Term of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 1

Nirmala Erevelles

Committee Member 2

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 3

John Weaver

Committee Member 3 Email



The author explores feelings of in-betweenness, hybridity, and dislocation (Aoki, 2005; Bhabha, 2007/1994; Saïd, 1994) as he contemplates the meaningfulness of a liminal placement between two epistemic worlds—that of his more recent experiences as a curriculum studies scholar and his previous training as a postpositivist practitioner of school psychology. This self-study engages pedagogical possibilities of in-between spaces (Aoki, 2005; He & Ross, 2012; Baszile, 2006) to construct a lived curriculum that challenges traditional stereotypes of autism and postsecondary disability services. To guide this critical self-reflective inquiry, the author applies the concepts of Joseph Schwab’s (1973) curriculum commonplaces along with William Pinar’s (1975) method of currere as organizational structures and metaphorical guideposts to look back upon previous educational experiences, to consider the present, and to envision a future praxis. In looking beyond the traditional-medico conceptions of disablement, the author seeks alternate understandings of the autism label that arise not from the epistemic landscape of prior training but rather are informed by postcolonial scholarship, critical disability studies, cultural studies, and the personal narratives of individuals with autism. Major findings of this project relate to the following themes: the pervasiveness of positivism; the challenge of writing about lived experiences of in-between; differences between abstract theories and lived experiences of in-betweenness; and the agency of those labeled with disability. By blending alternate understandings of autism and reimagining ways to recognize the personal agency and functional needs of college students with autism, the author reconceptualizes feelings of in-betweenness and dislocation as a potential position for hope, opportunity, and change.

Research Data and Supplementary Material