at the T e r r i t o r i a l college campus learning centre was designed to l a s t six weeks, the evening course for four weeks, and the two school classes f o r three weeks. 62 3.2.3. Instructional Content In the learning centre class, students were i n i t i a l l y expected to produce personal and business l e t t e r s and two paragraphs by the second week and i n the l a t e r weeks to compose various types of paragraphs, eventually f i n i s h i n g with an essay. Product-oriented i n s t r u c t i o n included exercises i n parts of speech, punctuation and c a p i t a l i z a t i o n , sentence structure, s p e l l i n g , and use of the dictionary and thesaurus. These i n i t i a l plans were, however, reduced considerably i n response to student achievement--to the point where paragraph writing was attempted only i n the l a s t week. The evening course was organised i n response to a request by the Band s t a f f f o r business English. A course outline was followed largely as planned, using personal and business l e t t e r s at the beginning of the course, then descriptive and narrative paragraphs followed by a personal writing project. Product-orientations consisted of lessons on the more complex aspects of sentence structure, punctuation, c a p i t a l i s a t i o n , s p e l l i n g , and verb agreement. One school-based class was grade eight to ten, and the other was an "equivalency" class. The students i n each class ranged i n age from 14 to 19. These classes were to produce an autobiographical l e t t e r focusing on several elements of 63 writing. The graded class completed t h i s objective i n two lessons, and the remaining classes were supplemented by paragraph writing. The equivalency class was s t i l l struggling with the l e t t e r at the end of the course. Both classes were given product-oriented exercises based on conventional sentence structures and punctuation as well as errors such as sentence fragments and run-ons. 3.2.4. Instructional Conditions The research was undertaken with the understanding that education i s seldom a small community or in d i v i d u a l p r i o r i t y i n northern Canada. For instance, i t was expected that the scheduling of the classes and the research i n the late spring risked poor attendance, since the coming of bright warm days would bring with i t the desire to be outdoors i n the b r i e f Yukon summer. The students "leave with the ice i n the r i v e r i n May", as one l o c a l educator noted. Previously, l o c a l Yukon college campuses were closed at the end of A p r i l because of t h i s . Other factors a f f e c t i n g attendance were the fac t that other short adult education courses were offered at the same time, that land claims negotiations were beginning to reach a peak i n the community at t h i s time, and that day care f a c i l i t i e s were lacking i n the community, making attendance by women d i f f i c u l t . Conditions promoting attendance at the classes, however, 64 i n c l u d e d e l i g i b i l i t y f o r a t r a i n i n g a l l o w a n c e a t t h e c o l l e g e campus, group p r e s s u r e from p e e r s and t h e campus c o - o r d i n a t o r t o a t t e n d , and s t u d e n t s ' p r i o r e x p e r i e n c e w i t h v i s i t i n g i n s t r u c t o r s i n o t h e r s u b j e c t a r e a s . Moreover, a t t e n d a n c e i n t h e s c h o o l c l a s s e s was o b l i g a t o r y and t h e r e s e a r c h was s u p p o r t e d by t h e s c h o o l p r i n c i p a l as a means of s u p p l e m e n t i n g t h e u s u a l c u r r i c u l u m . Lesson p l a n s f o r t h e l e a r n i n g c e n t r e were approved by t h e l e a r n i n g c e n t r e c o - o r d i n a t o r and f o r t h e s c h o o l by t h e p r i n c i p a l . I o u t l i n e d t h e e v e n i n g c o u r s e i n a m e e t i n g w i t h p o t e n t i a l s t u d e n t s from t h e Band s t a f f and i t met w i t h t h e i r a p p r o v a l . I n a l l c o u r s e s I e x p e c t e d t h a t i n i t i a l shyness and l a c k of p a r t i c i p a t i o n would d i s a p p e a r i n t i m e as s t u d e n t s became more a t ease w i t h me as an i n s t r u c t o r and a p e r s o n . I presumed t h a t I would not have d i f f i c u l t y i n c o n t r o l l i n g t h e e v e n t s of t h e c l a s s r o o m . I n a d u l t e d u c a t o r f a s h i o n I was m o s t l y c o n c e r n e d t h a t I c o u l d respond p o s i t i v e l y t o my s t u d e n t s ' e x p r e s s e d needs. I a c c e p t e d t h a t c o m p o s i t i o n was not an a r e a where many of them had e x p e r i e n c e d s u c c e s s and t h e r e f o r e p l a n n e d t o make t h e c o u r s e s as engaging and r e w a r d i n g as p o s s i b l e . 65 3.2.5. Summary The i n s t r u c t i o n a l approach was based on my previous experiences teaching small native groups i n the Yukon, recent arguments for the value of process-oriented teaching methods in writing i n s t r u c t i o n , and my b e l i e f that adult education should be student-oriented and community-based. Constraints on the teaching included the choice of students, location and the amount of time involved i n the courses, and a syllabus designed to d i s t i n g u i s h product and process-oriented i n s t r u c t i o n a l approaches. With Ryan (1989), I found that actual experience as a teaching participant i n the classroom gave me insights that could not be substituted by other methods of inquiry. 66 CHAPTER IV: THE COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL CONTEXT 4.1. Bear River 4.1.1. Introduction This chapter describes the l o c a l community where the in s t r u c t i o n and research was situated. The f i r s t section explores the history, setting, and the demographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the community that I c a l l "Bear River" i n the Yukon Te r r i t o r y . The educational context of Bear River, e s p e c i a l l y adult education i n the community f o r the present generation, i s examined i n the second section of t h i s chapter. The t h i r d section provides anthropological and s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c accounts of the Athapaskan culture, of which native students i n the present research were members. The purpose of these descriptions i s to account f o r the circumstances into which the i n s t r u c t i o n was introduced so as to understand more f u l l y students' responses to the inst r u c t i o n . Bear River i s t y p i c a l of many small native Yukon communities demographically and physically. It i s nestled at the junction of two r i v e r s i n a trench between two ranges of mountains which r i s e on both sides of the town and overpower i t . Bear River i s diminuitive i n the vast landscape of 67 boreal forest with barren patches and tundra covering the val l e y . One senses the smallness of human settlement in t h i s harsh environment where temperatures can reach as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius. According to one reporter from the Whitehorse Star, Bear River i s an "enigma" which "deserves a better reputation" (July 14, 1989). The residents, the reporter claims, get strange looks and uneasy feelings from others when they say they are from Bear River, a town with "up to 90 per cent unemployment and serious problems with alcohol abuse." She ci t e s deaths by alcohol abuse which include the popular deputy chief who died of hypothermia i n an abandoned building the previous winter, but concludes that Bear River's problems are "balanced by warmth and s p i r i t " . 4.1.2. History of Bear River The impact of outside pressures on Bear River has been overwhelming, from the f i r s t contact with European explorers and traders to today's corporate e x p l o i t a t i o n of r i c h natural resources which are part of native land claims. Nonetheless, the Canada Census (1986) s t a t i s t i c s show that Bear River's population of 355 i s about two-thirds native Indians. F i f t y - f i v e people l i s t t h e i r mother tongue as the l o c a l Athapaskan d i a l e c t or as i t and other languages. 68 This shows some retention of the aboriginal language (since Yukon Indian languages are lar g e l y becoming ex t i n c t ) , but the retention rate probably r e f l e c t s Bear River's r e l a t i v e l y recent and sporadic contact with non-native society. Bostock (1972) writes that the explorer Robert Campbell t r a v e l l e d the area i n 1840 f o r the Hudson's Bay Company. In the following six years two trading posts were established. Both were abandoned within ten years, and f o r almost f i f t y years Indian/white trade was terminated i n the area. The impact, however, of bringing the fur trade to a hunting and gathering native economy had begun. McDonnell (1975) reports that trade began again i n 1899 when Indians from the east moved into the area. According to McDonnell the s h i f t from a hunting and gathering economy to a hunting and trapping economy brought new d e f i n i t i o n s of relationships to the land and a reorganization of s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s including trade. Needs developed to use d i f f e r e n t tools. Manufactured items were only acquired by the exchange f o r furs and a system of debt at the trading post. Animals were k i l l e d which were not used previously; equipment needed was heavier and less easy to transport, necessitating the use of dogs fo r transportation. Travel f o r trapping purposes was thus more r e s t r i c t i v e than f o r hunting. By 1905 the Hudson's Bay post had been bought by Taylor 69 and Drury, and the post was given i t s current name. Bear River became the main supply depot since i t was the furthest point on the r i v e r which could be navigated by steamboat. It became a central location f o r a mixture of Indian peoples from the surrounding areas. There are few recorded sources f o r the early Indian his t o r y of the area but the l e t t e r s of Poole F i e l d (e.g. 1913), a Hudson's Bay factor, are informative. F i e l d found a native population that was constantly nomadic i n the search for food, with small s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t extended family groups of 5 to 15 individuals who displayed a highly complex relationship with the animal world. The old Bear River townsite survives as a f l a t cleared area on the north shore of the larger r i v e r , while the present s i t e occupies the south shore. To serve the few people who l i v e on the north shore there i s a footbridge over the r i v e r which i s a f o c a l point f o r the town year-round. In summer, a cable f e r r y takes vehicles across the r i v e r , and i n winter an ice-bridge connects the two r i v e r banks. Bear River was one of the few settlements of i t s time to survive the decline of the fur trade i n the Yukon which began about 1945, according to McDonnell (1975). McDonnell records a second phase of non-native impact i n the area beginning with the f i r s t v i s i t of a Department of Indian A f f a i r s 70 o f f i c i a l i n 1949. By 1952 a Catholic mission with a resident p r i e s t was established and the children of the area were being schooled i n r e s i d e n t i a l schools i n Whitehorse and Carcross. The early s i x t i e s saw most Indians l i v i n g in the bush i n the winter supplementing summer wage earnings and government subsidies by hunting. 4.1.3. Present Day Bear River In 1986, of the 269 people of employable age reported by Census Canada i n Bear River, 37 (nearly 14%) were receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits as of March 1988. This figure r e f l e c t s the lack of stable employment p o s s i b i l i t i e s . The seasonal hunting, trapping, guiding and mining exploration economy does not employ many people f o r any length of time. According to l o c a l informants, approximately one-third of the Unemployment Insurance recipients receive t r a i n i n g allowances to attend the campus of the l o c a l college. The Yukon T e r r i t o r i a l Government publication Yukon Data Book (1987) states that apart from renewable resources, the economy of Bear River i s based on mining exploration and a small but growing t o u r i s t industry. As with most small Yukon communities many people are employed to serve the others who l i v e there. The one hotel houses the one bar and one of two cafes. The other cafe, when i t i s open, i s run by the Bear 71 River Indian Band who also have one of the two general stores. Government services, as i n a l l part of the Yukon, are generous, with three RCMP o f f i c e r s , a w i l d l i f e o f f i c e r , a health centre with two resident nurses, a s o c i a l worker, a community addictions worker, and a group home f o r children. Much of the l o c a l housing i s suppled and serviced by the Yukon T e r r i t o r i a l Government Housing Corporation with rents geared to income. Other housing has been b u i l t by the l o c a l Indian Band f o r Band members. There i s a d i s t i n c t east-west d i v i s i o n between the native and non-native sections of town, with a through road the d i v i d i n g l i n e . A l l of the services except those run by the Indian Band are i n the non-native section of town on the west, including the Roman Catholic Mission and the other churches. It i s in t e r e s t i n g to note that the Yukon Government's Data Book map of Bear River excludes everything east of the road boundary, although the Indian businesses, the Band's extensive o f f i c e s , an old Band h a l l used for periodic part-time classes or recreation, the college campus, as well as dozens of single-family log houses are located there. On the government map, the area known as the "Indian v i l l a g e " which comprises half the town, does not appear to exist. During the early 1940's a road was b u i l t to accommodate an o i l pipeline from the Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s to Whitehorse 72 to serve American Army troops building the Alaska Highway during the Second World War. The road passed through Bear River. The pipeline was only b r i e f l y i n use and the road i s passable now only i n the summer, providing access to some of the Yukon's most spectacular scenery. Some elders now l i v i n g i n Bear River r e c a l l t h e i r f i r s t encounter with non-native people at the time of the bui l d i n g of t h i s road. Interestingly, they say t h e i r f i r s t view of non-natives was of the American blacks i n the U.S. Army, r e c a l l i n g t h e i r shock at the " d i r t y " faces they encountered. In the 1960's a mining town was b u i l t within 50 kilometres of Bear River bringing to completion a year-round highway connecting the town to the south and west. It was expected that mining would have a great impact on Bear River with an exodus of workers to the new mine. This never occurred. As reported by M i l l e r (1970) t h i s was because the mine never made e f f o r t s to include native people i n i t s employ despite written agreements to do so. The lack of impact of the mine on Bear River can be seen i n the mining of a coal deposit 3 kilometres from town which supplies the mine with energy. It i s mined by a Whitehorse contractor and employs only one l o c a l person. Mining exploration for gold, s i l v e r and tungsten exists i n the area, but any development a c t i v i t y i s done at the s i t e with very l i t t l e reliance on Bear River as a supply centre either f o r goods or labour. The recent closure of a near-by gold mine i n the area i s 73 reported by Bear River residents as having very l i t t l e e f f e c t on t h e i r economy. Bear River i s defined i n the T e r r i t o r i a l Government Data Book as an unorganized community, meaning i t i s administered by the Yukon T e r r i t o r i a l Government fo r l o c a l services. In 1966 a chief and council were created by the Department of Indian A f f a i r s to d i r e c t l y administer l o c a l Indian concerns. According to McDonnell (1975), by the early 1970's the f i r s t chief and council, which consisted of older men who could neither read nor write, were replaced by a more educated leadership with an average age of 25. They were mostly women. This new council involved the Band i n economic development a c t i v i t i e s such as establishing a co-operative store and a sawmill. Now the Council and several committees influence l o c a l decisions even when problems aris e that are not t h e i r d i r e c t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . At the time of t h i s research the major controversy being dealt with was the building by the T e r r i t o r i a l Government of a large covered hockey rink which had not been requested by the l o c a l community. Located behind the school i n the largest brightest-coloured building i n town t h i s unexpected g i f t had been argued over f o r several months. The community was attempting to have other services which they f e l t were more urgently needed placed into the b u i l d i n g s h e l l and the Band Council was playing a very active part i n the f i g h t . 