Composing Diverse Identities: Narrative Inquiries into the Interwoven Lives of Children and Teachers, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Composing Diverse Identities

Narrative Inquiries into the Interwoven Lives of Children and Teachers, 1st Edition

By D. Jean Clandinin, Janice Huber, Marilyn Huber, M. Shaun Murphy, Anne Murray Orr, Marni Pearce, Pam Steeves


208 pages

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pub: 2006-05-15
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In a climate of increasing emphasis on testing, measurable outcomes, competition and efficiency, the real lives of children and their teachers are often neglected or are too messy and intricate to legislate and quantify. As such, curricula are designed without including the very people that compose the identities of schools. Here Clandinin takes issue with this tendency, bringing together a collection of narratives from seven writers who spent a year in an urban school, exploring the experiences and contributions of children, families, teachers and administrators. These stories show us an alternative way of attending to what counts in schools, shifting away from the school as a business model towards an idea of schools as places to engage citizenship and to attend to the wholeness of people’s lives.

Articulating the complex ethical dilemmas and issues that face people and schools every day, this fascinating study puts school life under the microscope raises new questions about who and what education is for.


'I recommend this book wholeheartedly for its realness, centredness, courage and compassion.' - Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice

Table of Contents

1. A Narrative Understanding of Lives in Schools 2. Working Alongside Children, Teachers, Parents, and Administrators in Relational Narrative Inquiry 3. Children’s Stories to Live By: Teachers’ Stories of Children 4. Children’s Fictionalized Stories to Live By 5. Children’s and Teachers’ Stories to Live By in a School Story of Character Education 6. Living Alongside Children Shapes an Administrator’s Stories to Live By 7. Shifting Stories to Live By: Interweaving the Personal and Professional in Teachers’ Lives 8. Living in Tension: Negotiating a Curriculum of Lives 9. Composing Stories to Live By: Interrupting the Story of School 10. Afterword. References

About the Authors

D. Jean Clandinin is Professor and Director of the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development at the University of Alberta, Canada. Janice Huber and Anne Murray Orr are Assistant Professors at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada. Marilyn Huber is a doctoral student at the University of Alberta, Canada. Marni Pearce is a senior education manager with the Alberta Government. M. Shaun Murphy is a Research Associate and Pam Steeves is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada.

About the Series

Teachers, Teaching and Learning

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects