Term of Award

Winter 2013

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Dr. Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

Dr. John Weaver

Committee Member 2

Dr. Marla Morris

Committee Member 3

Dr. William Schubert

Committee Member 3 Email



This is an inquiry into the experience of a woman teacher as an other in the U.S. South. I have created a fictional composite character (He, 2003; Mikell, 2011), Norma Norwood, who is a White, female, northern-born educator who teaches in the U.S. South. As an educator, wife, and citizen, Norma Norwood attempts to rectify her beliefs with Southern expectations and social norms. I have created novellas in which the character of the vampire works as a metaphoric mechanism for acquiring knowledge (Danesi, 1994; Kasoutas & Malamitsa, 2009; Lakoff & Johnson, 1980; Smith, 1991; Temmerman, 2000; Zelinsky-Wibbelt, 2000). The iconic character highlights feelings, and moments of false thinking that cloud the understanding of the story of others in social and educational settings in the U.S. South. Six meanings emerged from this inquiry. Exile-at-home is personal and political. Exile-at-home is pedagogical since teachers experiencing otherness have a better understanding of the experiences of their students who feel disconnected. The hidden curriculum of Southern schools and traditions coerce individuals to conform to social norms that imprison the hearts and minds, repress epistemology of curiosity, and sabotage the opportunities for positive educational and social change. Fiction empowers researchers to challenge master narratives, to transgress orthodoxy, to invent the truth, and to heighten emancipation oppression. The metaphor of the vampire embodies differences, disrupts accepted norms, rebels conformity, and defies injustice. There is a demand to develop an exile pedagogy (He, 2010) to cultivate highest human potentials in contested schools and societies.

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