The Creation of a Fourth Space in Narrative Inquiry

Year: 2016

Author: Findlay, Yvonne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In my PhD research study I have been looking at how teacher express their professional lived experience. The methodology and method are both Narrative Inquiry (NI). Clandinin and Rosiek (2007) describe the narrative inquiry space as being three-dimensional consisting of the three common places of narrative inquiry; temporality, sociality and spatiality which are investigated simultaneously. The synergy of the three elements creates the space within which to investigate lived experience. The three elements influence the degree to which that lived experience has, and may continue to have, an effect on our understanding of the present and responses to happenings in day-to-day life. I have had two conversations recorded and transcribed with each of my five participants. Each participant has reviewed their own two transcripts and these have formed the basis of each participant’s final narrative. The final narratives were co-constructed by me and each participant so that the authentic voice of each participant is heard. It is these final co-constructed narratives which have become the research data for my study. The research journey has led me to rethink how the three elements of NI combine to form a personal narrative. They are not neat, self-contained elements but are like three separate rivers tumbling towards a common end. That end might be a deep, still pool or a dangerous whirlpool. The confluence of these rivers I have called the Fourth or Generative Space. The narratives of the participants are examined through this fourth lens to elicit how the three rivers have met and generated the teacher educator each one is today. The voices of the participants are heard through their narratives. Through “listening” to their voices, you were invited to consider the three common places of NI to create your own personal narrative. Consider: Who are you as a person? Who are you as a professional? What life experiences have shaped who you are today? How will you use the reflection on the common places to create a fourth generative space for your future?The writings of philosophers Dewey (1997), Sartre (1949), Bhabha (1994), Soja (1996) and Lefebvre (1991), as well as the personal reflections of writers Maya Angelou (1997) and Adrienne Rich (1986), have influenced my thinking about the conceptual framework within which the telling of lived experience resides.