Proleptic Autobiography Envisioning a Future--and a Path to Get There

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James Gilligan


This assignment challenges students in an English Language Arts teacher education program to compose a proleptic autobiography—a genre of writing that transforms the customary retrospective autobiographical essay assignment as a way to encourage students to envision and create their future professional selves. The goal of the assignment is to support students’ development of realistic expectations of their imminent careers as educators and to foster a deeper appreciation of diverse learners. Composing such an imaginative narrative can help students develop stronger professional dispositions as they consider aspects of their future careers such as work/life balance, economic concerns, developing confidence, and providing support and encouragement to their students.

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Gilligan, J. (2021). Proleptic Autobiography: Envisioning a Future--and a Path to Get There. Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, 5(2).