UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Dialogue in radical hospitality : creating meaning of democratic education through dialogic cooking Roll, Ofira


This study explores the playful dialogical process of creating meaning while cooking collaboratively with the teaching staff in a democratic school in Vancouver, British Columbia. All Kindergarten to Grade-12 staff members in the school were invited to participate in this study. Of the 22 staff, 16 chose to participate in yearlong gatherings in which we cooked collaboratively while sharing, reflecting, questioning, and creating meaning with one another’s practices, beliefs, and narratives. Through this artistic socially engaged and participatory research, a new meaning of democratic education was created together and apart. These methodologies invited the staff to be equal participants in complicated conversations within and beyond the walls of the school, as mentors, members in the community, teachers, friends, parents, artists, and at times participant researchers. The four gatherings throughout the year were video and audio-recorded. They included complicated conversations while collaborative cooking took place. The entry and exit small group interviews were also audio-recorded. Those gatherings and interviews assisted participants in creating a new meaning of democratic education for them as collective and as relational individuals. This study situated complicated conversations and cooking collaboratively as an inquiry that focused on creating meaning in which dialogue could engage the community with topics they deemed important. Through cooking and feasting together, we held the intention of creating trusted space with a sense of nurturing and hospitality in which we encountered difficult knowledge together while creating meaning of democratic education. This study may contribute to a greater understanding of democratic education. It offers the understanding that a school community (a) can support an ongoing process of dialogic culture; (b) benefits from engaging in an artistic collaborative process while sharing nurturing spaces that holds feasts; and (c) is capable of making democratic practices for personal growth, compassion, sense of agency, and democratic structures within a community, available and tangible for Kindergarten to Grade-12 students, staff, and families at the individual and collective spheres on the local and global level.

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