The Power of Curriculum as Autobiographical Text: Insights from Utilizing Narrative Inquiry Self-Study in Research, Teaching, and Living

  • Carmen ShieldsEmail author


This chapter focuses on the power of curriculum as autobiographical text and includes ways that sharing our own stories of experience can provide a foundation for our curricular vision. Narrative inquiry self-study is discussed as a teaching and research methodology that utilizes stories of experience to examine past events and situations that inform and guide our perceptions of curriculum in the present. In this way, we come to see that our own past experience is educative and forms the basis of our practice as teachers and researchers. Definitions of curriculum that include our life experiences, and narrative frameworks that support the reinterpretation of past situations and events that guide our vision of curriculum are outlined and delineated in practical terms. The importance of recovering meaning from past experience and reconstructing that meaning in the present using all the experiences lived in the intervening years supports the ongoing and fluid nature of curriculum development across time based in our autobiographical experience. Methods for engaging in unearthing particular situations and events are outlined and explained using stories of experience. Ultimately, this chapter rests on the belief that underlying all our theoretical assumptions about curriculum lies our own experience, which, consciously or not, directs our understanding and interpretation of curriculum in our present-day lives.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada

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