The eye of the story: Narratives of teacher thinking

Rose Mary McGough, Fordham University


Two narrative forms, the novel and the personal account, written by or about practicing teachers provide the texts for this research study. They deal with issues that concern educational researchers; concern for the necessity and the technique of good teaching, confrontation of different cultural values from widely divergent racial and ethnic backgrounds, reflection on the teacher-student relationship, and need for hope to drive the development of effective teaching and better interpersonal relationships. These narratives are dramas of struggle for identity, power, definitive canons of knowledge, and against debilitating pressures from within and without. They are content for social science and educational research, but they are embedded in the narrative structure. The narrative accounts use the literary tools of imagery, memory, story as metaphor, voice, and plot which merge to reveal a unique "landscape" of a teacher's mind at the same time as they provide important insights into the psychology and philosophy of teaching. The qualitative method used is close to that of literary critic and social scientist in interpreting the reflective and articulate mind of the teacher as narrator. Consequently, these narratives about teaching become valid and significant vehicles for teacher thinking by revealing perceptions, evaluations, and practice relative to effective teaching.

Subject Area

Language arts|School administration

Recommended Citation

McGough, Rose Mary, "The eye of the story: Narratives of teacher thinking" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9543457.