74 4.1.4. Summary The history of the Athapaskan people of Bear River reveals a reliance on white economic control through the trading post i n the early years which today has been transposed to non-native control through government assistance and i n s t i t u t i o n s . The early years of contact which resulted i n many c u l t u r a l , economic and physical changes for l o c a l Athapaskans have been replaced by times which o f f e r a sedentary l i f e s t y l e i n exchange f o r few disruptions to the non-native aspirations i n the area. However, there are recent indications that the people of Bear River neither desire nor anticipate t h i s lack of involvement i n t h e i r own present and future. The setting up of a barricade on the road to a l o c a l t o u r i s t lodge more than once by the Bear River Indian Band Council, i n d i c a t i n g that the land i s claimed by them, i s a physical metaphor fo r the p o l i t i c a l resistance that can be expected as land claims negotiations come closer to a r e a l i t y i n the area. 4.2. The Educational Context 4.2.1. Introduction Tra d i t i o n a l Athapaskan value systems are expressed i n b e l i e f s , the structure of human relations, and ways of 75 communicating. These a l l come together i n the act of education. If there i s Athapaskan resistance to c u l t u r a l synthesis or change, then i t i s no doubt revealed i n modern Canada's educational i n s t i t u t i o n s which i n structure, intent and philosophy so d i r e c t l y contrast with t r a d i t i o n a l Athapaskan ways. This section describes the history of education f o r the native people of Bear River and t h e i r present day education systems. 4.2.2. Educational Background Haig-Brown (1988) examines resistance to the oppression of native language and culture i n her work based on a r e s i d e n t i a l school i n Kamloops, B. C. She d e t a i l s the opposition to rules which produced counter-cultures which s t i l l l i v e i n the memories of the former students she interviewed. Haig-Brown says that not one of the natives she interviewed ever indicated any sense of regret for t h e i r actions, and that they can be viewed as "actions of strong people against a system which degraded and dehumanised" (p.103). Much of the d e t a i l i n Haig-Brown's work could be e a s i l y transferred to any r e s i d e n t i a l school i n the Yukon, according to l o c a l , native sources. Personal communication from o f f i c i a l s i n the Yukon Department of Education and from former r e s i d e n t i a l school students i n Bear River reveals that p r i o r to the building of 76 the school i n 1967 a l l Bear River native students were sent to r e s i d e n t i a l schools or hostels i n communities i n Northern B. C. and southern Yukon three to f i v e hundred kilometres away. This was the case with a l l communities which did not have l o c a l schools. In some cases, children were sent away to school even when there were l o c a l schools, since the Department of Indian A f f a i r s judged some parents as incompetent to keep t h e i r children over long periods of time or the parents were known to trap away from town over the winter months. The r e s i d e n t i a l schools and hostels (from which native children attended regular non-native schools i n the larger community) were run by the Anglican and Catholic Churches, but they were financed by the Department of Indian A f f a i r s . Children were away from home for the ten months of school with occasional v i s i t s home at Christmas. These native students were placed i n large impersonal dormitories, where, Patterson (1972) writes: e f f o r t s were made to erase the effects of t h e i r infancy and childhood experiences. They were sometimes under considerable pressure, including physical punishment, to give up t h e i r customs and r e l i g i o n , and to stop speaking t h e i r mother tongue...The quality of the i n s t r u c t i o n was not high and the l e v e l of t h e i r schooling was "well below" what i t would have been a f t e r the same number of years of schooling i n a school f o r white children (p.134). 77 The r e s i d e n t i a l schools and hostels were not well staffed or supplied. But today, according to a Yukon Government's Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s research paper, Yukon Student P r o f i l e (1988) . the Bear River school has an enviable r a t i o of seven teachers to 87 pupils. It offers classes from kindergarten to grade ten. In the past the school had had many problems with i t s physical structure, a r i s i n g from experimentation with p i l i n g s i n the permafrost ground on which the b u i l d i n g s i t s . But i t i s now a sound and a t t r a c t i v e b u i l d i n g with a large l i b r a r y , gymnasium, science and wood workshop. The school's bright, rounded hallway pleasantly displays student work and pictures of the few l o c a l graduates, who had to attend grades eleven and twelve i n other communities. This school makes some attempt to recognize the l o c a l Indian culture. A native woman i s employed by the Indian Band as the Community Education Liaison Co-Ordinator (CELC), a kind of native counsellor working in the school and the Band o f f i c e . Although not o r i g i n a l l y from the community, the CELC has been active i n native education f o r many years there, and she i s known for her emotional strength and for being " r a d i c a l " . Most Yukon schools have t h i s position, which does not require t r a i n i n g , and i s dependent on the school p r i n c i p a l and Indian Band fo r d e f i n i t i o n . Local sources complained that the position's function often 78 deteriorates into serving only as a truant o f f i c e r rather than dealing e f f e c t i v e l y with larger c r o s s - c u l t u r a l or educational issues. The Yukon Native Language Centre i n Whitehorse under the di r e c t i o n of one l i n g u i s t has worked fo r many years to record and salvage the seven d i s t i n c t Athapaskan d i a l e c t s i n the Yukon, but has only recently been able to work i n the l o c a l language. Now a resident l i n g u i s t i s on contract to continue work i n Bear River, and he i s t r a i n i n g a native woman to teach the language i n the school. Native language i s taught a minimal amount each day, i n competition with French, i n the lowest grades. The native language teachers have been trained over several years i n the Yukon and are now c e r t i f i e d by a program through Yukon College, the only c e r t i f i c a t i o n and s p e c i a l i z e d t r a i n i n g available f o r aboriginal language teachers i n Alaska or northern Canada. 4.2.3. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Education The Indian Band, i n concert with a l l other Indian Bands and the Council f o r Yukon Indians, has complained f o r many years that the native Indian dropout rate from school i s completely unacceptable. No e t h n i c i t y s t a t i s t i c s have been available from the Department of Education u n t i l very recently, and these have to be read c a r e f u l l y to reveal the true s i t u a t i o n . 79 The research paper Yukon Student P r o f i l e (1988) states that the number of native students i s i n proportion to i t s percentage of the population. The Indian population of the Yukon i s 21.3% of the whole population. A t o t a l of 23.6% native students enrolled i n Yukon schools i n 1988. S t a t i s t i c s of numbers of children per family by e t h n i c i t y are not available. Since native families appear to have more children per family than non-natives, a higher percentage of native children i n school would also be expected, so that t h i s s t a t i s t i c may not a c t u a l l y r e f l e c t the native retention rates i n school. In Bear River, out of an enrollment of 87 in 1988, 58 were native, exactly two-thirds of the school population (Yukon Government, 1988). Unfortunately, e t h n i c i t y i s not reported by grade, nor has i t been done over a period of years, so that a native dropout rate cannot be calculated. However, of relevance to the issue of native retention i n school are the s t a t i s t i c s f o r the whole of the Yukon f o r student enrollment by grade and e t h n i c i t y f o r 1988. Assuming a f a i r l y steady proportion of native students over a period of years, comparing the s t a t i s t i c s f o r grades one and twelve f o r the Yukon i s int e r e s t i n g . For the whole of the Yukon i n 1988, native students were 34.3% of the grade one population. Grade twelve of the same year shows 21.3% native population. A further complication of these s t a t i s t i c s arises i n the 80 d e f i n i t i o n of grades. There i s no ind i c a t i o n of how many of the senior grade population i s i n what i s c a l l e d a "modified program" or a non-academic stream, where many native students are enrolled. As reported by the Canada Census 1986, the percentage of Yukon registered Indians with at lea s t high school education i s 26.5, which compares to a general Yukon population percentage f o r the same category of 66.5, the highest i n Canada. A clearer picture of the native student enrollment can be seen i n the s t a t i s t i c s for the "equivalency program". This i s a specially-designed school program f o r students at r i s k , designed along the l i n e s of adult basic education, but with a work component. Upon completion of the equivalency program students are expected to move back into the regular system. Not many do. Across the Yukon, of 51 equivalency students, 36, or 70.5% were native i n 1988, over double t h e i r proportional representation of the general population. In the "special education" category, numbers are small, but 60% were native students. In Bear River i n 1988, there were 27 students i n the junior grades (grades 8 to 10). Assuming that two-thirds of these are native, 13 of them should be native, since an additional 5 students, a l l native, were i n the equivalency program covering grades 8 to 10. However, i n June of 1989, only two native students from Bear River graduated from high 81 school. 4.2.4. Educational Settings The equivalency program i n Bear River i s situated apart from the school, i n one room of the " w i l d l i f e building", a log warehouse that has been converted by the T e r r i t o r i a l Government to accommodate the w i l d l i f e o f f i c e r , the s o c i a l worker, the addictions worker and the equivalency program. The one large room i s well-equipped and bright, with a shared washroom down the h a l l . Students (native and non-native) i n Bear River who drop out of the regular school system, including those who drop out of the equivalency program, have an adult basic education upgrading system to turn to, offered by the l o c a l college campus. Training allowances are paid f o r f u l l - t i m e attendance at the adult learning centre. Opinions d i f f e r on whether t h i s draws students away from the regular school system or not, o f f e r i n g a kind of al t e r n a t i v e high school with pay. The learning centre has been i n operation i n Bear River since the late 1970's and has been located i n a mobile unit without running water i n the area east of the main road i n Bear River known as the Indian v i l l a g e . The narrow, long unit has three small rooms apart from the washroom which has 82 now been converted to a curriculum storeroom. One room at one end i s the instructor's o f f i c e , crammed with additional curriculum, a desk and a computer. The larger middle room i s a classroom, with small tables bunched into the centre, surrounded by a dozen chairs, video equipment, a photocopier, and a chalkboard. It i s extremely uncomfortable to move around i n since the tables are located i n the centre of such a narrow space. Windows extend along one length of t h i s room, and the door opens to the outside d i r e c t l y , making for very cold inside temperatures every time someone opens the door i n the cold weather. The t h i r d room at the opposite end of the unit from the o f f i c e houses the class computer and counselling information. The classroom i s kept i n a general state of disarray; the walls are covered with accumulated notices, l i s t s , posters and calendars from the months gone by- 4.2.5. Adult Education Personnel and Curricula The learning centre ins t r u c t o r or "Community Campus Co- ordinator" i s responsible f o r i n s t r u c t i n g and counselling a l l students from basic l i t e r a c y to college preparation (grade twelve equivalency). She i s also c a l l e d upon fo r organizing (and sometimes f o r teaching) evening courses i n various continuing education offerings from accounting, computer l i t e r a c y and typing to basic home repair and f i r s t aid. The small campus had 13 f u l l time upgrading students over the 83 winter of 1988-89, half of whom had l e f t by the time of t h i s research. As well, several evening courses were offered over the winter months, including accounting and computer l i t e r a c y . The campus co-ordinator i s a Metis woman from the northern part of another region of Canada who taught f o r several years i n her home province and who has a degree i n education. One of her daughters was a f u l l - t i m e student at the centre. Dolly's perpetual energy and commitment to native education i s exceptional, and despite a somewhat cool reception at f i r s t i n Bear River because she i s not l o c a l , she retains a healthy optimism tinged with pragmatism. She was a continuing support for a l l the d e t a i l s of organizing and sustaining t h i s research. The l o c a l college offers band management t r a i n i n g i n several modules, delivered i n the small communities. One of these modules, oral communications, was taught over the period of t h i s research. A man contracted by the college t r a v e l l e d to Bear River from Whitehorse three times to present 3-day workshops each v i s i t . Although designed to a s s i s t Band s t a f f i n t h e i r regular administrative problems, the t r a i n i n g was open to the community, and students from the learning centre attended some of these workshops, leaving the writing course at those times. At the same time, a basic home repair course was also being offered, housed i n a mobile 84 unit that t r a v e l s to several communities throughout the Yukon over the winter months, remaining i n each spot f o r a few weeks. One of several l o c a l committees active i n Bear River i s the Yukon Campus Advisory Committee, which i s representative of the l o c a l educational and business interests and the Indian Band. This committee has the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r administering a small continuing education budget f o r short- term courses, and i t acts i n an