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Connelly and Clandinin

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  • 8/2/2019 Connelly and Clandinin


    American Educational Research Association

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    Stories of ExperiencendNarrative nquiry


    Althoughnarrativeinquiryhasa longintellectualhistoryboth nandoutofeducation,t is increasinglysed nstudiesofeducationalexperience.Onetheoryneducationalesearch olds hathumansare storytellingorganismswho, individually nd socially,leadstoried ives.Thus,thestudyofnarratives thestudyofthewayshumansexperienceheworld.Thisgeneral oncepts refinedntothe view thateducationndeducational esearchs the construc-tion and reconstructionof personal nd socialstories; earners,teachers,ndresearchersrestorytellersndcharactersn their wnand other's tories.In thispaperwe briefly urvey ormsof nar-rativeinquiry n educationaltudiesandoutlinecertain riteria,methods, ndwriting orms,whichwe describen termsofbegin-ningthestory,livingthestory,andselecting tories o constructandreconstructarrativeplots.Certain isks,dangers, ndabusespossiblennarrativetudies rediscussed.We oncludebydescribinga two-partesearchagendaorcurriculumndteachertudiesflow-ing fromstoriesofexperiencendnarrativeinquiry.Educationalesearcher,ol.19,No. 5, pp.2-14

    What matters s that lives do not serve as models;onlystories do that. And it is a hardthingto makeup storiesto live by. We can only retelland live by the storieswehave readorheard.We liveour ivesthrough exts.Theymayberead,orchanted,orexperienced lectronically,rcome to us, like the murmurings f ourmothers,tellingus what conventionsdemand. Whatever heir form ormedium,these storieshaveformedus all;they arewhatwe mustuse to makenew fictions,new narratives.Heil-brun1988,p. 37, Writing Woman'sLife.)

    N arrativeinquiry s increasingly sed in studies ofeducational experience. It has a long intellectualhistory both in and out of education. The mainclaimfor the use of narrative n educationalresearch is thathumans are storytelling organisms who, individually andsocially,lead storied ives. The study of narrative, herefore,is the study of the ways humans experiencethe world. Thisgeneralnotion translates into the view thateducation is theconstruction and reconstruction of personal and socialstories;teachersand learnersarestorytellersand charactersin their own and other's stories.It is equally correct o say "inquiryinto narrative" as it is"narrativeinquiry." By this we mean that narrative s bothphenomenon and method. Narrativenames the structured

    qualityof experience o be studied, andit names the patternsof inquiryfor its study. To preserve this distinctionwe usethe reasonably well-established device of calling the phe-nomenon "story"and the inquiry"narrative."Thus, we saythat people by nature lead storied lives and tell stories ofthose lives, whereasnarrative esearchersdescribesuchlives,collect and tell stories of them, and write narratives ofexperience.Perhapsbecause it focuseson human experience, perhapsbecause it is a fundamentalstructureof human experience,and perhaps because it has a holistic quality, narrativehasan important place in other disciplines. Narrativeis a wayof characterizing he phenomena of human experienceandits study which is appropriate o many socialscience fields.The entire field of study is commonly referred to as nar-ratology,a term which cuts across such areas as literarytheory, history, anthropology, drama, art, film, theology,philosophy, psychology, linguistics, education, and evenaspectsof evolutionarybiological cience. One of the best in-troductions to the scope of this literature s Mitchell'sbookOn Narrative.1Mosteducationalstudies of narrativehave counterpartsnthe social sciences. Polkinghorne's history of "individualpsychology" (1988, pp. 101-105) from the mid-1800's de-scribed narrative-related studies that have educationalcounterparts.His categoriesof case history, biography, lifehistory, life span development, Freudian psychoanalysis,and organizationalonsultationarerepresented n the educa-tional literature.These categoriesof inquiry tend, as Polk-inghorne noted,to focus on an individual'spsychology con-sidered over a span of time. Consider,forexample, the longstandingregularuse of anecdotalrecords n inquiry ntochilddevelopment, earlychildhood education, and school coun-selling. This focus sets the stagefor one of the most frequentcriticismsof narrative,namely,thatnarrativeunduly stressesthe individual over the social context.Narrative inquiry may also be sociologically concernedwith groupsand the formationof community(see Carr'snar-rative treatment of community, 1986). Goodson's (1988)historicaldiscussion of teachers's life histories and studies

    F. MICHAELCONNELLYs at theJointCentrefor TeacherDevelop-ment,UniversityfTorontondOntarionstitute tudiesnEduca-tion. D. JEANCLANDININis at the Universityof Calgary,Alberta,CanadaT2N 1N4.- 2 EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER -

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    of curriculum n schoolinggave a sociologicallyoriented ac-count of life history in sociology, anthropology, and educa-tional studies. Goodson saw autobiographyas a version oflife history. However, given recent educational develop-ments in works such as TeacherCareersSikes, Measor, &Woods, 1985), TeachersLivesand CareersBall& Goodson,1985),and Teacher areersndSocialmprovementHuberman,1988) n which the focus is on professionalism, it would ap-pear reasonable to maintain a distinction between bi-ography/autobiography nd lifehistory.Goodson assignedto the Chicagoschoolthe main influence on lifehistoryworkthrough sociologists such as Parkand Becker.Polkinghorneemphasized Mead's (also Chicago school) philosophicaltheories of symbolic interaction.Berk (1980), in a discussion of the history of the uses ofautobiography/biography in education, stated that auto-biographywas one of the firstmethodologies for the studyof education. Shifting nquiry rom the question What doesit mean for a person to be educated? to How arepeople,in general, educated? appearsto have led to the demise ofautobiography/biographyn educational tudies.Thisdeclineparalleled the decline of the study of the individual inpsychology as described by Polkinghorne. Recently, how-ever, Pinar (1988), Grumet (1988), and Pinar and Grumet(1976) developed with their students and others a strongautobiographicaltraditionin educational studies.Threeclosely related lines of inquiryfocus specificallyonstory:oralhistoryand folklore,children's story telling, andthe uses of story in preschool and school language experi-ences. Dorson (1976)distinguishedbetween oralhistoryandoralliterature,a distinctionwith promise in sortingout thecharacter and origins of professional folk knowledge ofteaching.Dorson named a wide rangeof phenomenafornar-rativeinquirythat suggest educational inquirypossibilitiessuch as materialculture, custom, arts, epics, ballads, prov-erbs, romances, riddles, poems, recollections, and myths.Myths, Dorsonnoted, are the storied structureswhich standbehind folklore and oralhistory,an observation which linksnarrativeto the theory of myth (e.g., Frye, 1988).The bestknown educational use fororalhistory in North America isthe Foxfireproject (Wigginton, 1985, 1989).Applebee's (1978)work is a resource on children's storytelling and children's expectations of story from teachers,texts, and others. Sutton-Smith's (1986) review of thisliteraturedistinguished between structuralistapproaches,which relyon schema nd othercognitiontheoryterms(e.g.,Mandler, 1984, Schank & Abelson, 1977),and meaning ina hermeneutic tradition (e.g., Erwin-Tripp & Mitchell-Kernan,1977;Gadamer, 1982;McDowell,1979).A curricularversion of this literatureis found in the suggestion (Egan,1986;Jackson, 1987) hat school subjectmatterbe organizedin story form. Jacksonwrote that "even when the subjectmatter is not itself a story, the lesson usually contains anumber of narrativesegments all the same" (p. 307) andEgansuggested a model that "encouragesus to see lessonsor units as good stories to be told ratherthan sets of objec-tives to be obtained" (p. 2).Applebee's work is an outgrowth of the uses of story inlanguage instruction, a line of enquiry sometimes referredto as the work of "the Cambridgegroup."Muchof thisworkhas a curriculumdevelopment/teachingmethod focus (e.g.,Britton,1970)but there arealsotheoretical e.g., Britton,1971;Rosen, 1986)and researchtraditions(e.g., Applebee, 1978;

