Show Less
Restricted access

Shifting Polarized Positions

A Narrative Approach in Teacher Education


Xin Li, Carola Conle and Freema Elbaz-Luwisch

The authors of this book – teachers of foundation courses to pre-service and in-service teachers in Canada, Israel, and the United States – use culturally heterogeneous settings as points of departure for inquiry and cross-cultural encounters of difference, and illuminate how, among people of differing ethnic, religious, socio-economic, political, ideological, and gendered backgrounds, the telling of experiential stories can shift personally and culturally polarized positions. Key in the work documented here is the encouragement of narrative rather than argumentative modes of expression: the instructors found inquiry more likely to stay alive when they were able to access and incorporate both the mutual interest of and the personal tensions between their students. The book illustrates how personal dynamics can subtly move individual inquiry forward, and help alleviate animosity and polarization.