National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Honors in Practice, 2021, Vol. 17:131–44


Copyright © 2021 National Collegiate Honors Council


Contemporary emphases on standardization, specialization, and selectivity in higher education alienate students and teachers from their own creativity, intellectual curiosity, and personal stories. This trend runs counter to the central focus of honors on fostering a diverse, scholarly learning environment. Authors suggest that integrating student personal narratives into honors curricula reinforces its values of multiplicity, inclusivity, and meaningful learning. Using metaphorical reference to the Broadway musical A Chorus Line as a unique lens into the pedagogical benefits of such integration, this essay provides ways of incorporating and sharing personal narratives in the classroom and offers strategies to ensure that all honors students find individual connections between the material and themselves. Asserting that all students hold a unique place “on the line,” authors show how integrating their personal narratives can subvert alienation and help create the rich, variegated academic experiences that are the hallmarks of honors pedagogy.