In the Midst of Stories: Is Seeing Believing?

  • Shijing Xu
Part of the Intercultural Reciprocal Learning in Chinese and Western Education book series (IRLCWE)


In this chapter, the author explores issues and challenges in the narrative inquiry into Chinese families’ lived experience on landscapes of schools in transition from China to Canada. Entering the research field, the issue of narrative truth became a methodological challenge as the researcher was bounced between the boundaries of educational research. By understanding story as the phenomenon, and narrative as the inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco; 2000), the researcher asked two questions when she was located in a place of stories: “Who tells whose stories and why?” and “Which is true, ‘To see is to believe’, or ‘To believe is to see’?” In this methodologically focussed chapter ethical issues and considerations are also discussed.


  1. Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Carter, K. (1993). The place of story in the study of teaching and teacher education. Educational Researcher, 22(1), 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. CIC Canada (2001). Facts and Figures 2001: Immigration Overview. Retrieved from, January 5, 2003.
  4. CIC Canada (2004). Facts and Figures 2004: Immigration Overview, Permanent and Temporary Residents. Retrieved from, March 12, 2005.
  5. Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Conle, C. (1999). Why narrative? Which narrative? Struggling with time and place in life and research. Curriculum Inquiry, 29(1), 7–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Conle, C. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Research tool and medium for professional development. European Journal of Teacher Education, 23(1), 49–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Connelly, M. F. (2001). Reverberations. Journal of Critical Inquiry into Curriculum and Instruction, 3(3), 58.Google Scholar
  9. Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (1988). Teachers as curriculum planners: Narratives of experience. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia.Google Scholar
  10. Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (1990). Stories of experience and narrative inquiry. Educational Researcher, 19(5), 2–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Creese, G., Dyck, I. L., & McLaren, A. T. (1999). Reconstituting the family: Negotiating immigration and settlement. RIIM (Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis) Working Paper Series #99-10. Retried from, December 14, 2002.
  12. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience & education. New York: Kappa Delta Pi.Google Scholar
  13. Elbaz-Luwisch, F. (1997). Narrative research: Political issues and implications. Teaching and Teacher Education, 13(1), 75–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hardy, B. (1968). Towards a poetics of fiction: An approach through narrative. Novel, 2, 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jackson, P. W. (Ed.) (1992). Handbook of research on curriculum: A project of the American Educational Research Association. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Jones, A. C. (2002). Where does the truth lie? The Educational Forum, 66, 110–115. Kappa Delta Pi.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. King, N. R. (1986). Recontextualizing the curriculum. Theory Into Practice, 25(1), 36–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Li, J. (2001). Expectations of Chinese immigrant parents for their children’s education: The interplay of Chinese tradition and the Canadian context. Canadian Journal of Education, 26(4), 477–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Phillips, D. C. (1994). Telling it straight: Issues in assessing narrative research. Educational Psychologist, 29(1), 13–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Phillips, D. C. (1997). Telling the truth about stories. Teaching and Teacher Education, 13(1), 101–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Connelly, F. M., & Beattie, M. (1992). Keynote address: Narrative, storytelling and teacher education. In D. B. Maudsley (Ed.), Proceedings: The symposium on innovations in teacher education, May 15–17, 1991, (Vol. I, pp. 125–135). Toronto: Ministry of Education, Teacher Education Branch.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shijing Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

Personalised recommendations