What is this? What is this? What is this? : a teacher's personal narrative inquiry into a memorable curriculum experience.
Pithouse-Morgan, Kathleen Jane.
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In this dissertation, I present a narrative curriculum inquiry that grew out of a personal teaching experience in an independent Durban school in 2001. A grade seven creative writing project in English turned out to be an experience that was emotionally as well as intellectually intriguing to me. After carrying out the teaching work of my grade seven Teen Stories project, I was left with a strong desire to know what it was about this particular experience that was so important to me. The focus of my research, therefore, became my personal curriculum experience in the context of the Teen Stories creative writing project. In the course of this thesis, I describe how my desire to come to a deeper understanding of my curriculum experience led me to search within my life story to discover fruitful truths about myself as a teacher and a researcher. I illustrate my research journey from the fieldwork in the classroom through to the construction of my narrative research text. Drawing on the conceptual work of scholars such as Dewey (1916; 1934; 1963), Denzin (1989), Clandinin and Connelly (2000), and Conle (1999; 2000), I endeavour to share, make sense of and theorise my personal story of a significant curriculum experience. The study moves outwards from my personal experience to a conceptualisation that I believe has the potential to contribute to the development of new modes of curriculum practice for me and other members of my South African teaching community.