The Experiences of Racialized Faculty within Independent Schools: A Narrative Inquiry

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In this research, I explored the lived experiences of racialized faculty within Canadian independent schools. The genesis of this study was the profound lack of information available about the experiences of racialized peoples within the independent school context. This poses significant issues for me, both professionally and personally. Without any insight into or understanding of the lived experiences of racialized communities within the contexts of independent schools, there is little hope for making meaningful changes towards more equitable and inclusive educational experiences for these groups. This study is important, if we as Canadians, believe that the ideals of equity should be extended to all demographics who attend and teach within independent schools. The overarching research question used to guide my inquiry was: How have the professional experiences of racialized teachers within independent schools contributed to the understanding of race? Using Narrative Inquiry as a methodological framework, I positioned each narrative within the context of a three-dimensional narrative inquiry space and then analyzed through an integrative theoretical framework which draws on Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP) as a decolonial practice. Using a CSP approach would foreground alternative cultural epistemologies to meet the pedagogical needs of racialized students and faculty within the independent school system. The findings from this study support the recommendation that independent schools be open to pausing, acknowledging the harm that has been caused, and to listen and learn from racialized communities in the process towards decolonization. In undertaking this process, this study hopes that independent schools can work towards a stronger relational ethic with the racialized faculty and students that live and learn within their school systems.
Decolonization, Independent Schools, Race, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy
Panjwani, S. (2023). The experiences of racialized faculty within independent schools: a narrative inquiry (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.