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Deconstructing and Reconstructing Lives

Deconstructing and Reconstructing Lives

Autobiographies, biographies and memoirs have become important tools for scholarly research. The editors have set two main tasks for this book: first, a comprehensive investigation of the uses of auto/biographies and of their benefits and dangers and, second, an exploration of how one can judge the value of using auto/biographies as historical and cultural sources for studying education.

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Deconstructing and Reconstructing Lives: Auto/Biography in Educational Settings

Authors Lucy Forsyth Townsend and Gaby Weiner

Publisher:     The Althouse Press
ISBN:             978-0-920354-69-8

The editors provide guidance on how to analyze texts and develope the skills needed to locate an auto/biography in its historical and cultural context. This enables readers to probe beneath the surface of the text for a more nuanced and complex understanding of people's stories.
The book's overall intent is to make reading and writing auto/biography accessible, interesting, and attractive and to incite readers and potential writers to deconstruct and reconstruct examples of the genre. The editors pose four key questions: (1) What is auto/biography? (2) Why has it recently emerged as a popular research genre? (3) How useful and trustworthy is auto/biography for research? and, (4) How has it been used and how might it be used in educational settings?
This book brings together much of the work the editors have done over nearly two decades on the auto/biographies of the famous and the unfamous. A guiding principle has been to bring to light the lives and experiences of people usually "hidden from history"—particularly–women, minorities, and the poor. Perspectives from several countries have been included, widening the book's scope beyond exclusively American and British concerns.
This book will be of interest and use to scholars and students who wish to learn more about auto/biography as a vehicle for the study of education. Its format and language are purposely designed to make it a useful teaching and learning tool and readily adaptable for use in courses in education, history, sociology, and other related disciplines.
The Editors
Lucy Forsyth Townsend holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and MA degrees in Theology and English Literature. A past president of the International Society for Educational Biography, she was a full professor specializing in Educational History at Northern Illinois University. She is the author of numerous scholarly articles on the place of auto/biography in educational research as well as several books. Gaby Weiner, PhD, MA, and BEd, is Professor of Teacher Education and Research at Umeå University, Sweden. She is author, co-author or editor of numerous books, including Feminisms and Education (Open University Press,) 1994, and Closing the Gender Gap (Polity Press, 1999).



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