Stories and Teacher Narratives as a Way of Understanding Teachers' Work.

Year: 1992

Author: Warhurst, Joan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

There is a growing body of literature which suggests that narrative accounts such as biographies and life stories are a legitimate and important methodology for deepening understanding of how teachers make meaning out of their professional lives (Goodson and Walker, 1991; Clandinin andConnelly; 1991 Britzman, 1986; Elbaz, 1991). The aims of this paper are three-fold. Firstly I want to look briefly at the recent history of the methodology in an attempt to explain the current interest in life story as an educational research methodology. Secondly I want to look at how life history research can open up new ways of investigating and understanding teachers' work. Finally I will explore some of the problems raised by questions concerning the identification of those who have agreed to participate in this co-operative kind of research. Can the story be disentangled from the identity of the story teller and if anonymity is guaranteed does the story retain its authenticity?