Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


College of Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Hampton, Frederick

Subject Headings

Education, Educational Evaluation, Educational Leadership


New teachers are supported extensively while participating in teacher training programs and during the first years of teaching. During this time, there are opportunities for the new teacher to explore their self-identity and determine how they will interact with students in the classroom. As teachers enter the later years of their careers and are considered experienced, they are forced to contend with changing political and societal factors that influence their experiences around teaching in the classroom, often times without the extensive support that is provided for the teachers in their first years. Through a lens of social constructivism, narrative inquiry was used to “story” the lives of four teachers in high schools around a Midwestern metropolitan area. The theoretical framework, constructed around theories of experience and self-identity formation, explored these teachers’ personal experience narratives and mapped their moral sources, traditions, and epistemological beliefs. The research found that the experiences teachers narrated were either stories of empowerment or stories of skepticism, and worked to influence the narrated self-identity and teacher/student interactions in both supportive and challenging ways.