Maureen Kendrick


Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Digital multimodal composing with youth from refugee and immigrant backgrounds in a Metro Vancouver secondary school (2023)

Canadian schools welcome increasing numbers of emergent multilingual newcomer youth. However, studies examining graduation data have shown that schools have not been very successful in keeping youth from refugee and socio-economically marginalized backgrounds invested in school learning. There is thus an urgent need to understand how these youth can be better supported in Canadian schools to achieve their potential. This qualitative, multi-year, ethnographic case-study research addresses this need, involving nine emergent multilingual adolescent newcomers from refugee and immigrant backgrounds in a Metro Vancouver secondary school. The study explored possibilities for language and literacy learning among these youth through in-school digital multimodal composing (DMC), the use of digital tools to make meaning with multiple modes (e.g., languages, visuals, gestures). Youth inquired, and later shared, about issues of interest and concern to them in DMC activities, specifically video productions, that I facilitated during class time in popular new media genres (e.g., reaction videos, video podcasts). The activities were designed with a role-play-based, dramaturgical pedagogy, and were anchored in curriculum goals. Reflexive thematic analysis of text, audio, and video data collected from youth and their teachers was conducted inductively in ATLAS.ti, with a multimodal ethnographic approach. Findings revealed three patterns presented in three manuscripts: (1) a focus on the role-play-based, dramaturgical pedagogy of the project as a case showed how this pedagogical structuring of DMC processes facilitated the nine newcomer students’ investment in classroom learning; (2) a focus on the reaction videos production as a case showed how six youth from refugee backgrounds took ownership of how they were to be perceived by their classmates and teachers; and (3) a focus, as a case, on one emergent multilingual refugee-background learner with significantly interrupted schooling who had come late to literacy, showed how DMC processes helped him overcome the language barrier, showcase English proficiency, and counter deficit perceptions. The study helps researchers, educators, and teacher-educators better understand how DMC can foster these youth’s investment in school learning.

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Listening to stories: collaborating with children and their teacher to explore the communicative repertoires of young emergent bilinguals (2022)

This study explores ways to value emergent bilinguals’ rich communicative repertoires and to design multimodal and multilingual pedagogical practices that build on these resources students bring from home to school. I listen to children’s stories as they draw from their various languages, multiple modes of expression, and socioculturally informed ways of engaging with the self and others. I also present young children’s views on linguistic diversity and multimodal learning, and their perspectives on the inclusion of their linguistic resources in classrooms. Interconnecting theories of multilingualism and translanguaging, and multiliteracies and multimodality, I researched in a Canadian public Grade 2/3 classroom. I used education design research and methodologies for collaborating and researching with the children and their teacher, while paying attention to contextual realities. Data were generated through home visits and in-class interactions and projects that integrated a variety of multimodal methods, and included my subjectivities as a multilingual and racialized parent. The stories in the study emphasize different communicative repertoires – including languages, drawing, photography, pop culture, conversations, collaboration, and playfulness – that emergent bilinguals use as resources to showcase their learning and capacities. Pedagogical designs were co-constructed valuing these creative repertoires and multiliterate practices as resources for learning and I interpret learnings from this process. Congruently, I also stress raciolinguistic ideologies and the realities of class, cultural, and systemic inequities that multilingual and marginalized students and families frequently experience in their interactions in schools and in society. My findings highlight the synergistic connections between multimodal and multilingual ways of meaning making and the identities of competence that emerge when we listen carefully to children’s stories. I emphasize the significance of process and relationships at the heart of children’s language and literacies learning and the need to center these connections as we collaboratively design processes to support children. I highlight systemic constraints on children’s capacities and the need to purposefully resist raciolinguistic ideologies and normative practices for facilitating equitable translanguaging practices. Implications align with translanguaging and multimodality as collaborative, reflective, and critical processes that educators and researchers can harness towards creating sustaining practices and caring communities of belonging.

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Designing learning experiences with equity-seeking youth: strength-based strategies for sustaining culture, community and creativity (2019)

