Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education


Education Graduate Student Society

​Thursday, June 18, 2015
Noon – 1:30 pm
Vernon Ready Room (VRR)

Light Refreshments Provided

Launa GauthierPresenter: Launa Gauthier, PhD Student
Finding a Path with Heart 1 [Interactive Presentation]

“Doing a masters degree changes how you think; doing a Phd changes who you are.” ~ Dr. Lyn Shulha

Being in graduate school oftentimes feels like a constant state of transition. Along the journey, we are afforded opportunities to experiment with a variety of identity roles—student, teacher, researcher, scholar, leader, and committee member to name a few. In many cases, we assume these roles as a part of an apprenticeship into academia. This work is excitingly developmental; yet, it can be frustratingly…overwhelming. Naturally, we attempt to make sense of our experiences and articulate a narrative thread that connects them into a coherent story (Polkinghorne, 1991) about who we are and who we hope to become at the end of our tenure as graduate students. Scholars have suggested that graduate students’ biographies are often overlooked at the expense of socialization into various educational settings; however, they are just as important to our development as academics and educators (Barnacle & Mewburn, 2010; Martek, 2009).

In this Scholarshare presentation, I encourage a return to individual biography and the fundamental narrative currents that flow through why we are here doing the work that we do. Encompassed within the notion of narrative currents, I include the passions, understandings, purposes, and life experiences that we bring to our roles and identities as graduate students. I share my recent theoretical work on narrative identity, while interweaving a discussion about dominant narratives that impact our identities and our work. I argue for the necessity of (re-) establishing a rhythm or “flow” to our experiences in order to forge an authentic (rather than replicated) path—a path with heart. I draw on academic and non- academic literature, anecdotes and invite attendees to share in a generative dialogue at various points of the presentation.

1. I give credit to Cynthia Chambers (2004) for the phrase “finding a path with heart” from her work entitled, “Research that matters: Finding a path with heart” published in the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies