A narrative inquiry into teachers' and a principal's stories of influencing practice

Gail Brierley
The purpose of this research was to identify and understand how principals influenced the professional practices of three teachers and how teachers influenced the professional practice of one principal. The field text for this narrative inquiry evolved over a three-month period spent in and out of three classrooms in one school setting. The research text was composed from transcribed notes of observations, transcriptions of dialogues and semi-structured interviews, and through my personal
more » ... tive journal. Using the framework of a threedimensional narrative inquiry space (interaction, continuity, and situation) in the process of analyzing the field text, I examined the participants' stories, what meaning the participants attached to them, and how experience, reflection, interpretation and meaning have influenced their professional practices. Two stories of professional influence for each participant were selected from the narrative accounts to be analyzed in-depth. The overall theme of "support" emerged as the primary influence for all four participants. The theme of support in these narrative accounts was further analyzed and I discovered eight categories of influence related to supportive practice. The categories were: demonstrating confidence in practice, affirmation of practice, active involvement, promoting professional development, listening and a sense of humour. The eighth category was lack of support, which shaped and influenced three of the four participants' narrative accounts. The final chapter is one of reflection as I share how the research experience has influenced my position as principal on the school landscape. R eproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. To Dr. Bill Maynes, my deepest appreciation for your on-going patience and wise counsel.
doi:10.7939/r3-4een-f052 fatcat:yp6hauv7hfh7hei6djhwafvkju