Francophone Publications: School Districts Established by French-Speaking Settlers

Below is a summary of the published 1991 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

Mahé, Yvette T.M. (1991) School districts established by French-speaking settlers in Alberta: 1885-1939. Volume II: “The teachers.”  Edmonton, Alta.: Faculté Saint-Jean, l’Université de l’Alberta, 65 pp.

School districts established by French-speaking settlers in Alberta: 1885-1939A preliminary reference book which lists the names of 452 lay teachers (316 females, 116 males, 20 unknown)  who taught in the approximately 118 school districts registered by French-speaking settlers in Alberta between 1885-1939.  The data shows that a number of teachers taught in more than one bilingual school district over the years.  On-going research projects include the identification of members of religious congregations who taught in bilingual school districts, and developing profiles or stories on a number of teachers.

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Francophone Publications: La transmission Culturelle Par le Curriculum

Below is a summary of the published 1997 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

Francophone curriculum Mahé, Yvette T. M. (1994) La transmission culturelle par le curriculum: le cas des Albertains francophones, 1892-1940.  La production culturelle en milieu minoritaire.  Actes du treizième colloque du CEFCO.  Saint-Boniface, Man.: Presses universitaires de Saint-Boniface, 147-159.

This article explains that the laws governing the teaching of French and of teacher preparation and certification after 1892 were detrimental to the preservation of the French language and culture in school districts in French-speaking communities.  To counteract assimilation, various Francophone associations in Alberta developed a hidden curriculum to be implemented in bilingual school districts.  This hidden agenda became a source for cultural conflicts in French-speaking communities.

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Francophone Publications: Se Conformer à la Norme

Below is a summary of the published 1997 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

Department of Education agents in AlbertaMahé, Yvette T. M. (1997) Se conformer à la norme: le cas des commissaires bilingues albertains, 1930-1940.  La francophonie sur les marges.  Actes du seizième colloque du CEFCO (17-19 octobre 1996). Winnipeg, Man.: Presses universitaires de Saint-Boniface, 127-137.

This paper examines the strategies used by Department of Education agents in Alberta between 1930 and 1940 to ensure that bilingual school district trustees and parents in French-speaking communities with a non-Francophone minority conform to Anglo-goals of schooling.  The examples provided show how government agents influenced taxpayers  to vote for non-Francophone trustees, limited access to funding in these districts, and appointed Official Trustees to manage the affairs of disputed districts.

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Francophone Education: Peace River Alberta

Below is a summary of the published contribution by Yvette Mahé to the book “I remember Peace River Alberta and adjacent districts”.  A link to the site and full version of the book has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

Peace River Alberta 1800 to 1900Mahé, Yvette T.M.  Editor.  (1974)  I remember Peace River Alberta and adjacent districts, 1800-1913.  Peace River, Alta.: Women’s Institute of Peace River Alberta, 103 pp.

See the website, Our roots/Nos raciness, Canada’s Local Histories Online:

The local history materials in this book were gathered by the Women’s Institute of Peace River as a Centennial Project (1967).  However, the manuscripts were never edited and published.  In February 1974 I took on the responsibility of putting together their stories with the assistance and support of students, the principal, and the Industrial Arts teacher at the Peace River High School.  The book contains stories on the early settlers and their families as well as community histories.  The complete version is available on line.

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Francophone Publications: Écoles Bilingues de l’Alberta

Below is a summary of the published 1993 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

Francophone Publications: Écoles Bilingues de l'AlbertaMahé, Yvette T. M. (1993) L’idéologie, le curriculum et les enseignants des écoles bilingues de l’Alberta, 1892-1992. The Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 49 (4), 687-703.

The abolition of the dual system of education in the North-west Territories in 1892 threatened the cultural survival of Alberta’s francophone population.  In order to counteract the anglo-conformity goals of the official program of studies and to give some legitimacy to their language and culture in the bilingual schools, the francophones developed a hidden curriculum.  This article describes how the ideological content of the hidden curriculum evolved as a result of changes in the laws governing the teaching of French and modifications made to the official program of studies.

