Empowering Students as Researchers: Teaching and Learning Autoethnography and the Value of Self-Narratives

  • Jess Moriarty
Part of the Teaching the New English book series (TENEEN)


Helping students to connect their academic research with their creative writing processes is often a challenge but when achieved, can provide valuable pathways between their personal experiences and the social world under study. The author identifies supporting this connection as a potentially powerful teaching and learning tool, helping undergraduates to make the leap from student to writer and researcher. This chapter will identify possible ways in which the writing and sharing of autobiographical narratives can inform and enhance pedagogy in creative writing workshops with undergraduate students. The author identifies autoethnography as an evolving methodology that values and legitimizes personal stories and evocative academic work, and can facilitate recovery from personal events that have been difficult or traumatic (Richardson and St Pierre 2005). The chapter will explore how the study of self-narrative can empower students to make explicit links between these personal experiences and their academic research. This chapter will be of interest to teachers and students carrying out research in education and to those trying to develop their own teaching practice to incorporate student-focused approaches to creative writing. The author suggests that an autoethnographic approach can contribute to an increased confidence in students’ sense of their place within the discipline of creative writing and the place of their discipline within the wider world.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jess Moriarty
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BrightonBrightonUK

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