Society of African Journal Editors

Per linguam

A collaborative narrative inquiry: Two teacher educators learning about narrative inquiry

Authors: Gary Barkhuizen, Penny Hacker

Journal: Per linguam

With its capacity to unharness the power of narrative to promote meaning-making of lived experience, narrative inquiry is developing as a credible approach to research in several areas in the field of language teaching (Johnson, 2006). This article tells the story of two narrative researchers working in language teacher education who engaged in a collaborative narrative inquiry as both participants and inquirers, in order to learn more about narrative inquiry. The ‘bounded’ nature of their inquiry design provided a feasible way for them to explore their focus of research (i.e. their learning about narrative inquiry), and led them, through an iterative and reflexive process of analysing their narrative data, to formulate what they believe are essential ingredients of principled narrative inquiry work. Four narrative inquiry variables became the scaffolding which enabled them to answer their research questions, and are offered here as a heuristic for teaching practitioners, whether they be teachers, teacher educators or researchers, to guide them in narrative inquiries into their own work.