Landscapes, Edges, and Identity-Making: Volume 33

Cover of Landscapes, Edges, and Identity-Making

Narrative Examinations of Teacher Knowledge

Subject:

Table of contents

(13 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-vii
Click here to view access options

Section I

Abstract

We introduce this volume featuring the work of C. L. Clarke and D. A. Hutchinson with references to existing literature addressing complexities of teacher knowledge development. Drawing from their metaphor of the muskeg, we write about ways in which notions of teacher knowledge intersect with prior personal and professional experiences across time, place, and social interaction. Clarke and Hutchinson write about ways in which identities that they view as having developed at the edges of their communities have contributed to shaping their sense of professional and personal identity in profound ways. They examine the potential impact of these experiences in: shaping their research and the building of research relationships with their participants using a narrative inquiry approach; and developing ways in which the use of poetic expression and word images enriched their understanding of the development of teacher identity and knowledge and informed their curriculum making. A chapter written by their dissertation supervisor offers further insight into ways in which their use of a narrative inquiry approach shaped their research work and writing, and offered a unique glimpse into their research phenomenon. We position this work in relation to existing research in the area of teacher knowledge and highlight ways in which this work contributes to knowledge in the area, as well as contributing to ideas about how narrative inquiry methodology has informed the examination of their research phenomenon.

Abstract

In this chapter, we inquire into our ever-unfolding experiences as teachers and with teacher research participants in order to explore the complexities of curriculum making in teacher education. In doing so, we lay the foundation for understanding narrative inquiry as both theory and method as such, frame our work in this volume. Curriculum making, a term introduced by Joseph Schwab, reflects the dynamic process of learning in which the teacher, learner, subject matter, and milieu interact. Moreover, we think about the ways people make sense of themselves, identity-making, in the process of curriculum making. Through Derek’s experiences with Lee, a previous Grade five student, and Cindy’s work with Jesse, a research participant, we inquire into their curriculum making and identity-making. We argue that in schools, there are multiple curricula in the making, going beyond the formal notions of curriculum as grade-level standards or classroom objectives. In our inquiry process, we consider experiences in schools through Aoki’s understanding of curriculum-as-plan and lived curriculum. In his writing, Aoki noted that the lived experience of curriculum in schools is much more complex and varied than the planned curriculum that is meant for a generalized audience; students and teachers bring their lives with them into particular contexts that indelibly shape the ways that curriculum is lived out. As well, we think about the ways experiences and places shape teachers and researchers and the ways we see the world.

Abstract

In this chapter, the process of doctoral research is discussed in relation to narrative inquiry. I was the doctoral supervisor for Cindy and Derek while they completed their PhDs. I examine in this chapter my experiences alongside Derek and Cindy. I consider the process of recruitment, field text collection and generation, the writing process, and considerations based on the methodology on narrative inquiry, with attention focused on the Deweyan ontology of experience, the three-dimensional narrative inquiry space, co-composition of research texts, narrative threads, living and telling narrative inquiries, and the relational quality of narrative inquiry. This chapter closes with thoughts about who we are in relationship with each other in the graduate process and the fluid nature of research.

Section II

Abstract

In this chapter, I explicate the engagement of poetic expression as research analysis to understand more deeply and to represent more rigorously the experience of research participants within educational research. As a tool of analysis, poetry has the strength to disrupt expectations and invite multiple interpretations of research. Here, I articulate a methodology for engaging poetic expression fully as a tool of narrative research to reach beyond textual analysis and representation of participants’ conversations into a deeper expression of their stories to live by. Poetic expression of narrative research is the particular emphasized, which is to say that meaning-making facilitated by poetic expression relies on a consistent and minute focus on the particular. Through poetic expression of research, thoroughly member-checked by participants, I surface and make evident my position as a researcher within the research. This chapter identifies ways in which poetic expression of research invites voice on multiple levels. The poetic expression of research within a narrative inquiry makes visible the experience of the research as an unfolding experience itself for the participant, the researcher, and the reader. I demonstrate the ways in which infusing a narrative inquiry with the poetic expression of research provokes the researcher as well as the reader to draw deeply on personal experience to make sense of the research. Furthermore, poetic expression of research invites participation from readers to engage poetically with the research and become a subsequent co-participant/researcher as they make sense, themselves, of the poetic expressions of research.

