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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Thomas Nelson

First Committee Member

Marilyn Draheim

Second Committee Member

Harriett Arnold

Third Committee Member

Sharon West


Qualitative research conducted in athletic training in the last two decades has increased but still lacks depth and breadth in pedagogy and education. This is especially evident in the multifaceted clinical education environment where diverse and alternative teaching techniques are necessary. Storytelling is one such teaching technique. It was the purpose of this study to uncover and illustrate the phenomenon of storytelling and its relationship to athletic training students' perceptions of their clinical education experience. Eight athletic training students were selected from a Northern California university undergraduate athletic training education program. The research data consisted of transcriptions from a series of three individual interviews. Athletic training students believed that stories influenced their experience in the clinical education environment in a variety of ways. In the analysis of the research data the following themes emerged: “The Environment and Shaping a Learning Community”, “Connections and Relationships of Shared Experience”, and “Defining and Developing Identity”. The theme “The Environment and Shaping a Learning Community” referred to the ability of shared experience presented in story to affect the clinical education environment through the perpetuation of the hierarchy of experience, the establishment of social norms and maintenance of the language. Respondents explained story's ability to shape the learning community by bringing together students for a collective purpose; through the establishment of relationships, and the sharing of common experience. The theme “Connections and Relationships of Shared Experience” referred to the capacity of story to build connections to learning and knowledge and cultivate human relationships. Respondents expressed that story encouraged learning as a process of self reflection, provided listeners with the opportunity to actively participate and to live vicariously through another's experience and connect didactic knowledge to the practical skills often used in the athletic training room. The theme “Defining and Developing Identity” referred to story's ability to create and reaffirm an athletic training student's personal and professional identity. This study has shown that the pedagogical technique of storytelling impacted athletic training students' clinical education experiences. Additionally, the shared experience improved the learning climate, made learning meaningful and created positive perceptions of student experience. Lastly, the findings from this study offer storytelling as a viable and useful pedagogical technique to the clinical education environment.




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