    Bissex&Bullock,1987;Wells, 1986).Lightfootand Martin's(1988)book in honor of Brittongives an introductionto thisliterature. Recently this work has begun to establish acounterpartin studies of adult language and second lan-guage learning(Allen,1989;Bell,inpress;Conle,1989;Cum-ming, 1988;Enns-Connolly, 1985, in press; Vechter, 1987).In our work on curriculum,we see teachers's narrativesasmetaphors for teaching-learning relationships. In under-standingourselvesand our students educationally,we needan understanding of people with a narrative of life ex-periences.Life's narrativesarethe contextformakingmean-ing of school situations. This narrativeview of curriculumis echoed in the work of languageresearchers Calkins,1983)and generalstudies of curriculum B.Rosen, 1988;Lightfoot& Martin, 1988;Paley, 1979).Because of its focus on experienceand the qualitiesof lifeand education,narrative s situatedin a matrixof qualitativeresearch.Eisner's (1988)review of the educational study ofexperience implicitly aligns narrative with qualitativelyorientededucationalresearchersworking with experientialphilosophy, psychology, critical heory, curriculum tudies,and anthropology.Elbaz's(1988)review of teacher-thinkingstudies created a profileof the most closely relatednarrativefamily members. One way she constructedthe familywasto review studies of "the personal" to show how thesestudies had an affinitywith narrative.Another entry pointforElbazwas "voice" which, forher, and for us (Clandinin,1988),aligns narrativewith feminist studies (e.g., PersonalNarrativesGroup, 1989).Elbaz'sprincipalconcern is withstory. Using a distinction between story as "primarilyamethodological device" and as "methodology itself," shealigned narrative with many educational studies which,although specificresearchersmay not be conscious of usingnarrative,reportdata either in storyform oruse participantstoriesas raw data.2Thereis also a collectionof educationalliterature hat is narrative n qualitybut which is not foundin review documentswhere itmight reasonablyappear(e.g.,Wittrock,1986).We call this literature"Teachers'sStoriesand Stories of Teachers". This name refers to first- andsecond-hand accounts of individual teachers, students,classrooms, and schools written by teachers and others.3Inthis paperwe see ourselvesas outliningpossibilitiesfornarrativenquirywithin educational tudies.The educationalimportanceof this line of work is that it brings theoreticalideas aboutthe natureof human life as lived to bear on edu-cationalexperienceas lived.We have not set out to contributeto the long traditionof narrative n the humanities, nor tobridge the gap between the humanities and the socialsciences in educational studies, desirable as that clearlyis.In the remainderof the paperwe explorevariousmethodo-logical issues of narrativeinquiry.Beginning the Story:The Process of NarrativeInquiryManyaccountsof qualitativenquirygive a descriptionof thenegotiationof entryinto the field situation. Negotiating en-try is commonly seen as an ethicalmatterframedin termsof principles that establish responsibilities for both re-searchersand practitioners.However, another way of un-derstanding the process as an ethicalmatteris to see it as anegotiation of a shared narrativeunity. We wrote about it(Clandinin& Connelly, 1988)in the following way:

    We have shown how successfulnegotiationand. he ap-plicationof principlesdo not guaranteea fruitful tudy.-JUNE-JULY1990 3*

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    Thereason,of course,is thatcollaborativeesearch on-stitutesarelationship.neveryday ife,the ideaof friend-ship impliesasharing,aninterpenetrationf twoormorepersons'spheresof experience.Merecontact s acquain-tanceship,not friendship.The samemaybe said for col-laborative esearchwhichrequires dose relationshipkintofriendship.Relationshipsrejoined,asMacIntyre1981)implies, by the narrativeunities of ourlives. (p. 281)Thisunderstandingof the negotiationof entryhighlightstheway narrativeinquiry occurs within relationships amongresearchersand practitioners,constructed as a caringcom-munity. When both researchersand practitionersell storiesof the researchrelationship,they have the possibilityof be-ing storiesof empowerment.Noddings (1986) emarked hatin researchon teaching"too littleattention s presentlygivento mattersof community and collegialityand that such re-searchshould be construedasresearch orteaching"(p. 510).She emphasizedthe collaborativenatureof the researchpro-cess as one in which all participantssee themselves as par-ticipants in the community, which has value for both re-searcher and practitioner,theory and practice.Hogan (1988)wrote about the researchrelationshipin asimilarway. "Empoweringrelationshipsdevelop over timeand it takes time forparticipants o recognize the value thatthe relationship holds. Empowering relationships involvefeelings of 'connectedness' that aredeveloped in situationsof equality, caring and mutual purpose and intention" (p.12). Hogan highlighted several importantissues in the re-search relationship:the equalitybetween participants,thecaringsituation,and the feelings of connectedness. A senseof equalitybetween participants s particularlymportant nnarrativeinquiry.However, in researcher-practitionerela-tionships where practitioners have long been silencedthrough being used as objectsfor study, we arefaced witha dilemma. Practitionershave experienced themselves aswithout voice in the researchprocessand mayfind itdifficultto feel empowered to tell their stories. Theyhave been madeto feel less than equal. Noddings (1986) s helpful in think-ing through this dilemma for narrativeinquiry. She wrotethat "we approachour goal by living with those whom weteach in a caring community, through modeling, dialogue,practiceand confirmation.Again,we see how unfamiliar hislanguage has become" (p. 502).Inthisquotation, Noddings was speakingof the teaching-learningrelationship,but what she said has significanceforthinkingaboutresearcher-practitionerelationshipsas well.She drew attention to the ways we situate ourselves in rela-tion to the persons with whom we work, to the ways inwhich we practicein a collaborativeway, and to the waysallparticipantsmodel, in theirpractices,a valuing and con-firmation of each other. What Hogan and Noddings high-lightedis the necessityof time,relationship,space, andvoicein establishingthe collaborativerelationship,a relationshipin which both researchers and practitionershave voice inBritzman's(in press) sense. Britzmanwrote:

    Voice smeaning hatresides n theindividual ndenablesthat ndividualoparticipaten acommunity....Thetrug-gleforvoicebeginswhen apersonattempts ocommun-icatemeaning osomeoneelse.Finding hewords,speak-ing foroneself,andfeelingheardby othersarealla partof this process.....Voicesuggests relationships: theindividual'srelationshipo themeaningofher/hisexper-

    ienceandhence, to language,and the individual'srela-tionship to the other, since understanding s a socialprocess.Inbeginningthe processof narrativenquiry, t is particularlyimportant hat allparticipantshave voice withinthe relation-ship. It implies, as Elbow (1986) noted, that we play the"believing game," a way of working within a relationshipthat callsupon connected knowing in which the knower ispersonally attached to the known. Distance or separationdoes not characterizeconnected knowing. The believinggame is a way of knowing that involves a process of self-insertionin the other's storyas a way of comingto know theother's story and as giving the other voice. Elbow empha-sized the collaborativenature of the believing game whenhe wrote "the believing essentiallycooperativeorcollaborative.The central event is the act of affirmingorentering into someone's thinking or perceiving" (p. 289).In narrative inquiry, it is important that the researcherlisten first to the practitioner'sstory, and that it is the prac-titionerwho first tells his or her story. This does not meanthat the researcher s silenced in the process of narrative n-quiry.It does mean that the practitioner,who has long beensilenced in the researchrelationship, is given the time andspace to tell her or his storyso that it too gains the authorityandvalidity hat the researchstoryhas longhad. Coles(1989)made a similar point when he wrote "but on that fast-darkeningwinter afternoon, I was urged to let each patientbe a teacher:hearing themselves teach you, through theirnarration, he patientswill learn the lessons a good instruc-tor learnsonly when he becomes a willing student, eagertobe taught" (p. 22). Narrativeinquiryis, however, a processof collaborationinvolving mutual storytellingand restory-ing as the researchproceeds. Inthe process of beginning tolive the shared story of narrative inquiry, the researcherneeds to be aware of constructinga relationship in whichbothvoices are heard.The abovedescriptionemphasizestheimportanceof the mutual construction of the research rela-tionship, a relationshipin which both practitionersand re-searchersfeel caredfor and have a voice with which to telltheir stories.Living the Story: Continuing the Process ofNarrativeInquiryWhat should be clear from the previous description is anunderstanding of the process as one in which we are con-tinually ryingto give an accountof the multiple evels (whicharetemporallycontinuous and sociallyinteractive)atwhichthe inquiry proceeds. The central task is evident when it isgrasped that people are both living theirstoriesin an ongo-ing experiential ext and tellingtheirstories in words as theyreflectupon life and explain themselves to others. For theresearcher,this is a portion of the complexityof narrative,because a life is also a matter of growth towardan imaginedfutureand, therefore, nvolves retellingstories and attemptsat reliving stories. A person is, at once, engaged in living,telling, retelling, and reliving stories.Seeing and describing story in the everyday actions ofteachers,students,administrators, nd othersrequiresa sub-tle twist of mind on behalf of the enquirer. It is in the tell-ings and retellingsthat entanglements become acute, for itis here thattemporaland social,culturalhorizons areset andreset. How far of a probe into the participants's past andfuture is farenough? Whichcommunity spheres should be


