Being the "First" eBook Companion Site
Welcome to the companion site for the eBook Being the "First": A Narrative Inquiry into the Funds of Knowledge of First Generation College Students in Teacher Education.
This study documents the life stories of eight First Generation College (FGC) students and alumni in education. Using narrative inquiry as our methodology, we the researchers sought to better understand the lived experiences, struggles and triumphs shared through stories of three postgraduates and five current students in teacher education. There are many studies on FGC students, but few of them focus on these students’ life stories that may constitute who they are and who they are becoming. We do not present “grand stories” that would make our storytellers heroes or heroines. Rather, we present their everyday, ordinary stories that frequently go unnoticed and yet have significant influences on who they are.
Research on FGC students abounds, informing us of the characteristics of this student population. However, most literature on FGC students portrays the characteristics of this population as something deficient, further reinforcing negative stereotypes and self-fulfilling prophecies onto this group of students. The purpose of our research is, hence, to better understand the lived experience of first-generation education students through their counter stories, those that defy the deficit model, which often tries to define them. In so doing, we aim to explore what it means to be a FGC student in teacher education and what implications this knowledge may have for schools, universities, and teacher preparation programs.
This research project was undertaken as a part of the College of Education’s annual documentary film series, A Walk in My Shoes. We thank our Dean, Debbie Mercer, for her support on this project. Without her commitment to promoting diversity and social justice, this project would not have been possible. Finally, and most of all, we would like to thank the participants and their families for sharing their stories with us. They opened their hearts, their homes and their lives to us, providing powerful glimpses into the lived experiences of FGC students in the Midwest.