Ethical Considerations Entailed by a Relational Ontology in Narrative inquiry

Authored by: D. Jean Clandinin , Vera Caine , Janice Huber

The Routledge International Handbook on Narrative and Life History

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138784291
eBook ISBN: 9781315768199
Adobe ISBN: 9781317665717


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Coming to the ethical considerations entailed by a relational ontology in narrative inquiry has been a process composed over many years. In this chapter, we trace the development of the unfolding of ethical considerations, as we understand it, in narrative inquiry. During the time of her doctoral work, Clandinin was part of a small group of doctoral students and faculty at the University of Toronto. Rereading old research journals, she remembers one particular day:

We are gathered at a seminar table, heads bowed over the identical small paperback books. We, including me and Michael Connelly, are reading and discussing Kaufman’s translation of Buber’s book I and Thou (1970). Our study is of teachers’ experiential knowledge, what we are beginning to name teachers’ personal practical knowledge. The way we are imagining and living out the study is in teachers’ classrooms and schools and in conversations with teachers. We are naming the study as a study alongside teachers and we are reading Buber’s work to help us think about who we are in relation to the teachers whose lives and classrooms we are becoming part of. We turned to Buber, Macmurray, and Arendt to help us think about what we are attempting to do. Dewey, of course, was a constant companion in our struggle to understand teachers’ experiential knowledge.

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