In Ed Janak's opening article, "Bridges and Brokers: Collective Biography in the Study of the General Education Board in the U.S. West," he narrates a quest to understand more about the role of key figures in the GEB in the Western United States. While scholarship has explored aspects of the GEB in other parts of the country, Janak's focus on Mary "Ataloa" Stone McClendon, George Sanchez, and Annie Webb Blanton through a collective biographical approach expands understanding of individuals integral to the GEB's outreach to and funding impact on marginalized communities in the West. As "bridges and brokers," Ataloa served Native Americans at an Oklahoma college, Sanchez worked with Latino communities in New Mexico and Texas, and Blanton served African-Americans in Texas. This essay is the first that explores their role in the GEB.
Turning to the history of mathematics education, Jennifer Ruef describes her encounter with an "evocative object" (1)--a chair--that prompted an inquiry into the life of a professor of mathematics education. Kinney's work underscores Turkle's point that objects can function as touchstones of imagination, provocation, and in this case, connection between past and present. She writes, Kinney's "chair was left to languish at the back of a dusty storeroom and it invited curiosity and discovery"(p.45). She offers a biographical portrait of Kinney as a scholar, and in the process, contributes to her sense of her own occupational inheritance. (2) In McDeavitt's essay, she reflects on one teacher, Daria, whose experiences with immigration shaped her pedagogy and insights into children's experiences with immigration. In turn, McDeavitt's quest to understand led her to additional points of connection: She writes, "as I learned more about Daria's experiences, I began to see the entangled stories of our shared immigration experiences--my journey from immigrant student to immigrant teacher meshing with Daria's journey" (p. 51). Such quests to understand the entanglements of teaching lives are fuel for biographical work.
In our "Reflections and Applications" section, we offer two pieces that represent creative engagements with biography. As VS has demonstrated in our publication history, research norms for (re)presenting reports of scholarship have expanded in the last 30 years to embrace poems, drama, narrative, photographic, and other creative representations beyond traditional research formats. Collaborative dialogic pieces present one example. The first essay in this section is a collaborative dialogic reflection by a professor and a student at York University, Naomi Norquay and Shameen Sandhu, that focuses on their engagement with a recently published text, Critical Approaches to Questions in Qualitative Research (Swaminathan & Mulvihill). Norquay used the book in a qualitative course in which Shameen was enrolled and they reflect on how they "put" the text "to work." (3) The text raises questions that have been fruitful for Shameen's research development.
In Kellum's historical work, he presents a creative representation of a late 19th/early 20th century educator who traveled to Hawaii one year to teach in the summer. The broader shifts in the representation of research in other fields inspired Kellum to create this historical poem. Cooke's teaching experience is set against the backdrop of the colonialist and racist constructions of indigenous Hawaiian people during the late 19th century. The role of education as a colonial project is evident his analysis.
The issue concludes with two book reviews of texts focusing on the lives of female educators. The first review, by Thalia Mulvilhill, addresses Linda Morice's book on Flora White, a progressive educator who fueled the diffusion of progressive education ideals. Morice was the long time editor of VS, and we are pleased to have her new scholarship represented in the journal. The last review by Ed Janak takes up Sandra Bonura's biography of the life of Ida May Pope, titled Light in the Queen's Garden. Pope was a late 19th century Hawaiian educator who taught during the Hawaiian revolution and helped serve the educational futures of the state's girls and women.
We appreciate your support of Vitae Scholasticae, this vital space for pursuing life studies scholarship in the field of education. We welcome your reviews, creative engagements, essays, and readership.
(1) Sherry Turkle, Evocative Objects: Things We Think With (MIT Press, 2007).
(2) Deborah Crow, "Exploring occupational inheritance while standing together on the precipice of dementia," Vitae Scholasticae: The journal of Educational Biography 34 (2), 88-109.
(3) Patti Lather uses this phrase in her work frequently. See for example, Getting Lost: Feminist Efforts Toward a Double(d) Science (New York: SUNY Press, 2007).
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|Author:||Bailey, Lucy E.|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2018|
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