Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Ellen A. Herda

Second Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Third Advisor

Betty Taylor


Research Topic

This study explains different ways of thinking about education that may improve the quality of life for women in Cambodia. The present inquiry portrays the personal histories, narratives and hopes of selected women to uncover possible ways in which government and non-government agencies may transform the lives of Cambodian women through education programs.

Theory and Protocol

This research is grounded in critical hermeneutic theory formulated by Paul Ricoeur (1992) and follows an interpretive approach to field research and data analysis (Herda 1999). This orientation places the researcher and participants in a collaborative relationship that exemplifies the power of conversation and the importance of language to unveil new understandings about our world.

Research Categories

Two categories served as the boundaries for both data collection and analysis: Narrative Identity, understood from a critical hermeneutic orientation, reveals the process wherein a person reconfigures the story on the basis of who he or she is and it is through the recounting and retelling that one’s identity can change; and Mimeses may happen when history is reinterpreted providing a basis for understanding the current situation, and in turn, lead to imagining a possible future that could become a reality through appropriate action in the area of adult learning.


The participants, who live in the rural villages now or have lived there, posit that the Cambodian government lacks solicitude for their education because they are currently the poor inhabitants and farmers of the country. To re-imagine their future life through an education program, changes must occur within themselves as well as with government policies. The following findings were derived from the conversations with participants: (1) women play a minor role in the current economic development (2) there is an absence of literacy curriculum with trained and skilled educators (3) authentic communications are closed. If these concerns were addressed, there could be an improvement in the lives of some of the women in Cambodia.