Like the children in the opening sequences of the original episodes of Sesame Street running into an empty lot and turning curbside trash into a trampoline, this is a document of a journey to discover a Sesame Street in localized contexts--the here and now, the everyday and mundane. Through the use of autoethnographic methods, I document a journey between the reality of my lived experiences, and the theorization of a pedagogical approach exemplified in those early episodes of Sesame Street. It is reflective work toward unsettling the spaces where and ways in which I have lived my life; work inspired by what Eve Tuck (2009b), a scholar and Native Alaskan, says is a necessary move from "damage-centered research" to "desire" centered research. This work is informed by decolonizing and indigenous literature (eg. Smith, 1999). In it I recognize I am complicit with, and a product of, historically racist colonial systems, that oppression is a result of the work of educators and researchers, as well as individuals and families--it is recognizable in the everyday experiences of non-marginalized communities as much as it can be seen in the damage done to marginalized communities. This is written with a deep faith in the possibilities people embody in all their difference, as well as sadness about the continuing action by individuals (myself and people I love included) that limit these possibilities. I believe that the strongest inclinations toward learning are present in everyday lives and relationships, that authentic learning emerges from a desire for people to be with other people. In this dissertation, I examine my complicity with oppressive action as I search for possibilities and narrate my attempts towards strategies of shared survival: reflection, relationships, shared experience, listening and love.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2013. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor:Dr.Timothy J. Lensmire. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 285 pages.
Hokanson, Aaron Rudolf Miller.
Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?: a journey toward a localized pedagogy for shared survival.
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