Term of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

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

Chris McCrae

Committee Member 2

Daniel Chapman

Committee Member 3

Robert Lake

Committee Member 3 Email


Non-Voting Committee Member

Chris McCrae


This dissertation employs currere, an autobiographical methodology pioneered by William Pinar (1974) and Madeleine Grumet (1975). Currere requires the writer to reflect regressively, progressively, analytically, synthetically, and dialectically on one’s educational past, present, and future. The crux of this educational memoir is the author’s transformative journey toward a more empathetic and inclusive worldview that began with doctoral coursework and is ongoing. Evidence of this transformation will be songs written by the author during a time period that also included full-time employment, raising a family, and the aforementioned doctoral coursework. The relevance of these songs is that they unintentionally align with Curriculum Studies coursework initially resisted by the author and broach topics absent in his prior creative work. This dissertation attempts to describe and analyze a transformation that might have gone unnoticed except for reflection on the nature of the author’s creative output. Woven throughout this memoir is research focused on identity formation and the influence of family, religion, place, and an educational system that, in this case, reinforce a narrow and binary worldview. Additionally, the author attempts to connect these formative factors to a frustratingly casual, conversational, and concrete style of communication that seems unfortunately permanent. Of central importance is research on the topic of empathy development, affect, class theory, intersectionality, cultural signifiers, and creativity. Foregrounding these topics are three avenues of creativity: teaching, academic writing, and songwriting. In the background are learning, stories, and music.

Research Data and Supplementary Material