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Narrative Research


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By Dean Crouse, Nicole Lazier, and Joe Tong
University of British Columbia

Published in: Education, Technology

Narrative Research

  1. 1. D e a n C r o u s e | N i c o l e L a z i e r | J o e To n g
  2. 2.  Narrative research inquiry is a group of approaches that rely on the written or spoken words or visual representation of individuals. These approaches emphasize the lives of individuals as told through stories. The emphasis in these approaches is on the story and often the epiphany Narrative can be both a method and the phenomenon under study(Lichtman, 2013 p.95)
  3. 3.  Study of the experiences of a single individual embracing stories of the life and exploring the learned significance of those individual experiences.This is the basic linear approach, but in most cases onewill be creating an aggregate of narratives each bearingon the others.
  4. 4.  “Narrative methods can be considered “real world measures” that are appropriate when “real life problems” are investigated”(Lieblich et al., 1998 p.5)
  5. 5.  Epistemology looks at the validation of knowledge (i.e. fact as opposed to opinion) The question arises as to the accuracy of the story looked at objectively even though it must be viewed in its socio-cultural context The narrative gives one‟s individual view to be accessed on its merits. That is validation is possible – only possible – by corroboration from another narrative.
  6. 6.  Narrative research is set out by the validation of the audience (to be validated). Narrative research is a useful part of the social science investigation, but may not stand alone being used for evidence and support for the conclusions of a report. Whether or not it is a part of a great presentation or whether it is a stand alone piece of research, it has to be accepted on its own merits as individual experience and the interpretation of thereof.
  7. 7.  people who are writing down experiences of others as narratives; and the narrators themselves, the informants. educators, psychologists, psychotherapists, anthropol ogists and other professions and researchers who are looking to examine culture and wanting to gather qualitative data around peoples experiences
  8. 8.  the narrative, i.e. a story, or aggregate of such about life experiences, and desirably their meaning to the narrator. It may be presumed to be true, but: “The „truths‟ sought by narrative researchers are „narrative truths,‟ not „historical truths‟(Spence, 1982).”(Polkinghorne, 2007, p. 9)
  9. 9.  “We think that narratives are a means not only to report action research but also to provide a fundamental connection for action research and narrative inquiry.”(Heikkinen, et al., 2012)
  10. 10.  depends on circumstances; preferably in a comfortable environment, because the feelings of the person telling the story have to be validated and honoured (i.e. happy).
  11. 11.  …incorporates first person accounts in story form, biography, autobiography, life, history, oral history, autoethnography, pathography, discourse analysis, or life narratives.(Lichtman, 2013 p.95)
  12. 12.  “A number of data collection methods can be used, as the researcher and the research subjects work together in this collaborative dialogic relation-ship. Data can be in the form of field notes; journal re- cords; interview transcripts; one‟s own and other‟s observations; storytelling; letter writing; autobio- graphical writing; documents such as school and class plans, newsletters, and other texts, such as rules and principles; and pictures (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990). To this list, I would add video recordings, as these are also useful data in narrative research.” “both the re- searcher‟s and the research subject‟s points of view in the research report.”(Moen, XXXX, p.6)
  13. 13. (Heikkinen, et al., 2012)
  14. 14.  Collaboration Gives “voice” to Educators Helps others understand topics Captures everyday familiar data More immediate (personal) to the investigation
  15. 15.  Participants may “fake the data”: the narrator might not be honest, and deliberately (or unfortunately likely, involuntarily) give their subjective view. From the researcher‟s point of view, the use and usability of the narrative(s) as evidenced statement(s) on a topic depend on his / her own evaluation which involves the likelihood of personal opinion. Nevertheless, this has to be justified for the audience. “no comprehensive models systematically mapping the variety of existing methods of reading narratives” (Lieblich, et al., 1998, p. 6). “While some types of qualitative analysis have a standard set of procedures, narrative research does not” (Riessman, 1993, p. 54). One of the weaknesses of studying narratives is that the text is by its own nature linguistically subjective. i.e. difficult to quantitatively access in an objective manner since it is subjective i.e. personally meaningful.