Despite Canada’s public commitments to equity and diversity, the nation’s education systems are not adequately meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically non-dominant youth. Aboriginal youth in Canada frequently have negative and incomplete educational experiences as a result of racism, deficit perspectives, inequitable funding, and the exclusion of their ways of being and knowing (Drummond & Rosenbluth, 2013; Hare & Pidgeon, 2011; Kanu, 2002). Similarly, newcomer youth are excluded from mainstream education systems and programs through a lack of cultural competence, while alternative spaces such as those run by settlement organizations are underfunded (Van Ngo, 2009). As Canada grows increasingly diverse through immigration and begins to acknowledge historic and ongoing infringement on the rights of Aboriginal peoples, what counts as quality education must be revisited and recreated together. My study considers the teaching and learning processes that work for non-dominant youth seeking equity, including how practitioners and young people negotiate the value of different communicative repertoires with each other and with society. I examine the kinds of learning processes that equity-seeking youth and practitioners want to create together, what strategies they use to move towards their vision, and how they imagine their work could be better sustained despite conflict with dominant systems. I anchor my study with insights gained through interviews with 12 experienced educators and social workers from across Canada. I also conducted research through two partnerships; one with youth and educators at a First Nations high school, and one with newcomer youth and facilitators in a creative arts program run by a settlement organization.My findings elaborate on existing evidence in the field of culturally sustaining education in formal and informal contexts regarding the importance of relationships and the value of enabling the full communicative repertoires of learners. Additionally, I uncover new ideas about how relational pedagogy is manifested across the learning ecology through protecting, hosting, venturing, and accessing. I also identify ways that cycles of acceptance and expression can be set in motion and sustained, and how youth are adapting and countering the practice of authoring identity (e.g., Cummins, 2001; Cummins & Early, 2011).

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Poetics of return : toward poetic imagination and peacebuilding (2014)

No abstract available.

Being tough, staying good, and playing inside the box: An ethnographic case study of one boy's multimodal textmaking (2013)

This study of multimodal textmaking is focused on how resources from home and from school are used by one child in the middle years of elementary school. Kyle is the primary participant in this ethnographic case study, which spanned two school years. Analysis focused on how texts change, how resources and identities are constructed and reconstructed, and which texts and textmaking practices are valued and which are not. In response to the need to understand more fully how hybrid or ‘relocalized’ (Pennycook, 2010) texts are made, this study undertook an examination of a wide range of textmaking processes. Kyle’s use of the cultural resources of professional wrestling, amongst others, to make narrative and performative hybrid texts, is traced. His ‘rescripting’ of everyday experiences, in playful and parodic ways, is explored. Kyle’s writing within a mandated writing process, performance-based assessment is also examined and a sociocultural understanding of creativity is proposed.Insight into permeability of home and school boundaries is offered. An expanded definition of text to include multimodal forms suggests that all texts are multimodal, but also that many children are excluded from successful textmaking at school because the modes, forms, and resources with which they are familiar or have had success, are not included amongst the valued texts at school (Luke, 1997; Marsh, 2006; Nixon & Comber, 2006). Powerful practices and interpersonal influences are made visible in a way that is not possible when only polished or final versions of texts are considered. The potentials and possibilities offered by play and improvisation within textmaking, both in and out of school, are emphasized.

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ICT, Multilingual Primary Education and Classroom Pedagogy in Northern Uganda (2012)

The goal of achieving Universal Primary Education (UPE) has found resonance throughout Africa as governments embark on ambitious development agendas, and in Uganda specifically. Yet, arguably the fundamental prerequisite for attaining quality UPE, literacy, has had limited success: one in three Ugandans cannot read or write in any language. Illiteracy is especially acute in post-conflict Gulu, in the north, illustrative of how closely intertwined human security is to the ability to offer relevant, culturally appropriate and high quality education. Some argue that the poor progress on raising literacy levels is a consequence of education systems’ disconnections from the cultures of their learners (Prah 2008), including quality multilingual education. The need to integrate the mother tongue into the classroom, including into second language learning is well established (Cummins 1981, 1993; 2000; Egbokhare 2004; Garcia, 2009). Identifying the best tools to accomplish this in African contexts, particularly where conflict is a factor, however, is much less well explored. This research seeks to understand how Gulu's primary teachers can use specific information communication technology (ICT) tools to support teachers who are struggling to teach the mother tongue with limited traditional literacy resources. It forms part of a larger project led by Dr. Bonny Norton, Dr. Maureen Kendrick and Dr. Margaret Early, to address language and literacy challenges in diverse African communities. In particular, this study serves as a response to the finding (Mutonyi & Norton, 2007) that ICTs offer untapped potential to raise learning outcomes.

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A Comparative Case Study of Two Urban Aboriginal Children's Meaning Making Across Home, School, and Community Contexts (2011)

