The authors of this book - teachers of foundation courses to pre-service and in-service teachers in Canada, Israel, and the United States - use culturally heterogeneous settings as points of departure for inquiry and cross-cultural encounters of difference, and illuminate how, among people of differing ethnic, religious, socio-economic, political, ideological, and gendered backgrounds, the telling of experiential stories can shift personally and culturally polarized positions. Key in the work documented here is the encouragement of narrative rather than argumentative modes of expression: the instructors found inquiry more likely to stay alive when they were able to access and incorporate both the mutual interest of and the personal tensions between their students. The book illustrates how personal dynamics can subtly move individual inquiry forward, and help alleviate animosity and polarization.
The Authors: Xin Li (Ph.D., University of Toronto) is Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at California State University - Long Beach. She is the author of the book The Tao of Life Stories: Chinese Language, Poetry, and Culture in Education (Peter Lang, 2002). Carola Conle (Ph.D., University of Toronto) is Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at OISE/UT. She has published two books and more than 20 articles in refereed journals, including the 2003 ER article "Anatomy of narrative curricula." Freema Elbaz Luwisch (Ph.D., University of Toronto) is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Haifa. She is the author of Teachers' Voices: Storytelling and Possibility (2005).