Abstract

Narrative inquirers come to understand experience through story. In this way, the narrative is the primary unit of analysis rather than breaking down stories into its constituent parts, parsing particular words, ideas, or codes in the process of analysing and interpreting experience. This chapter adds complexity to understandings of the ways that narrative inquirers make meaning of experience with participants. My work with Olivia, a research participant, serves as a guide for this chapter as I further explore my process of meaning-making as a narrative inquirer. Beginning with recorded research conversations and transcriptions, the process moves to the use of word images as interim research texts. Word images are collections of participant responses, words and phrases, brought together to form storylines. The composition of word images allows for complex understandings of experience, with multiple, sometimes conflicting perspectives emerging from the participants’ words. As Maxine Greene suggested, meaning-making includes a going beyond the text that allows readers to connect with the words in new and interesting ways. Similarly, meaning-making in narrative inquiry moves beyond traditional qualitative data analysis that allows researchers and readers to think with the stories of participants, engaging with the participants’ experience(s) in new ways as the researcher and reader brings their own stories of experience to bear in the text; making meaning and imagining experience from new perspectives.

Section III

Abstract

In this chapter, I explore my autobiographical beginnings as a means of better understanding what brought me to the research I explore throughout this text. As Clandinin and Connelly as well as Clandinin and Caine suggested, examining our own stories along with the stories of our research participants is essential to understand the identity-making process. Autobiographical beginnings within narrative inquiry bring to the surface those factors influencing the researcher’s perspectives, thus locating the researcher within the inquiry as well as within a larger life context. The experience of metaphorically travelling back into the muskeg where I grew up in Northern Saskatchewan and then writing about it shaped the structure of my reflections on this inquiry into identity-making and curriculum making on the edges of community. In this chapter, I refer to the edges of community as a metaphorical space or spaces occupied by people positioned or constructed as marginalized from a dominant norm positioned or constructed as central to a community. I suggest a reframing of our understanding of spaces conventionally referred to as marginalized as well as contend that the notion of marginalization, itself, is a metaphor. In my inquiries into identity-making and curriculum making, I attend to the ways in which people’s positioning within communities is complex and shifting. As this chapter illustrates, our individual identities are multivalent and inextricably intertwined with who we are, who we were, and who we wish to become, whether we are researchers, teachers, or pre-service teachers.

Abstract

This chapter disrupts the common notion that identity can be understood through the use of categories. Categorical terms like gay, straight, man, or woman often mask the complexity of curriculum making and identity-making. Curriculum making and identity-making are narrative terms used to understand the dynamic, relational, and on-going process of making meaning about people, things, contexts, and identity through experience. Identity making, understood narratively as the composition of stories to live by, allows us to image diverse communities, contexts, and experiences that uniquely shape the stories that people live and tell. Inquiring into the experiences of two research participants, I begin the chapter by thinking with Calle’s stories of experience to explore the limited and limiting categorical stories of identity. Then, I consider Jamie’s stories to live by, attending to the role of his contexts and communities in the composition of his stories to live by. In doing so, I seek to further map out the narrative geography of curriculum making and identity-making places and communities for individuals who compose diverse stories to live by. Building on previous research findings that contexts shape the composition of stories to live by as identity is negotiated through these dominant stories as an individual’s ontology, his/her story of the world and self in it, is constituted in part, by these dominant stories; here, I argue that contexts that allow for diverse stories to be told are those that attend to experience rather than clinging to familiar dominant stories.

