Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Curriculum and Instruction
Pat Daniel Jones, Ph.D.
Danielle Dennis, Ph.D.
Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.
Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.
autoethnography, qualitative methods, narrative, illness, identity, teacher identity
This autoethnographic study focuses on changing identity after experiencing a rare disease. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which identity shifts during an after a rare illness. Three research questions guided this study: How and in what ways has my identity as a teacher shifted as a result of my experience with major illness? How and in what ways have other aspects of my identity shifted as a result of my illness? How can the writing of my autoethnography influence the healing process and my understanding of identity?
The participant/researcher of this study was hospitalized with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, and subsequently lost her position as a high school teacher and was forced to find a position at a new school. Using Gee’s (2000/2001) concept of identity as an analytic lens, the researcher developed a narrative of her journey from illness back into the classroom. After analysis, she identified a transition from a traditional, knowledge-giver teacher role to the role of teacher as a facilitator. Another finding was the role confidence played in the recovery process. The researcher then offers suggestions for further research regarding teachers who return to the classroom after illness.
Scholar Commons Citation
Parke, Erin, "Chasing Zebras: Rediscovering Identity After Illness" (2016). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.