advisory capacity f o r a l l adult education i n the community. At the time of the research, a proposal was being made to the Indian band and to the Advisory committee for a program to t r a i n a paid l i t e r a c y worker through the college since the upgrading available i n the learning centre did not accommodate low-level l i t e r a c y students. There i s no written source of information on the history of learning centres i n the Yukon. O f f i c i a l s of the Department of Education i n Whitehorse reported that before the establishment of the learning centre i n Bear River, the only adult education available was an adult upgrading system c a l l e d BLADE, adopted without change from the Saskatchewan Newstart program, fo r two or three years i n the early 1970's across the T e r r i t o r y . The program was discontinued i n the mid-1970's a f t e r an evaluation conducted by the Department of Education which had been cl e a r on i t s disapproval of the 85 program. Before and a f t e r the BLADE system, i t was necessary fo r adult students to move to Whitehorse to attend the Yukon Vocational Technical Training Centre f o r upgrading and s k i l l t r a i n i n g u n t i l Yukon College established the community learning centres i n the early 1980's. It was apparently unusual to use the school f a c i l i t i e s f o r night courses, although there appeared to be a general lack of space for such offerings. When approached about the present research, the school p r i n c i p a l was enthusiastic and very supportive of a class being put on i n the school. According to the learning centre co-ordinator, habit and lack of f e e l i n g comfortable i n school surroundings had tended to dictate where continuing education took place. Despite the many examples of adult education now offered in Bear River, attendance has been very low. It was reported by the learning centre co-ordinator that there was i n i t i a l enthusiasm and insistence on having courses, but some courses simply ended early due to lack of attendance, or struggled along with one or two students. Cost per student completion can be assumed to be very high. 4.2.6. Literacy i n Bear River Census Canada defines i l l i t e r a c y as those people over 15 years of age, not i n an educational i n s t i t u t i o n , having less 86 than 9 years of schooling. In Bear River, the 1986 Census reports that out of 245 adults, 85 stated they have less than 9 years of schooling. This i s a functional i l l i t e r a c y rate of 34.6%, seemingly about average fo r Yukon registered Indians. Of t h i s number, 58.8% are female. A further 80 adults i d e n t i f i e d themselves i n the census as having grade 9- 13 with no c e r t i f i c a t e , t o t a l l i n g 67.3% of the adult population without high school graduation. These numbers are not related to et h n i c i t y . It i s safe to assume that since many of the adult non-natives i n Bear River hold professional or business positions, the percentage of native i l l i t e r a c y i s considerably higher than f o r non-natives. It i s also safe to assume that many respondents would exaggerate t h e i r actual schooling, saying, f o r example, that they had acquired a grade when they had dropped out of school i n that year. The functional i l l i t e r a c y rate amongst native people i n Bear River, then, may be above 50%, a number which we are accustomed to associate more with Third World countries than Canada. 4.2.7. Summary Local native informants i n Bear River expressed a strong inte r e s t i n a l l aspects of education, coupled with a firm b e l i e f that education would bring economic benefits to ind i v i d u a l s and the Indian Band as a whole. However, t h i s motivation did not appear to support native people 87 s u f f i c i e n t l y to create f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the education avail a b l e to them i n Bear River. 4.3. The Cultural Context 4.3.1. Introduction Although the amount of anthropological research on Athapaskans i n the Yukon i s not great, a constant focus of concern has been the impact of the extremely d i f f e r e n t non- native society on Athapaskan material culture as well as on t h e i r value systems. The impact continues today, suggesting that interethnic experiences, e s p e c i a l l y those i n educational i n s t i t u t i o n s , may l o g i c a l l y lead to resistance to c u l t u r a l change by the people of Bear River. 4.3.2. Anthropological Background Honigmann (1949, 1954), McDonnell (1975), Crowe (1974), Nelson (1973), Brody (1987), Cruikshank (1988) and others reveal that p r i o r to the beginning of v i l l a g e l i f e through the establishment of trading posts and other non-Athapaskan i n s t i t u t i o n s , the aboriginal people of the Canadian north had developed s o c i a l structures which were highly responsive to t h e i r subsistence, survival economy. Small, nomadic, extended family groups e f f i c i e n t l y hunted and gathered food throughout the seasons, adapting to the subarctic 88 environment. Elders proffered knowledge necessary to survival which could only be acquired over long years of experience i n the wild, while young and middle-aged adults a c t i v e l y provided food and care f o r the young and old. Children were taught to become a working part of t h i s mobile unit. Honigmann, McDonnell, Brody and Cruikshank discuss Athapaskan v i s i o n quests. They show that assistance to survive was given to Athapaskans from contact with a non- material realm which, through mediation and intervention by animals and other natural phenomena, allowed individuals to acquire power which gave them special a b i l i t i e s . It was understood that everyone had the potential to transcend the s t r i c t u r e s of circumstances and that a b i l i t y was simply a matter of the degree of power acquired. For men, a b i l i t i e s were given by intervention, while f o r women, they were slowly accumulated over time. This world-view contributed to a strong sense of personal autonomy among t r a d i t i o n a l Athapaskans; success was interpreted as a function of personal power given from outside the person, not of one's re l a t i o n s h i p to others. Dependence on others who may have more power i n ce r t a i n areas was natural. Sharing of the rewards of power, f o r instance, the sharing of meat from a successful hunt, was expected and no special status f o r the giver or receiver resulted 89 (McDonnell, 1975; Nelson, 1973). Cruikshank (1988) reports that the ac q u i s i t i o n of special p r i v i l e g e d knowledge f o r men came through the assistance of s p e c i f i c other-world beings (animal-people) accompanied sometimes by extreme, unorthodox behaviour which i n normal times would not be accepted. The person was understood not to be aware of his unacceptable behaviour, so no shame or g u i l t was attached to his actions, for which he was not responsible. It was a struggle with the animal- people, and i f the person did not succeed i n the struggle, he would simply die. Men and women l i v e d complementary l i v e s , with women responsible f o r the more sedentary camp l i f e of gathering, cooking, the care of children and sewing clothing, and the men f o r the provision of the raw materials f o r t h e i r l i v e s . Both were able to perform the other's duties. D i v i s i o n of labour by gender was not s t r i c t l y reinforced, but a pragmatic view of labour prevailed. Descent i n the two moieties, eithe r Wolf or Crow, was m a t r i l i n e a l . As reported by Cruikshank (1988) and McDonnell (1975), men r e l i e d on outside intervention and assistance with power to exploit the land, while women used empirically-based knowledge to control t h e i r day-to-day l i v e s . The power of males was dominating and po t e n t i a l l y dangerous, while that of females was protective and h e l p f u l . The attitude to males was one of deference, to 90 females, t r u s t and f a m i l i a r i t y . Women were i n c l i n e d to co- operate i n t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s , while men were more competitive. From a once strong p o s i t i o n of autonomy and balance i n society, Athapaskans have been subjected to major forces reducing control of t h e i r l i v e s i n a b r i e f space of c u l t u r a l time. Europeans encountered what amounted to a Stone Age culture i n the Nineteenth Century Yukon, and i n a few generations the impact of i n d u s t r i a l society can r e a d i l y be seen i n a l l Athapaskan communities. Most scholars suggest that the natural pragmatism and adaptability of the Athapaskans have been both an asset and a detriment to t h e i r s u r v i v a l i n our modern world. Embracing trapping as a way of economic l i f e brought access to the tools which made l i f e easier, but which also demanded that a lone trapper l i v e f o r weeks without family support since the extended family group was no longer necessary, and even somewhat of a handicap to mobility. Later, even p a r t i a l dependence on a wage economy and universal government supports such as Family Allowances and Old Age Pensions brought a more sedentary l i f e i n established communities which further reduced i n d i v i d u a l control over day-to-day l i f e (McDonnell, 1975; M i l l e r , 1970). Attendance at schools, p a r t i c u l a r l y r e s i d e n t i a l schools, completely separated the young from understanding t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l way of l i f e (Patterson, 1972; Haig-Brown, 1989). 91 In discussing aboriginal contact with non-Athapaskan l i f e , McDonnell (1975) states that present-day developments are: unprecedented and cannot e n t i r e l y be viewed as derivative of a previous way of thinking about and int e r p r e t i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . Nor can the past be ignored. It s t i l l intrudes i n the understanding and organization of current a f f a i r s (p.14). T r a d i t i o n a l Athapaskan l i f e and b e l i e f s were so extremely d i f f e r e n t from that of the impacting European culture that new ways of su r v i v a l and thinking were demanded. However, the past i s not e n t i r e l y gone because of t h i s and an understanding of how i t intrudes on the present Athapaskan way of l i f e i s important. Patterson (1972) states that: The twin poles of t o t a l assimilation and t o t a l maintenance of indigenous culture i n a contact s i t u a t i o n represent t h e o r e t i c a l alternatives which are never r e a l i z e d . Between them l i e s the range of what actu a l l y occurs and what i s r e a l l y a t h i r d a l t e r n a t i v e : c u l t u r a l adjustment and/or synthesis. This can vary i n many degrees along the spectrum between the imaginary poles...from the contact of the 92 two cultures the Indians developed something which was new and unique and was neither Western nor t r a d i t i o n a l but contained i n a new form elements of each...This synthesis becomes part of the d e f i n i t i o n of the culture and thus continues along with whatever changes are occurring i n the majority culture (p.169-170). Athapaskan c u l t u r a l patterns today are i n various stages of adjustment or synthesis 'epending on the community and the ind i v i d u a l . In McDonnell's words, they are "bifarious" (1975, p.22), or following both the path of t r a d i t i o n and of a new v i s i o n . He finds the t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t u r a l threads also somewhat obscure because of c u l t u r a l synthesis occurring at di f f e r e n t rates. 4.3.3. S o c i o l i n g u i s t i c Background According to Scollon and Scollon (1981), much influence from the older c u l t u r a l perspectives appears i n modern language use among Athapaskans. Scollon and Scollon's analyses of discourse styles of Northern Athapaskans f i n d contrasts with English i n the areas of the presentation of se l f and the d i s t r i b u t i o n of talk, amongst other differences. In the presentation of s e l f , Scollon and Scollon argue that the high degree of'respect.for the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of others and a careful guarding of one's own i n d i v i d u a l i t y leads to conversation being threatening because of the p o s s i b i l i t y of 93 a negotiated change of point of view. The Athapaskan w i l l wait u n t i l views are known before open discussion takes place (Scollon and Scollon, 1981, p.15). For instance, McDonnell (1975) observes that: a person who proposed something that was generally- thought to be questionable, unwise or unsuitable was not apparently received with a straight out verbal negation--if anything his proposal was received with silence (p.310). Scollon and Scollon also discuss the power relationships between people as being a source of c o n f l i c t between Athapaskans and English speakers. In one example (1981, p. 17) they show that the dominating r e l a t i o n s h i p between teacher and c h i l d i n Athapaskan culture requires the Athapaskan c h i l d to l i s t e n while the English teacher speaks. Yet the English-speaking teacher demands response from the c h i l d to display knowledge which i n the Athapaskan view has not yet been f u l l y acquired. A further example of language c o n f l i c t i s found i n the display of a b i l i t y . The Athapaskan speaker believes i t i s bad luck to show off a b i l i t i e s while the English speaker l i k e s to "put his best foot forward". In discussing d i s t r i b u t i o n of talk, Scollon and Scollon say that Athapaskan speakers pause just s l i g h t l y longer between turns i n conversation while English speakers continue 94 r e l a t i v e l y quickly (1981, p.31) with the r e s u l t that most of the conversation i s dominated by the English speaker. Departure formulas also d i f f e r , with the Athapaskan being ca r e f u l of courting bad luck, and not r e f e r r i n g to a future meeting. Scollon and Scollon say that t a l k i s d i s t r i b u t e d between English speakers and Athapaskans so that: the English speaker i s favored as f i r s t speaker, as c o n t r o l l e r of topic, as p r i n c i p a l speaker, and yet i n the end he may not have any conclusive idea of what went on. For the Athapaskan speaker i t i s d i f f i c u l t to get the f l o o r , to bring the conversation around to his own topic, and i n the end to f e e l he has had much ef f e c t on the outcome (1981, p.27-28). Scollon and Scollon further observe that the Athapaskan structure of information and organization of content d i f f e r from that of English and that adoption of the discourse patterns of the essayist s t y l e of writing, perceived to be those of the English speaker, are seen by the Athapaskan as a change i n et h n i c i t y . They suggest that: i t i s t h i s i n t e r n a l c o n f l i c t that explains much of the problem of native l i t e r a c y programs as well as problems with English l i t e r a c y i n the public school 95 systems of Alaska and Canada (1981, p.53). In the t r a d i t i o n a l society of Athapaskans the primary ways to acquire knowledge, apart from the special intervention of animal-people, were by observation as a c h i l d , personal experience, and stories of the experiences of others. The work of Yukon anthropologist Cruikshank (1988) t e l l s of the l i n k between personal experience, s t o r i e s , and knowledge, and of passing that knowledge along. One of her informants, Mrs. Ned, says: "...We only want to t a l k about important things." By "important things" she i s r e f e r r i n g to the songs, the st o r i e s , the genealogies and the place names that constitute the frame of reference f o r her l i f e , the knowledge she wants to pass on to i n s t r u c t young people. "We have to get the words r i g h t , " she assures me over and over again. "Old time words are just l i k e school." (1988, p.207) Past experience, sometimes handed down for several