Educational narrative inquiry through design-based research: designing digital storytelling to make alternative knowledge visible and actionable
Thompson Long, Bonnie
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Thompson Long, B., & Hall, T. (2018). Educational narrative inquiry through design-based research: designing digital storytelling to make alternative knowledge visible and actionable. Irish Educational Studies, 1-21. doi: 10.1080/03323315.2018.1465836
This paper describes the conceptualisation and appropriation of narrative in the design of digital storytelling technology (DST), to augment reflective practice among Irish pre-service teachers. Reflective practice remains a predominant professional formation component of programmes of teacher education. In this key developmental activity, teacher education traditionally privileges written reflections, e.g. pro forma post-lesson evaluations and essays. Our aim in this research was to supplement, not supplant, these important written reflective modalities, and by doing so, open up a wider set of possibilities for using narrative and technology to support creative, potentially transformative reflection on practice. We have been inspired significantly in this DST work by Bruner s (2002) functional view of narrative inquiry - that storytelling serves as the principal, foundational means by which we form our identities, relate to others, and make sense of our place in the world. We thus sought to explore how innovative storytelling designs, combined with, and augmented by digital technology, might afford new narrative inquiry possibilities for pre-service students to conceptualise, create and collaborate in their early-career, reflective practices. This paper presents R-NEST, the educational design we developed in a principled and participatory fashion over 3 years, collaboratively with 323 student teachers. We trace the narrative of the development and refinement of the bespoke R-NEST design, illustrated with analysis of an exemplar, student-designed digital story. The paper concludes with insights regarding the creative, reflective use of DST, suggesting potentially wide scope for this mode of narrative technology in education.