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Using stories to investigate, reflect on and raise social consciousness in a sporting culture


Zehntner, C and Swabey, K and McMahon, JA, Using stories to investigate, reflect on and raise social consciousness in a sporting culture, What is Next in Educational Research?, Sense Publishers, S Fan, J Fielding-Wells (ed), The Netherlands, pp. 51-58. ISBN 9789463005227 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2016 Sense Publishers

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This chapter describes the qualitative approach utilised to investigate relationships of power experienced within formal and informal mentee-mentor relationships associated with the education programme of a sports coaching culture. Denison and Avner (2011) and Cassidy (2010) suggest that power relations within a culture can contribute to conformity, stifle creativity and lead to apathetic, docile practice. In this investigation, stories of experience provide the researcher with rich experiential accounts of the mentee relationships and are utilised in a multi-dimensional manner. Stories are used as a form of communication, as a means of facilitating learning from experience, as a means of illustrating complex social phenomena, and as a means of catalysing change.

The use of personal stories as a research methodology to evaluate the structure and function of the mentee relationships came about fortuitously after I revealed stories of experience to a colleague who is a researcher in education. This colleague pointed out that the stories about the experiences gave me an insight into possible structural impediments that both warranted further investigation and would provide a rich source of data. Preliminary reading to assess the scope for an investigation revealed three additional reasons why this method could be effective. First in critical qualitative research, emancipation can be achieved by raising social consciousness about an issue (McCabe & Holmes, 2009). Second, as a form of reflective practice, such an approach has the opportunity to inform personal professional practice (Bolton, 2006). Finally, to resonate with other members of a coaching and training community to think more critically about their practice (Cassidy, Jones, & Potrac, 2009).

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:narrative, stories, coaching, qualitative, coach learning, coach development
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Equity and access to education
UTAS Author:Zehntner, C (Dr Chris Zehntner)
UTAS Author:Swabey, K (Professor Karen Swabey)
UTAS Author:McMahon, JA (Associate Professor Jennifer McMahon)
ID Code:110140
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2016-07-14
Last Modified:2018-01-17

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