• Memoir Writing as an Education Tool: Implications for Student Voice and Identity

      Pearson, Emily
      Memoir is a genre of writing often overlooked as a valuable pedagogical tool. Through employing qualitative research and methods, this study explored the potential benefits of teachers introducing memoir in their classrooms. Research questions included: How can memoir writing serve as a pedagogical tool to encourage students to write and care about their writing? In what ways does the memoir writing process support students in exploring their identities? How are students encouraged to discover their voices when writing a memoir? By implementing an eight-week memoir-writing unit in a seventh-grade classroom, the teacher-researcher collected data as students read, listened to, wrote, and shared memoirs to learn about and practice the genre. Data collection methods included open-ended in-depth interviews, student questionnaires, artifacts, participant observations, student journals, and the researcher’s journal. Analysis of these multiple data sources illustrated how students wrote memoirs to learn about themselves and their worlds, and appeared motivated when doing so. The findings also drew attention to the importance of teachers being writers, too, and instituting routines and rituals to help students see their lives as full of invitations to write. Not only did using “I” in their writing make writing enjoyable for the students in this study, but it also engaged even the most struggling of writers. Implications for teacher-researchers and teachers of memoir writing are discussed.
    • Three Newly Appointed Vice-Principals’ Perceptions of Their Identity Formation and Interaction With School Culture: A Qualitative Study of the VP Role Transition

      Pereira, Sarah Jo
      This generic qualitative study explored the process of administrative identity formation from the perspective of 3 newly appointed secondary school vice-principals. It also explored participants’ perception of how vice-principals influence and are influenced by school culture. Data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that in their first years of transitioning into the role of vice-principal participants faced challenges in forming new identities. With respect to their ability to influence school culture, participants found that other responsibilities of the job consumed their time and subsequent abilities to make changes. Participants revealed their duties, responsibilities, and the ways in which they both prepared for their role and were supported within them. Participants found that their VP experiences upon appointment and within the first years of transitioning largely focused on the various challenges they faced in assuming the new responsibilities, navigating the changing dynamics amongst staff, and managing the vast quantity of work in limited time restraints. Despite these challenges participants continued to work towards finding a balance in their management of the VP role, where with time and experience they might further develop their administrative identity formation, and may impact school culture as a whole.