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

John Weaver

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Robert Lake

Committee Member 3

William Schubert

Committee Member 3 Email



This is an inquiry centered on lived ‘otherness’ in different social experiences. Fiction and illustrations are both creative outlets that provide opportunities of curriculum growth by offering the viewer realistic portrayals dealing with truth and factors that make us fundamentally human. “Fiction elicits an interpretation of the world by being itself a worldlike object for interpretation” (Dillard, 1988, p. 155). This study uses fiction and illustrations as vehicles of communication to provide an awareness regarding social issues in everyday lived experiences, exposing the reader to the social, cultural and historical realities persistently impeding the shared constructs of human experiences. Structuring around theoretical works of fiction inquiry (Chandler, 2007, Dillard, 1988, Iser, 1993, Leland, 1988, Nussbaum, 1995, 2001, 2010), critical theory (Freire, 2004, 2016, 2017, Horkheimer, 1991, 2002, Marcuse, 1991, 2009), arts-based research (Barone & Eisner, 2012, Knowles & Cole, 2008), imagination (Dewey, 2005, Eisner, 1991, 2002, Greene, 1978, 2000, 2001), and the big curriculum (Schubert, 1981, 2006), I wrote fiction short stories and paired them with hand-drawn illustrations. The study exposes the notion of experience that inquires critique of modern society in correlation with social evolution, while highlighting social issues and social order, human rights and circumstances in society. The artwork sheds light on the harsh realities that encompass such social issues as racism, homelessness, bullying, abuse, animal rights and veteran PTSD/suicide , while serving as a lens to those ‘othered’ individuals’ and/or groups’ voices.

Works of fiction may indeed, through their recasting of the empirical particulars of the world, achieve extraordinary power to disturb and disrupt the familiar and commonplace, to question and interrogate that which seems to have already been answered conclusively, and to redirect the convention regarding important social issues. (Barone & Eisner, 2012, p. 101)

It is an enlightening periscope of identifying another’s lived experiences that will provide a new perspective when understanding and interpreting human experiences, while giving an opportunity to see the world through another’s lens; as well as identifying and questioning the binaries humans and society create in daily experiences and fostering open discussion dialogues regarding these sensitive social issue topics and difference.

Research Data and Supplementary Material