Afternoon tea in the valley: Identity, writing and the teacher researcher

Year: 2006

Author: Hay, Trevor, White, Julie

Type of paper: Refereed paper

In this paper we describe a recent workshop for pre-service teachers engaged in a research project. The workshop explored the potential of narrative approaches to professional reflection and qualitative research by means of our own writing process, and invited analysis of our writing using a three-question method (Hay and White 2005a). In this illustrative tale there is an example not only of our joint writing performance but of dialogic interchange between narrator and observer, highlighting the way voice, perspective and stance contribute to narrative. We use these fragmentary texts to problematise a common definition of narrative in which 'events' are crucial, and to show how narrative is produced not so much by events as by 'discourse' in the narratological sense. The nature of teacher-researcher discourse is then contrasted with more 'artistic' and 'creative' forms and finally compared with 'paradigm positions' (Guba and Lincoln, 2005) for the selection of research issues. Finally, the three question approach (Hay and White, 2005a) and the 'story form model' (Egan, 1989) are linked with these positions in order to provide students with a means of locating their own research interests within a genre of writing that conveys a sense of the 'passionate participant' as well as the 'events' of their selected research issue (Guba and Lincoln, 2005).