Insights Into the Remembered Educational Experiences of Male Caribbean Immigrants to Canada: Literacy and Identity in the Canadian Classroom
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Abstract Past research has addressed the issue of male underachievement in literacy as an issue of global concern. This qualitative study focused on one subgroup of males which the literature highlighted as most at risk of educational underachievement in the Canadian educational landscape: male Caribbean immigrants to Canada. The research questions that framed the study sought to gain insight into the educational experiences of this group of learners so that ways through which their literacy achievement as measured by academic performance and classroom engagement could be projected. New literacy studies view literacy as socioculturally bound in social, institutional, and cultural relationships (Gee 1996). Literacy can therefore be thought of as an extension of self that Lankshear and Knobel (2006) assert is always connected to social identities. Central to the research questions as a result of this perspective was the discovery of the ideologies of reading held by the participants and their connections to literacy practice. Supplementary questions delved into socially valued literacy practices and ways in which learners saw themselves as Black males reflected in the Canadian educational framework. In this qualitative study with an interview design, data were collected through individual semistructured interviews with the 4 participants and through a focus group session with all the participants. The findings depicted that identity, interests, and ideologies of reading all influenced the literacy practices and engagement of Caribbean males. The findings documented are valuable as they provide a fresh perspective surrounding the educational experiences of the male Caribbean learner and can present insights which can lead to enhanced academic engagement and improved student achievement for this group of learners.