The use of a narrative inquiry approach to examine how experienced teacher educators develop their personal philosophy of education

Year: 2012

Author: Findlay, Yvonne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This paper examines the use of a narrative inquiry methodology to research how experienced teacher educators have formed and are still re-forming their philosophy of education.

The methodology utilises Clandinin and Rosiek's three common places of narrative inquiry. Clandinin and Rosiek (2006) describe the inquiry space as being three-dimensional consisting of the three common places of narrative inquiry temporality, sociality and place which are investigated simultaneously. The synergy of the three elements of temporality, sociality and place creates the space within which to investigate life experience and the extent to which that life experience has, and may continue to have, an effect on the development of a personal philosophy of education. The basis for good narrative inquiry is the co-constructing of the final polished narrative by researcher and participant. A true cooperation in the research process.

Some of the literature around the concept of and the need for teacher educators to have a personal philosophy of education will also be explored.  Reference will be made to the work of Dewey (1938),  Zinn (1999) as well as Blake, Smeyers, Smith and Standish (2003) to establish the need for a personal philosophy of education. Brookfield (1995), Pring (2005) and Lal (2006) provide insight into the nature of and purpose of having a personal philosophy of education.

A narrative inquiry approach to research will be considered by examining the positives and negatives for both researcher and participants, the issues of reliability and validity of the findings and what conclusions may be drawn from the findings.