Narrative inquiry in physical education research: the story so far and its future promise

Fiona Dowling, Robyne Garrett, lisahunter, Alison Wrench

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


At a recent international education conference, current life history and narrative research within Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) was criticised for its seeming inability to ‘produce anything new’ and for lacking ‘rigour’. This paper aims to respond to the criticism and to reassert the strengths of narrative inquiry in the current moment. It maps out narrative and life history research (published in English) carried out in PETE, illuminating a spectrum of narrative approaches and a richness of theoretical perspectives. It underscores the need for PETE scholars to acknowledge the broad range of philosophical assumptions about knowledge and how we come to know as this underpins all research, whether carried out within a qualitative or quantitative research tradition, and to develop a climate of mutual respect for these various positions if we are to avoid stagnation, hegemony or blind spots in our research agendas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)924-940
Number of pages17
JournalSport, Education and Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Life history
  • Narrative
  • Physical education
  • Quality
  • Teacher education

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