generations, r e c a l l e d through o r a l narrative, was (and i s ) the means by which the Athapaskan narrator uses acquired knowledge to i n s t r u c t other people about how to deal with problems i n the present. Scollon and Scollon expand on t h i s , s t a t i n g that the Athapaskan view of the strongly autonomous 96 i n d i v i d u a l : tends to r e j e c t expertise that other individuals may have unless one can see a way to incorporate that knowledge into his own knowledge structures (1981, p. 101). The shared experience of narration requires that knowledge must be contextual!zed i n the experience of the l i s t e n e r , and passed on i n such a way that i t minimizes the threat to i n d i v i d u a l autonomy and f l e x i b i l i t y . Oral narrative changes to s u i t the circumstance and the l i s t e n e r , and Cruikshank (1988) warns that: well-intentioned but u n c r i t i c a l use of oral t r a d i t i o n s from one culture as though they are equivalent to h i s t o r i c a l evidence as defined by another culture, may lead to misrepresentation of more complex messages in narrative. Attempts to s i f t o r a l accounts for so- c a l l e d "facts" may, i r o n i c a l l y , underestimate the value of spoken testimonies by s e t t i n g p o s i t i v i s t i c c r i t e r i a f o r assessing t r u t h value or d i s t o r t i o n s (P-198). The i n d i r e c t , opaque lessons of oral t r a d i t i o n r e f l e c t the l i v e s of t r a d i t i o n a l Athapaskans. According to Brody (1987), there are no r i t e s of passage among the hunting 97 peoples of the Canadian north, and individuals grow at t h e i r own pace: Social and personal l i f e i s informal and improvisational; individuals follow t h e i r own t r a i l s . The culture and land impose t h e i r d i s c i p l i n e s from within, e s t a b l i s h i n g both consciousness and l i m i t s that are shared as knowledge and experienced as laws. The force and i n e v i t a b i l i t y of these do not seem to require codes, i n s t i t u t i o n s or organised ceremonies (P. 143). Any r i t e s of passage found amongst these peoples, Brody says, are a function of s o c i a l structures found i n more or less permanent communities which require organised ways of affirming and enforcing law. 4.3.4. Summary The relevant anthropological and s o c i o l i n g u i s t i c l i t e r a t u r e suggest that i t was not only the material Athapaskan culture that was altered d r a s t i c a l l y and i r r e v e r s i b l y by contact with non-Athapaskan society. Ancient values were also dramatically confronted. However, resistance to t h i s c u l t u r a l change, according to Patterson (1972), i s the basis of the s u r v i v a l and present r e - b i r t h of Indian ways across Canada. 98 CHAPTER V FINDINGS 5.1. The Classroom Context f o r Resistance This chapter reports the findings of the research. It begins with general findings from the composition i n s t r u c t i o n implemented i n the case study. This i s followed by selected findings f o r each of the three categories of student behaviours mentioned: i n d i v i d u a l , group, and l i t e r a t e and scholarly behaviours. Selection of these data was made to be representative of each category of behaviour. The question researched i n the case study was: how did native ESL l i t e r a c y students i n the p a r t i c u l a r context respond to innovative composition pedagogy? The major response to both types of i n s t r u c t i o n provided was resistance behaviours as defined i n the descriptive paradigm presented previously. Most of the resistance reported here occurred consistently enough to be predictable i n p a r t i c u l a r circumstances. 5.1.1. General Findings L i t t l e information was forthcoming i n the students' journals about t h e i r preferences f o r composition 99 i n s t r u c t i o n a l approaches. However, l a t e r analysis of the responses that were given and observations from my own journal revealed that the students much preferred the product-oriented approach over the process-oriented one. The general consensus by students' own admission was that t h i s approach was favoured because i t was less challenging. The major, general f i n d i n g of t h i s research was that my r e l a t i o n s h i p with the students did not grow p o s i t i v e l y . Rather, the students v i s i b l y r e s i s t e d most of my e f f o r t s to teach composition. Although one student t o l d me p r i v a t e l y " i t ' s a good thing we l i k e you", most displayed antipathy to the classroom events i f not to me personally at some time during the research. I began to experience d i f f i c u l t y c o n t r o l l i n g i n s t r u c t i o n and at times planned i n s t r u c t i o n could not be implemented due to lack of student co-operation. Individual needs were seldom expressed or apparent, and most students did not show an i n t e r e s t i n integrating writing into t h e i r l i v e s beyond what was minimally required of them i n the classroom. The syllabus used i n the case study depended heavily on co-operation f o r success. I based my teaching on the premise the accommodation by both students and teacher allows f o r learning p o t e n t i a l . The opposite s i t u a t i o n was one where I believed l i t t l e learning was possible. In t h i s framework, my r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was to present lessons which were as 100 responsive as possible through changes i n methods and materials to meet what I saw as student preferences and needs. The "treatment" to a l l e v i a t e the learning d e f i c i t could not be forced; i t had to be accepted to be learned. From t h i s perspective, the ultimate choice to accomplish the objective of learning was with the student and was determined by the student's a b i l i t y or willingness to co-operate with the events of the lesson. The students' perspective on the learning s i t u a t i o n apparently d i f f e r e d from t h i s . They no doubt saw that the teaching events were planned and presented with minimal room fo r a l t e r a t i o n and only as I chose to change the lesson i n responding to circumstances that I saw as important or when I requested student opinion. Despite consultation with students, the expectation was that students would be e s s e n t i a l l y passive beings within s t r i c t parameters, l e f t with choices of action that ranged only from co-operation to opposition to events outside of t h e i r control. Each partner i n the process of in s t r u c t i o n , student and teacher, had power that was lim i t e d by the co-operation or lack of co-operation of the other party. There seemed to be an unspoken commitment to t h i s power arrangement which was generally accepted. When control did not appear to be a concern, the re s u l t was co-operative action on both sides which I believed led to possible learning. But when t h i s 101 balance of power was abandoned (by either side), a struggle resulted which meant l i t t l e possible learning. 5.1.2. Individual Resistance Behaviour: Communication Individuals' acts of communication, whether verbal or written, were often the focus of what I termed resistance behaviour. Both written and verbal communication were at times withheld altogether f o r no apparent reason, or were used aggressively i n a l l the learning situations i n Bear River. One example of withdrawal of communication appeared with Lisa, a student i n the learning centre. L i s a was often withdrawn and petulant. She was eight months' pregnant with her f i r s t c h i l d and I was t o l d by the other students several times that she was temperamental due to her pregnancy and they showed no intolerance of her.lack of communication which was interspersed with bursts of anger. On most occasions L i s a sat through the lesson with her head on her arms on the table, emerging b r i e f l y only when there was no other a l t e r n a t i v e . I recorded one of Lisa's reactions to my questions while i n class as follows: E: L i s a , who i s doing the action i n t h i s sentence? L: E: Is Hal the one who wore the sh i r t ? 102 L: E: Hal i s the subject, right? L: Dunno. Dora, another student at the learning centre, displayed aggressive communication i n every class she attended. She was a cousin to the young man who had died of hypothermia e a r l i e r i n the year and she had received medical attention f o r problems such as sleeplessness r e s u l t i n g from her g r i e f . She showed obvious signs of abuse of alcohol and was having a tumultuous a f f a i r with a l o c a l young man which was also a f f e c t i n g her emotionally. My journal records a t y p i c a l event with t h i s student: When I arrived, Dora was at the computer, playing a game. She just ignored me when I asked her i f she was there f o r the writing class, but f i n a l l y said no. I asked her i f she intended to quit. No answer. I kept prodding her, asking her i f Dolly had made her come to the writing class when she didn't want to. Nothing but grunts and swearing i n reply. - F i n a l l y , somehow, I talked her into t r y i n g the class f o r today to see i f i t was any good, saying she could quit a f t e r that i f she wanted to. L i s a arrived, and appeared i n a f a i r l y good mood u n t i l she read Dora's mood. She withdrew completely again, head i n her arms, no r e p l i e s to my questions, while Dora continued swearing and pushing 103 papers around on the table. I t was a l l so extreme and s i l l y that i t seemed r e l a t i v e l y easy to ignore t h e i r actions and simply continue b l i n d l y on teaching. While i n t h i s class, I t r i e d to record what was communicated by Dora: E: Dora, can you give me an example of a noun? D: -- — E: How about a verb? D: (muffled)-run- E: Right! D: Shit! ( s h u f f l i n g of books on tne table) At the end of t h i s class, ,1 suggested to Dora that she might want to get her problems off her chest by writing i n her journal about them. Since I had not shown that I recognized that there was a problem p r i o r to t h i s i n the class, she seemed surprised, and i n a move which was meant not to communicate, but did, she said i n her journal: I'm not i n the mood to t a l k about my personal problem with anyone. It's between me and someone else. This i s getting boring f o r me. I guess I get t i r e d of i t because I've been doing t h i s l a s t year I'm getting t i r e d of doing these s t u f f over and over. 104 The communication problems with both L i s a and Dora i l l u s t r a t e d that there was a seemingly uncrossable l i n e which defined the extent of t h e i r resistance, s e t t i n g a kind of "bottom l i n e " . Neither appeared to want to carry t h e i r action to i t s l o g i c a l conclusion by leaving the class no matter how t r y i n g t h e i r presence was to both of us. Lack of other students' communication either by interference or assistance was often noted when active resistance was being displayed by one student alone. A high degree of tolerance by other students of even extremely disruptive behaviour seemed to indicate that a more involved approach by them would not be acceptable. The other students would generally look away or work d i l i g e n t l y at something. Some small indications of annoyance would appear such as the escalation of the number of protests to me from the others about work, but communication was minimal from the group i f an i n d i v i d u a l student were r e s i s t i n g . The focus of attention of the group was never on the disrupting student. On three occasions I had the opportunity to teach one student alone, twice at the learning centre and once i n the equivalency class when only one student appeared f o r class. In a l l cases the students were communicative, attentive and contributing. In the learning centre when I taught her alone, L i s a responded i n t e l l i g e n t l y and c l e a r l y to my questions, was a l e r t , and seemed to be " f i n a l l y learning" as 105 I said i n my journal. In the equivalency class, Nick was once the only student to come and he was anxious to prove to me how much he could do. He showed me that he knew much more than he had displayed i n previous work i n the class. My journal records that he "has a good sense of humour which I hadn't rea l i z e d , and we both had a good time." This did not continue i n the following class where Nick was his usual unobtrusive (and unworking) s e l f . The Athapaskan-dominated classes were a d i r e c t contrast to the grade eight to ten class i n communication patterns both of which I saw as displaying resistance. Resistance i n the l a t t e r was a cacophony of chatter meeting any undesirable request or event, whereas i n the classes with a majority of Athapaskans resistance i n communication patterns was unusually lengthy silences. The learning centre and equivalency classes very seldom responded or contributed an idea when requested, such as: "Who can answer t h i s ? " or "Does anyone have anything to add to that?" The usual response was silence. A great deal of pressure was needed to produce any response and the preferred choice was not to take part at a l l even when the answer was known. At no time did I witness a comment directed from one student to another when i t was to do with the lesson, except i n the grade eight to ten class which was mainly non-Athapaskan. Neither was I aware of any "cheating" by, helping each other with answers i n the Athapaskan classes. 106 The lack of communication and i n some cases, complete silence of some students e f f e c t i v e l y masked t h e i r academic a b i l i t i e s , p e r s o n a l i t i e s and feelings, giving me a distorted view. P a r t i c u l a r l y i n the equivalency class, i t was necessary f o r me to review my assessment of students I thought of as shy or withdrawn because of s i l e n t reactions. Further experience with them, e s p e c i a l l y i f i t were personal and alone, indicated more confidence and a b i l i t y than I had i n i t i a l l y suspected. I based i n i t i a l assessment and further evaluation on the give-and-take of communication i n the classroom. Individual l e v e l s of l i t e r a c y were not easy to determine because of the lack of o r a l and written communication and resistance to producing work. For instance i n the learning centre, Dora, (who said i n her journal that she was bored with what we were doing because she had done the work before and she was "getting t i r e d of doing these st u f f over and over") never showed i n the other writing that she produced or i n her oral responses that her a b i l i t i e s were beyond the work assigned. In the learning centre, I once requested assistance from the co-ordinator to communicate to the students what she and I f e l t was t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r learning. It was responded to very well at the next lesson. Along with a high l e v e l of potential learning indicators, I recorded i n my 107 journal: Dolly must have done a great job on these students!...they a c t u a l l y responded, co-operated, smiled, and learned today. The exercise included group peer response, but i t soon became apparent that they were displaying t h e i r work only to me. They would not c r i t i c i z e each other's work when asked or contribute to the writing on the board. The exchange r e s u l t i n g from the work was only between me and the one student at the board, although attempts were made to have the other students discuss the composition. Communication seemed d i f f i c u l t even under these p o s i t i v e circumstances. 