Listening to old wives’ tales: small stories and the (re)making and (re)telling of research in HE/FE practitioner education
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AbstractIn this paper we share the outcomes of a project that sought to take up Nutbrown’s challenge to ‘push out from the safe(er) boundaries of established methodologies’ in early years research. We explore the value of auto-ethnographic storytelling, Lyotard’s ‘petit récit’, to the processes of doing and learning about research in the context of practitioner education. We offer a rationale for the use of creative methods in (post?) professional learning and describe the process of working with identity boxes and symbolic objects, to produce a collection of auto-ethnographic narratives, the old wives’ tales of the title, through which to explore practitioners’ experiences of professional identity formation. We consider the opportunities such methods offer for reflexive learning about practitioner positionality within the knowledge-making practices of research and attempt to (re)position ourselves differently as writers and makers of research. Towards a conclusion we review and theorise meanings participant-researchers make about their career trajectories and proffer auto-ethnography as a dynamic modality for practitioner learning. We mobilise Patti Lather’s notion of methodological proliferation to re-think practitioner education as a wild profusion of post-professional possibilities.
CitationListening to old wives’ tales: small stories and the (re)making and (re)telling of research in HE/FE practitioner education 2016, 21 (1-2):116 Research in Post-Compulsory Education
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education