Autoethnography Project

Developed and shared by Curt Rees @curtrees

 

Outcomes:

  • Develop and refine your teaching, learning, and leading beliefs (educational philosophy) as a result of the issues presented in the course, but more importantly, develop an understanding of how you have been influenced throughout your life to hold the beliefs you currently have.
  • Critically examine the relationship between self and society to clarify one’s motives and goals for becoming an educator and educational leader.
  • Join the larger discourse on education as a professional teacher and leader.

In this assignment you will think deeply about the influences that have had an impact on who you are today as a person and as a professional.  After that deep thinking, you will create a digital video to tell that story.  This can be done in a variety of ways, but the narrated slideshow with some background music seems to work very well.  See the examples below in addition to doing a search for the term “autoethnography” on YouTube.

 

An autoethnography is different from an autobiography because you are writing about yourself in relation to a group or community. You are bringing a critical perspective to your life story. In other words, you are weaving together your personal experiences into your identity as an educator and community member. This assignment is an opportunity for you to reflect on how your race, class, gender, sexuality, class status, religion, and political identity, etc., have affected you as a student, educator, and community member. Your autoethnography should speak to specific conversations, experiences, and memories in relation to who you have become and your worldview. You will present your autoethnography via video or multimedia project. Please feel free to incorporate objects, photos, poetry, prose, music, stories, film, etc. Creativity is a must!

 

Here is an example of an autoethnography that Curt Rees completed.  He shares that it was easily the most favorite and worthwhile assignment he has done in all of his graduate work.  Curt’s Autoethnography

 

Questions to address as you plan your autoethnography:

  • How did your home life impact who you are today as a professional educator?  
  • Consider the marital status of your parents, your birth order, the profession of your parents, political discussions in your home, etc.
  • What influenced your outlook on diversity (race, ethnicity, religion, LGBTQ issues, socioeconomic status)? Home? School? Religion?
  • How did your your experience as a student (academically and socially) influence who you are today?
  • What experiences impact the beliefs you hold strongly today?
  • What led you to make the choices that led to your career as an educator?  

In short, tell a story about who you are (personally and professionally) and why you became that person.  

Assignment Requirements:

  1. Choose a multimedia platform such as Adobe Voice, Prezi, Keynote, iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, etc. to tell your story.
  2. You must include relevant images and media that pertain to your story. Consider the use of background music to enhance your work.
  3. Your autoethnography should be told using your narrated voice.
  4. Use the questions above to guide the content of your project.
  5. Submit to the instructor via link or file attachment.