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Narrative Inquiry Into the Experiences of Vietnamese Children and Mothers Composing Lives in Transition to Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Tran, Hang Thi Thuy
  • In this narrative inquiry, I attended to the experiences of three newcomer elementary-age children and their mothers of Vietnamese heritage who were composing lives in transition to Canada. My passion for this inquiry came from my experience as a mother as I lived alongside my young daughters and their struggles, tensions, and tears when we were first composing our lives in transition to Canada. Many of my daughters’ storied experiences of their new schools were upsetting. As I began to think narratively with my daughters’ and my stories, I better understood my children and myself and was able to dwell in/with my tensions in educative ways. Attending the child and mother co-researchers’ lived and told stories of their experiences, I came alongside them in their family and community places. The child and mother co-researchers and I came alongside one another for two years as we explored the mothers’ stories of their homeland culture. We attended to past and present intergenerational narrative reverberations in language, culture, and education traditions and experiences that shape their familial curriculum making and too, the child and mother co-researchers’ lived and told stories of composing lives in transition to Canada. Field texts for the inquiry included transcripts from audio-recorded monthly conversations in both Vietnamese and English, field notes of my experiences as the inquiry unfolded, family artifacts shared by the children and mothers, annals and journal entries the mothers made in Vietnamese and/or English, and drawings, writings, or artistic creations the children made in Vietnamese and/or English. Interim and final research texts were co-composed and negotiated with each child and mother co-researcher. Our narrative inquiry shows significant aspects of the everyday fabric of the children’s and mother’s lives in the making, including the spatial, linguistic, and temporal nature of their lives in transition as well as the children’s familial curriculum making worlds. Our narrative inquiry opens potential avenues for understanding cultural ethics within the relational ethics of narrative inquiry, as well as familial narratives in relation to institutional and social narratives. Our narrative inquiry encourages teachers, researchers, cultural brokers, immigrant facilitators, education policy makers, teacher educators, and newcomer parents and families to more deeply understand and support, by travelling to their diverse worlds, children and families who are composing lives in transition to Canada.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-3xcz-wt20
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.