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Article: Studying Teachers’ Experience: Conducting Narrative Inquiry with beginning teachers

TitleStudying Teachers’ Experience: Conducting Narrative Inquiry with beginning teachers
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherSAGE.
Citation
SAGE Research Methods Case Education (Forthcoming) How to Cite?
AbstractThis research developed from a chance meeting. I was invited to a dinner hosted by a group of my former student teachers and during our conversation I listened intently to their experiences of ‘culture shock’ and painfully slow sense of professional development as the twelve young teachers looked back on their first few years of teaching. Ten of these former students were into their fourth year of full-time teaching, but I was interested to hear that two were about to return to the teaching profession after resigning from their posts two years previously. These two young teachers had joined the profession upon graduation, left it after just one year and were now about to re-join it again. I was fascinated by this and wanted to learn about their experiences. Having left the profession after just one year in the classroom, these two teachers both became rather impersonal statistics of teacher attrition in Hong Kong, but their stories and experiences did not end at that point. While this table of young professionals were all graduates from the same teacher-training programme (where I have worked for 13 years), the group had clearly experienced different ‘stories’ as their short professional lives unfolded. Narrative inquiry seemed the best way of understanding these two young teachers’ “stories to live by” (Connelly & Clandinin, 1999, p.4). This case study provides an account of how I was able to employ a narrative inquiry approach to explore an under-researched aspect of beginning teacher attrition, namely what makes beginning teachers return to teaching after leaving the profession just one or two years after graduation. The case throws light on some of the most crucial aspects of conducting narrative inquiry including the many challenges I encountered along the way. I will share how I collaborated with these two teachers for more than two years, how I collected field texts, reflective journal extracts and conversational data from our numerous meetings and how respect for the lived experiences of these young teachers was of paramount importance throughout the process. The case study highlights how the two teachers (as participants) and I (as researcher) co-composed their stories. It concludes by showing how these personal stories reveal the powerful, yet complex and intertwined personal and professional landscapes that form the backdrop to teachers’ lives and the shaping of their identities.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/229548

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHarfitt, GJ-
dc.date.accessioned2016-08-23T14:11:48Z-
dc.date.available2016-08-23T14:11:48Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationSAGE Research Methods Case Education (Forthcoming)-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/229548-
dc.description.abstractThis research developed from a chance meeting. I was invited to a dinner hosted by a group of my former student teachers and during our conversation I listened intently to their experiences of ‘culture shock’ and painfully slow sense of professional development as the twelve young teachers looked back on their first few years of teaching. Ten of these former students were into their fourth year of full-time teaching, but I was interested to hear that two were about to return to the teaching profession after resigning from their posts two years previously. These two young teachers had joined the profession upon graduation, left it after just one year and were now about to re-join it again. I was fascinated by this and wanted to learn about their experiences. Having left the profession after just one year in the classroom, these two teachers both became rather impersonal statistics of teacher attrition in Hong Kong, but their stories and experiences did not end at that point. While this table of young professionals were all graduates from the same teacher-training programme (where I have worked for 13 years), the group had clearly experienced different ‘stories’ as their short professional lives unfolded. Narrative inquiry seemed the best way of understanding these two young teachers’ “stories to live by” (Connelly & Clandinin, 1999, p.4). This case study provides an account of how I was able to employ a narrative inquiry approach to explore an under-researched aspect of beginning teacher attrition, namely what makes beginning teachers return to teaching after leaving the profession just one or two years after graduation. The case throws light on some of the most crucial aspects of conducting narrative inquiry including the many challenges I encountered along the way. I will share how I collaborated with these two teachers for more than two years, how I collected field texts, reflective journal extracts and conversational data from our numerous meetings and how respect for the lived experiences of these young teachers was of paramount importance throughout the process. The case study highlights how the two teachers (as participants) and I (as researcher) co-composed their stories. It concludes by showing how these personal stories reveal the powerful, yet complex and intertwined personal and professional landscapes that form the backdrop to teachers’ lives and the shaping of their identities.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherSAGE.-
dc.relation.ispartofSAGE Research Methods Case Education-
dc.titleStudying Teachers’ Experience: Conducting Narrative Inquiry with beginning teachers-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailHarfitt, GJ: gharfitt@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityHarfitt, GJ=rp00901-
dc.identifier.hkuros260654-

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