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    probedand to what socialdepth should the inquiryproceed?When one engages in narrativeinquirythe processbecomeseven more complex, for, as researchers,we become partofthe process. Thetwo narrativesof participantand researcherbecome, in part, a shared narrative construction andreconstructionthrough the inquiry.Narrativeinquiry in the social sciences is a form of em-piricalnarrative n whichempiricaldata s central o thework.The inevitableinterpretationthat occurs, something whichis embedded even in the data collectionprocess, does notmakenarrative nto fiction even though the languageof nar-rative inquiry is heavily laced with terms derived fromliterarycriticism of fiction. A number of differentmethodsof data collection are possible as the researcher and practi-tioner work togetherin a collaborativerelationship.Datacanbe in the form of field notes of the shared experience, jour-nal records, interview transcripts, others's observations,story telling, letter writing, autobiographical writing,documents such as class plans and newsletters, and writingsuch as rules, principles, pictures,metaphors,and personalphilosophies. Inour laterdiscussion of plot of scene, the im-portanceof the narrativewhole is made clear.The sense ofthe whole is builtfroma rich datasource with a focus on theconcreteparticularitiesof life that createpowerful narrativetellings.Inthe followingwe drawsmallexcerpts romseveralnarrative tudies. Theseexcerptsareillustrative f thevarietyof narrative data sources and ways of collecting narrativedata.FieldNotesof SharedExperienceFieldrecordscollectedthrough participantobservationin asharedpractical ettingis one of the primary oolsof narrativeinquirywork. Therearenumerous narrativestudies (Clan-dinin, 1986, 1989;Hoffman, 1988;Kroma,1983)that makeuse of fieldnotes. An exampleof fieldnotes taken from a nar-rativestudy with an internteacher (Clandinin& Connelly,1987)is given below.

    Mariesent themoff to get started n the hauntedhouse.Shegavethe otherchildren heirchoiceofcentersandthentheywalkedoverandwatched he studentsatthehauntedhouse. They had built a haunted house with the largeblocks. They had made a number of masks that theymovedup and down. Thewalls moved whichthey saidwas the Poltergeist.They showed this for two or threeminutes and the otherstudentsclapped.Thentheywentoffto theircentersand the children tthe block entercon-tinuedtoworkon theirhauntedhouse. (notestofile,Oc-tober22, 1985)These notes area small fragmentof the notes used in a nar-rativestudy, which explored the ways in which the internteacher (Marie)constructed and reconstructed her ideas ofwhat it meant to teachusing themes in a primaryclassroomsetting. The researcherparticipatedn the situation with thechildren,the internteacher,and in recording he fieldnotes.The researcher'snotes are an active recording of her con-struction of classroom events. We term this activerecordingto suggest the ways in which we see the researcherexpress-ing her personal practical knowing in her work with thechildren and the intern teacher, and to highlight that thenotes are an active reconstruction of the events rather thana passive recording, which would suggest that the eventscould be recorded without the researcher'sinterpretation.

    JournalRecordsJournalsmade by participantsin the practicalsetting areanothersource of data in narrativeinquiry.Journalrecordscanbe madeby bothparticipants,researcherorpractitioner.The following journal excerpt is taken from Davies (1988).Davies, a teacher, has kept a journalof her ongoing class-room practicefor a number of years as a participantin ateacherresearchergroup.In the following journalexcerptshewrote about herexperienceswith one of her student's jour-nals in which Lisa, the student, figures out her writing.Thisepisodewith Lisamakes me realizethatwe're stillmovingforward n the "gains" of this experience.I'vebeenwonderingaboutwhen thenatural"peak"will oc-cur,themoment feelwe'vegoneasfaras we canwithoutthedownslideeffect-the loss of momentum.Ijusthaveto watch forthe naturalending. I see time as so critical.Kids need and get the time with eachother-kid to kidtimerespondings soimportant-theymake heirconnec-tionsjustas we makeoursin the researchgroup. (p. 20)In this journalentry, Davies is trying to make sense of herwork with the children n her classroomas they work in theirjournals. Yet she is also trying to understand the parallelsbetween her experiences of learning through participatingin the teacherresearchergroup with the work that is goingon with the children in her classroom.InterviewsAnother data collection tool in narrative inquiry is theunstructured interview. Interviews areconducted betweenresearcherand participant, transcriptsaremade, the meet-ings are made available for further discussion, and theybecomepartof the ongoing narrative ecord.There aremanyexamples of interviews in narrativeinquiry. Mishler (1986)has completed the most comprehensive study of interviewin narrativeinquiry.We have chosen to highlight a sampleof an interview from the work of Enns-Connolly(1985).Thefollowing excerpt is taken from her case study with a lan-guage student in herexplorationof the processof translation.

    Brian,Student:The situationaboutwhich he was talkingI've thoughtabout a lot.Esther,Researcher:Mhmmm.B:Mainlybecause,umrn,'ve oftenbeen concerned hatmyownpolitical eliefsmight eadme incertain ituationsntoa similarkind of thing.E:Yeah,that's nterestingbecauseumyou're thinkingofit politically-as a political-as a consequenceof politicswhichum,well thisbackground-do yourecall heback-groundofthisparticularuthor?Like 'm sure hat'sprob-ablya realfactor n, in his writing.He's writing mme-diatelyafter he SecondWorldWarafter omingback romRussiaandhis warexperiences ndeverything,anduh-Forme, though,I don't know-I guessthat ustformeit'snotpolitical-I'mnotfocusingon the fact hat t's thecon-sequencesof apolitical ituation,but I'mfocusingon thewholeideaof ahumanbeingbeingaloneandprobingntohimself and comingto termswith himself, and I see itmoreassomebody nthe faceof death.Like, ormedeathwas really-like the presenceof impendingdeath was areallybig thingthatI was concernedaboutand I sawhimas aperson n the faceof death andtrying o-as reactingto impendingdeath.B:I sawhimas apersonwho was justdesperately rying- JUNE-JULY 1990 5 -

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    to survive.Not survive n the face of death,but survivein the face of his own, his own capacity o break downmentally,I guess. (pp 38-39)WhatEnns-Connolly exploresin her workwith the Germanstudent are the ways in which translator'spersonal practicalknowledge is shaped by and shapes the translation. Theabove interview segment is one in which both participantsnarratively ome to understandthe ways in which theirnar-rativeexperiencesshape their translationof a particularext.StoryTellingThere are many powerful examples of the uses of in-dividual's lived stories as data sources in narrativeinquiry.These areas diverse as Paley's (1981,1986)workwith child-ren's stories to Smith, Prunty, Dwyer, and Kleine's (1987)Kensington Revisitedproject.The following is an exampleof a storydrawnfromConnellyand Clandinin's(1988)workwith a school principal,Phil. Phil told the following storyofhis experiences as a child as a way of explaining one of hisactions as principalat Bay Street School.

