Narrative inquiry: From story to method

Margaret S. Barrett, Sandra Stauffer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

33 Scopus citations


Narrative is a term that has been pressed into the service of a multitude of ideas and theories. It is viewed variously as story, as a mode of knowing and constructing meaning, and, more recently, as a method of inquiry. At times it is all of these simultaneously. Perhaps the most enduring description and understanding of narrative is as story, an account to self and others of people, places, and events and the relationships that hold between these elements. The capacity to speak, and, through that medium, to construct a version of events, is a distinguishing human trait. It is through narratives, both grand or master and personal, that we have understood and communicated our knowledge and interpretations of our past and our present worlds and are able to speculate about our future. Through this chapter we shall provide a brief overview of the journey from narrative as story, through its conception as a mode of knowing, in order to explore the ways in which narrative is being put to use as a method of inquiry in educational research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNarrative Inquiry in Music Education
Subtitle of host publicationTroubling Certainty
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781402098611
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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