Term of Award

Fall 2006

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

Delores D. Liston

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Saundra Murray Nettles

Committee Member 3

June E. Alberto

Committee Member 3 Email



Presently, schools in the United States are held within the tight grip of No Child Left Behind, signed into law in 2001. Since accountability is high, some teachers experience burnout and succumb to disenchantment with the profession (Palmer, 1998). Others find their commitments to education so diminished that they abuse their position and fail terribly in their charge to educate our youth. There are some, however, who find ways to continually affirm and sustain their commitments to education. Within the following autoethnographical inquiry, the lives of three National Teachers of the Year are examined with the hope of finding out why these teachers have been able to rise above the negative forces which can inhibit their work. As teaching is viewed through the eyes of the participants, images of the teaching profession encourage a heightened awareness of how good teachers persist. Delores Liston's book, Joy as a metaphor of convergence (2001), provides the theoretical framework for this study which recognizes joy as an internal source of strength, enabling teachers to keep going throughout humanly impossible days (Ayers, 2004).

Research Data and Supplementary Material