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ERIC Number: ED555340
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 397
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-3510-2
Anecdotes and Afterthoughts: Literature as a Teacher's Curriculum
Podsiadlik, Edward, III
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
This qualitative study is a journey away from the "outer world" of teaching and into the "inner world" of spiritual, emotional, and oftentimes deeply personal realities, conflicts, and contradictions that lie beneath it. Integrating my life as an educator with excerpts from literature creates a variety of reflective entry points through which I explore the authentic intrinsic landscape that lies beneath the surface of my teacher identity. It is a landscape embedded with a plethora of aspirations, fears, and conflicts wherein the clash between ideals and realities simmers. Exploring the complexities and personal nature of educational practice in this way helps me to ascertain the intangible values, truths, and struggles that inspire, nourish, sustain, and sometimes threaten the intangible heart of my life as an educator. Integral to this exploration are works of literature that I have used as an urban public school teacher in the middle school classroom. As my students are interacting with the text, I too am simultaneously engaged at cognitive, emotional, and autobiographical levels. Excerpts from these texts facilitate a reflective and aesthetic journey into the interior landscapes of my "self" as educator. By delving beneath my exterior "teacher mask," a collage of images, anecdotes, reflections, aspirations, and fears is exposed that sheds light on the inner consciousness that underlies my teaching. Integrating literature as it is taught in the classroom with how the same text is simultaneously resonating within me stirs up waves of struggles, contradictions, and conflicts. Many of the moral, pedagogical, and personal challenges and contradictions that inform and define who I am as an educator become illuminated. Beneath quantitative data, bureaucratic demands, and Cartesian dualities resides the personal, emotional, psychological, and moral landscape of my identity. This is the space that both informs and defines the heart and soul of who I am as an educator. Here I confront underlying demands, dilemmas, and contradictions as I explore the ethical, spiritual, and intrinsic dimensions of my work as an educator. These aesthetic pathways of imagination, experience, and creativity are critical to the sort of introspection capable of inspiring personal and professional epiphanies. Hopefully reading this portrayal of literature, which has been a source of educational insight and imagination for me, will be of use to other educators as they reflect on their own teaching. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A