Development of Self, Organization, and Community: Chronicling a Pedagogy of Connection




Carpenter, Blaine

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Building on the work of Guajardo, Guajardo, Janson, and Militello’s Ecologies of Knowing (2015), this study seeks to define a pedagogy of connection to bridge ecological layers—self, organization, and community. Through a multi-sited ethnography, the researcher’s autoethnographic storymaking served as a body of literature which informed and verified the embodied understanding of pedagogy, as demonstrated through the post-ethnographic form known as a messy text. The messy text highlights the author’s role in planning and facilitating a Community Learning Exchange (CLE) event, which is put forth as an exemplary model for the development of self, organization, and community. Insights about the pedagogy of connection were gleaned from the CLE process and were validated by the author’s life experiences, as illustrated in a catalogue of life stories. High-level findings are five: (1) Vulnerable conversations build trust; (2) Higher learning is a team effort; (3) Connect through play; (4) “Treat people like people”; and (5) Embrace ambiguity. Educational leaders can benefit by embarking on a similar research process to understand the self, connecting their past with the future to inform their identity, mindset, and methods.



Community Learning Exchange (CLE), Identity development, Community/school partnerships, Grassroots organizational change, Multi-sited ethnography


Carpenter, B. (2019). <i>Development of self, organization, and community: Chronicling a pedagogy of connection</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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