A mythopoetic methodology: storytelling as an act of scholarship


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    A pre-service teacher clashes with his mentor and the practicum ends badly. There is distress and a sense of failure all round. Questions get asked. Was the pre-service teacher simply unsuited to this demanding profession? Was the teacher education inadequate? Was the mentor a good fit? Were there the right kinds of support in place? Was the school culture intolerant of new ideas, new energies? Given concerns about an ageing workforce, beginning teacher attrition rates and healthy work environments, questions such as these require thoughtful investigation. But the issues are complex. Complexity is not an easy thing to research. The past hundred years has seen a number of significant attempts to understand personal and social complexity, from the grand structural narratives of the psychoanalytic movement through to post-structural accounts that pay increasing attention to the apparently chaotic interplay of intersecting life trajectories, shifting identities, and ordinary affects. What methodologies nudge us deeper into perceived and experienced complexities? What ways of communicating the insights afforded by such methodologies are likely to have impact, to create affects? In this paper, I suggest that a mythopoetic methodology (the writing of a story) plays a part in the scholarly attempt to see complexity more fully. I suggest, too, that a mythopoetic form (the telling of a story) has the potential to create useful affects. The paper is performative rather than exclusively analytical.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)128-142
    Number of pages15
    JournalAsia - Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2015


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