Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Autoethnography: My journey from educator to educator -activist
by Quinn, Melanie Lane, Ed.D., Lewis and Clark College, 2008, 214; 3320017
Abstract (Summary)

This study is an autoethnography of the researcher’s evolution from educator to an educator-activist. Autoethnography seeks to explain and understand the self and others in common social contexts. As a methodology, autoethnography was crucial to this study since it is the educator’s voice and experience that must be studied in order to encourage the inclusion of educators in the discussion of education policy. Through journal writing, research memos, interviews, and the study of artifacts such as emails, newspaper articles and district documents, patterns of organization, strategies and potential roadblocks have been identified. The results of this research identify patterns in the journey from educator to educator-activist, as well as key components that appear to support success in activism against current and future harmful education policies. The literature details the lack of educator influence and voice in shaping education policy, however, the literature often fails to provide educators clear, systematic and pragmatic ways to either encourage educators’ involvement in shaping good policy, or ways to organize and resist federal, state and local mandates that are harmful to children and the profession.

In the crucial area of literacy instruction our youngest learners have born the brunt of this ill-informed and destructive legislation. As reports emerge which highlight the consequences and failures of this policy, it is imperative that educators learn how to organize resistance to it in systemic and systematic ways.

This study adds to the body of research on educator activism by providing a map from the beginnings of activism to key mileposts along the journey that help pave the way to affect change in any given area of activism as well as support for avoiding roadblocks that may impede progress. Although the end destination may not always manifest into the original and/or complete version of what the traveler first hoped, it is the journey that holds important lessons on how to resist, subvert and ultimately change harmful education policies that undermine the important work of supporting and teaching students in a democratic society.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shagoury, Ruth
Commitee: Campbell, Kimberly H., Power, Brenda M.
School: Lewis and Clark College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Elementary education, Teacher education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Activism, Autoethnography, Educational leadership, Educator-activist, Literacy, Qualitative research, Teacher education
Publication Number: 3320017
ISBN: 978-0-549-70661-8
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