Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Michael Sherry, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pat Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Holly Atkins, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deirdre Cobb-Roberts, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.


Beginning teachers, Pedagogy, Persistence, Self-Study, S-STEP, Storytelling


The purpose of this self-study was to take an in-depth look at the development of the pedagogy of one teacher, myself, and to describe and explain how this style of teaching developed both from early familial influences and through experiences I have had throughout my career. This study focused specifically on my use of storytelling in the classroom and how my lessons, community building, language development, and maintaining student engagement are based on the culmination of those experiences. This study also looked at the impact these factors had on my persistence as a teacher and how using this type of pedagogy has aided me in staying in the classroom. This inquiry also addressed the impacts of changes in my pedagogy because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the move to simultaneously teaching students in my classroom and online. The research questions were:

  • Which family stories do I use repeatedly and what is their function in my pedagogy?
  • How have I adjusted my use of stories for varied situations?
  • In what ways has sharing family stories contributed to my persistence in my teaching career?

This qualitative study was guided by a Social Constructivist perspective as the theoretical framework. Analysis of the data resulted in specific findings. Stories were used in a wide variety of ways in all my classes. An equal number of planned and unplanned stories were used in my classroom. I used many nonfamilial stories and stories by other authors in more traditional ways. A notable trend in the research was my practice of responding to student inquiries by offering anecdotes to clarify the information I was explaining. Data analysis in this self-study showed that having a pedagogical style that is adaptable can aid teachers in persisting in their careers. Implications of this study are significant for use in training beginning teachers and in aiding teachers as they develop a pedagogical style. Additionally, implementing the use of self-study as a form of professional development would serve to focus and personalize teacher professional development and increase the persistence of teachers in their careers.

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