In the field of early childhood literacy, researchers have begun to investigate the ways contemporary childhoods are being shaped by a range of multimodal communicative practices (Kress, 2003; Lankshear & Knobel, 2003; Marsh, 2003b). The link between children’s use of these practices, many of which are linked to digital technologies and global discourses, and their identity construction, is also being examined in the new millennium. The changing communication systems of the twenty-first century are also influencing the ways urban Aboriginal children make meaning in their worlds, and are impacting Aboriginal children’s identities. Drawing on a sociocultural theory of learning, the purpose of this qualitative comparative case study is to investigate the complexity of the everyday communicative practices utilized by two, six-year-old urban Aboriginal children in and out-of-school, in an attempt to inform the future direction of literacy curricula for young Aboriginal children. Acquiring insight into Aboriginal children’s meaning making is also vital to challenging and replacing long-standing deficit notions held by society and mainstream schools about Aboriginal students’ inferiority and ineducability. This is particularly relevant as the urban Aboriginal student population rises in the province of Saskatchewan. The findings revealed the focal children’s homes to be vibrant, multimodal textual spaces in which the children were supported by their family members as they engaged in a range of communicative practices for multiple purposes. The findings also revealed the link between the dynamic and evolving nature of Indigenous knowledge and the families’ meaning making. Further, the findings showed how the practices valued and promoted in the focal children’s classroom generally reflected traditional and narrow modes of communication, specifically, print-based and teacher-directed practices, and also included superficial, rudimentary aspects of Aboriginal culture. This study offers new suggestions on the ways in which Aboriginal children’s out-of-school communicative practices, specifically those practices linked to digital technology, can be included in early childhood classrooms in culturally-relevant ways.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Hide and seek: a methodological approach to the development of a short story anthology (2020)

This hybrid thesis is the companion to the short story anthology written for my creative project, Hide & Seek. In order to develop a guide to aid future editors in the short story anthology curation process, this essay examines the history of the short story since the 1900 and the current nature of middle grade literature. The final chapter is laid out as a step-by-step guide on building a short story anthology from concept development through final typesetting with an emphasis on the various stages of text editing and the responsibilities of a project editor.

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Learning language and science at play: threads of meaning-making and identities (2020)

In recent years, there has been a staggering increase of forcibly displaced people worldwide. Upon arrival in the host country, migrant and refugee-background children (MRBC) may be particularly at risk due to the challenge of adjusting to a new language, school culture, and sociocultural changes. In this context, this research aimed to shed light on the language and content-area learning of MRBC in a community elementary school in Greater Vancouver, BC. By using an inductive thematic analysis, this multiple-case study sought to understand how three Grade 2/3 learners could enhance academic language proficiency and science learning while foregrounding aspects of their identities through various playful practices. Theoretical frameworks included sociocultural perspectives on literacy, a pedagogy of multiliteracies, conceptions of play, and identity. Data encompassed field notes, photos and videos of in-class activities, artifacts, and interviews with students and their teachers. Findings suggest that the three MRBC learned about the importance of water and its cycle through multimodal meaning-making, which entailed engaging in a meaning-making flow, creating hybrid narratives of new knowledge, and learning collaboratively. The three MRBC also foregrounded aspects of their identities in multimodal productions, such as their sense of belonging, lifeworld experiences and agentic imagined identities. This research responded to a gap in the literature about MRBC’s literacy education in content-area subjects in Canadian mainstream classrooms; it also demonstrated how playful practices can give rise to synesthetic learning and open doorways to MRBC’s wealth of lifeworld knowledge and agentic identities in a science classroom.

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Exploring cultural resources as pedagogical tools for language education: a case of two primary schools in Uganda (2011)

In 2007 Uganda launched a new curriculum called the thematic curriculum that emphasizes the use of home languages as the medium of instruction in lower primary classes and the use cultural resources such as local stories and songs as pedagogical tools to improve literacy instruction. The purpose of this study was to examine how Lugbara cultural resources like stories, songs, and riddles ‘travel’ from community sites into classrooms and how teachers used them to enhance language teaching and learning. The study was informed by the New Literacy Studies (Barton & Hamilton, 1998; Street, 1984), which focus on literacy as a situated social practice. This was a qualitative case study that used lesson observations, interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis as the main data sources. For data analysis the study loosely drew on Hymes’ (1974) SPEAKING Model which views discourse as a series of speech events within a cultural context by describing the Setting, the Participants, the End, the Act sequence, the key, the Instrumentalities, the Norms and the Genre of the speech event. Findings from the study revealed that cultural resources ‘travel’ from the community settings where they are traditionally performed to new sites in the classrooms as hybrid forms ranging from strong (retaining a large number of key elements from their place of origin) to weak (with limited elements from their place origin). Strong cultural resources have great potential to transform classroom practices and enhance language teaching and learning, whereas weak cultural resources are stripped of their transformative potential. Thus, cultural resources do not have an intrinsic resourcefulness as pedagogical tools. Their resourcefulness depends on the extent to which they retain their key traditional elements in the course of travelling from the community sites into the new settings. Teachers thus need further training to understand how the cultural resources function as both community and classroom resources to make their best use as pedagogical tools. The study informs the language policy and the new thematic curriculum in Uganda. It brings a much needed non-Western perspective to New Literacy Studies theory by building on literacy as a socio-cultural practice.

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