Springsteen, a three-minute song, a life of learning

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
This dissertation is an autobiographical and educational rendering of Bruce Springsteen’s influence on my life. Unbeknownst to him, Bruce Springsteen became my first proper ‘professor.’ Nowhere near the confines of a regular classroom, he opened the door to a kind of education like nothing I ever got in my formal schooling. From the very first notes of the song “Born in the U.S.A.,” he seized me and took me down a path of alternative learning. In only four minutes and forty seconds, the song revealed how little I knew of the world, despite all of my years in education, being a teacher, and holding senior positions. Like many people, I had thought that education was gained from the school system. One song changed everything. It made me question the very definition of education and what it means to be educated. This work, through life writing, examination of lived experience and deep sustained reflection, represents my educational journey. It describes my ‘other’ education, the kind of learning discovered through my passion for the music of Springsteen and the lyrics and delivery of his songs. I unpack these experiences of life and learning in terms of contemporary educational literature and dis-courses. This allows me to interpret how my ‘other’ education was formed in light of Springsteen, his songs, live performances and some of his observations. I make a case in this dissertation for the contribution of popular song as a potent force for learning and transformation. I aim to open the door to further the potential for rock and popular music in educational practice.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Snowber, Celeste
Member of collection
Attachment Size
etd20699.pdf 2.2 MB