Storytelling as dialogue: How teachers construct professional knowledge

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This study shows how a group of English language lecturers use storytelling as a form of professional dialogue. The aim of the study is to highlight the dialogic role of storytelling in supporting the construction of lecturers' professional knowledge and not to identify lecturers' professional knowledge. In a professional development project, 12 lecturers created digital stories about their experiences of professional development. These stories were shared with colleagues who then responded with their own digital stories. A narrative framework was used to analyse stories for the types of connections lecturers made between stories. Five dialogic processes were identified: connecting, echoing, developing, questioning and constructing. Excerpts of stories are used to demonstrate how lecturers construct professional knowledge through storytelling. The study concludes by outlining the potential and limitations of storytelling as an approach to professional development and proposes further research into the dialogic capacity of storytelling in a professional development context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-664
Number of pages16
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • dialogue
  • narrative
  • professional development
  • storytelling
  • teacher knowledge

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