Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference: an early career regional researcher's narrative journey

Baguley, Margaret ORCID: (2010) Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference: an early career regional researcher's narrative journey. In: AARE 2009: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2009: Inspiring Innovative Research in Education, 29 Nov - 3 Dec 2009, Canberra, Australia.

Text (Published Version)

Download (100kB)


The role of a university researcher, particularly in the light of recent reports, such as the Bradley Review into Higher Education, has changed substantially since the elitism of the Menzies era. One of the emphases in the Bradley Review is to increase members of groups under-represented within the system including those from regional areas. My current role as a university academic and researcher has been informed by my perception of marginalisation initially represented by my regional origins, gender and later my artistic practice. This paper will provide insights into key moments of my research journey using critical event narrative analysis in order to create a 'storied ground' which aims to link the reader socially and culturally to these experiences.

Polkinghorne (1988) notes that even though each of us has direct access to our own cognitive processes of meaning-making they are not directly observable to others. Therefore, the narrative events composed through this methodology have enabled me to construct, re-construct and ultimately make sense of experiences in relation to my research journey. In turn this allows others to engage with the events described in these narratives and connect with them according to their personal and professional experiences. In this paper I explore my transformation through three critical hybrid identity transformations: artist to artist-teacher; artist-teacher to sessional academic; and sessional academic to senior lecturer in the regional context. Bohl (1995) notes that the most important qualification for an event to be considered critical is that it has an impact on the person telling the story, and is usually a change experience that is not recognised as such until a certain period of time passes. Upon reflection these critical events were crucial in forming my academic and researcher identity.

As Weeks (1990) notes, identity is about having a sense of belonging, about what you have in common with some people and what differentiates you from others. I am currently positioned in a regional university which, as the Bradley Review has recommended, is supporting marginal groups currently under-represented in the system. Critical Event Narrative Analysis (Webster & Mertova, 2007) has enabled me to reflectively consider how the events I have chosen have been informed by a sense of marginalisation which continues to affect, but also enrich, my current and complex position as an academic and researcher in a regional area. The findings from this research may assist those teachers and academics who take 'the road less travelled' to understand how their experiences shape and inform their interest in and commitment to those on the margins.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 7140
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper is copyright © by the individual author or authors and may not be reproduced without permission of the author or authors.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2010 08:17
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2014 23:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: narrative inquiry; low socio-economic higher education; identity;
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441006 Sociological methodology and research methods
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3699 Other creative arts and writing > 369999 Other creative arts and writing not elsewhere classified
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only