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Teachers’ mo(u)rning stories: A living narrative inquiry into teachers’ identities on emergent high school inquiry landscapes



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This particular telling and retelling from a living narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) into the early experiences of three high school science teachers – Beth, Joel, and Christina – explores the emergent inquiry landscapes constructed as we implemented a renewed, decolonizing, science curriculum in Saskatchewan founded on a philosophy of inquiry and on a broader, more holistic definition of scientific literacy, both Western and Indigenous. This inquiry draws on an ontology of lived experience (Dewey, 1938) and, more subtly, on the borderland of narrative inquiry and complexity science in order to illustrate the emergence and coming to knowing (Delandshire, 2002; Ermine, as cited in Aikenhead, 2002) of our identities in a way that avoids the reduction in complexity of our experiences. While my initial wonders persisted throughout the research as I lived alongside Beth, Joel, and Christina for two years, they diffracted into the contextualized wonder: how do we share a philosophy of inquiry with each other and with our students? As such, this inquiry is a sharing about our own identities, about our own agency, about identity work, and about which experiences we choose to (re)engage with as we attempt to (re)find the narrative diversity, both individual and collective, necessary to shift from enacted identities to 'wished-we-could-enact' identities. This exploration of our 'mo(u)rning stories', early experiences from our shifting identities after stepping through the liminal and onto emergent inquiry landscapes, or our 'stories to relive with' provides a language and context to our shifting identities and hence, to science education, as we move towards a more holistic and humanistic form of scientific literacy for all our students. What emerged through the enmeshing of our landscapes and through the construction of voids in existing practices, followed by deformalizations in assessment and planning, was the development of a way of sharing our philosophy of inquiry and hence, our shifting identities. The artifacting and sharing of our contextualized inquiry experiences highlighted the rich assessment making, and curriculum making experiences (Huber, Murphy & Clandinin, 2011) we shared with our students and highlighted a view of assessment as a relationship. As we told and retold our stories to relive with, our identities shifted towards those more akin to facilitator and anthropologist and away from sage and engineer/architect.



science education, narrative inquiry, inquiry, curriculum renewal, assessment, identity, teacher identity, decolonizing, scientific literacy, complexity, complexity science, borderland, agency, narrative diversity, contextualized inquiry experience, stories to relive with, mo(u)rning stories, holistic, humanistic, wished-we-could-enact identities, emergence, deformalizations, professional development, reductionism, modernity, positivism, coming to knowing, post-modern, postmodern, Indigenous, First Nations, ontology, lived experience, narrative coherence, complexity reduction, artifacting, assessment making experiences, curriculum making experiences, assessment as a relationship, liminality, liminal, assessment for learning, assessment for inquiry’



Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Curriculum Studies


Curriculum Studies


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