  16. 16. Clandinin, Jean D., “Developing Rhythm in Teaching: The Narrative Studyof Beginning Teacher’s Personal Practical Knowledge of Classrooms”.Curriculum Inquiry, 19, 2 (1989) 121- 140 This article examines how a first year teacher develops his teaching practice and practical knowledge through his experiences. An analysis of the novice teachers‟ construction of the classroom and reconstruction are examined with the analysis provided from the author‟s perspective and narrative accounts of the teacher involved within the study.Parker, Darlene C. “Writing and becoming a teacher: Teacher candidatesliteracy narratives over four years” Teaching and Teacher Education.26, (2010) 1249-1260 This study examines the written narratives of 30 pre-service teacher candidates in relation to their formation of teaching knowledge, personal experienced during their pre-service training, and personal stories related to their teaching practicum, training, learning, theory and practice over a course of 5 years.
  17. 17. Clandinin, Jean D., Connelly, Michael F., He, Ming F. “Teachers’ personalpractical knowledge on the professional knowledge landscape” Teaching andTeacher Education. 13, 7. (1997) 665-674 Within this study a case study of a pre-service teacher is used to highlight a methodology for gathering qualitative data about teachers‟ personal practice knowledge related to their professional knowledge and practice. A variety of strategies to complete narrative inquiry studies in relation to this topic are outlined with examples provided using a case study of Ming Fang He and her teacher participants.Houle, Sonia T., “Not Making the Grade: A Narrative Inquiry into Timmy’sExperiences with Mandated Curriculum” In Education. 16, 2.(2010) The research in this article examines the experience of a grade 1 student, his parents and his teachers in relation to his completion of course curriculum, curriculum making and the student‟s experience with the curriculum at home and within his school environment. Field notes from the classroom and transcripts of conversations were used to collect the data during the course of this research study.
  18. 18. Cladinin, Jean D. and Connelly, Michael F. Narrative Inquiry: Experienceand story in qualitative research. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco. 2000 In this resource, Cladinin and Connelly offer the researcher a detailed overview of Narrative Inquiry and how it is used within education and social science research. They offer strategies that the researcher can use when conducting this type of research and examples of narrative research is presented to further clarify the process of narrative inquiry.Cladinin, Jean D. Handbook of narrative inquiry: mapping a methodology.Sage Publications. Thousand Oaks. 2007 This resource provides the reader with detailed about narrative inquiry from a variety of perspectives. The reader is introduced to narrative inquiry from a historical context as well as examples of narrative inquiry taking place. A variety of contributors contribute to the chapters within this resource providing the reader with a wide range of perspectives in regard to narrative inquiry and how it is conducted.
  19. 19. Webster, L and Mertova, P. Using Narrative Inquiryas a research method: An Introduction to UsingCritical Event Narrative Analysis in Research inLearning and Teaching. Routeledge. New York .2007 This resource explains not only narrative research and provides examples of narrative research in practice, it also provides the reader with an explanation about how critical events can be examined using narrative research and as well as providing the reader with a framework for conducting narrative research.
  20. 20. Colorado State University: This website contains a brief overview of what narrative research is and how it is used. This is a website that can help define what this research process involves; although it is not as in depth a definition as is provided within the book resources provided above.Reilly T and Hawe. P. Reseraching Practice: The Methodological Case forNarrative Inquiry. 2004. This resource summarizes a study conducted within the world of health promotion using narrative methods to gain an understanding about the aspects of practice within this field. The purpose of narrative methods are examined as well as the case study presented provides the reader with a case study that illustrates how these methods are used.
  21. 21.  Heikkinen, H.L., Huttunen, R., Syrjala, L., Pesonen, J. (2012). Action research and narrative inquiry: fice principles for validation revisited. Educational Action Research, 20(1), 5-21. Lieblich, A., Tuval-Mashiach, Rivka, and Zilber, Tamar. (1998). Narrative Research: reading, analysis, and interpretation (Vol. 47). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Lichtman, M. (2013). Qualitative research in education: a user’s guide (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Moen Polkinghorne Donald E., Validity in Narrative Research - Qualitative Inquiry May 2007 vol. 13 no. 4 471-486. Riessman, 1993, p. 54 Spence, D. P. (1982). Narrative truth and historical truth. New York: Norton.