Examining Students’ Experiences as a Foundation for Multicultural Curriculum Development


  • Candace Schlein
  • Elaine Chan


In this article, we discuss the findings of a narrative inquiry into the development of a classroom–based experiential and multicultural curriculum in the context of an urban, public, and culturally diverse K–8 school in Canada. We present the implementation of multicultural curriculum activities that drew upon students’ lived stories of culture, immigration, and settlement to explore the social and linguistic impact of such activities for English Language Learners (ELLs). We further illustrate in this paper the potential of students’ experiential narratives of schooling, culture, and cross–cultural movement for expanding the possibilities of teacher preparation and development for engaging in curricular situations and interactions with diverse student populations.

Author Biographies

Candace Schlein

Candace Schlein is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum Studies in the Division of Curriculum and Instructional Leadership of the School of Education at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Her research interests include educational diversity and equity, teacher education and induction, educator professional development, intercultural teaching, curriculum, and narrative inquiry.

Elaine Chan

Elaine Chan is an Assistant Professor of Diversity and Curriculum Studies in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education, College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Her research interests are in the areas of: curriculum, diversity, ethnic identity of first and second–generation North Americans, and narrative inquiry.