A Path to Our Future: Artful Thinking, Learning, Teaching, and Research
Chapter Nine: Stories Within Stories: Case Study Narrative of Students Creating Stories
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Narrative inquiry is more than the uncritical gathering of stories. Narrative inquirers strive to attend to the ways in which a story is constructed, for whom and why, as well as the cultural discourses that it draws upon. In the gathering and telling of “stories,” we are gathering “knowledge from the past and not necessarily knowledge about the past” (Bochner, 2007, p. 203). As stated in Chapter One, it is often only in hindsight that we come to understand and give meaning to events (Polkinghorne, 1995); memory is always selective. “(It) is far from uniquely (auto)biographical and is grounded in what is tellable” (Atkinson & Coffey, 2003, p. 118).
According to Wasserman (1993), writing narrative case studies develops habits of thinking about classroom events and frees us from the need to judge and act impulsively. We allow ourselves time for reflection, time to make sense of what is happening at deeper levels, and, consequently, to respond in more thoughtful, reasonable ways. Writing gives us distance from the event and allows for new perspectives.…In the process we learn to see ourselves more objectively and learn more about ourselves as teachers (pp. 194–195).
A new look at the written case study is required. In the contemporary lens, case study writing and analysis can be related to the rhetoric of literate action through an Activity Theory. As a researcher bricoleur (Steinberg, 2011), a teacher writing a case study utilizes a substantial repertoire of skills,...
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