Autoethnography: a methodology to integrate professional and academic learning

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper discusses how autoethnography provides a framework around reflective critique of professional practice and how it can be used in disciplines such as education whereby researchers can draw on practice-based experience to undertake research projects.

Autoethnography is a contested methodology that is disruptive in the context of traditional academic research practice. Often termed as 'Me-search' it challenges professional instincts around putting oneself into one's work.

However, my exploration of autoethnography revealed it is an approach which enables researchers to undertake projects that are reflective and objective in nature and where data is collected and rigorously examined and analysed.

Using an autoethnographical approach enables researchers to see the value of their own experience and that knowledge gained from it is as relevant as intellectual knowledge and how it can inform future practice in terms of teaching, curriculum design and professional development.

It offers researchers an opportunity to reflect on how the learning self is impacted by lived experience and how it impacts on our work and can be transformative on future practice.

Methods adopted are a critical analysis of experience and recognition that knowledge gained as a result of experience is as valid and relevant as intellectual knowledge and is not separate from it.

In the context of how autoethnography can be used as a research method in education, users benefit from exploring well documented practical experiences whereby data may be a range of artefacts that represents the reporting, recollections and other narratives around the experience being researched and analysed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017
EventScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference : Educational Futures in a Changing Landscape: Bridging Boundaries or "Mind the Gap"? - University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Nov 201724 Nov 2017


ConferenceScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleSERA Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • autoethnography
  • education
  • journalism education
  • professional practice


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