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"It was about the change!" : articulating and contextualizing the anti-oppressive practices of new elementary educators Polukoshko, Jody June

Abstract

This qualitative study locates elementary educators new to the profession in their experiences in the current educational climate of Southwestern British Columbia. Data for this study was generated through six semi-structured interviews and one focus group with elementary school teachers in the first seven years of their practice. Using an anti-oppressive framework that meshes Kumashiro (2002) and Young (1990), and drawing on relevant literature to interpret the findings, I argue that teachers in elementary schools are enacting a variety of practices in their classrooms that span a range of anti-oppressive possibilities. These practices are shaped by the particularities of elementary education and the current educational climate, both of which are implicated in their choice of, and the results, of their actions. The research suggests that for new teachers, becoming ah anti-oppressive educator is an iterative process that develops alongside increasing support, knowledge and agency of teachers. I have concluded with an investigation of the participants' articulation of changes needed to better support new elementary teachers in enacting anti-oppressive pedagogies.

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