anti-oppressive teacher education; affective polarization; emotional work; narrative research; self-study


‘Affective polarization’ refers to the amount of negativity that people feel for those who belong to a political party other than their own. This self-study reports on our particular use of a narrative cycle model and documents its validity as a tool for doing the emotional work of exploring contradictions in one’s practice without the pressure of engaging in public emotional discourses. We focused on the contra- diction between our intention to teach anti-oppressive teacher edu- cation and inadvertently silencing students who exhibited affective polarization. Our narrative inquiry analysis documented patterns of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that we assert could help improve the practice of anti-oppressive teacher educators from a variety of political leanings and pedagogical orientations respond- ing to affective polarization. They are 1) recognizing the ineffective- ness of persuasion, 2) recognizing a commonality of emotions, and 3) recognizing an ethical commitment to all students. Practically, our narrative cycle model is a tool to inquire into the emotional work of exploring contradictions in one’s practice. Our findings offer a more nuanced understanding of the emotional work involved in respond- ing to affective polarization while enacting anti-oppressive education ideals. Our model also advances a theoretical understanding of how to interrupt the immediacy of time, place, and sociality in the class- room to allow teacher educators to confront their own discomforting emotions. We assert that our narrative cycle tools can help teacher educators turn and face their own emotional and intellectual reac- tions to affective polarization in the classroom and do so in a manner that upholds the ideals of anti-oppressive teacher education.

Original Publication Citation

Cutri, R. M., Whiting, E.F., Bybee, E. R. (2022). Using Narrative Cycles to Advance Teacher Educators’ Emotional Work and Practice in an Era of Affective Polarization. Studying Teacher Education.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Routledge/Taylor & Francis




David O. McKay School of Education


Teacher Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor