Cultural Congruence in the Education of and Research With Young Aboriginal Students: Ethical Implications for Classroom Researchers


  • Nathalie Piquemal
  • Bret Nickels



The purpose of this article is twofold: (a) to explore in an inner-city kindergarten classroom how Aboriginal students' interaction patterns differ from, and are often in dissonance with, what their non-Aboriginal teacher would expect from his or her non-Aboriginal students; and (b) to explore some of the ethical tensions that we experienced as researchers involved in ethnographic research with these children and their teacher with special attention to the interplay between research and advocacy. While addressing issues of cultural congruence in this classroom, we explore some of the relational complexities that we experienced as we thought about how we should position ourselves in relation to the students and to the teacher and in relation to our perceived ethical responsibilities as researchers. We suggest ways in which researchers might combine caring with advocacy.