Narrative Inquiry as an Arena for (Polish) Caregivers’ Retelling and Re-experiencing of Norwegian Kindergarten
A Question of Redefining the Role of Research
Keywords:immigrant caregivers, democratic deficit, parental involvement, parental engagement, narrative inquiry, experience
This study shows how conducting a narrative inquiry with migrant parents not only serves as a means of collecting their experiences of kindergarten services but also opens up a communicative space that allows for engagement with stories different from one’s own, and thus allows for the re-experiencing of the services provided. The presented re-experiences were ultimately found to be necessary for the participating parents to understand the values and knowledge underpinning kindergarten practices and routines, and thus to engage meaningfully and authentically with kindergartens. In the material presented, re-experiencing comprises the process of relating to the retold narrative’s temporality and sociality, which are oriented toward facilitating engagement with other people’s stories, as well as with one’s own and others from the past. The conclusion drawn was that the communicative spaces created through narrative inquiry have the potential to support kindergarten’s work in enhancing authentic partnerships with (particularly migrant) parents and addressing the democratic deficit in the involvement of (migrant) parents. Diverse ways of using narrative inquiry as facilitating parental engagement in the synergy between academia and the early childhood education sector are also reviewed.
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