Using Narrative Inquiry to Inform and Guide our (Re) Interpretations of lived experience


  • Carmen Shields Nipissing University


life stories, narrative inquiry, stories


ABSTRACT. In this paper, I share stories that provide sites of inquiry for the (re)interpretation of my own educative experience. Crossing time, I (re)visit and (re)construct seminal events in my life using knowledge gleaned in the intervening years to come to see how these life stories inform and guide me in the present. I use my own stories to enhance my understanding of the direction I am taking in my life since they are what I know, and I offer them here as an example of how narrative inquiry can provide a theoretical and practical framework for (re)interpreting our lived experience. RECHERCHE NARRATIVE COMME OUTIL DE DOCUMENTATION ET D’ORIENTATION DE NOTRE (RÉ)INTERPRÉTATION D’EXPÉRIENCES VÉCUES RÉSUMÉ. Dans ce document, je raconte des récits qui sont sources d’interrogation pour l’(la ré)interprétation de ma propre expérience de l’enseignement. Je (re)visite et (re)construit les événements fondamentaux de ma vie en faisant appel aux connaissances glanées au fil des ans pour en arriver à voir comment ces récits me renseignent et m’orientent aujourd’hui. Je relate ma propre expérience pour mieux comprendre la direction que je donne à ma vie puisque c’est ce que je connais, et je la cite ici pour montrer comment une recherche narrative peut constituer une structure théorique et pratique pour interpréter ou réinterpréter notre vécu.

Author Biography

Carmen Shields, Nipissing University

CARMEN SHIELDS is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University, teaching in the area of curriculum studies in graduate education. Her research work is in the area of narrative inquiry and phenomenology. Research interests include topics in gender and feminist studies, personal story and links to curriculum development. She is currently in the third year of a SSHRC program of research studying aspects of faculty belonging in faculties of education across the country.




How to Cite

Shields, C. (2006). Using Narrative Inquiry to Inform and Guide our (Re) Interpretations of lived experience. McGill Journal of Education / Revue Des Sciences De l’éducation De McGill, 40(1). Retrieved from