Story Constellations: A Narrative Approach to Contextualizing Teachers’ Knowledge of School Reform

Published: 
Apr. 15, 2007

Source: Teaching and Teachers Education, Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2007, Pages 173-188

This article traces the roots of narrative research in the social sciences and education, then centers on ‘story constellations,’ a version of narrative inquiry that uncovers teachers’ knowledge of school reform in context. A fluid form of investigation that unfolds in a three-dimensional inquiry space, story constellations consists of a flexible matrix of paired narratives that are broadened, burrowed, and restoried over time.

The adaptability of this narrative inquiry approach is then made visible through introducing four story constellations separately, then laying sketches of the individual story constellations side-by-side. When analyzed in a conjoined fashion, these sketches illustrate how the particularities of place and human agency in the living of school reform played out differently in differing school contexts, despite the fact that the four school sites had one story of reform in common.

In the end result, the illustrations demonstrate how the use of the malleable approach drew distinctive story constellations to the surface, spotlighting teachers’ knowledge of school reform as it developed in context over time. In this way, ‘story constellations’ as a method and as a form of inquiry is illuminated.

Updated: Jun. 19, 2008
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