5.1.3. Group Resistance Behaviour: Pressures and R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s Yvonne was a former r e s i d e n t i a l school student who had received a l l her formal schooling away from home. As the one evening class student, she said i n her journal that she was: not a very good person to work with i n a group, because I've always got t h i s f e e l i n g of not wanting to r i d i c u l e my work, from childhood days, I guess--always taking a chair i n the back row. 108 Yvonne expressed a common fear of exposing herself to r i d i c u l e and embarrassment by being c a l l e d upon to make a contribution to the group as a whole. Group development and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s stressed i n most adult education; peer group input and group response are important aspects of the process-oriented approach to writing i n s t r u c t i o n . Although group discussions were attempted regularly, they were generally unsuccessful i n r a i s i n g involvement i n the i n s t r u c t i o n except with the grade eight to ten class. I expected the l a t t e r would have the most experience working as a group, and the non-Athapaskans would be f a i r l y sophisticated i n t h e i r responses to group techniques such as brainstorming and peer response, enjoying the group action. The two native boys i n t h i s class, however, contributed l i t t l e or nothing, even when c a l l e d upon d i r e c t l y . One of these boys would sometimes j o i n i n the crowd when rampant joking was taking place, but he was generally ignored by the others when he did t h i s . Tony, the other, was not shy, appearing self-confident and simply choosing not to take part i n the general joking. Pairing seemed less threatening than group work, whether i t was with a teacher/student or student/student combination. It was the one r e l i a b l e method which c l e a r l y resulted i n accommodation behaviour and a high l e v e l of poten t i a l learning indicators. 109 Students "voting with t h e i r feet" by being unpunctual or not attending was one of the greatest problems experienced with the teaching i n Bear River. Most absences probably arose by i n d i v i d u a l choice, but the problem was so universal that I chose to c a l l i t a group response since p a r t i c u l a r incidents were sometimes shared by a l l students i n the class, and absenteeism was c a r r i e d out by nearly everyone at one time or another. i The least expected example of absenteeism was with the evening class which was organised i n response to the interest shown i n i t by the Indian Band o f f i c e s t a f f . The course had been advertised p r i o r to my a r r i v a l i n the community and discussion had taken place personally with many of the s t a f f . A meeting had been held i n which six s t a f f members signed up to the course. Five other possible students were gathered from the school, the learning centre, and other o f f i c e s . I f e l t that to be r e a l i s t i c , I could expect a class of six or eight but I was prepared f o r twelve. The f i r s t night only two students appeared. That number quickly reduced down to the regular attendance of only one. I anticipated that attendance at the two school classes would be more regular, but late a r r i v a l s were always the order of the day, becoming more frequent as time passed and they r e a l i z e d I was not going to police them. Attendance at 110 the learning centre was also unexpectedly poor. Attendance dropped dramatically during the week that Dolly went to Whitehorse f o r t r a i n i n g . The day she returned, a l l s i x students re-appeared at the centre. The incentive of group pressure should have resulted i n a f a i r rate of attendance, but had the opposite a f f e c t . Since attendance was sporadic by a l l but one of the students, any peer pressure ac t u a l l y worked against regular attendance. Apart from simply not wanting to come, there were many possible reasons f o r lack of attendance as pointed out to me by several people from the Band o f f i c e and i n the community. These ranged from the time of year (spring i s notoriously a time f o r absences because of the warmer weather), to other more important commitments such as meetings or t r i p s to Whitehorse, to babysitting problems. The f a c t that baby-sitters were scarce, expensive, and unreliable affected almost every woman at the learning centre. However, a firm long-term e f f o r t to organize a group solution to c h i l d care problems was not evident. The incident of absenteeism that was chosen f o r case study inte r p r e t a t i o n was an incident that occurred three times at the learning centre i n the weeks of the research. Behind absenteeism at cert a i n regular times was an unspoken t r a d i t i o n that the day a f t e r a r r i v a l of t r a i n i n g allowance cheques was a holiday. Dolly had, by her own admission, I l l given up on t r y i n g to control attendance at t h i s time. She had begun by withholding a day's allowance f o r the day missed but t h i s , even when c a r e f u l l y explained and j u s t i f i e d by her, did not change the "cheque holiday". She used signing i n and out as a means of displaying attendance but t h i s was quickly ignored and became what she saw as harassment by herself of students with whom she wished to be f r i e n d l y and h e l p f u l . Having t r i e d her best, Dolly simply accepted the undeclared holiday the day a f t e r the cheques arrived and organized her teaching around i t . 5.1.4. L i t e r a t e and Scholarly Resistance Behaviour: Learning Through Literacy For the product-orientation approach I used worksheets for grammar and mechanics; these were usually met with v i s i b l e r e l i e f from nearly a l l students. They seemed to be a comfortable, f a m i l i a r a c t i v i t y which required l i t t l e active application of thought. Often the work done on the worksheets was of good standard but i t was apparent that l i t t l e of t h i s learning was applied to new situations. When the same grammatical concept was encountered i n actual writing, the knowledge "learned" was not transferred to the composition at hand. For example, the learning centre students a l l did well on worksheets f o r sentence fragments and run-ons but the greatest number of errors were made i n t h e i r writing i n t h i s area, sometimes on the same day as the 112 worksheet exercise. Reminders had to be made often about punctuation and c a p i t a l i z a t i o n rules although these were consistently done well on the worksheets. L i t t l e improvement was observed i n l a t e r writing. As part of the i n s t r u c t i o n I t r i e d to stimulate thinking and writing beyond simple description. In using c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , simple exercises were responded to a c t i v e l y i n the lesson, but when i t was necessary to apply the concept to writing i t was not often done. For example, students at the learning centre were asked to make l i s t s of items f o r sale and c l a s s i f y them under a heading (e.g. beds and chairs might be c l a s s i f i e d under the heading furniture) i n a sign to be posted l o c a l l y . Most of the students did not l i s t enough items to categorize, such as: FOR SALE: T.V. $120 and stero $50. In good working conditions. See owner. Some used categories that were too broad: FOR SALE: furnitures, clothing, k i t t c h i n s t u f f . Evaluative thinking was required of a l l the students since I requested that they contribute to the planning of the lessons by t e l l i n g me t h e i r preferences f o r a process or product approach. The responses were often disappointing and 113 inadequate. Most of the students passively co-operated with the request by responding with something, but they did not think very deeply about t h e i r responses, nor elaborate on them to any great extent: The difference between the ideas and grammar of writing i s that on wednsdays we get to choose our own ideas on what we are writing. The d i c t a t i o n I don't mind i t I guess but i t s sort of a pain. I perfere the marking. I l i k e bother grammar of writing because i t s cool. Gramar, why? had more fun today than yesterday. The use of journals as thinking and writing tools to discuss preference was approached by a l l students so cautiously as to constitute further evidence of resistance. For instance, L i s a avoided making a determination on which kind of marking she preferred, written comments or a number grade, f o r two weeks of journal entries and my questions back to her, (during which she wrote with complete n e u t r a l i t y that she preferred "the marking"). I was f i n a l l y rewarded with: "I perfere the number grade." 114 Class writing assignments also displayed d i r e c t evidence of resistance. Twice i n the grade eight to ten class I t r i e d to make grammar lessons p l a y f u l by having students play a sentence completion game. Pairs would f i r s t compose the subject of a sentence, then pass the paper along to the next pair, who would compose the verb and then the t h i r d pair would compose the completion of the sentence. The game became a sensational h i t , provoking long and loud giggles. The results of the game both times were consistently violent and vulgar. For example (actual names were used i n the o r i g i n a l , but have been changed here): Old Lindstrum the bald headed f a i r y queen jumps around p u l l i n g his wang. John had the smallest penis i n the world which smelled l i k e diahrea. G l o r i a and her crack are outrageously big while she use a dildoe and pole to get the f e e l i n g . Neither of the two Athapaskan boys seemed comfortable with the res u l t s of these sentences. The second time the exercise was used, the more active students had asked to do i t as a reward f o r working since i t was the l a s t day of 115 class. Tony, usually the quietest student, suddenly became angry although he had remained s i l e n t u n t i l then. It was a shock to hear him say very loudly three times: "I don't want to do t h i s ! " I wanted to point out the implications of t h e i r responses to the group, so persisted i n carrying on with the exercise. F i n a l l y I t o l d Tony that he could s i t i n the h a l l i f he didn't want to take part, and he did so eagerly. I went to see him once to l e t him know he could come back into the class i f he wanted to, but he refused, adding that he didn't l i k e what the class was writing. As I was leaving a f t e r the class one of the teachers expressed surprise to me that Tony had been out i n the h a l l . I said to him that i t was not so much me sending him out as Tony doing i t f o r his own survival and suddenly r e a l i z e d the truth i n what I had said. I quickly ran a f t e r Tony and t o l d him that I thought he was quite r i g h t i n his decision to leave the class, that I was impressed with what he did and that I also hated the resu l t s of the exercise. He was pleasantly astonished that a teacher would speak to him as frankly as I did, and he went away smiling broadly. Resistance to l i t e r a t e and scholarly behaviour was observed i n other i n d i r e c t applications of learning as well. For instance, there was l i t t l e note-taking and t h i s was done only when students were s p e c i f i c a l l y directed to do so. Students consulted d i c t i o n a r i e s only as a l a s t resort when I refused to answer questions about word meanings or s p e l l i n g . 116 Although a thesaurus was introduced and was f a m i l i a r to most of the students, they never v o l u n t a r i l y used i t . New vocabulary or s p e l l i n g was not integrated into students' writing. 5.1.5. Summary Data gathered f o r t h i s study showed that students' predominant response to the composition i n s t r u c t i o n was resistance. This resistance appeared i n most in d i v i d u a l , group, and scholarly/academic behaviours, as evidenced by the incidents described above. In a l l the settings of the in s t r u c t i o n and i n a l l three categories of behaviour recorded there were few indications that students were involved i n a learning process. Requesting or producing work that was not i n the lesson was unheard of. With one exception, no one displayed enough active int e r e s t i n the subject at hand to ask further questions or request elaboration. There was l i t t l e evidence that writing had changed i t s inc i d e n t a l role i n the students' l i v e s outside the classroom. 117 CHAPTER VI INTERPRETATIONS 6.1. Why Resistance? The findings reported i n the preceding chapter indicated that the main response of a small number of native ESL l i t e r a c y students to innovative composition was resistance. The present chapter considers two possible explanations f o r t h i s response of resistance, (1) c u l t u r a l differences and (2) ideo l o g i c a l action. This chapter f i r s t interprets the findings i n regard to Athapaskan c u l t u r a l t r a i t s as indicated i n the l i t e r a t u r e to determine i f the resistance may l o g i c a l l y have resulted from c u l t u r a l influences. The second part of t h i s chapter interprets the findings from Giroux and Aronowitz's (1985) id e o l o g i c a l perspective. Giroux and Aronowits propose that analyzing resistance behaviour makes i t possible to recognize how dominated students through acts of resistance "draw on the limited resources at t h e i r disposal i n order to reaffirm the p o s i t i v e dimensions of t h e i r own cultures and h i s t o r i e s " (p. 107). This perspective provides understanding of resistance behaviours as r e f l e c t i v e of s o c i a l r e lations i n the community The two interpretations are presented for each of the three categories of student resistance behaviour 118 documented: in d i v i d u a l , group, and l i t e r a t e and scholarly- behaviours . 6.2. Cultural Interpretation 6.2.1. Individual Resistance Behaviour: Cultural Communication Scollon and Scollon (1981) note that education i n t r a d i t i o n a l Athapaskan l i f e i s not based i n an i n s t i t u t i o n i s o l a t e d from the older generation but i s situated i n the heart of the family, i n a narrative communication structure with the learner observing and l i s t e n i n g to elders. For Athapaskans, knowledge must be passed on i n such a way that i t i s contextualized i n the experience of the l i s t e n e r . The s k i l l of the narrator i s challenged to meet the needs of the l i s t e n e r i n order to be heard and understood, since knowledge which i s given can be taken or rejected at w i l l (p.101). According to Scollon (1987) i t " i s a structure that i s j o i n t l y produced by everyone who i s a party to the i n t e r a c t i o n " (p.29). In the Western approach, knowledge i s viewed as true and complete i n i t s e l f , and i s seldom subjected to the recipient's interpretation or response. The contrast between the two education structures could not be greater. The students i n the case study readily understood the 119 concept of audience, r e f l e c t i n g t h e i r narrative experiences where the person l i s t e n i n g has a di r e c t stake i n the process of story t e l l i n g . This understanding may also point to a reason for the f a i l u r e of communication through journals. I was the audience of the journal writing, but i t was an impersonal involvement, and distant i n time. I requested that the students decontextualize the journal audience to a non-specific reader or to themselves, which may have been d i f f i c u l t f o r them because of Athapaskan expectations for contextualization of audience. McDonnell (1975) states that to f u l l y sense Athapaskan s o c i a l organisation an understanding of the importance of personal autonomy i s " c r i t i c a l " (p.122). McDonnell relates t h i s to the Athapaskan process of acquiring special knowledge and power (which i s the object of l i f e ) . The person i s not credited with wisdom due to a b i l i t y ; i t i s acquired through means which are beyond control. For men, knowledge and power are communicated alone i n a struggle with animal-people over whom a mere human has l i t t l e say. For a woman, wisdom and control of h o s t i l e forces come slowly with experience, also due to no a b i l i t y on her part. Interference or assistance by another person would not a l t e r and may even harm the res u l t . A consequence of the b e l i e f i n i n d i r e c t a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge, according to McDonnell, i s deep respect f o r the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of others and protection of one's own autonomy. 