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Transformative learning through ethical dilemma stories: An autoethnographic study

Pandey, Kashi Raj (2018) Transformative learning through ethical dilemma stories: An autoethnographic study. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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This research is an autoethnographic account of my experience of transformative learning as a researcher and practitioner. Specifically, it recounts the ways I have used Ethical Dilemma Story Pedagogy (EDSP) to explore interpretative and creative spaces for transformative learning both personally and with a group of pre-service teachers. The research allowed us, myself and the participants, to challenge some deeply embedded assumptions about teaching and learning for the purpose of revitalising our own professional judgments and practices.

Central to this thesis is the argument that the process of critically questioning one’s assumptions and decision-making in regard to other people and social contexts provides a much stronger foundation for transformative teaching and learning. I have enunciated a multifaceted methodology which is attentive to people, places and culture in an era where ethical decision-making appears to be receding in educational settings. In response, I have investigated, in depth, the use of culturally-relevant pedagogy or EDSP in English teaching in Nepal. Such endeavours, I believe, can encourage Nepalese educators to become more sensitive to the use of stories within the school curriculum.

The EDSP provides the context in which I/we engage in a transformative learning journey with the goal of prompting dialogue and educational change within Nepalese schools. The practice of critical reflection to create a more socially just world involves the realisation of mutual respect, collaboration, care, and trust. Although this thesis incorporates many personal truths from my own life, the research findings will serve to inform other educators who wish to utilise socio-cultural contexts connected to students’ lives as a transformative pedagogy in the Nepalese school system.

Keywords: Autoethnography, Transformative Learning, EDSP

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
United Nations SDGs: Goal 4: Quality Education
Supervisor(s): Down, Barry and Ritchie, Stephen
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