Constructing narrative and phenomenological meaning within one study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Qualitative Research Journal, 2018, 18 (3), pp. 223 - 237
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to argue for the articulation of the affordances of two qualitative methodologies when used within one study to address the multi-dimensional nature of the research phenomena. Design/methodology/approach: This paper considers one example of combining narrative inquiry and phenomenological inquiry to construct new understandings of teacher learning from an Australian study. Findings: The author draws on the individual meaning-making and shared social phenomena of professional learning explored for five secondary school teachers. Findings are accessed in two ways: narrative inquiry enables the construction of unique professional learning narratives and phenomenological inquiry proposes commonalities in the teachers’ experiences. Research limitations/implications: Selected examples from the study are used to explore what may be learnt from combining two interpretative methodologies within one study with limited references to the overall research findings. Practical implications: These qualitative methodological designs and their implementation within one study have positive influences on the multifaceted nature of the construction of meaning-making in teacher professional learning. Furthermore, using two qualitative methodologies together provide insights on the study phenomena, in this instance, highlighting the personal aspect of expert teachers’ professional learning needs and the disruptive dissonance of ongoing problematics as central for the teachers throughout their professional learning. Originality/value: This study offers one possibility for combining methodologies to access the meaning-making in teacher learning and one avenue for creating hermeneutic understanding in using the methods within this approach.
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