Call for Book Chapters -- Storytelling in Education (Deadline: December 30, 2019)

Tracy Penny Light's picture

Call for Book Chapters

Working Title

Sharing our Stories: Exploring the Complexities of Learning and Teaching

Book Conceptualization

As anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson (1989) notes, “Storytelling is fundamental to the human search for meaning” (p. 34). Storytelling can be a tool for professional learning, as well as personal and organizational change, as the process can help people make sense of their lives, their stances, their positions, and their broader social, cultural, and political worlds (Ellis, Adams & Bochner, 2011). As educators and educational leaders, we have many stories about learning and teaching because we have deep, direct experience in our field since childhood. Our experiences are often reflected in our practice as teachers and leaders, whether we take the time to reflect on those experiences or not. This book is an opportunity to intentionally explore our stories of learning through an archeological dive into our educational experiences to surface important complexities in our understanding of learning and teaching. Using an autoethnographic approach (Ellis, Adams & Bochner, 2011; Starr, 2010) and drawing on counter-storytelling (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001), intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1989), and critical reflection (Brookfield, 2010), we seek authors who will move beyond simply telling their stories to understanding the broader significance of those stories by analyzing them in their social and historical milieu (Adams, Holman Jones & Ellis, 2015; Ellis & Bochner, 2000; Maréchal, 2010; Plummer, 2001).

We have three main goals for this book: (1) to compile a broad range of stories about teaching and learning in order to better understand both commonalities as well as diversity in experience; (2) to collectively investigate the connections between people’s experiences as learners and their experiences as teachers and educational leaders; and (3) to use narratives about teaching and learning as a tool for professional growth for educators and educational leaders.

Call for Book Chapters

We invite educators and educational leaders to participate by writing their educational autobiography (approximately 5-8 pages), their teaching and/or leadership philosophy (approximately 1-2 pages), and a critical reflection on the connections between the two (approximately 2-5 pages). Contributing authors are expected to be educators and/or educational leaders and have a graduate-level education and familiarity with educational theory and literature in order to make connections between their experiences and the broader literature. After they have completed this stage, we will invite participants to join a workshop in which they share their stories with the other contributing authors and reflect on the process of both writing their stories and listening to the stories of others.

The process for contributing authors is as follows:

  1. Please write an educational autobiography in which you reflect on critical incidents in your experience as a student in relation to literature and theory about teaching and learning. In doing so, please consider the following questions:
    • How did those defining moments shape you as a learner? Are you able to identify an arc or any themes in your experience? What roles have your various social identities played in shaping your educational experience? What role did the contexts in which you were learning shape your experience? How did your broader social/cultural/political sphere shape your educational experiences? What main struggles did you face as a student? Did you have any resources, supports, people, or strategies to help you overcome those struggles? What are you most proud of when you look back on your time as a student? What are you most surprised or concerned about? If you were to go back to talk to your teachers now, what would you tell them about how to better support you as a learner?
  2. Please write your teaching or leadership philosophy. In doing so, please reflect on the following questions:
    • What are your key beliefs about teaching/leadership? What literature and/or theory supports your beliefs? What specific strategies do you draw on that align with your key beliefs? What critical incidents have shaped your beliefs and practices?
  3. Please write a critical reflection about your experience thinking through these aspects of your teaching and learning experiences. What connections, themes, contradictions, or new understandings emerged for you through this writing process? What implications might this have for your practice?


December 30, 2019 – Submit draft educational autobiography, teaching philosophy, and reflection to

January 20, 2020 – Decisions sent to authors

March 30, 2020 – Final chapters with revisions submitted to editors

April-May – Contributing authors review other submissions in preparation for workshop

May 21-22 – Author convening for storytelling workshop/book edit and revisions at St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies

July 2020 – Book submitted for publication



Dr. Laura Colket,

Assistant Professor, St. George’s University


Dr. Tracy Penny Light,

Professor, St. George’s University


Dr. Adam Carswell,

Postdoctoral Scholar, St. George’s University