    Hehadbeensent to school nshortpants.Heandanotherboyinshortpantswerecaughtbyolderstudentswho putthemin a blanket.Phil had escapedwhile the otherboywas trapped.He went home sayinghe was nevergoingto go backto that school again.He said he understoodaboutbeingamemberof aminoritygroupbut he said hedidn't look like a minority.He said you understoodifyou've had the experience. notesto file,April15, 1981)

    Thisstoryis partof Phil'sstoryingandrestoryingof the waysin which he administers an inner-cityschool. Many storiesare toldby participantsn a narrativeinquiryas they describetheir work and explaintheir actions.Thetendencyto explainthrough stories can easily be misinterpretedas establishingcausallinks in narrativeinquiry.We later discuss this matterunder the heading of the illusion of causality in narrativestudies.LetterWritingLetterwriting, a way of engaging in written dialogue be-tween researcherand participants, s another data source innarrativeinquiry. Formany narrativists, etter writing is away of offeringand responding to tentative narrative nter-pretations(Clandinin, 1986).Thefollowing, anotherway ofthinking about letter writing, occurs within the narrativestudy of a group of practitioners.The practitionersare ex-ploring the ways in which they work with children in lan-guage arts. The following example is taken from Davies(1988),one of the teacher researchers.

    Ireallyrealized usthow importantwrittenresponse s toallofus in the research roup.Thatmade me thinkof thesamethingforkids, which is what I'mdoing now withtheir ogs/journals f thinking. have a reason o do thesejournals nd thatacts o focusmy teachingand their earn-ing. Ireallysee the value, it's a lifelongone, for them aswell as me. (p. 10)Anotherparticipant n the group responds to Davies's com-ment in the following way in a written response similartoa response to a letter.

    The notion of trusted riendshas beenbuilt nyourclass-room since the beginningof theyear.Thesejournalsarepartof your evolvingcurriculum nd as suchtheycomeintothe curriculumtexactlyheright ime or he children

    to makethe bestpossibleuse of them.Theyareworkingso well because heyarea natural utgrowth feverythingthathasgonebefore.These kidsare so open, so trusting,so sensitive, ocaring, oeverything!Theusualkidschooljournalsare anactivity hat the teachercomesup with toaddress omepartof themandated urriculum.Kids reatthe activity ikeany of the regularsorts of assignment-for the teacher.This atest"chapter,"hejournalwriting,reallyhighlightsthe similarities etweenourgroupandwhatgoeson inyourclassroom-theempowerment, ali-dation,voice,senseofcommunity, aring, onnectednessareall there. (p. 10)The exchange is drawn from a two-year study that nar-rativelylooks at teachers'sexperienceswith writingand theways in which theirways of knowing areexpressed in theirclassroom practices.

    AutobiographicalndBiographicalWritingAnotherdata sourcein narrativeinquiry s autobiographicaland biographicalwriting. Autobiographicalwriting some-times appearsin storiesthat teacherstell or in morefocusedautobiographicalwriting.We see an exampleof suchwritingin Conle's (1989)work.

    Tomindcomesthe imageof a young teenagerstandingby a row of windows in a classroomwhichhas becomemorespaciousby openfoldingdoorswhichusuallysepa-rate t from headjoining oom.It sgymperiod nasmallOntariohigh school in the mid 50's and two grade10classesareenjoyingabreak nroutine,a snowballdance.Itstartedwith onecouplewho then eachaskedapartnerand so on. Thegirlby thewindowhas beenwaiting.Noone askedheryet.Thecrowdaroundher sgetting mallerand smaller.Finallyheis theonlyone left.Shestaysuntilthe bell ringsand everyonefiles out. "perhapsno onenoticed," she thinks, but a friendremarks,"Oh, youdidn't dance!"I have never orgottenhe incident.Manyyears atera col-leagueandItalkedabout tin adiscussionaboutmy earlyyears n Canadaasanimmigranteenager.Wewonderedhow those early experiencesmighthave shapedmy in-terest nteachingEnglishasa second anguage?WhatdidI remember f thisepisodeandwhy didIremembert atall?(p. 8)

    What Conle draws attentionto is the ways in which her ex-perience shapes her interest in, and ways of constructing,particularresearch and teaching interests. Other researchreferencesto autobiographical/biographicalritingas a datasource for narrative nquiryare,forexample, Rose (1983)onthe parallellives in the marriagesof well-known Victorianwriters,Grumet(1988)on womens's experiences,and Pinar(1988),Olney (1980),and Gunn (1982)on method.OtherNarrativeDataSourcesThere are other data sources that narrativeinquirersuse.Documents such as class plans and newsletters (Clandinin,1986),writingsuch as rules and principles(Elbaz,1983),pic-turing(Cole,1986),metaphors Lakoff&Johnson,1980),andpersonal philosophies (Kroma, 1983) are all possible datasources for narrative nquiry. See Connelly and Clandinin(1988) for a more extended discussion of these variousresources.


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    Writing the NarrativeAt the completion of a narrativestudy, it is often not clearwhen the writing of the study began. There is frequently asense that writing began during the opening negotiationswith participantsor even earlieras ideas for the study werefirst formulated. Materialwritten throughout the course ofthe inquiryoften appears as majorpieces of the final docu-ment. Itis common, forinstance,for collaborative ocumentssuch as lettersto be includedas partof the text.Materialwrit-ten for differentpurposes such as conferencepresentationsmaybecome partof the finaldocument. Theremaybe a mo-ment when one says "I have completed my data collectionand will now write the narrative,"but even then narrativemethodologies often require further discussion with par-ticipants,such that data is collecteduntil the finaldocumentis completed. Enns-Connolly's (1985) etters to her studentin the Germanlanguage is an examplewhere datacollectionand writingwere sharedthroughfinaldrafts,thesis hearing,and subsequent publication. It is not at all clear when thewriting begins.It is important, therefore, for narrative researchersto beconscious of the end as the inquiry begins. Thevariousmat-ters we describe below are, of course, most evident in one'swriting.But if these matters have not been attended to fromthe outset, the writing will be much more difficult.WhatMakesa GoodNarrative?BeyondReliability,Validity nd GeneralizabilityVan Maanen (1988)wrote that for anthropology, reliabilityand validityare overrated criteriawhereas apparency nd

    Likeother qualitativemethods,narrative elies on criteriaotherthan validity,reliability, nd generalizability.The languageand criteriafor narrativenquiryare underdevelopment.

    verisimilitudere underratedcriteria.Thesense thatthe main-staycriteriaof social science researchareoverrated s sharedby Guba and Lincoln(1989),who reject he utilityof the ideaof generalizationand argue that it "be given up as a goal ofinquiry"and replacedby "transferability."VanMaanen, indiscussingthe originof his book,writesthat"themanuscriptI imagined would reflect the quirkyand unpredictablemo-ments of my own history in the field and likely spoof someof the maxims of the trade. The intent was to be less instruc-tive than amusing. Along the way, however, things grewmore serious" (pp. xi-xii). This is a telling remarkcomingas it does as a story n a researcher'sown narrative f inquiry.Itis a helpfulreminder o those who pursuenarrative tudiesthat they need to be preparedto follow theirnose and, after

