Date of Award

Summer July 2010

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Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Shane P. Martin

Second Advisor

Catherine Belcher

Third Advisor

Edmundo F. Litton


Based on the assumption by Cochran-Smith and Lytle (1993), educational scholars need insight on the “particulars” of what works for classroom teachers within the context of their own classrooms. This dissertation is a self-study that addresses my work as a high school Multicultural Literature teacher and the impact of how my own philosophical/theoretical belief system resulted in significant transformative learning experiences for students as demonstrated in their feedback.

Using intercultural competence, value-creation pedagogy, and compassion as theoretical frameworks that encourage greater social cohesion and collective participation, I used autoethnography as my primary method of investigation to treat data through an analytical, self-reflective, and interpretive lens within the cultural context of my classes. Types of data included personal memory, self-observational, self-reflective, and external data, such as end of the year anonymous student evaluations, personal memoirs, journal entries, notes, course documents, past student assignments, personal communications, and a blog, collected from my 13 years of teaching.

By sharing and examining my ethical/moral-motivation in relation to the positive feedback from students, I demonstrate how my pedagogical interactions and relationships with students manifest through value creation/culturally responsive pedagogy, the empowered voice, intercultural dialogue, transformative learning, and the development and nurturing of empathy and compassion. The study shares personal insights into the elements and processes that contributed to the overwhelmingly positive feedback of students throughout the study. Recommendations suggest greater research and discourse in developing a pedagogy of compassion.

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