Reporting on the research collaborations of a group of teachers, graduate students and a university professor, this book weaves together their collective insights about how classrooms might be better for students of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, abilities and socio-economic circumstances, and better for teachers as well. It also shows how research collaborations can result in rich and compelling descriptions of classroom events. Written in a style accessible to teachers and student teachers, it introduces sociocultural perpectives on identity, classroom and community practices, helping and transformative possibilities, using teacher narratives to reflect the complexity of classroom decision-making and reflective action.
The account of this group of professionals collaborating, discussing and understanding across school and university contexts is uplifting, inspiring and hopeful. It is an excellent example of how teachers and academics can engage in changing school practices and how we all experience varying roles as knowers and learners.
- Angela Creese, School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK
This compelling account details a 5-year journey undertaken by a group of educational professionals-- teachers, specialists, and researchers—who created a viable and productive ‘third space’ for teaching, learning and research through collaborative inquiry. Their stories, firmly grounded in sociocultural and sociopolitical conceptualizations of classrooms and schooling, are a complex and rich interweaving of their voices, and those of their students and students’ families, in ways that elegantly portray the tensions, struggles and joys of working with diverse learners. This book is a must for all teachers, teacher educators, and educational researchers, as we grapple with the sticky questions of how to promote equality and access for all in an increasingly standards- and evaluation-driven environment, and how to come to see our own practices with new eyes. It is guaranteed to touch both heart and mind as it confronts us with the uniqueness of individuals’ trajectories through school, and challenges assumptions and practices about teaching, learning and conducting research, while serving as a testament to the power of community.
- Margaret R. Hawkins, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Corey Denos spent 25 years teaching 4-8 year olds in Vancouver and Surrey, BC public schools. She is now retired.
Kelleen Toohey is Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University. She wrote Learning English at School: Identity, Social Relations and Classroom Practices (2000) and co-edited with Bonny Norton Critical Pedagogies and Language Learning (2004).
Kathy Neilson is a Faculty Associate and PhD student in Education at Simon Fraser University, working in teacher in-service education. Her research interests include arts education and teacher inquiry.
Bonnie Waterstone is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Her 2003 PhD dissertation studied the first year of the group featured in this book.