Learning the Spaces of School

Jyoti Mangat,
Prof. Jennifer Tupper
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This presentation, a collage of photos, voices, and moments in time, explores the relationships between schooling, spatial practices and citizenship as they are narrated by staff and students at a large ethnoculturally diverse urban high school in Western Canada. It reflects increasing concerns for inclusive practices in public high schools and concern for how current administrative practices and policies inform the way in which citizenship is constructed by students within and beyond the school.

Our research attempts to broaden the perspective of curriculum research to include the use of space, which though seemingly more intangible, offers rich potential for considering how public schools can become spaces where difference is lived in equitable ways. According to Gruenewald (2003), "recognizing that places are what people make of them – that people are place makers and that places are a primary artifact of human culture" (p. 627) schools need to play a more active and ethical role in the study, care, and creation of spaces that students live in on a daily basis. Through the use of photographs, students narrate a story of place and space, of being inside a school and constructing their own sense of citizenship. Teachers and administrators narrate a story of space as well. Their story is one that reflects a disparate understanding of how students exist in schools, interwoven with themes of surveillance and control. These stories, told through the voices of staff and students, and through the lenses of cameras that captured snapshots of the school, challenge us to understand how schools exist as in-between spaces, and how these spaces are constructed as they are lived.

Keywords: Identity, Citizenship, Space, Culture, Diversity
Stream: Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Jyoti Mangat

PhD Candidate, Department of Secondary Education Faculty of Education , University of Alberta

Jyoti Mangat is a doctoral candidate and SSHRC scholar in the Departments of English and Secondary Education at the University of Alberta in Canada. She taught high school English for several years before returning to university as a graduate student. Jyoti is interested in Postcolonial theory and its applications for teaching English in schools. She has been involved in research that explored student teachers' perceptions of anti-racist and multicultural education, and has presented at local, national and international conferences. Jyoti's work has been published in several journals including Canadian Social Studies.

Prof. Jennifer Tupper

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Regina

Jennifer is a social studies educator and former high school teacher who currently teaches and researches at the University of Regina in Canada. She completed her doctoral work in 2004 at the University of Alberta where she was a Killam scholar. Jennifer's research interests include issues of culture and gender in social studies curriculum, and the way in which citizenship is constructed, understood, and lived by students and teachers in social studies classrooms. She has been involved in research exploring student teachers' perceptions of anti-racist and multicultural education, worked as a curriculum writer and consultant in the Province of Alberta, and has published her work in several journals including the Canadian Journal of Social Studies and the Alberta Journal of Educational Research.

Ref: L05P0210