    the fact,reconstruct heirnarrativeof inquiry.Forthisreasonbooks such as Elbaz's 1983)TeacherThinkingnd Clandinin's(1986) Classroom racticeend with reflective chapters thatfunctionas another kind of methods chapter.Whataresomeof these more seriousmattersthatguide the narrativewriterin the creation of documents with a measure ofverisimilitude?Like otherqualitativemethods, narrativerelies on criteriaother than validity, reliability,and generalizability.It is im-portantnot to squeeze the language of narrativecriteria n-to a language createdfor other forms of research. The lan-guage and criteria or the conduct of narrativeinquiry areunder development in the research community. We thinka varietyof criteria, ome appropriate o some circumstancesand some to others, will eventually be the agreed-uponnorm. It is currentlythe case thateach inquirermust searchfor,anddefend, the criteria hatbestapplyto his orher work.We have already identified apparency, verisimilitude, andtransferabilityas possible criteria. In the following para-graphswe identifyadditionalcriterion ermsbeingproposedand used.An excellentplacetobegin is with Crites'(1986)cautionaryphrase "the illusion of causality" (p. 168). He refers to the"topsy-turvy hermeneutic principle" in which a sequenceof events looked at backward has the appearanceof causalnecessity and, looked at forward, has the sense of a teleo-logical, intentionalpull of the future. Thus, examined tem-porally,backwardorforward,events tend to appeardeter-ministically related. Because every narrativisthas eitherrecordedclassroomand other events in temporalsequence(e.g., fieldnotes)or has solicitedmemoryrecords,which areclearlydated(e.g., storiesand autobiographicalwriting),andintentionalexpectations (e.g., goals, lesson plans, purposes,and time lines), which often tend to be associated with tem-poral targets, the "illusion" can become a powerful inter-pretive force for the writer. Adopting what might be called"the principleof time defeasibility,"time may be modifiedto suit the storytold. We make use of this notion in graduateclasses,forexample,in which students areoftenencouragedto write their own narrative by beginning with presentvalues, beliefs, and actions and then to move to their child-hood or early schooling experiences. Narrativewriters fre-quently move back and forward several times in a singledocument as various threads arenarrated. Chatman(1981)makesuse of temporaldefeasibilityn his distinctionbetween"storied-time"and "discourse-time."His is a distinctionbe-tween events-as-lived and events-as-told, a distinction cen-tralto the writingof good narrativesand foravoiding the il-lusion of causality.Ifnot causality,what then? Narrativeexplanationderivesfrom the whole. We noted above that narrative nquirywasdriven by a sense of the whole and it is this sense whichneeds to drive the writing (and reading) of narrative. Nar-ratives are not adequately written accordingto a model ofcause and effect but accordingto the explanations gleanedfrom the overall narrativeor, as Polkinghorne (1988)said,on "changefrom'beginning'to 'end' "(p. 116).Whendoneproperly, one does not feel lost in minutia but always hasa sense of the whole. Unfortunately, hispresentsa dilemmain the writingbecause one needs to get down to concreteex-perientialdetail. How to adjudicatebetween the whole andthe detail at each moment of the writingis a difficult askforthe writer of narrative.- JUNE-JULY990 7

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    One may fulfill these criterialconditions and still wonderif the narrative s a good one. Criteswrote that a good nar-rative constitutes an "invitation" to participate,a notionsimilar o Guba and Lincoln's(1989)and our own (Connelly,1978)idea that case studies may be read, and lived, vicar-iously by others. Peshkin (1985) noted something similarwhen he wrote, "When I disclose what I have seen, myresults invite other researchersto look where I did and seewhat I saw. My ideas arecandidates for others to entertain,not necessarily as truth, let alone Truth, but as positionsabout the nature and meaning of a phenomenon that mayfittheirsensibilityand shape theirthinkingabout their owninquiries" (p. 280). On the grounds suggested by theseauthors, the narrativewriter has an availabletest, that is, tohave anotherparticipant ead the account and to respond tosuch questionsas "What do you make of it foryour teaching(or other) situation?"This allows a researcherto assess theinvitationalquality of a manuscript already established aslogically sound.Whatare some of the marksof an explanatory, nvitationalnarrative?Tannen (1988)suggested that a reader of a storyconnectswith itby recognizingparticulars,by imaginingthescenes in which the particularscould occur, and by recon-structingthem from remembered associations with similarparticulars.It is the particularand not the general that trig-gers emotion and moves people and gives rise to what H.Rosen (1988) called "authenticity" (p. 81). This theme ispicked up as integralto plot and scene in the next section.Robinsonand Hawpe (1986), n askingthe questionWhatconstitutes narrativethinking? dentify three useful writingcriteria:economy, electivity, ndfamiliarityp. 111-125).Withthese criteriathey arguethat stories stand between the gen-eral and the particular, mediating the generic demands ofsciencewith the personal,practical, oncretedemands of liv-ing. Storiesfunction as argumentsin which we learn some-thing essentially human by understanding an actual life orcommunity as lived. The narrativeinquirerundertakes thismediation rombeginningto end and embodies these dimen-sions as best as he or she can in the written narrative.Spence (1982) writes that "narrative truth" consists of"continuity," "closure," "aesthetic finality," and a senseof "conviction" (p. 31). These are qualitiesassociated bothwith fictional iteratureand with somethingwell done. Theyare life criteria.Inour studies we use the notions of adequacy(borrowedfrom Schwab, 1964)and plausibility.A plausibleaccount s one that tends toringtrue.It s an accountof whichone might say "I can see that happening." Thus, althoughfantasy may be an invitationalelement in fictionalnarrative,plausibilityexerts firmertugs in empiricalnarratives.We can understand the narrative writer's task if we ex-amine significantevents in our lives in terms of the criteriahere described. Life, like the narrativewriter's task, is adialecticalbalancing act in which one strives for variousperfections, always fallingshort, yet sometimes achievingaliveableharmonyof competingnarrative hreads and criteria.Structuringhe Narrative: ceneand PlotWelty(1979)remarks hat time andplaceare the two pointsof referenceby which the novel grasps experience. This isno less true for thewritingof empiricalnarratives.Time andplace become writtenconstructionsin the form of plot andscene respectively. Time and place, plot and scene, worktogetherto create the experiential qualityof narrative.They

    are not, in themselves, the interpretivenor the conceptualside. Nor arethey on the side of narrative riticism.They arethe thing itself.Scene:Place is where the action occurs, where charactersare formedand live out theirstories and where culturalandsocial context play constraining and enabling roles. Weltywrites the following on the construction of scene:Place has surface,which will take the imprintof man-hishand,hisfoot,hismind; t canbetamed,domesticated.It hasshape,size, boundaries;man can measurehimselfagainst hem.It hasatmosphere ndtemperature,hangeof lightandshow of season,qualitiesowhichmanspon-taneouslyresponds.Placehasalwaysnursed,nourishedand instructedman;he in turncan rule t and ruin t, takeit andlose it, suffer f he is exiledfrom t, and after ivingon it he goes to it in his grave. It is the stuff of fiction,as close to our living lives as the earthwe can pick upandrubbetweenourfingers,somethingwe can feel andsmell (p. 163).

    It may be that place and scene (ratherthan time and plot)is the more difficultconstructionfor narrativist esearchers.Documents frequentlycontainbriefcharactersketches andbriefdescriptionsof classrooms,principal'soffices, and thelike. Setting these scenes in interestingrelief is a puzzlingwriting task because these matters are "as close to our liv-ing lives as the earth we can pick up and rub between ourfingers" and depend, therefore,on writingtalents for mak-ing the plain and prosaic, interesting and invitational.Itis less customaryto set the scene in physical terms thanin characterterms. To describe seating arrangements, pic-tures,and layoutson classroomwalls in a way thathelps tellthe narrative and enhance its explanatory capabilityis noeasy task. The necessary field records for the constructionof scene are often missingatthe timeof writingas one tends,duringdatacollection,to focus on people rather hanthings.Characterand physicalenvironment need, in the writingof narrative, to work in harmony with a third feature ofscene, namely, context. Context may consist of charactersand physicalenvironments otherthan the classroom. For n-stance, department heads, principals, school, and com-munity all bear on a classroomscene and need, dependingon the inquiry,to be described. Setting the context of scenemay be more troublesome to the writer than the other twofeatures because context is "out of sight" and requiresac-tive searches during data collection. Nevertheless, difficultas itmaybe to write scenes composed of character,physicalenvironment,and context,they are essentialto narrativeandare "as informing as an old gossip" (Welty, p. 163).

