Date of Graduation


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This study investigated through qualitative design Dr. Dorothy Skeel's professional career and scholarly development within the sociocultural context and life history that helped shape her ideas and actions to identify patterns in her life which reflected the social structure in which it was imbedded. The research questions guiding this study were: (1) How were significant aspects of Dr. Dorothy Skeel's life history and professional knowledge represented in her practice? (2) What patterns and changes occurred in Dr Dorothy Skeel's career development? (3) What meanings and possible interpretations can be understood from the patterns and themes in Dr. Dorothy Skeel's personal and professional life? (4) How might Dr. Dorothy Skeel's life and work be used in teacher development? The research design employed grounded theory, an inductive method of comparative analysis. After data had been gathered it was coded and stored using Ethnograph (1998), a qualitative software package. Findings related to Dr. Dorothy Skeel's professional career and scholarship emerged through (1) interview transcripts of family, friends and colleagues and (2) analysis of primary and secondary sources related to her writings and professional activities in social studies education and teacher preparation. The findings of the study revealed that Dr. Dorothy Skeel's career path reflected the challenges women born in the 1930s had to face during the post-WWII period until the early 1970s. Additionally, her scholarship was shaped by important 20 th century historical, social, and institutional tensions that impacted curriculum changes in teacher preparation and social studies education. Themes identified in Dr. Dorothy Skeet's professional development were: Out of the Kitchen: A House Without a Wife—A Degree without the “M.R.S.” Mother-Lust Satisfaction, Walking The Fine Line In Academe: Balancing Acts, The Transcendence of Care: Beyond Time and Space, Children Are Our Future . Other themes explored were barriers she faced related to philosophical differences and the value placed on research vs. the scholar of the practice. The benefits and limitations of using biography were discussed along with recommendations for future study.