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Stories of Experience and Narrative Inquiry

F. Michael Connelly and D. Jean Clandinin
Educational Researcher
Vol. 19, No. 5 (Jun. - Jul., 1990), pp. 2-14
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1176100
Page Count: 13
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Stories of Experience and Narrative Inquiry
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Abstract

Although narrative inquiry has a long intellectual history both in and out of education, it is increasingly used in studies of educational experience. One theory in educational research holds that humans are storytelling organisms who, individually and socially, lead storied lives. Thus, the study of narrative is the study of the ways humans experience the world. This general concept is refined into the view that education and educational research is the construction and reconstruction of personal and social stories; learners, teachers, and researchers are storytellers and characters in their own and other's stories. In this paper we briefly survey forms of narrative inquiry in educational studies and outline certain criteria, methods, and writing forms, which we describe in terms of beginning the story, living the story, and selecting stories to construct and reconstruct narrative plots. Certain risks, dangers, and abuses possible in narrative studies are discussed. We conclude by describing a two-part research agenda for curriculum and teacher studies flowing from stories of experience and narrative inquiry.

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