Abstract

In this chapter, I offer some insights into what I learned over the course of my inquiry into the living and learning that took place on the edges of community. I highlight the inconclusive nature of narrative inquiry as well as demonstrate my recognition that in any narrative inquiry we exit as we entered, in medias res, in the middle of things. Even though the inquiry ends, we continue to compose stories and to share those stories. Our understanding is only ever partial in the same way the stories we compose are incomplete, unfinished. In seeking a conclusion that is not a conclusion, then, I contend that experiences are complex and the stories we compose about those experiences are also complex. The insights and wonderings that emerged from the analysis of my own experiences as well as the experiences of my participants shaped themselves into the overlapping areas of identity-making, curriculum making, and community. In particular, I explored the stories people composed from the edges of community; those spaces conventionally described by the dominant narrative as marginalized. The participants discussed in this chapter demonstrated how profoundly they were each impacted by their positioning as marginalized. At the same time, their stories had a strong thread of self-definition that was insubordinate to that positioning. In varied ways, the participants refused to be defined by others or as other. Their experiences suggested that those spaces conventionally thought of as peripheral, the edges, were actually the defining features of communities.

Abstract

Stories to live by, a narrative conception of identity, are multiple and diverse. As such, I argue that a narrative approach to research allows for complex understanding(s) of people’s lives and provokes meaning-making for participants and researchers. In this chapter, I think with the stories of Mr CEO, a research participant, to understand better the ways that his competing stories to live by are held in tension through his life experience. Mr CEO identified as African American, male, and gay, for lack of a better term. Moreover, Mr CEO’s experience growing up in a conservative African American Christian church shaped his identity-making and added complexity to his sense-making around his multiple stories to live by. I inquire into the ways Mr CEO restoried his stories to live by as they conflicted in his life experience. Mr CEO’s process of seeking narrative coherence among his many stories to live by allowed him to make sense of these dissonant stories. Similarly, it was difficult for Mr CEO to fit in with many of the familiar communities related to his dissonant stories of identity (church, gay, African American communities). As a result of his shifting stories, it became necessary for him to find new contexts and relationships that allowed for multiple and diverse plotlines. Mr CEO engaged in the process of community making as he sought to find relationships that acknowledged and valued his racial, religious, and sexual identity.

Section IV

Abstract

In this chapter, we argue that through relational research experiences with colleagues and participants, researchers are in a shared process of curriculum making and identity-making. Through reflections on a key shared experience, we demonstrate that in the liminal space of our work together, we have begun to shape our community identity-making to tell a story of ourselves as researchers within that community. In our work together, we have come to understand the ways that research contexts shape the ways we engage in research and the identities we compose as researchers. We suggest that as researchers, we meet in borderlands to engage in relational inquiry with participants and our colleagues. Similarly to Anzaldua, we understand the borderlands as liminal spaces between our respective worlds of research where we come together to compose new stories about ourselves as researchers and the research in which we engage. We attend to the places of tension as they emerge as opportunities to understand more deeply ourselves as researchers and as co-participants in a relational research experience. In doing so, we attend also to our shared responsibilities to each other in an ongoing research relationship. In the borderlands, we meet to tell a new story about who we are and who we are becoming in all our complexity. In this examination of the research community, we have grown into together, we define parameters and processes that resonate with our individual identities as researchers as well as our communal identities within a supportive research community.

Abstract

In this chapter, we think about shifting stories of research as our experience of relational methodology through narrative leads us to think differently about our work together – our research relationship and responsibility to one another as colleagues, as well as our participants. We inquire into the ways our relational methods of narrative inquiry have continued to compose shared, sustaining stories of research and research community, support our own curriculum making and identity-making experiences, and provoke our respective thinking in new ways. We revisit Aoki’s metaphor of planned and lived experiences to think about the ways that research is lived out in our lives and the complexities of sense-making about research and ourselves as researchers. Research-as-experience can be viewed as a lived curriculum of research, which interrupts the dominant narrative of research-as-plan and acts as a counterstory of research. Research-as-experience is not a static research plan that must be implemented but rather a course of lives within the context of research to be experienced. This perspective recognized that research shifts, just as the lives and identities of our participants shift. Our plans for our participants within our research cannot contain their shifting identities and must shift with them in order to honour their experience. Our work together helped us to understand that it is only through relationship with our research participants and each other that we could approach a deep understanding of their experiences and the narratives they shared about those experiences.

Index

Pages 217-222
Click here to view access options
Cover of Landscapes, Edges, and Identity-Making
DOI
10.1108/S1479-3687201933
Publication date
2019-10-21
Book series
Advances in Research on Teaching
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83867-598-1
eISBN
978-1-83867-597-4
Book series ISSN
1479-3687