STORIES OF LANGUAGES AND TEACHING: FIRST YEAR BILINGUAL SPANISH/ENGLISH TEACHERS’ NARRATIVES
Gauna, Leslie Michel
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This dissertation seeks to study how three bilingual teachers make sense of their first year of teaching practice through their narratives recounts. Through the use of a combination of critical framework and narrative inquiry approach the study will show how beginning bilingual teachers reflect upon their transition from being a teacher candidate to being a first year teacher. Ultimately, as a researcher and teacher educator, my goal is to become informed about the challenges and supports that first year bilingual teachers face and therefore incorporate the resulted information as part of the curriculum of teacher educator institutions. It is my desire to listen and re-tell language minority students’s stories who choose to become bilingual teachers in the context of U.S. and Texas education. To begin the inquiry, I present an autobiographic understanding of my own dealings with language, teaching and stories. Then I conduct a three-branched literature review. The first part defines bilingualism in education and society. It also explains ideologies that view language as a problem, as a right or as a resource. The second part of the literature review focuses on how Critical Pedagogy provides a way to place the learner, in the center of the knowledge production. Jim Cummins explains collaborative relations of power as crucial in the identity formation of language minority students. The third part of the literature review addressed culture, specifically, multiculturalism in education exposing prevalent deficit theories which compete with alternative accounts of bilinguals cultural practices as an asset. I explain my methodology as a combination of a critical view of society, critical theory, with a narrative inquiry approach. I review similarities on the narrative inquirer’s postulate of individual experiences as the basis for knowledge and the critical pedagogists’ use of firsthand experience turned into theory which in turn can become another person’s theory that then turns into experience (Olson & Craig, 2009, p. 1079). I also provide epistemological resonances among critical pedagogy questioning what is given as reality, Foucault’s explanation of the object of study as temporary agreements and Bruner’s turning up the status quo in narratives of experience. Narrative Inquiry, based on Dewey’s relational notion of experience (1929) and on Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) three dimensional attention to people, place and time will allow the exploration of the first year bilingual teachers’ stories of language practices in their teaching and of the support and challenges they encounter in their becoming of teachers. The critical approach will provide the alertness needed to contest monolingual ideologies and monocultural teaching practices of bilingual students. Selected References Dewey, J. (1929). Experience and nature. New York, NY. U.S.: WW Norton & Company. Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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