    Plot. Time is essential to plot. If time were not insubstan-tial, one might say that time is the substance of plot. Weltydevelops this point in a metaphoricalway. She says that"many of our proverbsare little nut shells to packthe meatof time in" (p. 164)and proceeds to give incipient plot ex-amples such as "pride goeth before destruction" and "hethatdiggeth a pit shall fall into it". These temporalconstruc-tions which she calls "ingots of time" are also "ingots ofplot" (p. 164).Theyare both storycontainersand conveyorsof stories,expressionsthat "speakof life-in-the-movement"with a beginning and an end. They mark what Kermode(1967)calls the tick-tock tructureof story.With the additionof the middle,abasicexplanatoryplotstructureof beginning,middle, and end is in place.


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    Fromthe point of view of plot, the centralstructureof timeis past-present-future.This common-sense way of thinkingabout time is informative of the temporalorientation takenin various lines of narrativeand narrativelyoriented work.Forexample,narrativedatasourcesmaybe classifiedaccord-ing to their relative emphasis on the past, present, andfuture.Storytellingand autobiography, orinstance,tend tobe locatedin the past; picturingand interviewingtend to belocatedin the present; and letterwriting, journals, and par-ticipantobservationtend to be located in the future. Fromthe pointof view of the narrativewriter,then, differentkindsof data tend to strengthen these differenttemporallocales.In addition to these methodological consequences of thethree-partstructureof time, Carr 1986)relatesthe structureto three critical dimensions of human experience-sig-nificance, value, intention-and, therefore, of narrativewriting. In general terms the past conveys significance,thepresent conveys value, and the future conveys intention.Narrative explanation and, therefore, narrativemeaning,consists of significance,value, and intention.Byvirtueof be-ing relatedto the structureof time, these three dimensionsof meaning help a writer structureplots in which explana-tion and meaningthemselvesmaybe saidto have a temporalstructure.Furthermore, his structurehelps convey a senseof purposeon the writingas one dealswith varioustemporaldata and fits them intopast, present,or future orientedpartsof the narrative.We use an adaptationof this temporalplot structure as adevice to initiate data collection. The device is based onWhite's (1981)distinctionbetween annals, chronicles, andnarrativesin the narrativestudy of history. Annals are adated recordof events in which thereis no apparentconnec-tion between the events. A person might, forexample, sim-ply search their memory for importantlife events with noparticular nterpretiveagenda in mind. As events emerge,theirdateof occurrence s recordedand the event described.The same may happen in the ongoing recordof participantobservationwhere one may have no clear dea of the mean-ing of the events describedbut in which one makes datedrecords nonetheless.Chroniclessomewhat resembleWelty'singots of time andplot in which events are clearly linked as, for example, aseries of events fromone's elementaryschool years or, per-haps, a series of events fromone's years as a sports fan, orfrom a marriage,or during the time of a particulargovern-ment with a particulareducational policy, and so forth.Althoughit is dear thatthe events in achronologyare inked,the meaning of the events, and the plot which gives the ex-planatorystructurefor linking the events, is unstated. It isthese matterswhich, when added to the chronology, makeit a narrative.Thereis, of course, no clearseparationof eachof these ways of linking events. Nevertheless, the distinc-tion is a useful one both in data collectionand in the writingof the narrative.

    In our own work, especially in teaching but also in re-search, instead of asking people at the outset to write a nar-rativewe encourage them to write a chronology. We avoidasking people to begin by writing biographies and auto-biographies or the samereason.Peoplebeginningto explorethe writingof theirown narrative,or that of another, oftenfind the chronology to be a manageable task whereas thewriting of a full-fledged autobiographyor narrative,whenone stressesplot, meaning, interpretation,and explanation,

    can be baffling and discouraging. Looked at from anotherpointof view, manyamateurbiographiesareoften moreakinto chronologies than narratives. The linking themes thattransform he annal into achronologyare often mistakenforan account of plot and meaning. In the end, of course, it isof no real theoreticalsignificancewhat the writing is calledbecause all chronicles are incipient narrativesand all nar-ratives reduce to chronicles as one pursues the narrative,remembersand reconstructsnew events, and creates urthermeaning. Forinquiry, the point is that a heartfeltrecord ofevents in one's life, or researchaccount of a life, does notguarantee significance, meaning, and purpose.The creationof further meaning, which might be called"the restorying qualityof narrative,"is one of the most dif-ficultof allto capture n writing.A written documentappearsto standstill;the narrativeappearsfinished. It has been writ-ten, characters's ives constructed,socialhistoriesrecorded,meaning expressed for all to see. Yet, anyone who has writ-ten a narrativeknows thatit, likelife, is a continualunfoldingwhere the narrativeinsights of today are the chronologicalevents of tomorrow. Such writersknow in advance thatthetaskof conveyinga sense that the narratives unfinishedandthat stories will be retold and lives relived in new ways islikelyto be completedin less than satisfactoryways. Further-more, even when the writer is personally satisfiedwith theresulthe orshe needs alwaysto rememberthat readersmayfreeze the narrativewith the result that the restorying lifequalityintended by the writermay become fixed as a printportraitby the reader.Multiple"I's" in Narrative nquiryIn an earliersection, we wrote about the multiple levels atwhich narrativeinquiry proceeds. We described each par-ticipant, researcher and teacher, as engaged in living, tell-ing, retelling, and reliving their stories as the narrative n-quiry proceeds.Partof the difficulty n writingnarrative s in finding waysto understand and portraythe complexity of the ongoingstories being told and retold in the inquiry. We are, as re-searchersand teachers,stilltellingin ourpracticesourongo-ing life storiesas they arelived, told, relivedand retold. Werestoryearlierexperiencesas we reflecton laterexperiencesso the storiesand theirmeaning shift and change over time.As we engage in areflectiveresearchprocess, our storiesareoften restoried and changed as we, as teachers and/or re-searchers, "give back" to each other ways of seeing ourstories. I tell you a researcher'sstory. You tell me what youheard and what it meant to you. I hadn't thought of it thisway, am transformedin some importantway, and tell thestory differently the next time I encounter an interestedlistener or talk again with my participant.As researcherswriting narratively,we have come to un-derstand part of this complexity as a problem in multiple"I's." We become "plurivocal" (Barnieh,1989)in writingnarratively.The "I" can speak as researcher,teacher, manor woman, commentator, research participant, narrativecritic,and as theory builder. Yet in living the narrativein-quiry process, we are one person. We are also one in thewriting.However, in the writingof narrative, tbecomes im-portantto sort out whose voice is the dominant one whenwe write "I".Peshkin (1985) addressed an aspect of this problem inwriting about the researcher'spersonal qualitieselicited in

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    the researchprocess. Although Peshkin's reference was tothe datacollectionprocess, his comments arealso helpful inthinking about the writing of narrative:Thus fieldworkerseachbringto theirsites at least twoselves-the humanself that we generallyare neverydaysituations,and the research elf that we fashion forourparticular esearchsituations...participantbservation,especiallywithinone's own culture, s emphaticallyirstpersonsingular.The human I is there,the I thatis pre-sent under many of the same political,economic,andsocial ircumstancesswhenone isbeingroutinely umanandnotaresearcher...BehindhisIareone'smultipleper-sonaldispositions...thatmaybe engagedby the realitiesof the field situation.Because of the unknown and theunexpectedaspectsof the researchield,we donotknowwhich of ourdispositionswill be engaged. (p. 270)

