Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

8-2011

Type of Culminating Activity

Dissertation

Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Anne Gregory, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate influences of Blending Narrative Storytelling (BNS) on collaborators’ perceptions of learning in social studies (i.e., U.S. History) and themselves. One social studies teacher and one of her mainstream ninth grade social studies class with twenty-one students collaborated in the study.

The social studies teacher, in consultation with the researcher, provided instruction incorporating the BNS approach (Harris, 2007). The process provided an opportunity for all collaborators to explore and construct their understanding of themes in social studies by generation and sharing in dialogue of their personal stories in relation to the themes within the pedagogical space of invitation through intersubjective pedagogical knowledge as the classroom learning community. The BNS approach this study incorporated provides growing understanding of intersubjective pedagogical knowledge not as given entities to be imposed but as intersubjective and intertextual dialogue among actors of knowledge - a teacher, students, content knowledge, content literacy, and text – resulting in ontological and epistemological understanding of complicated and divergent meanings of themes of people.

The modes of inquiry of the study were narrative multiculturalism (Phillion, 2002) and collaborative inquiry (Harste, 1994). All data were collected through qualitative methodology such as observation, audio recording, transcriptions of classroom instruction, and interviews with collaborators in the study. Additionally, the collaborators’ writing artifacts collected before, during, and after implementation of the BNS approach, along with their stories written and told, were collected and analyzed to see closely into the lived lives in the classroom and outside the four walls of the classroom.

The class as a whole comprised the case study and each collaborator within it was considered to be a single case or part of a subgroup of cases what were analyzed as cross-case analyses. A priori coding and open codes for emergent themes were used to analyze the cases presented. Themes that arose from analysis were: intersubjectivity and sympathy, dialogue as a means of liberation, power of personal meanings, teaching and learning as a whole, and committed involvement. The emergent theme was curriculum of people and intertextuality, which was added as a new code in response to unexpected and extreme experiencing the “victory of life over art” of knowledge through “intertextuality” (Eco, 2005).

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