MAKING RESEARCH MEANINGFUL: SOME REFLECTIONS ON TEACHING NARRATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

C. Savvidou

University of Nicosia (CYPRUS)
Despite the claim that narrative research provides a rich source of knowledge, it is generally not part of the undergraduate curriculum. Thus, motivated by Clinchy’s (2002) claim that the teaching of narrative research would make academic life more real and meaningful to students, I set out to teach a course in narrative research methods to undergraduate students in Cyprus. The opportunity to teach this course required me to reflect on and evaluate my own teaching methods and look at how I might transform a list of discrete and abstract course objectives into coherent narrative learning opportunities and outcomes. In this paper, I outline some of the work undertaken by students based on the theme “Turning Points”. I describe how by documenting life experiences (their own and others) through multimedia, students were able to transform and represent experience using narrative research principles. I conclude that this type of narrative work creates opportunities for students to develop deeper understandings of the potential of narrative methods for Communications research. Finally, I reflect on how this experience has provided me with new understandings of myself as a teacher and a narrative researcher.