    Although in this quotationPeshkinaddressed a dual "I,"researcherand person, he suggested thatthe issue of multi-ple "I's" in writing narrativeis more complex. There aremore"I's" than person and researcherwithin eachresearchparticipant.Peshkin acknowledged what he calls the per-sonaldispositionsas drawn out by the situation.Innarrativeinquirywe see that the practicesdrawn out in the researchsituationarelodged in ourpersonalknowledge of the world.One of our tasks in writing narrativeaccounts is to conveya sense of the complexityof all of the "I's" all of the wayseach of us have of knowing.We are, in narrativeinquiry, constructing narratives atseverallevels. At one level it is the personal narratives andthe jointlyshared and constructednarratives hatare told inthe researchwriting,but narrative esearchersarecompelledto move beyond the telling of the lived story to tell theresearchstory. We see in Clandinin's (1986)work her storywith Stephanie and Aileen as an expression of teacherim-ages as well as a researchstory of a way of understandingclassroompractice.InEnns-Connolly's(1985)work there isher storywith Brian as well as astoryof understanding thetranslationprocessas an expressionof the personalpracticalknowledge of the translator as it is drawn forth in the ex-perienceof readingthe text.Thistellingof the researchstoryrequiresanother voice of researcher,another "I."In this latterendeavor we make our place and our voiceas researchercentral.We understand this as a moving outof the collaborativerelationshipto a relationshipwhere wespeak more clearlywith the researcher"I." In the processof living the narrativeinquiry, the place and voice of re-searcherand teacherbecome less defined by role. Ourcon-cern is to have a place for the voice of each participant.Thequestion of who is researcherand who is teacherbecomesless importantas we concernourselves with questionsof col-laboration, trust, and relationship as we live, story, andrestoryour collaborativeresearchlife. Yet in the process ofwritingthe researchstory,the thread of the research nquirybecomes partof the researcher'spurpose. In some ways theresearchermoves out of the lived storyto tell, with another"I," another kind of story.Risks, Dangers and Abuses of NarrativeThecentralvalue of narrative nquiry s its qualityas subjectmatter.Narrativeand life go together and so the principalattractionof narrativeas method is its capacityto renderlifeexperiences,bothpersonaland social,in relevantand mean-ingfulways. However, this samecapacity s atwo-edged in-

    quirysword. Falsehoodmaybe substituted ormeaningandnarrativetruth by using the same criteriathat give rise tosignificance,value, and intention. Not only may one "fakethe data" and write a fiction but one may also use the datato tell a deception as easily as a truth.In this section we do not give a complete listing of possi-ble deceptionsnor a list of devicesforrevealingunintentionaland intentionaldeceptions.Rather,we simplyremindpoten-tial narrative nquirersto listen closely to their critics. Ourview is that every criticism s valid to some degree and con-tains the seed of an importantpoint.Take, for example, one of the central tenets of narrative,that is, the intersubjectivequalityof the inquiry.To dismisscriticismsof the personal and interpersonalin inquiryis torisk the dangers of narcissismand solipsism. Narrativein-quirersneed to respond to criticseither at the level of prin-ciple or with respect to a particularwriting. It is too easy tobecome committedto the whole, the narrativeplot, and toone's own role in the inquiryand to lose sight of the variousfine lines that one treads in the writing of a narrative.One of the "multipleI's" is thatof the narrative ritic.Em-piricalnarrativistscannot, as Welty claims fictional writerscan, avoidthe taskof criticism.She writes that"storywritingand critical nalysisare indeed separategifts,lifespellingandplaying the flute, and the same writerproficientin both isdoubly endowed. But even he can't rise and do both at thesametime" (p. 107).Empiricalnarrativists annot follow thisdictum but must find ways of becoming "I, the critic."Toaccomplishthis, Dalley (1989)experimented with differenttenses, uses of pronoun, and text structurein an autobi-ographical study of bilingualism.A particulardanger in narrativeis what we have called"the Hollywoodplot," the plot where everythingworksoutwell in the end. "Wellness"maybe athoroughandunbend-ing censure, such as is sometimes found in criticalethno-graphies, or a distillation of drops of honey, such as issometimes found in programevaluations and implementa-tions. Spence (1986)called this process "narrativesmooth-ing." It is a processthatgoes on allthe timein narrativebothduring data collectionand writing. The problem,therefore,is a judicialone in which the smoothingcontained n the plotis properlybalancedwith what is obscured n the smoothingfor narrativepurposes. To acknowledgenarrativesmoothingis to open anotherdoor for the reader. It is a questionof be-ing as alert to the stories not told as to those that are. Ker-mode (1981)calledthe untold stories "narrativesecrets" towhich a carefulreaderwill attend. Unlikethe case in fiction,which is Kermode'stopic, the empiricalnarrativisthelps hisor her reader by self-consciously discussing the selectionsmade, the possible alternativestories, and otherlimitationsseen from the vantage point of "I the critic."Selecting Stories to Constructand ReconstructNarrativePlotsBecausecollaborationoccurs frombeginning to end in nar-rative inquiry, plot outlines are continuallyrevised as con-sultation takes place over written materialsand as furtherdata are collected to develop points of importance in therevised story. In long-termstudies, the writtenstories, andthe books and papers in which they appear, may be con-structed and reconstructed with different participantsde-pending on the particularnquiryat hand. Our work in BayStreetSchool is illustrative.Therearemany computerdisks


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    of field records and interview transcripts.There are also filecabinetsfull of memoranda;school, boardof education, andgovernment documents; and newspaper clippings. Itis ob-vious that only a smallportionof it may be used in a paper,report,or even abook. We cannotsummarize n formats hatcondense the volume in a way thatdata tables condense sur-vey results. Because we know that a sense of the entire in-quiryis useful context forreaders,a descriptiveoverview isrequired.A "narrativesketch," something like a charactersketchexcept that it applies to the overallinquiry, is useful.It is primarily a chronicle of the inquiry. Like the notesplaygoers receive as they are escorted to their seats, it hasbroad descriptionsof scene and plot and a number of sub-sketches of key characters,spaces, and majorevents thatfigurein the narrative.A narrative ketchmightbe called aningot of time and space.In selectinghow to use the data, there arechoices of formand substance. Choices of substance relate to the purposesof the inquiry which, at the time of writing, may haveevolved from the purposes originallyconceived for the pro-ject and in terms of which much of the data was collected.

    Becausecollaborationoccursfrombeginning o endin narrativenquiry,plot outlinesarecontinuallyrevisedas consultation akesplaceoverwritten materials

    and as furtherdataare collected to developpointsof importancein the revisedstory.

    Once againourworkatBayStreetSchool is illustrative.Theoriginalpurpose defined in ourNationalInstitute of Educa-tion grantproposal was to betterunderstand policy utiliza-tionfrom the participant's ointsof view. The currentpurposeis to understand, throughnarrative,something of a school'sculturalfolk models (see Johnson, 1987)and to link these toa participant's ersonalknowledgeandto the policyandcom-munity context.Thus, datacollectedand, therefore,shapedby one purpose is to be used foranother. Our first task is tosatisfyourselvesthat the datais suitable o our new purpose.The broad outlines of plot arecontained in statements ofnarrativepurpose. Whichrecordsaremost telling?No mat-ter how familiarthey are with their data, narrativewritersneed to searchtheirmemories, both human and computer,

    for significant events preparatoryto writing in much thesame way that individuals search their memories and filesfor important life events in preparation for writing a bi-ography. If one has worked as a team the process is richeras events can be broughtto mind, discussed, and refreshedin detail with reference to field records.Practicalconsiderations of space and imagined audienceeventually determine the quantityof data contained in thewritten narrative. Some narrative researchers deal withdetailed accountsof experiencewhereas othersprefer heoryand abstraction.As noted earlier,both are importantand abalance needs to be struck.Another influenceon the selectionof data used in the finaldocument is the form of the narrative. Eisner (1982) hasstressed the need to experimentwith "forms of representa-tion." Narrativesmay be written in a demonstrationmodeorin an inductivemode, the formeradoptingmore standardsocial scientificforms and the latteropening up possibilitiesimagined by Eisner. In the demonstrativemode, data tendnotto speakfor themselvesbut instead areused in exemplaryways to illustratethe thoughts of the narrativewriter.In aninductive mode, data more clearlytell theirown story. It isin this latter mode that researcherssuch as Beattie(inpress)and Mullen (in press) are experimentingwith different lit-eraryforms.Our final section refers again to the restorying qualityofnarrative.Once a writer selects events it is possible to do atleast three very differentthings with them. The first,whichwe have termed broadening,ccurs when we generalize. Anevent recalledwillbe used ina chronicleorincipientnarrativeto make a general comment about a person's character,values, way of lifeor, perhaps, about the socialand intellec-tual climate of the times. These generalizations appear ascharacterand socialdescriptions, long-hand answers to thequestionsWhatsortof personareyou?or Whatkind of socie-ty is it? Although these are interesting questions, they arenot, as stated, narrative ones. A useful rule of thumb is toavoidmakingsuch generalizationsand to concentrateon theevent, in aprocess we have termed burrowing.We focus onthe event's emotional, moral,and aestheticqualities;we thenaskwhy the event is associated with these feelingsand whattheiroriginsmightbe. We imaginethis to be somewhat likeSchafer's(1981)narrativetherapy.Thisway of approachingthe event is aimed atreconstructinga storyof the event fromthe point of view of the person at the time the event oc-curred.The thirdthingto do with the storyfollowsfromthis.Thepersonreturns to presentand future considerationsandasks what the meaning of the event is and how he or shemightcreate a new storyof self which changes the meaningof the event, its description,and its significance orthe largerlife story the person may be tryingto live. These questionsoften emerge at the point of writing, after the data are col-lected. Thus, whether one feels that the appropriate ask isbroadening, burrowing, restorying, or all three, additionaldatacollectionis a likely possibility during the latterstagesof writing. Inlong-termstudies, where the inquirypurposehas evolved (as it has in our Bay Street work), and wheresome participantsmay have retired or moved to otherposi-tions, maintaining collaboration on the construction andreconstructionof plots may become a taskrequiring specialingenuity.This observationbringsus to our final point on narrativeinquiry,which is thatit is common in collaborativeventures

