Lena Lang, Birgitta Lansheim, Lisbeth Ohlsson: From another(’s) view point – narrative approaches in special educational research

Abstract

In the current debate about evidence based education comparisons between countries are in focus. Learning and teaching are influenced by a control oriented paradigm at a far distance from the persons concerned, e.g. pupils, students and teachers. In education other perspectives are called for in order to catch the complexity of educational processes. Nomothetic information about learners needs to be complemented by ideographic information. The aim of the article is to argue for some alternative ways of knowledge contribution based on the voices of the individual in special educational settings in relation to the rights to education for all. Narrative approaches have a methodological potential of openness and participation where the researcher is engaged in a dialectic interaction between two subjects. Making room for the voice of the Other and finding a view different from one’s own is suggested as a powerful knowledge contribution in educational research which only can be provided by the persons concerned. One conclusion is that the narrative approaches advocated for here have a potential that is seldom given justice in the present era of documentation and measuring.