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Francophone Publications: Bilingual School District Trustees

Below is a summary of the published 1997 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

Bilingual school district trustees Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation, 9 (1), 65-82.
Francophone elites saw trustees who managed small public schools in French-speaking communities as a key source of cultural continuity. However, when trustees tried to satisfy the French community’s linguistic and cultural demands, they were faced with constraints imposed by the dominant English-speaking government officials. By studying bilingual school trustees’ experiences in Alberta before 1940, one acquires a sense of how unequal power relations are produced and reproduced in the education system, and how a dominant group’s cultural knowledge becomes socially legitimated.

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Francophone Publications: Bilingual School Teachers

Below is a summary of the published 2000 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

Bilingual school teachers 1940Mahé, Yvette T.M. (2000) Bilingual school teachers’ cultural mission and practices in Alberta before 1940. Journal of Educational Thought/Revue de la pensée éducative, 34 (2), 135-163.

This socio-historical paper explores how bilingual school teachers in the past responded to competing Francophone and Anglophone ideological cultural reproduction discourses in their curriculum practices.  An in-depth study of the cultural curriculum of 265 teachers who taught in public schools in French-speaking communities in Alberta during the period 1934 to 1939 sheds some light on how the exercise of power can influence teachers’ decisions to either give legitimacy or resist reproducing in their classrooms certain forms of knowledge and cultural orientations.

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Francophone Publications: Official and Unofficial School Inspection

Below is a summary of the published 2001 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

and unofficial school inspection as hegemonic and counter-hegemonic struggle in Prairie Districts before 1940Mahé, Yvette T.M. (2001) Official and unofficial school inspection as hegemonic and counter-hegemonic struggle in Prairie Districts before 1940.  Canadian Ethnic Studies/Études ethniques au Canada, 33 (2), 31-51.

This paper examines how state inspectors and « visiteurs d’écoles (unofficial inspectors) shaped hegemonic and counter-hegemonic cultural practices in bilingual school districts in Prairie Provinces before 1940.  The study allows us to better understand why state inspection constituted a threat to Francophone cultural continuity, and why Francophones constructed a counter-hegemonic curriculum and named “Visiteurs des écoles bilingues” to negotiate their legitimacy in Anglo-dominant public schools.  Therefore, bilingual schools represent sites where Francophones and Anglophones carried on a struggle to maintain and reproduce their language and world-view.

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Francophone Teacher Shortages In Alberta

Below is a summary of the published 2002 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

French teacher shortages and cultural continuity in Alberta districts, 1892-1940Mahé, Yvette T.M. (2002) French teacher shortages and cultural continuity in Alberta districts, 1892-1940.  Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation, 14 (2), 219-246.

Cultural continuity in French-speaking communities in Western Canada depended on qualified bilingual or French-speaking teachers who were willing to resist schooling that conformed to Anglo-Canadian goals.  However, as this paper will show, such nationalistic teachers were scarce due to assimilationist language laws, teacher training institutions, teacher certification policies, bilingual schooling and administrators’ practices, all of which had an impact on the creation and maintenance of bilingual teacher shortages before 1940.

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Francophone Publications La Survivance

Below is a summary of the published 2004 article written by Yvette Mahé.  A PDF version of the article has been posted below for your convenience.  Please observe the copyright notice, thank you.

francophone publicationsMahé, Yvette T. M. (2004) “La Survivance” discourses and the curriculum in French-speaking communities in North America, 1840-1960. Journal of Educational Thought/Revue de la pensée éducative, 38 (2), 183-207.

A comparative study of the cultural resistance curriculum artfully integrated in the English Program of Studies by patriotic teachers who taught in Franco-American and Canadian bilingual schools before 1960 disclosed that the French curriculum was based on the Quebec Program of Studies. “La survivance” discourses concealed in the French textbooks were founded on a defensive form of nationalism which blended language and faith and were designed to incite young Francophones to continue their ancestors battles for linguistic, religious, and educational rights.

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