from course requirement to vanity project

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The Best Holiday Greeting I received in 2014

Twas the day after Christmas and life in the dorm,

is quiet, subdued, uneventful and norm.
The tree is blinking its lights in the lobby,
[A] and [B] badly need a hobby.
This Saturday there will be a small party,
Tabby bought some Baileys, I’ll not be tardy.

On January 9th I will have my last classes,
The best part of art is that everyone passes.
This weekend I’ll reply to some holiday greetings,
Then post on QQ to show what I’m eating.

Your emails and comments are always a pleasure
A fellow Canuck is a blessing to treasure
[A] and [B] badly need a hobby.
No … this is not a mistake, they’re really driving
people crazy with their whining and complaining.

I will not let others affect how I’m feeling
It’s time for a nap and to stare at the ceiling.
Whatever your wishes, whatever your plan
I wish you a Happy Adventures Miss Tran !

Jerry    : )


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My Learning … (p. 8): Conclusion

The Canadian multicultural education discourse is further complicated by Canada’s constitutional reality that each province is responsible for its own education agenda.  Schools in Canada are expected to provide multicultural and diverse representation of population, but they are not equipped to do so.  In addition, they still view “diversity [as] something to be ‘managed, accommodated’, and that integration (into a racialized white majority) is a primary curricular objective” (Ng-A-Fook, Radford, &Ausman, 2014, p. 97).  Kirova (2008) suggested that each province should commit resources to hiring and keeping more teachers from visible minority groups to provide a more multicultural and diverse representation of their population.

Even as I recognize that multiculturalism identifies and pigeon-holes people as “others” according to their “language, name, and race” (Ibrahim, 2005, p. 6), it is still much easier to teach and live under its umbrella since I want to avoid and manage conflicts, not confront and challenge them.  Add to this mix the teachers’ unions in each province whose sole objective is to protect and place all teachers’ (inclusive of excellent leaders in their craft as well as those who should never have been inflicted on anyone’s children) rights and well-being above all else, as is their job, and institutional reforms are seen as arguably too difficult, too arduous, and too slow.

Perhaps the way to encourage the rejection of multiculturalism and embracing difference in the classroom is not implementation at the macro institutional scale but encouragement through education of individual leaders at the classroom and school level.  Leaders who are effective as managers as well as activism should be encouraged and rewarded more so than those geared solely toward risk avoidance and inaction.  For example, a Canadian civics or history teacher may choose to teach Canada’s history a little different and from a more nuanced perspective with regards to its relationship with its First Nations Peoples than the curriculum requires.  They should be encouraged to be morally courageous in their learning of difficult histories and sharing that with their students.  To encourage that courageousness, they should be given room to occasionally take risks and fail.  The point is to be able to change as situations unfold in new and unfamiliar conditions and learn from mistakes.  These teachers should be encouraged and rewarded for going above and beyond the curriculum in confronting the country’s negative past, and its conflicting present.

I have come to the conclusion that the program contributed to my personal growth as a person and developed my goal to be a transformative leader in my role as a teacher.  I am not certain what kind of problem(s) I will encounter in the future but I hope to solve it/them collectively and “arrive at a tentative best judgment regarding contested beliefs” (Mezirow, 1997, p. 9).  I hope that my “reading [of] both the word and the world” (Perry, 2012, p. 37) has improved and that I will recognize issues of power relationship in society and issues of social injustices as I encounter them.  My goal is to develop the capacity to get it right quickly when the moment arrives.

I think the literacy curriculum should/could be designed based on cognitive theories, such as Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory and the method of teaching that curriculum should/could be best delivered based on sociocultural theories.  Students should be helped and guided to transition through the different cognitive stages via their courses and learning with the guidance and support from transformative educational leaders in their classrooms (teachers), in their schools (department heads, vice-principles, and principles), and in society (parents, board and union leaders, and political representatives).  I hope to be able to facilitate the conditions for “transformative learners [to] move toward a frame of reference that is more inclusive, discriminating, self-reflective, and integrative of experience” (Mezirow, p. 5) asking difficult questions and encourage students to do the same.  I hope handle old tasks in better and more efficient ways as well as new and different tasks, which are unpredictable.  I want to be a transformative teacher/leader and affect positive changes in my future students and their spaces just as I, and my spaces, have been changed by the transformative professors and colleagues I have encountered in this program.


Ibrahim, A. (2005).  The question of the question is the foreigner.  Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 21 (4), 149-162.

Kirova, A.  (2008). Critical and emerging discourses in multicultural education literature: A review. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 40(1), 101-124.

Mezirow, J. (1997).  Transformative learning: theory to practice.  New Directions For Adult and Continuing Education, (74). Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Ng-A-Fook, N., Radford, L., & Ausman, T. (2014).  Living hyph-e-nation: Marginalized youth, social networking, and third spaces.  In Ibrahim, and Steinberg, S.R. (Eds), Critical Youth Studies Reader (p. 240-255).  New York: Peter Lang.

Perry, K. (2012).  What is literacy? – A critical overview of sociocultural perspectives.  Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8 (1).