Photographs in my Mind, Through Darkness and in Light: An Auto-Criticism of a University Teacher
Date of Award
Curriculum and Instruction
P. Bruce Uhrmacher
Auto-criticism, Higher education, Professional development, Qualitative research, Self-care, Stress
This dissertation is an auto-criticism, a new qualitative inquiry founded in educational criticism and arts-based research, which describes and analyzes my lived experience as a female university teacher. The purpose of this study is to describe, interpret, evaluate and thematize my experiences with professional stress, pregnancy loss, and self-care. Secondly, it illuminates auto-criticism as a methodology with potential contributions to qualitative research and higher education.
Personal documents, internal artifacts, and external artifacts generated during a challenging period of my life as a university teacher are used as data. Language and photography combine to story my lived experiences and findings.
This study reveals the importance of engaging in discourse about the unrealistic expectations and struggles of university teachers to change the dialogue and normalize struggles and stories of struggles. Secondly, this study underscores the need for self-care for university teachers, as this is critical to sustaining the lives of educators. Finally, auto-criticism, as a creative and flexible new methodology, has the potential to story the lived experiences of teachers’ struggles in a more accessible and engaging way. Auto-criticism encourages collective reflection, engagement, and public discourse, thus generating meaning-making and offering the potential for real-world improvement in education.
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Witt, Melanie Renee, "Photographs in my Mind, Through Darkness and in Light: An Auto-Criticism of a University Teacher" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1858.
Received from ProQuest
Melanie Renee Witt
Higher education, Education