Date of Award

Winter 3-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Jeffrey Kuzmic

Second Advisor

Amira Proweller

Third Advisor

Jacqueline Kelly-McHale


My dissertation explores the process of becoming a feminist educator as I transitioned to using feminist theory in my pedagogy for the first time. Inspired by political events and my own progression from conservative musician to progressive educator, I asked the question in my research, “What would a feminist pedagogy look like in my music history classroom?” I used self-study research, with a design based on autoethnography and autobiography, to conduct a study that took place over a ten-week term. While I taught an undergraduate course, Women and Music, I collected data from my own research journals and dialogues with a critical friend, as well as data from the students enrolled in the course (twenty women and one man). My findings reflected a shift in my epistemological and ontological orientations toward teaching as I uncovered and resisted male-dominated conventions of knowing and being in my music classroom. My feminist pedagogy manifested through a relational approach to knowledge. I encouraged my students and myself to view knowing as an in-process journey where we could creatively learn through our experiences. Using a feminist pedagogy also allowed me to explore who I am as a woman educator and how I wanted to engage in a power-with relationship with my students in order to foster collaboration and community in our classroom. Employing feminist principles in my classroom changed how I viewed myself as an educator and offered my students the space to think of their gendered selves differently as well. This study provides an example of navigating an alternative pedagogy in practice while resisting oppressive ways of knowing and being that often exclude gendered experiences from educational spaces.