A narrative inquiry of cross-cultural lives: lives in the North American academy
In a series of three papers, I examine the identity development of three Chinese women teachers as they moved back and forth between Eastern and Western cultures and languages amid the rapidly changing events of the last four decades. This life-based narrative inquiry, situated between non-fiction, fiction, and academic discourses opens up possibilities for establishing a link between cross-cultural lives and identities, cross-cultural teacher education, and curriculum studies in multi-cultural contexts. In this third paper, I explore the three teachers' lives in the North American academy, particularly my own intellectual development at the doctoral studies level. I trace the dynamics of the interaction with my dissertation supervisor as he and I struggled to find ways for me to think in an inquiry-oriented way. I reach back to my upbringing to show how a Chinese spirit of knowing in cross-cultural teaching and curriculum-making was disruptive with the inquiry-oriented spirit of my cross-cultural studies. My story is complicated by the fact that I was trying to learn to think narratively - a way of thinking still comparatively new in the academy.