Tesia Derksen-Bergen

 
Faculty of Arts
Daniel Joseph Hiebert
Abbotsford
Canada
SSHRC Graduate Scholarships
 

Research Topic

Multicultural curricula and intercultural relations in schools

Research Description

My research deals primarily with the connection between multicultural curricula in British Columbia's public schools and intercultural relations between students. Interviews conducted with youth in secondary school will examine how the multicultural curricular aspect of their schooling affects their sense of belonging to Canada, their identity, and the ways they interact with peers from diverse ethnocultural backgrounds. The role that young people play in debates surrounding multiculturalism in Canada is often overlooked in research on multiculturalism and schools, which tends to focus more on educators themselves, and there is a clear need for more student voices to be included in this research. Processes of inclusion and belonging in schools are central to our understanding of the effectiveness of multicultural policies in our learning communities.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I am looking forward to the process of undertaking a research project like this for the first time. In general, I enjoy reading articles and books for class that really interest me.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I went to UBC as an undergraduate student and made life-long friends and memories during my years here. The West Coast is my home, and I was excited for the opportunity to experience studying at UBC in a new way. Secretly, I was glad that I would still be able to eat a Blue Chip cookie everyday!

 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Previous to starting my MA at UBC, I had been a Social Studies and English teacher at a secondary school in the Lower Mainland for several years, and I became very curious about how some of the content and skills I was teaching filtered down to students’ actions and belief systems not only inside my classroom, but outside as well. I decided to take some time away from teaching to pursue these questions in a setting where I would have the opportunity to think about them from uniquely critical perspectives that I might not have been able to gain without some distance from teaching in the classroom.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I am an avid beach enthusiast when it’s warm out. I also love to cook gourmet vegetarian meals for family and friends.

 
 

The role that young people play in debates surrounding multiculturalism in Canada is often overlooked in research on multiculturalism and schools, which tends to focus more on educators themselves. There is a clear need for more student voices to be included in this research.