Polarising narrative and paradigmatic ways of knowing: exploring the spaces through narrative, stories and reflections of personal transition

Cleaver, David (2010) Polarising narrative and paradigmatic ways of knowing: exploring the spaces through narrative, stories and reflections of personal transition. In: AARE 2009: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2009: Inspiring Innovative Research in Education, 29 Nov-3 Dec 2009, Canberra, Australia.

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During my doctoral research journey, I focused on what I saw as the problematic paradox of subjectivity and objectivity in the process of formal, academic inquiry. Somehow, I could not divorce the intellectual exploration of the issues raised - with how subjectivity and objectivity questions related to my deeper life perspectives and way of experiencing the world. As I continued to study my own perspectives and the ideas of others in the academic literature, I saw that the division between subjectivity and objectivity were extensions of two distinct ways of looking and perceiving ‘reality’. One was based on ‘looking into the self’ and the other looked ‘into the world’.

It was at an important research moment of ‘looking into the world’ that I discovered Jerome Bruner’s (1986) perception that there are two separated cognitive modes - a paradigmatic and a narrative ‘way of construing reality’. I resonated with this idea and in an epiphanic and transformative moment, made a meaningful connection to the two modes and recognized them as correlating with my particular paradoxical ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ ways of perceiving.

This paper is a narrative self-study that takes the form of storied reflections of perspectives that occurred during my doctoral research journey and also subsequently developing viewpoints. I use an ‘arts-based’ approach advocated by Barone and Eisner (1997) as I seek the potentially different and valuable kinds of narrative understanding and meanings that are contrasted with those generated by paradigmatic analysis (Barone, 2000; Kilbourne, 2001; Polkinghorne, 1988). The writing seeks to promote narrative methods whilst illuminating my personal academic journey and engagement with the ‘spaces’ between ways of knowing. I move between third and first person writing in order to highlight and further explore these spaces.

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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 / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2010 04:20
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: narrative; doctoral research journey
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/7715

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