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Knowing and understanding through auto/ethnography: Narrative on transformative learning experience of an international graduate student

Tossaporn Pan Sariyant, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This dissertation is a narrative self-representation, one that employs auto/ethnographical methodology to illustrate the process of the transformative learning experience of an international graduate student. This narrative focuses on showing the process, including the continually nature of personal transformation and transformative learning experiences. Through auto/ethnographical portrayal, I show how the process of self-knowing and self-understanding enables me to relate and then transform my knowledge and my understanding of interrelationships between interdisciplinary discourses on education for (social and personal) development and the pedagogical approaches that are employed in formal and nonformal learning settings for empowerment and for the achievement of (social and personal) transformation. I also show how reflexivity enables me to realize possibilities to apply theoretical insight and knowledge that I have acquired from my graduate study in my future practice as a nonformal educator. I use a variety of auto/ethnographical representations to illustrate how the historical shifts and changes in theoretical and epistemological assumptions have continually affected the transformation in the articulations of international development policy and the development of educational models as well as pedagogical interpretations and practices of education for empowerment that are implemented in various societal contexts and institutions. Using self-reflexivity during the process of writing auto/ethnography, I show how my personal experiences, which I attained from different learning contexts, influence the transformation in my understanding, my interpretation and my practices of specific pedagogical approaches for empowerment.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Cultural anthropology|Social structure|Social research

Recommended Citation

Sariyant, Tossaporn Pan, "Knowing and understanding through auto/ethnography: Narrative on transformative learning experience of an international graduate student" (2002). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3039391.