Narrating other's stories: Negotiating other's spaces

Year: 2006

Author: Peeler, Eleanor

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Researching teachers' stories requires one to negotiate access to another's personal and professional domains. To narrate the life of another, a balance must be maintained between the researcher's wants and the needs of the other, or the teacher whose story is sought. Such stories trace teachers' sociological, pedagogical and historical journeys of development and transformations in knowledge and professional practice (Goodson & Sikes, 2001). Spatial orientations of their professional journeys are enacted in various locations of their work environs, personal domains of home, family and other interests. They are significant too in the ensuing relationships between researcher and researched where ideally, a harmonious co-existence ensues. This paper explores how relationships, borne through affinities of shared experience, establish a basis of trust and respect that facilitate sharing of stories. It considers the fragile interplays of time of life and life experience, ethnicity, educational knowledge and position, personal commitments, gender and family that affect negotiations that may lead to positive outcomes, breakdown or confusion.