Current use among professionals in the field of early childhood education has allowed for a new venue for what Connely and Clandinin called personal narrative. Personal narrative as defined by Connely and Clandinin is “teacher knowledge composed in each teacher’s life and made visible with their practices.” (Clandinin et al, p. 5). Personal narrative is a type of ethnography that allows for teachers and researchers to truly understand their own and others personal experiences and influences in relation to the field of education.
Anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff in her discussion of the potential negative effects of personal narrative states “it seemed, in fact that their (personal narratives) purpose was to allow things to stay the same, to permit people to discover and rediscover sameness in the midst of furor, antagonism, and threats of splitting apart” (Langellier, p. 454). Personal narratives have the potential to be a means for educators to question and expand their own understandings and practices as an educator. But if the only personal narratives that are available to them recite the same things over and over from the same perspective then there is little room for expansion.
- Clandin, D (2006). Composing Diverse Identities. London: Routlege.
- Langellier, K. (2003). Turning Points in Qualitative Research. Walnut Creek: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.