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    to either work with participants hroughout the writing, inwhich case records of the work itself constitute data, or tobringwritten documents backto participantsor finaldiscus-sions. Thus, the process of writingthe inquiryand the pro-cess of living the inquiry are coincident activities tending,perhaps, to shift one way or the other and always to workin tandem.Concluding ObservationsRecentlywe have tried to make sense of narrativeinquiry orschool curriculaand for possible alteredand new relationsamong curriculum researchers and teacher participants(Clandinin&Connelly, inpress). Jackson 1987)wrotea tell-ing paper on the firsttopic, the uses of narrative or schoolcurricula.We plan to use our few remainingparagraphstocomment on the researcher-participant opic. These com-ments maybe of interest to some who are not in curriculumstudies or who work with participantsother than teachers.Basically,we see that what is at stake is less a matterof work-ing theories and ideologies and morea questionof the placeof researchin the improvement of practiceand of how re-searchersand practitioners may productivelyrelate to oneanother. Narrativeand story as we imagine them function-ing in educationalinquiry generatea somewhat new agendaof theory-practicerelations. One partof the agenda is to letexperience and time work their way in inquiry. Story, be-ing inherently temporal, requires this. By listening to par-ticipantstoriesof theirexperienceof teachingand learning,we hope to write narrativesof what it means to educate andbe educated.Theseinquiresneed to be soft,orperhapsgentleis abetter term. Whatis at stake is the creation of situationsof trust in which the storytelling urge, so much a part ofthe best parts of our social life, finds expression. Eisner(1988)wrote that this spiritof inquiryis alreadytakingroot.Researchers, he said, are "beginning to go back to theschools, not to conduct commando raids, but to work withteachers" (p. 19).The second part of a possible agenda crept up on ourawareness as we worked at stillingour theoreticalvoices inan attemptto fosterstorytelling approachesin our teachingand school-based studies. We found that merely listening,recording,andfosteringparticipant tory tellingwas both im-possible (we are, all of us, continuallytelling stories of ourexperience, whether or not we speak and write them) andunsatisfying. We learned that we, too, needed to tell ourstories.Scribeswe were not; storytellers and storyliverswewere. And in our storytelling, the storiesof ourparticipantsmerged with our own to create new stories, ones that wehave labelledcollaborativetories.Thething finallywritten onpaper (or, perhaps on film, tape, or canvas), the researchpaper orbook, is acollaborativedocument; a mutuallycon-structedstorycreatedout of the lives of both researcherandparticipant.We thereforethink in terms of a two-partinquiry agenda.We need to listen closely to teachers and other learnersandto the storiesof theirlives in and out of classrooms. We alsoneed to tell our own stories as we live ourown collaborativeresearcher/teacher ives. Our own work then becomes oneof learning to tell and live a new mutually constructedac-count of inquiry in teaching and learning. What emergesfromthis mutualrelationshiparenew storiesof teachersandlearners as curriculummakers, stories that hold new pos-sibilities for both researchers and teachers and for those

    who read their stories. For curriculum, and perhaps forother branchesof educational nquiry, t is a researchagendawhich gives "curriculum professors something to do"(Schwab, 1983).


    'Narrativenquirymaybe traced o Aristotle's oeticsndAugustine'sConfessionsSeeRicoeur's,1984,use of these two sources o linktimeandnarrative)ndmaybe seen to have variousadaptationsndapplica-tions in a diversityof areas ncludingeducation.Dewey's (1916,1934,1938a,1938b)workontime,space,experience, ndsocialitys alsocen-tral.Narrative asalonghistory n literature here iteraryheory s theprincipalntellectualesourcee.g.,Booth,1%1,1979;Frye,1957;Hardy,1968;Kermode,1967;Scholes &Kellogg,1966).The factthat a story sinherently emporalmeans that history(White,1973,1981)and thephilosophyof history Carr,1986;Ricoeur,1984,1985,1988)whichareessentially hestudyof time,have a specialrole toplayin shapingnar-rative tudies n the social ciences.Therapeuticieldsaremaking ignifi-cantcontributionsSchafer, 976,1981;Spence,1982).Narrativeasonlyrecentlybeen discovered n psychology althoughPolkinghorne1988)claims hatcloselyrelated nquirieswere partof thefieldat the turnofthecentury utdisappearedfter he secondworldwarwhentheyweresuffocated y physicalcienceparadigms. runer1986) nd Sarbin1986)are requently itedpsychology ources.Among he mostfundamentalandeducationallyuggestiveworkson the nature f narrativenowledgeisJohnson's hilosophicaltudyofbodilyknowledge nd anguage1981,1987,1989,andLakoff&Johnson,1980).Because ducation sultimatelyamoralandspiritual ursuit,MacIntyre'sarrativethical heory 1966,1981)and Crites's heologicalwritingon narrative1971,1975,1986)areespeciallyuseful foreducationalpurposes.Thefirstbroadly onceivedmethodologicallyriented ookon the useofnarrativen the social ciences ameout of thetherapeuticields,suchas Polkinghorne's NarrativeKnowingand theHumanSciences 1988).Thisbook wasprecededbyMishler'smorenarrowly ocusedResearchnter-viewing:Context ndNarrative1986).Van Maanen's 1988publication,writ-tenfrom hepointof view ofanthropology, ivesacriticalntroductionto the ethnographyof story telling both as subjectmatter and asethnographers'swrittenform. Reason and Hawkins (1988)wrote achapter itledStorytellings Inquiry.Undoubtedlyothers will follow.20n thisbasis,forElbaz,workssuchas Shulman's 1987) esearch nexpert eachers,Schon's 1987, npress)reflective ractice,Reid's 1988)policyanalysis,Munby's 1986) tudyof teachers'smetaphors, nd Lin-colnandGuba's 1985) aturalisticpproacho evaluation ualify snar-rativelyrelatedwork.3Some llustrationsfteachers's toriesare hosebyColes 1989),Bar-zun(1944),Rieff 1972),Booth 1988),Natkins 1986),Paley 1981,1986),Calkin 1983),Steedman(1982),Armstrong 1980),Dennison (1969),Rowland1984), ndMeek,Armstrong, usterfield,Graham, ndPlacet-ter (1983).Examplesof "stories of teachers"arethose by Yonemura(1986),Bullough 1989),Enns-Connollyinpress),selectedchapters nLightfoot ndMartin1988), everal haptersn Graff ndWarner1989),Smithet al'strilogy1986,1987,1988),Kilbourninpress),Ryan 1970),and Shulman nd Colbert1988). ackson's1968)LifenClassroomslaysanespeciallygenerative ole withrespect o the literature f teachers'sstoriesand storiesof teachers.


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