The School Bus Symposium: A Poetic Journey of Co-created Conference Space


  • Mitchell A McLarnon McGill University
  • Pamela Richardson
  • Sean Wiebe UPEI
  • Veena Balsawar
  • Marni Binder
  • Kathy Browning
  • Diane Conrad
  • Lynn Fels
  • Peter Gouzouasis
  • Anja Human
  • Eun-Ji Kim
  • Carl Leggo
  • Amélie Lemieux
  • Kathy Mantas
  • Karen Meyer
  • Silvia Morelli
  • Robert Nellis
  • Julie Vaudrin-Charette



poetry, art education, curriculum studies, poetic inquiry, creativity.


With the intention of disrupting and re-imagining traditional conference spaces, this article is a poetic compilation developed from a Curriculum Studies conference symposium that took place on a school bus. During the School Bus Symposium, in situ poetry writing and reading, song and storytelling occurred in response to open ended prompts and facilitation of creative activities. After the symposium, a call was issued to invite participants to submit any poetry or stories produced during, or inspired by the session. Consisting of 18 submissions including poetry, story, photography and creative essays, infused by curriculum theory and poetic inquiry, this collection offers an inclusive, reflective, participatory, and experiential rendering where participants are living and journeying poetically. Emphasizing creative engagement with personal memories, the authors collectively aimed to promote art education through imaginative approaches to curriculum studies, poetic inquiry and academic conferences.


Aoki, T. T. (1991/2005). Teaching as Indwelling Between Two Curriculum Worlds. In William F. Pinar & Rita Irwin (Eds.), Curriculum in a New Key. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Battiste, M., Kovach, M., & Balzer, G. (2010). Celebrating the Local, Negotiating the School: Language and Literacy in Aboriginal Communities. Canadian Journal of Native Education, Aboriginal Englishes and Education Supplement, (32), 4-12.

Bourdieu, P., & Thompson, J. B. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Boston: Harvard University Press.

Blood, N., Chambers, C., Donald, D., Hasebe-Ludt, & Big Head, R. (2012). "Aoksisowaato’op: Place and Story as Organic". In Nicholas Ng-A-Fook & Jennifer Rottmann (Eds.), Reconsidering Canadian Curriculum Studies: Provoking Historical, Present, and Future. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Byram, M. (2010). Linguistic and Cultural Education for Bildung and Citizenship.Modern Language Journal, 94(2), 317.

Chambers, C. (1999). A Topography for Canadian Curriculum Theory. Canadian Journal of Education, 24 (2), pp. 137-150.

Corntassel, Chaw-win-is & T'lakwadzi .(2010). Indigenous storytelling, truth-telling and community approaches to reconciliation. English Studies in Canada, Spring 2010.

Denzin, N. K. (2014). Interpretive autoethnography (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Doll, W. E. (2012). Complexity and the culture of curriculum. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 9(1).

Dubose Brunner, D. (1994). Inquiry and reflection: Framing narrative practice in education. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Egéa-Kuehne, D. (2012). Provoking Curriculum Studies in Multicultural Societies. In Nicholas Ng-A- Fook & Jennifer Rottmann (Eds.), Reconsidering Canadian Curriculum Studies: Provoking Historical, Present, and Future Perspectives, pp. 137-146.

Eisner, E. (2002).What can education learn from the arts about the practice of education? The Encyclopedia of Informal Education. Retrieved November 2, 2014 from

Falconi, E. (2013), Storytelling, Language Shift, and Revitalization in a Transborder Community: “Tell It in Zapotec!”. American Anthropologist, 1(15)622–636. doi: 10.1111/aman.12049

Farley, L. (2009). “Radical Hope: On the Problem of Uncertainty in History Education.” Curriculum Inquiry, 39(4), pp. 537–554.

Author. (2010). Coming into presence: The unfolding of a moment. Journal of Educational Controversy,5(1) Retrieved from:

Greene, M. (1988). The dialectic of freedom. New York: Teachers College Press.

Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the Imagination: Essays on Education, the Arts, and Social Change. San Franscisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers

Holzman, L. (2008). Vygotsky at work and play. New York: Routledge.

Author. (2007). Writing Truth in Classrooms: Personal Revelation and Pedagogy. International Journal of Whole Schooling, 3(1), 27-37.

Moore, T. (1996). The re-enchantment of everyday life. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.

Author. (2015). Winter palimpsest, road to school [Digital image]. Edmonton, AB.

Pinar, W.F. (2010). Notes on a blue guitar. Journal of Educational Controversy,5(1) Retrieved from:

Prendergast, M., Leggo, C. & Sameshima, P. (2009). Poetic inquiry: Vibrant voices in the social sciences. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Simon, R. (2013) Towards a Hopeful practice of Worrying: The Educative Responsibilities of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission In Jennifer Henderson, & Pauline Wakeham (Eds.), Reconciling Canada: Critical Perspectives on the Culture of Redress (pp. 156-183). Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press.

Simpson, L. B. (2014). Land as pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellious transformation. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(3).

Stanley, T. (1999). A letter to my children: Historical memory and the silences of childhood, (pp.34-33). In Judith P. Robertson (Ed.), Teaching for a Tolerant World, Grades K-6: Essays and resources. Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English.

Tuck, E. & Gaztambide-Fernández, R. (2013). Curriculum, Replacement, and Settler Futurity. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 29(1), pp. 72-89.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1967). Play and its role in the mental development of the child. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 5(3), 6-18.




How to Cite

McLarnon, M. A., Richardson, P., Wiebe, S., Balsawar, V., Binder, M., Browning, K., … Vaudrin-Charette, J. (2016). The School Bus Symposium: A Poetic Journey of Co-created Conference Space. Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 1(1), 141–173.