Authenticity in Teaching: Reflecting Through Narrative Writing and Contemplative Practices

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Vine, Leah
Teaching , contemplative practice , self-study , Authenticity
This qualitative self-study explores my teaching practice. Three months of on-going daily critical reflections on past and present experiences related to my teaching resulted in 26 written documents illuminating memories, thoughts, feelings, insights, and epiphanies. Data collection strategies included narrative writing, dialogue with a mentor, and engagement in contemplative practices, such as Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. The main purpose of this study was to explore, learn, and develop a core teacher identity and teaching practice while addressing two main research questions: how am I authentic in my teaching practice; and how might engaging in self-study contribute to my authenticity as a teacher? I used Cranton and Carusetta’s research, specifically referring to “Authenticity in Teaching” (2004a) and “Developing Authenticity as a Transformative Process” (2004b) to guide this study and analyze my findings. Results revealed the various ways in which I practice authenticity in my teaching and that my engagement in on-going critical reflection through self-study contributed to my authenticity as a teacher.
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