Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 58, No. 1, 21-35 (2007)
Narrative inquiry is a methodology that frequently appeals to teachers and teacher educators. However, this appeal and sense of comfort has advantages and disadvantages. Some assume narrative inquiries will be easy to design, live out, and represent in storied formats in journals, dissertations, or books.
For the authors, though, narrative inquiry is much more than the telling of stories. There are complexities surrounding all phases of a narrative inquiry and, in this article, the authors pay particular attention to thinking about the design of narrative inquiries that focus on teachers’ and teacher educators’ own practices.
They outline three commonplaces and eight design elements for consideration in narrative inquiry. They illustrate these elements using recently completed narrative inquiries. In this way, the authors show the complex dimensions of narrative inquiry, a kind of inquiry that requires particular kinds of wakefulness.