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Accessing Narrative Oral History and Phenomenological Lifeworld Experience Through Interviews: Professional Learning Experience of Expert Teachers

By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Accessing narrative oral history and phenomenological lifeworld experiences was significant for my doctoral research of teacher learning because I was able to explore individual post-reflection as story and the pre-reflective meaning on lifeworld in order to understand interconnections across experience. Education research predominately reports on teacher learning outcomes aligned to professional standards, while case studies using combined qualitative methods for understanding teacher learning are dearth in the literature.

This case study focuses on a combined narrative and phenomenological inquiry approach to garner views of expert teachers. I outline the three-interview process to access the learning experiences of five teachers, from my PhD study completed in 2014. The research practicalities for encouraging participants who may not be open to volunteer for a study are addressed in relation to clearly communicated research intention, combined purposive sampling and criteria sampling, snowball or chain sampling, and ethical implications for participants and researcher. The research design accessed the context of unique human experience by capturing participant story and searching for meaning often embedded at an implied level. I offer technology tips for researchers working with interview meaning representations (data).

The case study offers an approach that requires relying on qualitative principles of rigor, determining saturation and identifying limitation of findings, and designing an interview protocol as pertinent to accessing the phenomena being researched. I conclude by suggesting that the significance of the personal for teacher learning is evident from my research because narrative oral history and phenomenological lifeworld interviews accessed the uniquely insightful development of expertise.

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Oral history research

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