Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Todd Lilly


The education system of the western world is a tool of hegemony used to command replication of an ontology rooted in oppression. Teachers interested in combating oppression must work toward decolonizing their praxis, a nuanced task accomplished with the help of critical inquiry done through autoethnography. I seek to synthesize literature that validates and confirms autoethnography as a mechanism of critical inquiry. I will explore the following research questions: How does autoethnography function as a tool of decolonization? Are there ways in which it reifies colonizing practices? How might autoethnography be used in the classroom to encourage nontraditional discourse? Themes include the Hegelian dualism of colonizer and colonized, the Foucauldian concept of school as imprisonment, and the Anzalduan notion of storytelling as activism. I will provide a theoretical framework of critical inquiry and the historical context of autoethnography. My goal is to define the ontology of teacherhood, examine how modern teacherhood is rooted in oppression, and examine nontraditional research methodology.