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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19127

Title: Understanding School Stories: A Narrative Inquiry into the Cross-generational Schooling Experiences of Six Current and Former Chinese Students
Authors: Jia, Chao
Advisor: Conle, Carola
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: education
narrative inquiry
Issue Date: 24-Feb-2010
Abstract: This thesis research is a narrative inquiry into the cross-generational schooling experiences of six former and current students during a period of momentous social, economic, cultural and political change in China’s modern history, 1949 to the present. It focuses on students’ experience in curricular situations and how they construct and reconstruct curricular meanings. Through this work, I intend to foster a deeper understanding of knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and values about schooling revealed from students’ school experiences. According to Dewey (1938), Schwab (1978), Connelly and Clandinin (1988), curriculum does not only refer to the content in textbooks, but includes people, things, and processes of a learning environment. I used Schwab’s (1978) four commonplaces of curriculum, student, subject matter, teacher and milieu, to explore students’ curricular experiences in relation to the general field of curriculum studies as framed by Dewey, Schwab, Connelly and Clandinin. “These [four] commonplaces combine in different ways, becoming more or less prominent, and more or less salient, in teaching and learning situations” (Conle, 2003, p. 6). Schwab’s (1978) four commonplaces of curriculum provided an avenue for exploring the curricular meanings my and my participants make of our schooling. My participants are my parents, my nephew, an old (male) friend from school, a young female and myself. Since we all share a Chinese upbringing, our school stories were told and explored within China’s social, economic and political contexts. Telling and retelling my and my participants’ schooling experiences and making meaning and significance from them help to convey what has been happening in our curricular situations. Our cross-generational student experiences bring a set of perspectives to explore what it means to be educated in China. By constructing and reconstructing the meaning of our schooling experiences, this study provides space for students’ school stories to be reflectively heard and examined (Olson & Craig, 2005; Richie & Wilson, 2000)in the recent change in China’s educational reforms that seek to promote quality education and engage students’ independent and critical thinking.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19127
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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