120 Because of the necessity of autonomy, the students at Bear River may not have believed that help from other students would be worthwhile, resenting the interference i n t h e i r learning of someone who they did not see as having any right or special knowledge. They may not have wanted to help another student out of respect f o r that person's autonomy of action. They may have seen t h e i r assistance i n my design of the teaching as inappropriate f o r the same reasons. The lack of interference i n other students' display of resistance, and the success of one-to-one i n s t r u c t i o n noted i n the findings may be d i r e c t l y a ttributable to the importance of i n d i v i d u a l autonomy in Athapaskan culture. Western classroom techniques r e l y on verbal display of knowledge by the student. Students are required to progressively t e s t t h e i r absorption of the incremental steps of knowledge i n the b e l i e f that one learns by making mistakes. In contrast, Athapaskans attempt a s k i l l only when i t i s f e l t that i t has been learned (Scollon and Scollon 1981, p.18). Athapaskans f i n d a display of error doubly wrong. F i r s t i t i s wrong because one must wait u n t i l the learning i s complete before t e s t i n g i t out and secondly, i t i s wrong inherently, bringing bad luck by speaking about uncertain things (since speaking i s a powerful act). Knowledge and power l i e within the i n d i v i d u a l and the person w i l l know when i t i s time to use them. 121 In further contrast, Scollon and Scollon (1981) observe that the person i n the subordinate p o s i t i o n of the Athapaskan s o c i a l structure i s expected to be the spectator and the person i n the superordinate position i s expected to display (1981, p.161). Techniques I attempted to implement such as p a r t i c i p a t o r y research and student-centred learning invert a top-down power structure re l a t i o n s h i p between teacher/researcher and student by having the d i r e c t i o n come from the student. The Athapaskan power structure i s broken, making students uncertain whose role i t i s to l i s t e n , and whose to display. Scollon and Scollon (1981) observe that Athapaskan speakers pause just s l i g h t l y longer than English speakers between turns, showing deep respect for the speaker's right to continue speaking. Pausing long enough f o r students to assimilate questions and formulate requested r e p l i e s i s noted i n pedagogical research as a problem within teaching generally. With Athapaskan discourse patterns, i t i s even more a hindrance to classroom communication. To a non- Athapaskan, t a c i t u r n i t y and silence can be h o s t i l e withdrawal, shyness, or even stupidity. Often when I was greeted with silence I classed i t as resistance. Perhaps i t had less severe implications f o r my students, being the r e s u l t of Athapaskan discourse patterns. In my journal I commented i n the equivalency class that 122 they seemed to be "struggling to learn", which to me was showing accommodation. The b e l i e f that learning i s not done without some amount of e f f o r t contrasts sharply with the gentle Athapaskan t r a d i t i o n a l education process, based on a profound regard f o r the i n d i v i d u a l i n t e l l i g e n c e of the learner. Learning i s seen to be accomplished when the in d i v i d u a l knows the right time has come, and w i l l then be done almost e f f o r t l e s s l y . 6.2.2. Group Resistance Behaviour: Cultural Pressures and R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s In Athapaskan culture the right of each person to autonomy allows free w i l l on the part of the in d i v i d u a l to choose a path, and to l e t others choose t h e i r s . A d i r e c t r e s u l t of the respect f o r i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s stress i n group situations. This i s f i r s t mentioned by Honigmann (1949) i n his anthropological study of the Kaska, and by B a l i k c i (1968) i n s i m i l a r work with the Kutchin of the northern Yukon, also Athapaskan. Nelson (1973) confirms the Athapaskan " i n a b i l i t y to develop a r e a l sense of community" due to being "pervasively i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c " and records a "high l e v e l of interpersonal h o s t i l i t y " from being forced to l i v e together in v i l l a g e s (p.281). Social competence i s based on one's a b i l i t y to avoid c o n f l i c t and to survive i n d i v i d u a l l y , not on the a b i l i t y to merge with others. In non-Athapaskan society, one person i s not independent of another, nor i s s u r v i v a l 123 assured independently, as i t can be for the t r a d i t i o n a l Athapaskans i f necessary. Indeed, one means of coping with stress i n Athapaskan society i s to i s o l a t e oneself from company by leaving the community, sometimes f o r weeks at a time ( B a l i k c i 1968). Athapaskan autonomy and the stress f e l t from group contact contrasts sharply with bureaucratic and technological structures which are found i n present-day education. In adult education group formation i s sought. Western C h r i s t i a n i t y values i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the group and towards the actions of others. The concerns of the ind i v i d u a l are placed at a lower p r i o r i t y than those of the group; c o l l e c t i v e action i s viewed as more potent than the action of each i n d i v i d u a l . The findings reported i n Chapter V show that my attempts to u t i l i z e group pressures and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n the classes i n Bear River f a i l e d or produced only s u p e r f i c i a l responses. The successful use of pa i r i n g and i n d i v i d u a l i z e d tutoring i n the classroom was understood when the pair was looked upon not as a small group, but as a one-on-one teaching technique emphasizing the in d i v i d u a l autonomy of each student. In t r a d i t i o n a l Athapaskan society, while taking part i n a struggle with animal-people f o r a c q u i s i t i o n of special knowledge, actions no matter how bizarre were not the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the person involved (Cruikshank 1988). 124 H o s t i l i t y by L i s a or Dora i n the learning centre class was tolerated or ignored by the group and no excuse was necessary, or i t was explicable because they were unhappy. Actions while influenced by outside powers were possibly not perceived to be the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l , nor of the group. 6.2.3. L i t e r a t e and Scholarly Resistance Behaviour: Learning Culture Through Literacy Learning to be l i t e r a t e and scholarly e n t a i l s more than acquiring the s k i l l s of reading and writing (see Brice Heath, 1984). It also c a l l s f o r learning the forms of thought of a society, of how that society manipulates discourse, and of a l l the s o c i a l trappings of the schooling through which l i t e r a c y i s taught. Ong (1982) states that: in f u n c t i o n a l l y oral cultures the past i s not f e l t as an itemized t e r r a i n , peppered with v e r i f i a b l e and disputed "facts" or b i t s of information. It i s the domain of the ancestors, a resonant source for renewing awareness of present existence, which i t s e l f i s not an itemized t e r r a i n either. O r a l i t y knows no l i s t s or charts of figures, (p.98) 125 The i n s t r u c t i o n that I attempted i n Bear River was designed as a t o t a l l y contrasting t e r r a i n to that of Athapaskan o r a l culture, whose structures of information and organisation of content d i f f e r greatly from l i t e r a t e English s t r u c t u r e s — a n d are i n Scollon and Scollon's view, "mutually exclusive of the discourse patterns of essayist prose" (1981, p.53). Where interethnic oral communication patterns produce s o c i a l c o n f l i c t between speakers, these same patterns may produce i n t e r n a l c o n f l i c t i n Athapaskan writers, challenging t h e i r very sense of culture. My attempts to have students contribute opinions and discuss points inevitably resulted i n resistance. According to Ong (1982), the decontextualized r h e t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n of the Western world which has coloured l o g i c and education f o r centuries i s related to the Greek tendency to "maximise oppositions i n the mental as i n the extramental world" (p.111). In the Athapaskan e f f o r t to minimise opposition, argument i s avoided as respect f o r another's right to autonomy but also as protection from the h o s t i l i t y of others and protection of one's own in d i v i d u a l strength. McDonnell (1975) says Athapaskans would rather say nothing than to say "no" to a proposal and to separate than argue. Negotiation i s avoided and discussion of a proposed action i s not i n i t i a t e d u n t i l consensus i s gathered through oblique methods (p.310). 126 6.2.4. Summary A c u l t u r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n offers a possible explanation f o r resistance behaviours by Athapaskan students i n response to composition i n s t r u c t i o n i n Bear River. Individualism basic to Athapaskan c u l t u r a l structures may not only underlie the d i f f i c u l t i e s i n personal communication i n the classroom but may also present a reason f o r the lack of success i n group a c t i v i t i e s . The reliance on l i t e r a c y as a means to educate the orally-based Athapaskan culture may af f e c t i t profoundly and may be a reason for resistance. Brody (1987) says that i n northern hunting s o c i e t i e s , " e g a l i t a r i a n individualism i s at the heart of s o c i a l i n t e g r i t y and wellbeing" (p.133) and that: the individualism of the culture i s a b a r r i e r against any form of organised domination; the egalitarianism a barricade against competitive individualism, (p.123) Athapaskan c u l t u r a l s u r v i v a l may be supported by resistance which displays r e j e c t i o n of a completely d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l learning context. Recognising education as a foreign c u l t u r a l message-bearer, students i n Bear River may have l o g i c a l l y r e s i s t e d t h i s intrusion. 127 6.2.5. Limitations to the Cultural Interpretation As i n t r i g u i n g as a c u l t u r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of resistance may be, i t does not o f f e r a f u l l and s u f f i c i e n t explanation. Students' responses to the i n s t r u c t i o n should, from t h i s view, have been f a r more consistent and predictable given the shared culture i n the same s i t u a t i o n . However, the data gathered f o r the research showed that some individuals chose resistance while others did not i n the same si t u a t i o n , i n d i c a t i n g that factors other than culture may have been i n play. For instance, Lisa's lack of communication i n the learning centre was not shared by any of the others i n the class at the time. Some of these same students were at a di f f e r e n t time influenced by resistance behaviour by another student and contributed to i t , choosing to be influenced by group pressures rather than following the c u l t u r a l imperative of non-involvement. There was often more overt resistance recorded from the non-Athapaskan students, who shared the school's c u l t u r a l background and objectives, than the Athapaskans i n the same class. This indicates that c u l t u r a l differences may be only one basis for resistance. An important i n d i c a t i o n that c u l t u r a l influences may not be the only factor i n resistance was the existence of accommodation behaviour. When resistance was observed, there 128 / was sometimes i n the same s i t u a t i o n accommodation behaviour by other Athapaskan students. Molly, f o r instance, despite personal embarrassment to do so, introduced herself to me on my request the f i r s t day of class while no one else did. A f u l l e r explanation of resistance behaviours i n the findings may be possible through looking at i t as r e j e c t i o n of the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l (ideological) domination by the non- native population. 6.3. Ideological Interpretation 6.3.1. Introduction This section interprets selected findings i n the three categories of resistance behaviours using Giroux and Aronowitz's (1985) proposed d e f i n i t i o n of resistance as ideologically-based. Numerous sources suggest that i n d i v i d u a l choice i s a strong c u l t u r a l value f o r Athapaskans. Social dilemmas of Indian people i n Bear River, such as drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, family breakdown, v i o l e n t death and general anomie, can be looked upon as a turning-inwards of the stress r e s u l t i n g from lack of choice and loss of control over decisions a f f e c t i n g d a i l y l i f e (Yates 1987). Freedom to choose the d i r e c t i o n and qu a l i t y of one's own l i f e within reasonable l i m i t a t i o n s and to practice the values that shape 129 those choices i s a condition basic to human development. When freedom to express values through choice of action i s withdrawn, as i n the case of a dominated culture, the r e s u l t i s extreme stress, but also resistance to the dominating force. Resistance to unreasonable domination i s i n e v i t a b l e i f the human s p i r i t i s to survive under domination, yet i t i s also a demonstration of hope that gives dominated people cause to believe that change i s possible. 6.3.2. Framework for an Ideological Interpretation In attempting to e s t a b l i s h a d e f i n i t i o n and a rationale for the notion of resistance, Giroux and Aronowitz (1985) c r i t i q u e reproduction and resistance education theories f o r focusing on overt acts of r e b e l l i o u s student behaviour. They claim that resistance has " l i t t l e to do with deviance and learned helplessness, but a great deal to do with moral and p o l i t i c a l indignation" (p.104). They say that resistance must not become a term for every expression of oppositional behaviour and propose that i t i s important to determine what constitutes resistance behaviour. Oppositional behaviour must be defined i n r e l a t i o n to the interest i t serves and analyzed to see i f i t represents a form of resistance by determining the degree of emancipation i n i t : The central element of analyzing any act of resistance must be a concern with uncovering the degree to which 130 i t highlights, i m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y , the need to struggle against domination and submission...the concept of resistance must have a revealing function that contains a c r i t i q u e of domination and provides t h e o r e t i c a l opportunities f o r s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n and struggle i n the interests of s o c i a l and s e l f - emancipation (p.105). They add further what resistance i s not: To the degree that oppositional behaviour suppresses s o c i a l contradictions while simultaneously merging with, rather than challenging the l o g i c of i d e o l o g i c a l domination, i t does not f a l l under the category of resistance, but under i t s opposite—accommodation and conformism. (ibid.) Certain findings of t h i s research reported i n Chapter V can be interpreted within Giroux and Aronowitz's i d e o l o g i c a l d e f i n i t i o n of resistance or accommodation and conformism. So that confusion can be avoided i n the terminology, "conformism" i s used rather than "accommodation" to describe what Giroux and Aronowitz c a l l acts that are not resistance, since I use the term "accommodation" i n a less complex way i n reporting the findings of t h i s research. The findings noted here have been chosen through three c r i t e r i a : (1) they reveal a choice of action to conform to or to r e s i s t domination; (2) 131 the choice has been made to r e s i s t and that choice has been c l e a r l y communicated; (3) the choice reveals a p o s s i b i l i t y of c r i t i c a l action. In order to exclude the p o s s i b i l i t y of the behaviour being culturally-based, data have been chosen which are c l e a r l y not grounded i n Athapaskan values. Giroux and Aronowitz emphasize the d i a l e c t i c a l or contradictory nature of resistance behaviour--that the same act can contain elements of both resistance and conformism. As well as c r i t i c i z i n g resistance theories f o r t h e i r f a i l u r e to understand the contradictory or d i a l e c t i c a l nature of resistance and t h e i r focus on overt acts of rebel l i o u s behaviour, Giroux and Aronowitz c r i t i q u e resistance theories i n two other areas: t h e i r lack of taking into account issues of gender and race and t h e i r lack of attention to the e f f e c t of domination on personality. 