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A Narrative Inquiry Into Teachers’ Experiences of Working With Hope Open Access


Other title
narrative inquiry
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
LeMay, Lenora M.
Supervisor and department
Denise Larsen (Educational Psychology)
D. Jean Clandinin (Elementary Educaiton)
Examining committee member and department
Vera Caine (Nursing Faculty)
Margaret Baguley (Faculty of Education, University of Southern Queensland)
Randolph Wimmer (Elementary Education)
Lynn M. McGarvey (Elementary Education)
Department of Elementary Education

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The research puzzle, in this study, evolved as I made sense of making hope visible in my interactions at a centre that studied how intentionally using hope enhances quality of life. Over a period of 12 years I developed a set of five hope-focused practices (LeMay, Edey, & Larsen, 2008). In this dissertation I considered three conceptions or ways of working with hope and hoping in education alongside a fourth conception, which I named a Deweyan-inspired narrative conception of hope. Following that I outlined the hope-focused practices (LeMay et al., 2008) along with other theoretical considerations. My research puzzle asked: What are teachers’ experiences with hope-focused practices in their curriculum making (Clandinin & Connelly, 1992)? I invited two teachers from two different school districts who were participants in ongoing professional development sessions to work alongside me to make sense of their experiences of working with hope-focused practices. Sheila, Carmen and I attended to their stories to live by (Connelly & Clandinin, 1999) using the commonplaces of narrative inquiry: temporality, sociality and place (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) from January 2012 to July 2013. As we moved from field texts to research texts, we co-composed narrative accounts of their experiences. After looking across their narrative accounts, I identified four resonant threads. The first thread was learning to live with hope in early childhood. The second resonant thread was being in the midst of embodying hope. The third thread was sharpening an embodied way of being with hope. The fourth resonant thread was the courage to be with hope (Tillich, 1952). By engaging in this inquiry I learned that hope matters but it cannot be imposed; the commonplaces of narrative inquiry inspire an understanding of a narrative conception of hope as an embodied lived experience; and the Deweyan-inspired narrative conception of hope makes it possible to live alongside the dominant conceptions of hope in education.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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