The developing knowledge and identity of an Asian-American teacher: The influence of a China study abroad experience Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 This narrative inquiry examines the way learning, culture and context shape the knowledge, identity and social interactions of teacher, Shi Tan. Through using broadening, burrowing, storying-restorying and fictionalization, the work chronicles how Shi, a child of Chinese immigrants, forms her stories to live by over time. Early tensions surface between her parents traditional lifestyle and what she came to know in the American context. Weekends in Chinatown, Chinese Saturday School, and summers in Asia reinforced the plotlines Shi's parents carried with them from their homeland. Concurrently, Shi's American public school and university experiences instilled in her different modes of knowing and being. A pivotal change occurred when Shi participated in a China Study Abroad trip alongside mostly White educators. While visiting Chinese schools and universities and interacting with Chinese locals, Shi's understanding of herself deepened. She questioned why the trip became a liminal space where she storied and restoried her knowledge and identity differently. The significance of this research lies in its narrative rendering of identity; its unearthing of social complexities lived in cross-cultural communities; it's lifelike characterization of how minority teachers/students navigate familial, social and cultural situations; and its advancement of knowledge that increases learning.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 7

author list (cited authors)

  • Craig, C. J., Zou, Y., & Curtis, G.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Craig, Cheryl J||Zou, Yali||Curtis, Gayle

publication date

  • June 2018