6.3.3. Individual Resistance Behaviour: Ideological Communication Dora's aggressive communicative actions f i r s t i n the computer room and then i n the classroom i n the learning centre c l e a r l y f i t into the common d e f i n i t i o n of oppositional action. This event displays the d i a l e c t i c a l nature of resistance, as an example of Giroux and Aronowitz's conformism rather than resistance. Dora had a choice of continuing to exercise opposition to joining the class or conforming to my pressure while she was at the computer. She chose the l a t t e r , and came into the class. Because of t h i s 132 unsatisfactory conforming action she found i t necessary to make i t clear that she rejected my domination of her choice to be involved or not and displayed aggressive action. When I did not conform to the oppressive p o s s i b i l i t i e s and respond by confrontation, the episode did not escalate. The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that Dora's i n i t i a l aggressive action was not resistance but conformism as defined by Giroux and Aronowitz i s strengthened when one considers the necessity of resistance to consist of c r i t i c a l action toward emancipatory p o s s i b i l i t i e s leading to what Giroux and Aronowitz term "opportunities f o r s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n and struggle i n the interests of s o c i a l and self-emancipation". Her action of not communicating l e f t no opportunity for r e f l e c t i o n about the s i t u a t i o n . Dora made her rej e c t i o n of my involvement i n her personal decisions much cleare r i n the writing i n her journal, coming closer there to an act of resistance. Taking the chance of discussing her problem through her journal may have led to an opportunity for s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n and s e l f - emancipation. She wrote d e c i s i v e l y that she wanted to solve her problem herself, but softened i t with the reason of being bored. This action displayed an opening f o r possible c r i t i c a l action. 133 6.3.4. Group Resistance Behaviour: Ideological Pressures and Re s p o n s i b i l i t i e s Was the action by the learning centre group of taking a day off on receipt of t r a i n i n g allowance cheques resistance according to Giroux and Aronowitz? The cheque holiday showed a choice by the group to r e s i s t d i r e c t pressure by Dolly to attend. The group used her need to display support towards them, and simply ignored her good advice or threats u n t i l Dolly capitulated and l e t them have a holiday without fear of r e p r i s a l s , displaying r e j e c t i o n of domination by the college. In t h i s , they f i t into Giroux and Aronowitz's d e f i n i t i o n of resistance, by revealing a c r i t i q u e of domination. C r i t i c a l action i n the s i t u a t i o n was not only possible, but was taken by the students. They acted i n a way that produced the r e s u l t wanted, giving them the break they f e l t they deserved at the symbolic time of reward f o r attendance, cheque day. Some of them had previously been employed and had not taken u n o f f i c i a l holidays on the job a f t e r receiving paycheques, according to general community opinion. When the re s u l t would probably be los i n g a job, i t seems that s i m i l a r action was not taken, but when they could r e l y on the good feelings of Dolly, they chose to take advantage of the "emancipatory p o s s i b i l i t i e s . " 134 6.3.5. Li t e r a t e and Scholarly Resistance Behaviour: Learning Ideology Through Literacy In the display of v i o l e n t sexual writing which was r e s i s t e d by one Athapaskan student, there are two instances of resistance to be examined: the class response to the exercise and Tony's reaction to i t . I examine each of these separately. The class writing and enthusiasm f o r i t displayed a choice of action to r e s i s t which was c l e a r l y communicated i n the product of the exercise and i n the h i l a r i t y surrounding i t . S u p e r f i c i a l l y , i t reveals a c r i t i q u e of the domination of the oppressive school structure since many of the written comments were about teachers. However when looked at more closely, by Giroux and Aronowitz's d e f i n i t i o n , t h i s incident reveals less of a c r i t i q u e of domination than conformism to sexual violence which feeds into gender domination. My attempts to have the students assess the implications of t h e i r statements resulted i n some s l i g h t embarrassment but only took the edge of f the fun rather than helping them to r e j e c t the action. Although t h i s might indicate that c r i t i c a l action was possible i f the same thing was attempted i n future, the event at the time recorded ended i n true conformism, "suppressing s o c i a l contradictions while simultaneously merging with, rather than challenging the l o g i c of i d e o l o g i c a l domination", as Giroux and Aronowitz describe i t (1985, p.105). 135 Tony's action was more c l e a r l y resistance according to Giroux and Aronowitz's d e f i n i t i o n s . Putting Tony i n the hallway showed my conformism to the norm of the dominating school system, i n which he was expected to do what he was t o l d . Paradoxically f o r both of us, he was punished for something I ultimately agreed with. Tony took c r i t i c a l action i n the s i t u a t i o n by agreeing to leave and by refusing to come back into the class when invited. He was w i l l i n g to suffer the embarrassment of being seen i n the hallway, which was unusual f o r him, rather than being pressured into taking part i n something he did not see as valuable. His courageous action was a c r i t i q u e of the students' and my own conformism and domination. The action showed more than simply " p o s s i b i l i t i e s of emancipatory action", but was an emancipatory action i t s e l f . 6.3.6. Advantages and Limitations to an Ideological Interpretation This i d e o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n assumes that there i s a common human need to hold b e l i e f s and values which form a basis for choice of action, and a need to practice these i n day to day l i v i n g with some amount of freedom from being dominated by others' b e l i e f s and values. This general humanist approach gives a more in c l u s i v e basis of analysis than a c u l t u r a l one f o r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the findings i n t h i s case study, i l l u s t r a t e d here by the reference to 136 selected findings which are c l e a r l y not culturally-based phenomena. An i d e o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n opens up a supportive p o s i t i o n f o r acts of resistance, viewing them not as unthinking destructive acts of r e b e l l i o n , or as unchanging entrenched c u l t u r a l phenomena, but as a courageous defence of values possibly leading to constructive dialogue and change. It assumes an active p o s i t i o n by those persons who are dominated i n society and i n s t i t u t i o n s , allowing for challenge to subjugation. Giroux and Aronowitz's i n c l u s i v e humanist basis of analysis i s framed by a d e f i n i t i o n of resistance rooted i n the purpose of acts of resistance. Resistance must be seen from the "degree to which i t highlights the need to struggle", and must have a "revealing function", " c r i t i q u i n g domination" and allowing f o r "opportunities f o r s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n and s o c i a l and self-emancipation" (1985, p.105). The existence of acts of what I have termed accommodation are not acknowledged as holding l i b e r a t i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s . While these exacting r e s t r i c t i o n s give c l e a r d i r e c t i o n , they l i m i t the analysis to the point where action which might be c a l l e d resistance was rare, making the application of t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l base problematic. Classroom findings of resistance i n t h i s case study can 137 be p r o d u c t i v e l y i n t e r p r e t e d t h r o u g h i d e o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s , but even more i m p o r t a n t f o r t h i s s t u d y i s t h e b a s i s f o r r e s i s t a n c e f o u n d i n t h e community c o n t e x t i n wh i c h t h e r e s e a r c h t o o k p l a c e . The h i s t o r y and p r e s e n t day s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s o f Bear R i v e r as i l l u s t r a t e d i n C h a p t e r IV make r e s i s t a n c e an i n e v i t a b l e outcome. The e d u c a t i o n a l and o t h e r i n s t i t u t i o n s i n Bear R i v e r n o t o n l y ensure t h e r e p r o d u c t i o n of a non-Athapaskan c u l t u r e , b u t a l s o r e i n f o r c e s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l d o m i n a t i o n by non-Athapaskans (see M a l l e a , 1989). O p p o r t u n i t y s e e m i n g l y e x i s t s f o r n a t i v e p e o p l e i n Bear R i v e r t o a l t e r economic and s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s , but an o p p r e s s i v e s t r u c t u r e of b u i l t - i n f a i l u r e and c o n t r o l t h r o u g h t h e non- Athapaskan m i n o r i t y ' s i n s t i t u t i o n s from t h e l a r g e r s o c i e t y e n sure t h a t change i s not r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e . However, i d e o l o g i c a l r e s i s t a n c e by n a t i v e s has r e s u l t e d i n t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of power s t r u c t u r e s i n venues such as l o c a l n a t i v e economic development, I n d i a n Band p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e s r e f l e c t i n g l o c a l t r a d i t i o n s , n a t i v e media programs, and i n l o c a l systems w i t h d i r e c t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r s o c i a l i s s u e s such as c h i l d c a r e and s u b s t a n c e abuse programs. These n a t i v e - r u n i n s t i t u t i o n s , t h e r e s u l t of i d e o l o g i c a l r e s i s t a n c e , may prove t o be more e f f e c t i v e i n t h e l o n g t e rm t h a n r e s i s t a n c e i n t h e s c h o o l s s i n c e c o n t r o l by non-Athapaskans i s not as p e r v a s i v e i n t h e s e a r e a s as i n e d u c a t i o n . 138 6.4. Summary This chapter has shown that a c u l t u r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the resistance behaviour reported i n the findings should not stand alone. A more complete interpretation of the findings appears i n a d e f i n i t i o n of resistance which reveals the roots of resistance behaviour to be i n the rej e c t i o n of domination as posited by Giroux and Aronowitz (1985). Nonetheless only cer t a i n findings f i t with Giroux and Aronowitz 5s d e f i n i t i o n of resistance, demonstrating the d i a l e c t i c a l nature of resistance wherein the same act contains elements of resistance as well as conformism. 139 CHAPTER VII SUMMARY AND IMPLICATIONS 7.1. Summary of Findings and Interpretations In answering the research question how native adult ESL l i t e r a c y students i n the p a r t i c u l a r context of Bear River respond to innovative composition in s t r u c t i o n , t h i s case study has shown that they responded to nearly a l l i n s t r u c t i o n with resistance, as evidenced by data gathered from the classrooms and the community context. Although these findings are exploratory, descriptive and tentative, there i s much evidence that Bear River i s ah extreme example of cu l t u r a l and id e o l o g i c a l subjugation. The t o t a l experience of the Athapaskan community of Bear River was not i n the past and i s not now a supportive, productive one. The Bear River his t o r y of c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l domination by non-Athapaskans i s s t i l l evident i n the modem demographic and educational s t a t i s t i c s and descriptions. This nomadic society has l o s t forever a via b l e way of l i f e that assured s u r v i v a l both p h y s i c a l l y and c u l t u r a l l y . It has been replaced by a sedentary community that i s controlled by non-Athapaskans, s p l i t between races, substance-dependent, with few chances for employment leading either to f i n a n c i a l s t a b i l i t y or personal f u l f i l l m e n t . The resu l t s of a l l these s o c i a l i l l s 140 are r e a d i l y apparent, l i t e r a c y rates being only one measurement. Cultural impact has been met with dramatic change i n Athapaskan society but also with hidden and (more recently) overt opposition. This thesis i l l u s t r a t e s that resistance can be rooted i n c u l t u r a l c o n f l i c t but that c u l t u r a l differences are not the sole explanation for native resistance i n Bear River. The natural, inevitable human response to domination i s resistance and t h i s can be due not only to c u l t u r a l influences but i d e o l o g i c a l ones as well. The assumption that c u l t u r a l impact and change i s the only cause of resistance behaviour would imply that by extension, resistance should not be a problem with native students once c u l t u r a l domination i s complete and we need only to show respect f o r c u l t u r a l differences and wait out the time of c u l t u r a l synthesis. Apart from thus ignoring the fa c t of resistance i n the non-native students, the main implication of t h i s perspective would be to continue to feed into the domination already i n place. Instructor response which i s informed by an id e o l o g i c a l interpretation of resistance behaviour may lead to understanding not only the c u l t u r a l but the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l d e f i n i t i o n s through which students see themselves and may lead ultimately to a more democratic learning s i t u a t i o n . 141 Giroux and McLaren (1986) state that: schools should prepare students for making choices regarding forms of l i f e that have morally d i f f e r e n t consequences. This means that educators must replace pedagogical practices which emphasize d i s c i p l i n a r y control and one-sided character formation with practices that are based on an emancipatory authority, ones which enable students to engage i n c r i t i c a l analysis and to make choices regarding what interests and knowledge claims are most desirable and morally appropriate f o r l i v i n g i n a just and democratic state (p.225). From t h i s dialogue and mutual understanding hopefully may develop the need f o r students and educators to j o i n t l y take part i n action to erode the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l ; domination that permeates the present r e l a t i o n s h i p of native people to education. 