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ERIC Number: EJ787344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1498
Narrative Interviews: An Approach to Studying Teaching and Learning in English Classrooms
Landay, Eileen
High School Journal, v84 n3 p26-34 Feb-Mar 2001
Teachers often view research as complex efforts that involve large data sets, controlled variables, and sophisticated analytic methods well beyond the understanding of those not trained in these methods. This view of research precludes teachers from considering themselves researchers. As numerous theorists have pointed out, while it appears rigorous, the "scientific" approach is in itself flawed. For the purposes of this study--understanding students' methods of dealing with challenging texts--the major flaw is the stripping away of context, the very feature that allows others to understand individual situations and particular events. Proponents of teacher research argue that systematic and rigorous approaches to collecting and analyzing data, well within the limits of time and training available to teachers, offer important opportunities to learn. Among the most interesting to teachers of language and literacy is the study of interview data as narrative or "story." The fact that telling stories is one of the significant ways individuals construct and express meaning is now widely recognized. Narrative is a "primary act of mind", an organizing principle for human action, a means of imposing order on the flow of experience. The study of narratives offers a valuable means of investigating and understanding social life. Scholars in a broad range of disciplines have turned to the study of stories as a way of understanding human cognition and conduct. These same scholars have developed a range of approaches for analyzing stories, their methods generally reflecting their disciplinary interests and inclinations. Two general approaches exist for studying narrative structures, one based on the linguistic features of the text, the other on literary forms. (Contains 6 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A