Narrative and Biographical Methodologies in Education Research and Enterprise Group

Organization profile

Profile Information

The narrative and biographical methodologies in education research and enterprise group, develops critical and original insights into human thought and action in the field of education in contemporary society. Led by Professor Ivor Goodson and Dr Keith Turvey, the group brings together scholars who listen to educators’ and learners’ stories and examine their life histories to better understand their experiences and worldviews.

“We live in an age of narrative: life stories are a crucial ingredient in what makes us human and, in addition, in determining what kind of human we become.”

Life history and narrative research allow us to explore and offer insights into the experiences, identities, life worlds and knowledge of learners and practitioners in all areas and phases of education. We focus on narrative methodology and theory, biographical and autoethnographic methods of enquiry, listening to and developing stories and self-narratives of education. In addition to teacher and learner life histories, we consider the importance and influence of historical and ideological context, and the relevance and importance of narrative in understanding and facilitating educators’ learning, development and working lives. The aim is to examine life histories to better understand the role of experience in the construction of identity, culture and pedagogy. This approach explores:

  • new, progressive and boundary-pushing ways to conduct research
  • life-history, autoethnography and self-narrative
  • methodologies that value and legitimise personal experience and creative and evocative academic work
  • the relationships between educational experience, learning and pedagogy.

Past, Present and Future

Our projects explore the extent to which narrative encounter can inform and transform learning.

We have completed a large-scale longitudinal study, using interviews, observation and a life-history approach to trace learning biographies of a wide range of adults in different contexts and stages of their lives. By gaining a deeper understanding about the complexities of learning throughout the life course, we identified, implemented and evaluated learning, teaching and guidance strategies relating to opportunities, dispositions and practices.

In a pioneering study, we collected 90 narrative accounts to make sense of the experience of second-generation emigrants relocating to their ancestral homeland – the birthplace of their parents. We examined issues of identity, home and belonging using innovative methodology.

We will continue to explore the potential of narrative and biographical methodologies, their value and potential applications to a number of different aspects of research, teaching, learning, and their power as a tool that can help coalescence and activism across sectors, fields and boundaries.

Fingerprint The fingerprint is based on mining the text of the scientific documents related to the associated persons. Based on that an index of weighted terms is created, which defines the key subjects of research unit

narrative Social Sciences
education Social Sciences
learning Social Sciences
critical psychology Social Sciences
Teaching Social Sciences
teacher Social Sciences
experience Social Sciences
school Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2017 2018

Learning analytics and its metrics – approaching an educational frame via a social semiotic pathway

Bachmair, B., Turvey, K., Cook, J. & Pachler, N. 20 Sep 2018 In : Medienimpulse. 3, p. 1-17 17 p., 1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
mass communication

Looking back, moving forward: Impact and measurability of the use of educational technology

Pachler, N. & Turvey, K. 26 Oct 2018 Second Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education. Voogt, J., Knezek, G., Christensen, R. & Lai, K. W. (eds.). New York, (Springer International Handbooks of Education)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

educational technology

Mental health recovery and nature: how social and personal dynamics are important

Adams, M. & Morgan, J. 18 Jan 2018 10, 1, p. 44-52 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
mental health
social relations
social benefits

Activities 2016 2019

  • 3 Invited talk
  • 2 Publication Peer-review
  • 1 Editorial work
  • 1 External funding peer-review

Journal of Education for Teaching (Journal)

Viv Ellis (Editor), Mariana Souto-Manning (Editor), Turvey, K. (Editor)
Jan 2019

Activity: Editorial work

Michigan State University Press (Publisher)

Moncrieffe, M. (Reviewer)
1 Aug 2018

Activity: Publication Peer-review

The Conversation (Publisher)

Adams, M. (Reviewer)
10 Oct 2018

Activity: Publication Peer-review