Equity for new Canadians : considering cultural worldviews in adult education.
Steinbach, Marilyn J. (Marilyn Jean), 1965-
357 leaves.
Microform, Thesis
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Electronic version licensed for access by U. of T. users.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 65-05, Section: A, page: 1706.
dissertation note
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2004.
general note
Adviser: Antoinette Gagne.
This study explores the construction of cultural worldviews of a group of 8 adult immigrants in Montreal. Combining the methods of critical ethnography and case study, I explore the nature of the experiences of the research participants in specific contexts of adult education and in integration generally. After observing three adult education English as a second language classrooms, I conducted a series of five monthly interviews with 8 volunteer research participants from various geographical and linguistic origins. The participants explain what aspects of their identity are influenced by historical, temporal, and cultural factors, and what aspects change under the fluid, evolving circumstances of integration. Of particular interest is the intersection of personal situations and external structures which are beyond the control of the individuals. My specific focus in this study is how micro-level, personal factors interplay with macro-level, structural factors in the life experiences of new Canadians.My interest in the construction of cultural worldviews fits into a broader context of providing equal opportunities to new Canadians through adult education. Recent immigrants are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than Canadian-born citizens, and earn significantly less. One of the goals of this critical ethnographic work is to provide insights into how adult education programs might more effectively encourage young adult immigrants to successfully reach their educational and personal goals. I provide specific suggestions for immigration and education programs and policies, and more general recommendations of changing assimilationist ideology at deep structural levels. The major findings of the thesis add to theories of social constructivism by emphasizing the significance of considering differences regarding historical, political, economic and cultural environments on the cultural worldviews of new Canadians.
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