7.2. Personal Reflections Understanding the basis of the resistance recorded i n Bear River as id e o l o g i c a l as well as c u l t u r a l brought to my in s t r u c t i o n a new dimension. Supportive actions on my part would have remained unexplored i f the interpretations of the resistance data had not been applied. In an e f f o r t to 142 increase the learning p o t e n t i a l of students I used the interpretations of data that I was beginning to make to point directions for teaching. As I began to base immediate responses i n the classroom on what I saw as the reasons for resistance behaviour, I began to react less emotionally and with a more professional attitude. If I saw the resistance I was encountering i n Bear River as being culturally-based, I would view the s i t u a t i o n more c l e a r l y from the students' perspective and was able to adjust to i t . If I considered i t to be based i n i d e o l o g i c a l concerns, I began to see resistance as something impersonal and inevitable i n the s i t u a t i o n , not to be confronted but to be used as a focus f o r learning p o s s i b i l i t i e s on both sides. I began to reinforce what I defined as accommodation behaviour whenever possible by pointing out how i t was b e n e f i t t i n g learning and to discuss more often when I found something offensive, p a r t i c u l a r l y when i t f i t with Giroux and Aronowitz's d e f i n i t i o n of conformism. For instance, i n the second attempt at the sentence completion exercise f o r the grade eight to tens that ended i n v i o l e n t sexual images, I made deliberate attempts to have the students look at t h e i r actions and be c r i t i c a l of what I saw as sexist behaviour rather than dismissing the products of t h e i r writing or ending the exercise. I l e t them know that as a woman I found the violence repugnant, and asked the boys 143 how they f e l t about t h e i r being made fun of. It was too short a lesson to have any d i r e c t r e s u l t s , but I noted i n my journal that the second time I used the lesson (when I began to question t h e i r sentences) the aggressive behaviour was more subdued than the f i r s t time. Mallea (1989) i n discussing Giroux's work on resistance theory observes that: Resistance i s an active process involving interactions between l i v e d experiences and the i n s t i t u t i o n s and structures that attempt to shape them. It i s a p o l i t i c a l act that involves actors, processes and structures i n t e r n a l and external to the educational system (p.47). Nowhere i n modern Athapaskan society i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of resistance to c u l t u r a l and i d e o l o g i c a l domination more possible and apparent than i n educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . These i n s t i t u t i o n s carry with them not the solutions to the Athapaskan dilemma but the perpetuation of t h e i r subjugation. Through education Athapaskans have suffered the determined e f f o r t s of non-Athapaskans to assimilate them to a foreign culture and to a passive existence. Education i s c o r r e c t l y seen as the implement of the dominant majority for the continuance of the status quo. It i s suggested i n t h i s thesis that educators should take an active part i n 144 dismantling t h i s structure i n concert with t h e i r students. 7.3. Implications f o r Pedagogy This thesis presents only one teacher's view as a participant-observer/instructor of her own and others' behaviour i n a sometimes quite emotional setting. Clearly the i n t e r p r e t i v e case study presented i s a preliminary investigation into the broad scope of native Indian nonparticipation i n l i t e r a c y and reasons for resistance i n native education. The findings and interpretations i n the study are descriptive and tentative, as findings i n resistance research generally are, and i n need of c l a r i t y as c r i t i q u e d by Giroux and Aronowitz (1985). That being said, i t i s s t i l l possible and important to i n f e r implications from the findings i n t h i s thesis which should be valuable to the f i e l d of adult native l i t e r a c y pedagogy p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the North. The case study has pointed out the inadequacy of the c u l t u r a l interpretation of events found i n the research. This implies that current c r o s s - c u l t u r a l analyses of education such as that done by Scollon and Scollon (1981), Watson-Gegeo (1988), and John (1972) which contrast one culture with another i n the hopes of discovering what "they" do and what "we" do i n c e r t a i n circumstances i s of limited value to pedagogy. It i s apparent that attempts at a l t e r i n g approaches i n methodology 145 and curriculum to s u i t another culture's learning process can be done only to a r e s t r i c t e d degree since the education system which i s used i s i t s e l f a c u l t u r a l e n t i t y that has i t s own parameters and constraints on change. The thesis points out that at least f o r the constantly-changing c u l t u r a l environment of the North, any in-depth research of c u l t u r a l d e t a i l s w i l l only be p a r t i a l l y applicable at any one time f o r any one group i n any one place. The research done here suggests that a c u l t u r a l analysis of native education may moreover support democratically d i s t a s t e f u l manipulation of students through attempts at reforming the dominant system without re a l changes being made i n the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the cultures. It also suggests that much i s yet to be learned from resistance behaviour of students from the same culture as the education system which may be applied to a l l cultures. Process-oriented research and pedagogy to t h i s point have not been concerned with the c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l factors of composition instruction, having been conducted mainly with motivated pre-university students (see Raimes, 1985 and Zamel, 1983). The c u l t u r a l and ide o l o g i c a l interpretations of resistance behaviour i n t h i s thesis suggest that adult writing i n s t r u c t i o n needs to confront more d i r e c t l y the issues causing resistance to l i t e r a c y a c q u i s i t i o n i n the community contexts. Culture i s only one part of the complex s o c i a l interchange which constitutes a cro s s - c u l t u r a l 146 classroom. There are implications here for the i n d i v i d u a l composition teacher and f o r teacher education. Understanding i s needed by instructors of the forces that shape education as a s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n as indicated by Folds (1989), Ryan (1989) and McLaughlin (1989). Training i s needed i n applying i d e o l o g i c a l analysis to a l o c a l s i t u a t i o n . Teacher education pedagogy should be examined i n the l i g h t of proposals outlined by Giroux and McLaren (1986) f o r a democratically- based education. This research also implies that s k i l l s not usually associated with the teaching process as i t i s now practiced may need to be taught i n teacher education such as group dynamics, counselling s k i l l s , and methods of s o c i a l and psychological analysis. This thesis does not imply that merely interpreting resistance behaviour from one or another perspective means that the behaviour i s then controlled or made to be more productive. Giroux and Aronowitz (1985) and Quigley (1990) support the view reached i n t h i s thesis i n concluding that recognition and analysis of the causes of resistance together with the r e s i s t i n g students should lead to a greater understanding of s o c i a l conditions and eventually to emancipatory action to change conditions from a j o i n t student/educator position of strength and knowledge. But resistance i s not a phenomenon r e s t r i c t e d to education, as indicated by the exploration of the community context i n the case study and as suggested by writers such as Carnoy and 147 Levin (1976). It would be presumptuous to propose that education can change resistance i n the larger s o c i a l context. However, the c r i t i c a l and p o l i t i c a l process of dialogue should i n and of i t s e l f be a catalyst f o r change i f only at a l o c a l l e v e l since i t i s capable of generating a productive teaching methodology as indicated by the work of Wallerstein (1983) and Shor (1987). Literacy education, because of i t s i n t r i c a t e association with the culture and s o c i a l s trata of those most dominated i n our society may be seen as being obligated to pursue i d e o l o g i c a l analyses with i t s students. 7.4. Further Research These broad implications indicate a number of s p e c i f i c directions f o r future research i n Northern native adult l i t e r a c y pedagogy. The framework of Giroux and Aronowits's challenge to resistance research leads to the conclusion, underlined i n t h i s thesis, that much more work must be done in educational research to document the d i a l e c t i c a l nature of resistance, expanding analyses to include acts of accommodation. More examination also needs to be devoted to the issues of gender and race and to explore the e f f e c t of domination on personality. Northern native l i t e r a c y provides a r i c h ground of data f o r t h i s kind of inquiry. Neither adult l i t e r a c y education nor native education have been p r i o r i t i e s f o r p o l i c y makers who look f i r s t to 148 reform i n the school for answers to l i t e r a c y questions. Research on the reasons f o r t h i s neglect, the status of adult l i t e r a c y education as a profession, and how educators can take up the challenge of l i f e l o n g education f o r native peoples within a context of native languages, culture and control are some of the important research areas that need exploring i n northern Canada. A greater understanding i s needed of the impact on northern native peoples of r e s i d e n t i a l school learning, of moving from an oral to a l i t e r a t e learning and communicative process, of the loss of family involvement i n education, of the educational contribution possible through aboriginal bilingualism and elders' influence on values. Cultural analysis of the findings i n t h i s thesis implies that the Athapaskan c u l t u r a l imperative of autonomy for the indi v i d u a l exaggerates the universal human need for freedom of choice of action i n society. This needs to be accounted for more f u l l y i n educational research with Northern Athapaskans. A p a r t i c u l a r focus could assess how current composition pedagogy r e s t r i c t s or confounds t h i s need when group methods are used i n adult education. V i r t u a l l y a l l composition i n s t r u c t i o n f o r Northern Athapaskans i s now done by instructors who are not Athapaskan, nor native from other parts of Canada. These instructors are seldom from a lower s o c i a l s t r a t a and are usually transient i n the community with l i t t l e l o c a l 149 commitment. The c u l t u r a l influence of the non-native middle- class professional instructor on composition i n s t r u c t i o n for northern Athapaskans i s another area for future research. This thesis indicates that despite the r e s t r i c t i o n s of self-examination, il l u m i n a t i v e s e l f - r e f l e c t i v e data can be produced by a participant-observation approach which c a r e f u l l y documents and assesses classroom and community contexts. One of the most important and d i r e c t implications of the present exploratory case study, and a l o g i c a l next step following the study, i s that research i n t h i s cross- c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g would be more e f f e c t i v e and comprehensive i f done over a longer period of time with a f u l l e r ethnographic approach. This study also points out that serious consideration should be taken of Lather's (1986) recommendation f o r c a t a l y t i c v a l i d i t y and Jackson's (1987) c r i t i c i s m of problem-posing pedagogy. The present type of research on innovative teaching practice needs to be s o c i a l l y accountable by demonstrating that students and community members can apply insights acquired through such research. The application to northern Athapaskan composition pedagogy of what i s already known about the s o c i a l underpinnings of l i t e r a c y and transformational curriculum design i s e s s e n t i a l . Systematic research i s e s p e c i a l l y lacking i n native adult l i t e r a c y education on differences between what Street (1984) has c a l l e d the autonomous and the 150 ide o l o g i c a l models of l i t e r a c y . 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TESOL Quarterly 21(4): 697-715. 158 APPENDICES Appendix A: Course Outline, Evening Class Appendix B: School Courses Appendix C: Learning Centre Writing Course 159 A p p e n d i x A: C o u r s e O u t l i n e , E v e n i n g C l a s s WRITING IMPROVEMENT WORKSHOP COURSE OUTLINE T u e s d a y and Wednesday, May 2 t o May 31 WEEK: 1 W r i t i n g f o r Y o u r R e a d e r - p e r s o n a l n o t e s & l e t t e r s 2 W r i t i n g w i t h a P u r p o s e - b u s i n e s s memoes, l e t t e r s 3 C o n t e n t o f W r i t i n g : 1 - d e s c r i p t i v e p a r a g r a p h s 4 C o n t e n t o f W r i t i n g : 2 - n a r r a t i v e p a r a g r a p h s 5 P e r s o n a l W r i t i n g P r o j e c t s e n t e n c e s t r u c t u r e p u n c t u a t i o n c a p i t a l i z a t i o n s p e l l i n g v e r b a g r e e m e n t e x p a n d i n g s e n t e n c e s A p p e n d i x B: 160 S c h o o l C o u r s e s E q u i v a l e n c y c l a s s : 10:35-12:00 Wed. and F r i . G r a d e s 8-10: 12:55-2:35 Wed. and T h u r . Wednesday ( I n s t r . 1) T h u r s d a y / F r i d a y ( I n s t r . 2) Week One: a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l l e t t e r -who t o ? -why? -what? p e r s o n a l l e t t e r f o r m a t s e n t e n c e s t r u c t u r e : - s u b j e c t s - v e r b s - c o m p l e t i o n s Week Two: s e n t e n c e f r a g m e n t s p u n c t u a t i o n d r a f t o ne/two - p a r a g r a p h Week T h r e e : f i n a l d r a f t p a r a g r a p h v e r b a g r e e m e n t - c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r A p p e n d i x C: 161 LEARNING CENTRE WRITING COURSE WEEK: 3 INSTRUCTION: 1 INSTRUCTION: 2 1. t o p i c s e n t e n c e s , s e n t e n c e s t r u c t u r e ( S V O ) , c o n c l u d i n g s e n t e n c e s s e n t e n c e t y p e s 2. c o m p a r i s o n and c o n t r a s t 3. d i s c u s s i o n o f a b o v e p a r a g r a p h s , r e v i s i o n o f week 2's d e s c r i p t i v e and n a r r a t i v e p a r a g r a p h s , w i t h a f o c u s on t o p i c and c o n c l u d i n g s e n t e n c e s PRODUCTS: r e v i s e d d r a f t s o f week 2's s e n t e n c e e x e r c i s e s , p a r a g r a p h s , one c o m p a r i s o n e d i t i n g o f week 2's and c o n t r a s t p a r a g r a p h p a r a g r a p h s f o r v e r b u s a g e WEEK: 4 1. t o p i c s e n t e n c e s , p u n c t u a t i o n , c a p i t a l i z a t i o n c o n c l u d i n g s e n t e n c e s 2. c a u s e and e f f e c t 3. d i s c u s s i o n o f c o n t e n t o f c a u s e and e f f e c t p a r a g r a p h s , r e v i s i o n o f week 3's p a r a g r a p h s PRODUCTS: t o p i c and c o n c l u d i n g p u n c t u a t i o n , c a p i t a l i z a t i o n s e n t e n c e s , c a u s e & e f f e c t e x e r c i s e s , e d i t i n g o f week p a r a g r a p h , r e v i s e d week 3's 3's p a r a g r a p h s f o r s e n t e n c e p a r a g r a p h s t r u c t u r e

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