Life as Pedagogy: A Story of Ontology and Self-Awareness




Pharr, Sharrah

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Formal, systematic education provides for sequential reasoning of new learning. This qualitative study, is a departure of that normed practice by creating a space to invite the organic nature of relationships, story and the intricacies of a learning journey. Inspired by the spirit of social constructivism through the craft of story, this research emphasizes the need for schools to focus on story as a pedagogical tool. Using life as curriculum, students can connect themselves to the universe, create depth in contextual understanding, and reflect upon their own ontological journey to reach self-awareness. The salience of this research is found within the implementation of story as a teaching and learning method; while, symbiotically weaving a contextual literature of self as a means to explore ontological awareness and the transformation from an individualistic lens to one that is aware of a collective self. Accountability is the ability to stand affirmed for one’s thoughts, actions and lives; to account, one must have witness. How can there be an accountability system without story? We are each other’s witnesses in this world. We make meaning together. Our story is the pedagogy of life. The concept of Pedagogy of Life is the skillful art of teaching life, through another’s personal life story. This research takes you on the ontological journey of four research partners as they make meaning of the world they teach and learn in. This research will also challenge you as a researcher and practitioner to ask of yourself, and of others, “What is your story?”



Life as pedagogy, Ontology, Self-awareness, Story as research, Story as methodology, Social constructivism, Understanding, Meaning making, Unfinishedness, Reflection, Story, Creating space, Leadership development, Learning journey


Pharr, S. (2014). <i>Life as pedagogy: A story of ontology and self-awareness</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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