Date of Award
Bachelor of Education Honours
School of Education
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
This thesis details my experiences and findings as u teacher-researcher of narrative inquiry. To address the effectiveness of teacher story sharing as a means or enhancing teacher personal-professional development, I formed a 'story group' with four teacher participants, three of whom were at the pre-service level. The participants collaboratively engaged in the narrative processes of story sharing, story writing, reflection and story critiquing with myself shifting between the roles of researcher, facilitator and participant. Hence, the participants engaged in research about their peers, as well as about themselves, and their practice. In this way, knowledge was shared and jointly constructed, making it an educative experience for both the participants and myself. Specifically, I wanted to discover whether or not teachers are able to learn by creating "success" stories about what they do. As well as this, I wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of sharing and constructing such stories with other teachers. That is, can knowledge be generated and profitably used by networks of teacher story sharers? By engaging in the research process I found that teachers can learn by creating and sharing "success" stories about what they do. I also found that teachers learn best in 'collaborative' and 'participatory' ways. Such ways allow teachers to gain useful knowledge about themselves and their practice, as well as their relation to the world of teaching and learning. However, I also discovered and believe that teachers learn through a third avenue- an avenue that engages teachers in the process of critical reflection. Such reflection goes beyond the surface and superficial meanings and addresses the deeper issues underlying the story. I learned that teachers who engage in the processes of story sharing, writing, reflection and critiquing have the opportunity to learn in ways that enhance their personal-professional development. Furthermore, such processes are best undertaken with two or more people in relaxed and supportive environments. I also believe that teachers who engage in narrative processes collaboratively have a powerful resource to sustain their commitment to primary school teaching. Finally, I believe there are several other reasons why teachers should engage in the processes of story sharing, writing, reflection and critiquing. Firstly, the knowledge gained by the participants can help to break down barriers of teacher and school isolation. Secondly, it enables teachers to arm themselves with knowledge that can promote the profession of teaching to the community. And thirdly, it gives teachers the chance to generate their own knowledge- knowledge that is both 'educative' and empowering, serving to encourage meaningful teacher change and development.
Thorburn, E. K. (1999). Success Stories : A Means of Enhancing the Personal-Professional Development of Teachers. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/755