Are you talking about the study where former middle school teachers wanted to gain an understanding of students who had been punished disproportionately by using a narrative inquiry qualitative study?
David, I just finished the reading a narrative inquiry that I was trying to understand, but I had a few questions.
The researchers spent time with these students to learn more about them and their background.
Yeah, that's how a narrative inquiry works. According to a video interview with Professor Clandinin (2012), researchers basically live with them in a way to listen to their stories, watch what they do with an intention of understanding their experiences.
Purpose in a narrative inquiry is important. According to Creswell (p. 54), the purpose of a narrative inquiry is to focus on the stories told by individuals. It is also important to understand that a narrative inquiry "begins with the experiences as expressed in lived and told stories".
Well that fits this study perfectly because the researchers felt that in order to close the discipline gap between diverse students specific stories would have to be collected, documented, analyzed, and then shared with educators. In this study Haley, Marcus, and Zimba took on the role of sharing their experiences to lead to a better understanding of their situations.
In the study, the researchers talked about interpretive biography as a methodological approach as a way to capture the students' narratives.
Yes this is very important. Creswell (2006) pointed out that the researcher records the experiences of who they are studying. Clendinin also mentioned this in her interview that this is very important because often times researchers don't actively listen to the people.
I noticed the researchers gave background information on themselves where they told the participants they were former teachers to build rapport and discussed limitations such as having different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Because of their self admitted limitations, researchers were careful to use a specific system (Jesselson's system) to analyze the data they found and determine themes, tensions, and possible resolutions.
I thought that was interesting as well because it added to the trustworthiness of the information. It also allowed readers to gain an understanding of the contexts, background, and demeanor of each student.
Great point Jodie! Clendinin in her interview talks about the importance of the researcher thinking about their own lives before researching others'. Narrative inquiry can become very personal and relationships are built with your participants. You have to start with yourself before you work with others.