Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Antenarrative theory and method: A way to understand the relationship between policy and practice
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education.
2012 (English)In: 25:th International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, Malmö, Sweden 5-8 january 2012, 2012, 1-9 p.Conference paper, (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objectives Although researchers of today say that a change and development processes is to be considered a contextual process (Fullan 1991, 2000; Giacquinta 2006; McLaughlin 2000; Miles 2000; Seashore Louis 2000), the relationship between a policy text and it’s readers is still often based on an understanding of reading as something linear and monologic (Honan 2004). This structural understanding has implications for the way development work often is being implemented, since it privileges the policymaker: people are supposed to adapt to policy rather than vice versa (Ball 2006). Another way of relating to the relationship between policy and practice is to focus on the collective and nonlinear aspects of organizational life. One way to do this is to use the concept antenarrative (Boje 2010). This is an approach that offers opportunities to explore the dynamics of organizational communication, and the significance of this communication when it comes to tackle and carry through development, initiated by a policy text of any kind.[1] 

In my presentation I will describe the theoretical as well as methodological concept antenarrative and illustrate the arguments using data from my thesis (Åstrand 2009).  

Antenarrative – a theoretical and methodological framework The concept antenarrative is developed within the area of narrative organizational research, and the main point is that it pays attention to the many different kinds of meaning making storytelling that takes place in an organization, especially when some new policy is to be launched. In line with this view an organization is to be considered a”collective storytelling system (…)” (Boje 1991, p 1), or a”story telling space” (Boje, Rosile and Gardner 2004, p 7). In this story telling space several dynamics occurs: between the fulfillment (narrative) and unfulfillment (antenarrative) of a story (e.g. the interaction between consensus/non-consensus about what a new policy is about); between narratives, antenarratives and surrounding discourses (e.g. the way one policy on local level relates to/is related to another on a national level); between our inner, psychological needs of understanding what we are going thru and the story telling networking in the organization. The boundaries between these dynamics are permeable, although it often figures hierarchic and/or competitive relationships between them. Several stories with separate plots on the same event also often compete for space (ibid.).

Data sources The data used in the presentation derives from a thesis, När PBS kom till byn. Berättelser om erfarenheter av skolutveckling (Åstrand 2009). The thesis presented a study on different school actors’ narratives about how they had experienced a participation in a specific school development collaboration based at Karlstad University. In the study 46 interviews with different actors in the school organization - school politicians, executive directors, area directors, school-leaders, development managers/project leaders, pedagogue teams and individual teachers - were carried out. Official texts from the three school organizations (municipalities) participating in the collaboration was also studied.

 

Connection to the themes of the congress and the educational importance of antenarrative studies The aim of the thesis was to show how the carrying through of a new policy, in this case the specific school development model developed at Karlstad University, was received and reconstructed in three Swedish municipal settings. The results showed how the interviewees charged various ideas/policies with their own previous experiences and how this was done in discursive contexts that shape what is considered normal and evident. The participants’ interpretations and reconstructions of both development models prior to the one being studied, and of the national steering model, came to play important roles in how the specific model was received and reconstructed. Different interpretations of the model also led to tensions within and between different areas of the organizations. Tensions that can be described as dilemmas, implicated by an ongoing cacophony of policy voices, whose prescriptions pull on different directions. Directions not always visible/meaningful for the participants, which meant that a policy can become a tool in line with new discursive narratives of education, regardless the intensions formulated in the context of policy text construction.

So, if the point is that we need interaction on all levels in order to make young people’s education enduring and meaningful, one thing we need to do is to understand how the interplay between policy, research and practice in education works, which also includes the relation between the researcher and the ones being researched. Within the area of school development research, it seems to me that the researcher and the policymaker sometimes coincide. A circumstance which, especially from a more critical perspective, can be problematic. One important question regarding this could be: am I, as a researcher, mainly interested in carrying out my own ideas about development and change, or am I prepared to listen to the ”stories from within” (the school), regardless what these stories is about? 

One conclusion from my thesis is that further attention ought to be made to the significance of the local context when it comes to carry through a new idea on development and change.

Further studies based on an antenarrative approach could make one contribution to our understanding of this interplay between policy and practice.

[1]The concept of policy is in this context to be understood in terms of being inclusive, ie. all written material used (e.g. at a local school) as if it was policy (se Weaver Hightower 2008).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 1-9 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-12191OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-12191DiVA: diva2:509700
Conference
International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement
Available from: 2012-03-13 Created: 2012-03-13 Last updated: 2015-12-28Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Åstrand, Annika
By organisation
Faculty of Arts and Education
Social Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 113 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf