The Experience of Dis-placed Communities: Mis-placed Educational Opportunities

Redmond, Kevin (2016) The Experience of Dis-placed Communities: Mis-placed Educational Opportunities. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, St. Francis Xavier University.

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Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) has a long history of out-migration and internal migration between communities in coastal areas within the province. Resettlement programs initiated by the NL government between 1954 and 1975 accounted for the internal migration of approximately 30,000 people from 300 communities. Modern-day encounters with these abandoned communities are relevant to understanding the loss of place and home, as significant numbers of students in NL today are affected by migration. This dissertation is a phenomenological study of the experiences of educators as they explored the remnants of an abandoned community. The participants of the study were six experienced public school educators with teaching experience at the primary, elementary, intermediate, and secondary levels. The study took place in eight abandoned communities located on the western shore of Placentia Bay, where mainly the remnants of Isle Valen, St. Leonard’s, St. Kyran’s, and Great Paradise were explored. Data collection consisted of two personal interviews and one group hermeneutic circle, with the aim to answer one fundamental question: What is the experience of educators exploring the remnants of an abandoned community? Data in this study are represented by lived experience descriptions, which were interpreted hermeneutically and guided by four phenomenological existentials: temporality, corporeality, spatiality, and relationality. The most prominent themes emerging from the educators’ anecdotes were determined to be attunement, tension, and intensity. The results of this study not only provide deeper insight into communities abandoned through resettlement; they also reveal the significance of place in our lives, place as heuristic teacher, the pedagogical power of place, the need for local, meaningful place-based experiences in a curriculum as lived, and their potential for furthering personal and educational insight no matter where in this world we live or dwell.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 12089
Keywords: Phenomenology, Newfoundland and Labrador, resettlement, place, education, abandonment, dis-placement, attunement, tension, intensity
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Kinesiology
Date: 2016
Date Type: Completion
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Phenomenology; Land settlement

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