My Master of Arts (MA) thesis was on the topic of how partipicatory artistic quiltmaking can be used to promote peacebuilding among grade 4, 5, 6, and 7 youth in formal educational settings. It was funded by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. To download a copy of my MA thesis, please visit https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/33979
My MA committee was comprised of the following individuals:
- Dr. Deirdre Kelly, Professor, Educational Studies (Supervisor)
- Dr. Rita Irwin, Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy; Associate Dean, Teacher Education (Member)
- Dr. Pierre Walter, Professor, Educational Studies (Member)
Background and Purpose of my Research
I conducted an exploratory study, in order to examine and explore the ways that participatory artistic quiltmaking contributes to efforts in peace education, particularly peacebuilding. I used a/r/tography as a research methodology (during the quiltmaking project) and ethnographic methods to explore the role of participatory artistic quiltmaking in cross-cultural communication and relationship building among youth in a grade four, five, six, and seven public education classroom at General Brock Elementary School in the Vancouver School District, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I framed my study within current theoretical ideas about how participatory arts-based approaches can influence communication and relationship building among youth, in formal cross-cultural educational settings.
My research questions aimed to understand the role of participatory artistic quiltmaking, as a form of participatory visual art, in cross-cultural relationship building for youth in a grade four, five, six, and seven classroom, by asking “What is the experience of grade five and six students who are exposed to and involved in participatory quiltmaking for cross-cultural relationship building in support of peacebuilding?” I am also interested in the following secondary research questions including “How can experiences in participatory quiltmaking shift the ways grade five and six students interact with others and define cross-cultural relationship building and their role(s) within it?” “What are the key elements that contribute to those experiences?”
Rationale and Conceptual Framework
Peace and conflict theory highlights three basic types of conflict management activity, which were originally applied to international conflicts, but are now applied to interpersonal and inter-group levels in the context of education, to highlight how interpersonal and social conflict is handled in schools (Bickmore, 2004, p. 77). These forms of conflict management as articulated by Bickmore (2004), include peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding, and reflect varying political ideologies. I use Bickmore’s three forms of conflict management to examine the ideological manifestations of cross-cultural conflict resolution and relationship-building that are present at the school.