Autobiography: Inspiring new visions of teacher learning

Irene Simon


Abstract: The purpose of this article is to broaden the tradition of autobiography by using it as a way in which teachers can identify sources of inspiration in their educational experience. In the process, my aim is to make explicit the links between autobiography, learning and meta learning. Extending autobiographical inquiry to include different levels at which learning takes place serves to highlight the importance not only of the individual context of learning (the private self), but also the possibility of learning and constructing meaning from autobiography in dialogue with others. This article identifies four levels of learning-how-to-learn from autobiography. These levels are: 1. learning from autobiographical writing; 2. learning through intergenerational dialogues; 3. developmental learning through the career stages; and 4. whole group co-constructive learning.

My ultimate goal is two fold. Firstly, to use these levels of learning to identify operational definitions of inspiration based on significant events and experiences in teacher’s personal stories. Secondly to identify a meta research orientation for linking autobiography with learning and meta-learning.

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