Talking Back: Teaching and Learning through Autobiographies in Multicultural Education


Secondary and Middle Grades Education

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This research essay is intended to situate the curriculum in my multicultural education courses – of talking back through autobiographical inquiry – within real schools, a site where curriculum theorists rarely situate their work. The literature by curriculum theorists that precedes my study generally has focused on how pre-service teachers in multicultural education courses are changed (or not) as a result of course readings, discussions, and critical autobiographical reflection, all of which happen within the confines of the university classroom. My research essay extends the work of curriculum theorists on autobiography in education by focusing on the ways in which pre-service teachers use autobiographical inquiry to reflect on the impact of the context of real public schools and K-12 students on their constructions of themselves as teachers. In my extension of this work, I draw on bell hooks’ notion of “talking back” as an overarching framework in analyzing the autobiographical reflections of pre-service teachers.