As one of my supervisors stated, the evidence/perspective balance is a big issue in my research. I think this is not only a matter of methodology but also as a epistemological concern. Perhaps it can be solved if I approach this from the narrative point of view.
Narratives are constructed accounts that may include both fictional and non-fictional elements. In most cases, it is not possible to establish a clear-cut distinction between them and, in this case, it may not be necessarily relevant to do so. First of all, I will still adopt the ‘witness triple principle’ and, secondly, sometimes people’s fictional creations ‘may reveal as much about their concepts, beliefs and assumptions as if they were strictly realistic’. Making it clear that what I am analysing are participants’ narratives may be a way out of the evidence/perspective dichotomy.
Another issue is the teaching practice aspect. I cannot go to their classrooms, but them I can accept narratives of what happens there. Moreover, as this is a social science oriented piece of research, there should be some practical, educational angle to it. However, based on what the MRes data has revealed perhaps focusing on classroom practice may be a bit limited. Some Group members are also teacher trainers and active teacher associations’ members and some activities and things they got involved with because of the Group go beyond the classroom., but because it was not part of my research question I could not take those things into consideration in my discussion. Perhaps a way out is to tackle this from the ‘professional growth’ perspective. This is a concept I can across in my readings. Clarke and Hollingsworth propose a model of professional development that ‘encompasses all forms of professional experimentations, rather than just classroom experimentation.’ Besides that, their model is not a linear one as most of others, but with stages interconnected, which in Bakhtinian language could be said to be in dialogic relationship to each other. I think this can be an interesting approach to be adopted when considering the ELT teacher education thread of my research.