Two Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) lecturers had the opportunity to share their research at the 2018 Storytelling Conference at the University of Suffolk earlier this month.
Storytelling is emerging in a range of academic and professional disciplines as an effective methodology through which to explore and make sense of significant life events and experiences.
As a research tool, storytelling foregrounds the participant voice. It empowers participants’ to make meaning of life’s significant moments and decisions, and to express those meanings in their own words.
The Storytelling Conference brought together an international audience of experienced and developing researchers, to share their studies and explore the rich and diverse potential of storytelling as a research methodology.
Jan Machalski, Senior Lecturer in Professional Studies, is currently engaged in a PhD study at BGU that incorporates a life grid technique and re-told stories. She presented her paper entitled “A parent’s dilemma – a narrative study concerning experience of autism”, which explores the personal stories of parents dealing with autism in the family.
Caroline Meredith, Academic Leader for Flexible and Distributed Learning, is studying for a Professional Doctorate (EdD) at Nottingham University alongside her role at BGU and presented a research poster entitled “Career journeys of men becoming teaching assistants”. The poster illustrates the use of life grid interviews and graphic storyboarding, to illuminate and understand participants’ career motivations, experiences and aspirations.
The conference offered both Jan and Caroline an opportunity to present their ideas within a specialist research community, and to network with and a receive feedback from other researchers using similar methodologies in diverse fields of practice.
Along with being an important aspect of professional development for doctoral candidates, their attendance also endorses the status of BGU’s School of Social Sciences as a research-active, academic community.