Narratives on Becoming

Identity and Lifelong Learning

Edited by:
Emilie Clucas Leaderman, Boston College
Jennifer S. Jefferson, Endicott College
Jo Ann Gammel, Lesley University
Sue L. Motulsky, Lesley University
Amy Rutstein-Riley, Lesley University

A volume in the series: I Am What I Become: Constructing Identities as Lifelong Learners. Editor(s): Jo Ann Gammel, Lesley University. Sue L. Motulsky, Lesley University. Amy Rutstein-Riley, Lesley University.

Published 2021

Learning and identity development are lifetime processes of becoming. The construction of self, of interest to scholars and practitioners in adult development and adult learning, is an ongoing process, with the self both forming and being formed by lived experience in privileged and oppressive contexts. Intersecting identities and the power dynamics within them shape how learners define themselves and others and how they make meaning of their experiences in the world. The series, I Am What I Become: Constructing Identities as Lifelong Learners, is an insightful and diverse collection of empirical research and narrative essays in identity development, adult development, and adult learning. The purpose of this series is to publish contributions that highlight the intimate and intricate connections between learning and identity. The series aims to assist our readers to understand and nurture adults who are always in the process of becoming. We hope to promote reflection and research at the intersection of identity and adult learning at any point across the adult lifespan. The rich array of qualitative research designs as well as autobiographic and narrative essays transform and expand our understanding of the lived experience of people both like us and unlike us, from the U.S. and beyond.

Narratives on Becoming: Identity and Lifelong Learning, Volume Three of the series, explores a myriad of ways that authors’ personal and professional growth has influenced identity development. These chapters provide insights into the intersectional identities and learning of writers. Drawing from the multiple paths that comprise the journey of lifelong learning, these authors present powerful stories that identify the ways relationships, environments, culture, travel, and values shape their identities; use literacy, teaching, and learning as vehicles for experimenting with new identities, negotiate multiple identities, contexts, and transitions involved in becoming, and construct meaning. Through their narrative essays and ethnographic/autobiographical accounts, the authors in this volume illuminate the power of transformational learning during life-changing events and transitions.

Praise for: Narratives on Becoming: Identity and Lifelong Learning

"The third volume in the I Am What I Become series, Narratives on Becoming: Identity and Lifelong Learning invites readers into the lives of educators from around the world. This book includes important narratives from students, secondary educators, and post-secondary educators alike, highlighting how race, class, gender, and a wide range of other intersectional identities shape the diverse lived experiences of educators and their students. This volume also serves as an important reminder for all of us that the learning process continues across a lifetime and transcends the limits of the traditional classroom."
Brian Bicknell, President
Manchester Community College

"We all pay lip service to the importance of lifelong learning, but what is it exactly and how does it come about? The connections between identity and learning are intriguing and complex, especially when it comes to adult learners. In this very thoughtfully organized collection, researchers present qualitative and narrative studies, along with personal narratives, to explore identity development in formal and informal learning environments. Contributions from varied cultural contexts, most with powerful and moving stories to tell, provide insight into how identity, meaning-making, and adult learning and development intersect and influence each other. Psychologists, scholars and educators interested in identity development and meaning-making will find inspiration and fresh understanding in this innovative and enlightening series."
Ruthellen Josselson, Author
Paths to Fulfillment: Women’s Search for Meaning and Identity

"This innovative series on adult development is inspiring and substantive. We hear voices from the margins and stories of courage. We read identity-formation narratives by young adults and experienced professionals who share impressive capacities for transparency, vulnerability, and self-reflection. Many of the narratives are embedded in rigorous qualitative research that highlights diverse ways that identity is shaped through social positionality, lived experience, the quest for individuation, and willingness to encounter life as a dynamic learning process."
Jared D. Kass, Lesley University, Author,
A Person-Centered Approach to Psychospiritual Maturation:
Mentoring Psychological Resilience and Inclusive Community in Higher Education

Preface, Jo Ann Gammel, Sue L. Motulsky, Amy Rutstein-Riley, Emilie Clucas Leaderman, and Jennifer S. Jefferson. I Am the Warrior I Am Becoming Through Currere and Transformative Adult Learning, Susan R. Adams. Behind the Blackboard: Voices of Migrant Teachers, Maria Aurora C. Bernardo, Diana-Lea Baranovich, and Maria Khristina Manueli. Four Daughters, One Mother: Stories of Revising Identities, Gail Simpson Cahill. Negotiating the Transition from High School to College: Two Narrative Accounts, Patrick Flynn and Gabrielle Comeau. Confessions of a Transplanted Mind: “Second Street” Stories of Transgressing, Transforming, and Integrating, Allyson Eamer. The Intersectionality of Race, Gender, and Urban Leadership: Four School Leaders (Re)constructing Self and Identity, Yesenia Fernandez, Kitty M. Fortner, Antonia Issa Lahera, and Anthony H. Normore. “Why We Must Continue in the Journey”: A Conversation Between Two Literacy Educators, Lorena Germán and R. Joseph Rodríguez. Can a Bad Apple Lose Its Rot? Sharon J. Hamilton. Narrative of a White Middle-Class Male Principal: An Apologia, James F. Lane, Jr. Walking (Backward): Giving Identity a Moving Place, Kate McCabe. Our Brief Shared Narrative: Identity Development in the Context of Our Shared Environment and Individual Experiences, Kathryn Medill and Anne Medill. Developing a Professional Identity Among Your Perceived Own: An African American Woman’s Journey From Public School Educator to HBCU Professor, Denelle L. Wallace. Teaching as Becoming: A Relational Way of Working With Undergraduate Students, Zitong Wei. Transformative Learning as Teachers: The Narratives of Two Teachers Becoming Critical Pedagogues, Injeong Yoon and Benjamin Ramirez. About the Editors and Contributors.