In Jen’s shoes - looking back to look forward: an autoethnographic account

Jennifer L. Sze, Jane Southcott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper discusses the monumental events in my life that have shaped my two professional identities, teacher and researcher. I used autoethnography as a research methodology to traverse my personal life narratives across two different countries: Vietnam and Australia to seek and to examine my dual cultural identities, and how they shaped me. I am a passionate teacher who believes that teaching can change the world through the causes that I care about such as anti-racism and equity in education for students from all backgrounds. In this case study, data were collected by semi-structured interview and reflection on journals. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The findings are reported under four themes that reflected the stages of my life: designed in Vietnam, made in Australia was the first phase, growing up in Australia, my schooling years and professional years. By making sense of the narratives and involved, it helped me to understand myself better, who I am as a teacher and the causes that I believe in. As an Australian with hybrid cultural identities, I am the norm in contemporary culture. Keywords: Cultural Identity, Identity Formation, Professional Identity, Effective Teachers, Activism Teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)606-618
Number of pages13
JournalThe Qualitative Report
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Activism teaching
  • Cultural identity
  • Effective teachers
  • Identity formation
  • Professional identity

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