Using narrative research as a method in teacher education: a sociocultural approach

Philpott, Carey (2014) Using narrative research as a method in teacher education: a sociocultural approach. Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal, 6 (1). pp. 12-19.

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Abstract

Researching the relationship between narrative and teacher development has become increasingly popular. A recent literature search by the author found over forty papers published since 2005 that explored the relationship between teacher development and narrative. Many of these papers offered no explicit theorisation of narrative and its relationship to individual agency or sociocultural structure. Where a theoretical paradigm was cited, it privileged agency over structure and viewed sociocultural context only as a constraining container. As a response to this deficiency, this paper reports on research that develops Wertsch’s sociocultural approach to narrative to research the ways that initial teacher education students’ narratives of classroom experience (and hence their experiential learning) are influenced by dominant narratives in their placement school. This is intended to provide a worked example of a narrative research approach that other teacher education researchers can use to understand the learning of their students.