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Telling stories and making it count: blending narrative and numbers in the important relationships of new teachers

McNally, Jim and Blake, Allan (2007) Telling stories and making it count: blending narrative and numbers in the important relationships of new teachers. In: Initial Teacher Education Seminar, 2007-11-01. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Qualitative research on beginning teachers has consistently identified the importance of a relational dimension, often more prevalent in narratives than the more cognitive basis of development. One of the aims of our research in the Early Professional Learning Project was, therefore, to develop an instrument that offered a more quantitative indication of this, something other than the softer story-based data that has been seen as a rather weak evidence base in some quarters of policy development. This presentation will, following a brief introductory overview, outline the development of that indicator (interact) within the naturalistic paradigm of the project and also present the main findings, including range of support persons, their order of importance, categories of support. Extracts from the extensive narrative data base will also be used to illuminate the lived reality behind the numbers. Concluding discussion will cover grounded connections to grander theory and the potential of our statistics to provide a fuller appreciation of what it means to become a teacher.