An interesting time in my childhood: Thinking about storied experience to understand complexities of curriculum making and diversity

Elaine Chan


This paper highlights ways in which examining the storied experience of students may enhance our understanding of the complexities of curriculum making and diversity. Teachers, administrators, and other members of a diverse urban school implemented curriculum, practices, and policies that suggested a commitment to acknowledging the home cultures, languages, and religions that students brought to school. Examination of one Chinese student’s “stories of experience” (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990), however, revealed nuances and unexpected complexities of balancing integration into mainstream peer groups in school while growing up in an immigrant home. The nuances highlight ways in which schooling may contribute to shaping the ethnic identity of immigrant and minority students in ways that are much more complex than realized by teachers, administrators, and policy makers.

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