Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

John Weaver

Committee Member 1

Ming He

Committee Member 2

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 3

Mary Doll

Abstract

In a world of economized time and space, we no longer realize or understand the need for slowness, for reflection, for thinking about our lives and the condition of humanity. In schools, we teach from bell to bell, expecting students to be actively, visibly reproducing the standardized curriculum. There is no time for critical thinking, which requires stillness and deep thought. Teachers face the same conditions. They are to produce detailed lesson plans and unit plans that reflect coherence to the standards on which students will be tested. Because every standard and every piece of the mandated curriculum must be covered, teachers lose their sense of autonomy. There is a need for interruption in the curriculum, for moments of solitude for both teachers and students, the time and space to read, write, and think about knowledge and the world we live in and to create knowledge for the world we live in. The time and space of solitude are not fixed. Finding solitude must be a practice that allows us to transcend time and space into a realm of solitude that abounds wherever we are. Without solitude, we find ourselves in isolation. We become teachers who are damaged, who think about leaving the profession. It affects our personhood, our personal lives. Our creativity is taken away and we are just automatons, facilitators of isolated knowledge. This dissertation aims to further define solitude and isolation, which are often used synonymously when, in fact, solitude has a positive connotation and isolation has a negative connotation. Isolation can lead to depression, addiction, madness, even suicide. I explore my own life and the lives of others whom I have read in Curriculum Studies in an effort to philosophically explore the ideas of solitude and isolation. I look at our current state of education as an isolating monoculture of the mind and call for an education that allows for solitude and authentic, transformative learning. I explore the Other through works of fiction and non-fiction to demonstrate the isolating conditions under which intellectuals who are “other” are isolated and destroyed. I write about women and feminism, how we can better balance all the roles we play, while searching for and defining the “self” through solitude, outside of all those roles. Lastly, I write about solitude and isolation as issues of social justice, how we must find courage and fight for our solitude as educators and human beings, and how we must rage against isolation in a number of different ways for finding and inhabiting alternative spaces and places of solitude. I include my own life and experience, searching for solitude in my life as a teacher, wife, mother, and woman, embodying a lived curriculum and pedagogy of exile. I utilize the autobiographical “method of currere,” (Pinar, 2004, p. 4) that “asks us to slow down, to remember even re-enter the past, and to meditatively imagine the future. Then, slowly and in one’s own terms, one analyzes one’s experience of the past and fantasies of the future in order to understand more fully, with more complexity and subtlety, one’s submergence in the present” (p. 4), which requires a search for selfhood in solitude.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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