Sunday, March 23, 2008

Narrative of narrative

I was really glad to participate in Prof. Karen Johnson's workshop (Kobe campus of Hyogo University of Teacher Education, March 11, 2008), where we listened to the voices of teachers as practitioners.

We were encouraged to read narratives of teachers taken from Teachers' Narrative Inquiry As Professional Development and discuss in a group.

A narrative of a teacher explicates how she finds herself in a classroom. It shows a selection of her knowledge, interest, context and others in the description of her reality. Since 'reality' is beyond anybody's reach with its complexity, the description and explanation she gives reveal her own choice of perception. As we no longer innocently believe in THE reality, her selection of a perspective is not just an arbitrary prejudice, but a unique contribution to our pluralistic understanding of reality.

Another (meta-)narrative on her first narrative makes our understanding more diverse and flexible. This second narrative must be based upon and resonate with the first one, but the second narrative reveals the second narrator's way of dealing with complexity in his interpretation of the first narrative. Bringing up different second narratives on the table enriches plurality of our understanding.

Given the complexity of practice, we give up the idea of finding the one and only one way of description and explanation. Sharing different versions of reality and discussing them to further differentiate their diversity seems a very reasonable way of inquiry to me.

We unite in diversity.

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