Term of Award

Summer 2002

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

William M. Reynolds

Committee Member 1

Peter Christopher

Committee Member 2

Grigory Dmitriyev

Committee Member 3

Ming Fang He


The purpose of this dissertation project is to show, by way of theory and illustrative fictional model, that narrative and fiction can explore and re/search educational problems and possibilities, that fiction can be qualitative educational research. I posit that fiction, that story, is much more than "Once upon a time." It is more than simple diversion or entertainment or "escape time" from the harsh realities of day-to-day living. Fiction can help us discover, and attend to, voices we have not heard or recognized before. It can help us search for, and speak with, voices we have never used.

A substantial portion of this dissertation is a novella, Something Blooming, Something Found, about a fictional Savannah, Georgia high school and several of its students, teachers, and administrators. The novella's purpose is to establish a dialectic, a bridge, between educational research and fiction, and to imagine and open a space, a geography, where counter-hegemonic theory could be found embedded in a fictional world. The characters and the situations "walk out" (in the world of the novel) the critical, theoretical stances posited by thinkers such as Maxine Greene, bell hooks, Paulo Freire, and Nell Noddings. The novella, "friction fiction," troubles and questions the notion of school as factory and celebrates the emergence of reflective, critical consciousness in students and teachers.

The project does not produce traditional results or findings, certainly no ultimate truths, correct answers, savvy solutions, or definite conclusions. It does not show how to, or how not to, "do" high school. The dissertation's fiction does critique schooling. It mourns the silencing of voices and the trampling of projects. But it also shows hope/s and possibility/ies.

Fiction can help us re/search. Fiction can serve as a bridge to knowing. This dissertation attempts to show how ... by building just such a bridge.

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