Teacher Narratives in Teacher Development: Focus on Diary Studies

  • Danuta Gabryś-BarkerEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


Teachers’ perceptions of their own classroom experiences and the way they are reflected upon and interpreted constitute a significant factor in the evolution and re-structuring of teachers’ initial beliefs about teaching and learning. This paper discusses diary writing as a thinking process and one of the best tools for developing reflective thinking, which can be employed in a variety of teaching and learning contexts, for both experienced and inexperienced/pre-service teachers. Diaries are instances of teacher narratives which can contribute to constructing professional knowledge, as they record and interpret teachers’ stories in a systematic fashion and are contextualized within the teacher’s working environment. The paper demonstrates the value of diary writing for the professional development of teachers by presenting a selection of diary studies implemented either in teacher training programmes or carried out for independent research purposes. These studies elaborate on a whole variety of focus areas in teacher development, such as lesson effectiveness, self-assessment or affectivity, which are important teaching concerns during the various stages of a professional career and, most important of all, on the development of reflectivity. This article is based on a more detailed description of diary use in the pre-service teacher education to be found in Gabryś-Barker (2012).


Professional Development Student Teacher Classroom Practice Journal Entry Diary Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Appel, J. 1995. Diary of a language teacher. Oxford: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  2. Arthur, J., J. Davison and J. Moss. 1997. Subject mentoring in the secondary School. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Bain, J. D., R. Ballantyne, J. Packer and C. Mills. 1999. Using journal writing to enhance student teachers’ reflectivity during field experience placement. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice 5: 51–73.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, T. 2006. Negotiating psychological disturbance in pre-service teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education 22: 675–689.Google Scholar
  5. Furlong, J. and T. Maynard. 1995. Mentoring student teachers. London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Gabryś-Barker, D. 2009. New to self-reflection and self-evaluation: Novice teachers as diary writers. In On language structure, acquisition andteaching, ed. M. Wysocka, 419–427. Katowice: University of Silesia Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gabryś-Barker, D. 2011. Introducing action research in the foreign language classroom. In Action research in teacher development: An overview of research methodology, ed. D. Gabryś-Barker, 11–24. Katowice: University of Silesia Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gabryś-Barker, D. 2012. Reflectivity in pre-service teacher education. A surveyof theory and practice, Katowice: University of Silesia Press.Google Scholar
  9. Golombek, P. and K. E. Johnson. 2004. Narrative inquiry as a mediational space: Examining emotional and cognitive dissonance in second-language teachers’ development. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and practice 10: 307–327.Google Scholar
  10. Herndon, L. D. 2002. Putting theory into practice: Letting my students learn to read. In Teachers’ narrative inquiry as professional development, eds. K. E. Johnson and P. R. Golombek, 35–51. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Leshem, S. and N. Trafford. 2006. Stories as mirrors: Reflective practice in teaching and learning. Reflective Practice 7: 9–27.Google Scholar
  12. Loughran, J. 1996. Developing reflective practice. learning about teaching and learning through modeling. London/Washington DC: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  13. Moon, J. A. 2004. Reflection in learning and professional development theory and practice. London and New York: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
  14. Regan, P. 2007. Interpreting language used in reflective practice. Reflective Practice 8: 109–122.Google Scholar
  15. Richards, J. and B. Ho.1998. Reflective thinking through journal writing. In Beyond training, ed. J. C. Richards, 153–170. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Samuels, M. and J. Betts. 2007. Crossing the threshold from description todeconstruction and reconstruction: Using self-assessment to deepen reflection. Reflective Practice 8: 269–283.Google Scholar
  17. Schmidt, R. and S. Frota. 1986. Developing basic conversational ability in a second language: A case study of an adult learner of Portuguese. In Talking to learn: Conversation in second language acquisition, ed. R. R. Day, 237–362. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  18. Sutton, L., M. Townend and J. Wright. 2007. The experiences of reflective learning journals by cognitive behavioural psychotherapy students. Reflective Practice 8: 387–404.Google Scholar
  19. Tann, S. 1993. Eliciting student teachers’ personal theories. In Conceptualizingreflection in teacher development, eds. J. Calderhead and P. Gates, 53–69. London/Washington DC: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  20. Verity, D. 2000. Side-effects: The strategic development of professional satisfaction. In Sociocultural theory and second language learning, ed. J. Lantolf, 179–198. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EnglishUniversity of SilesiaKatowicePoland

Personalised recommendations