This paper shares the process of an enhanced member check in a qualitative study about the schooling experiences of teenage mothers. The process of co-creating a participant narrative is presented as an alternative to traditional methods of member checking and data analysis. In the collaborative process presented in this article, the researcher and participant worked together to develop interpretations of interview data and to collaborate on a final narrative. The author developed a member checking process that included iterative rounds of collaboration in the liminal space between raw data and final narrative. This paper provides an example of evaluating and augmenting the role of the participant in the process of inquiry. This process offers possibilities for enhanced member checks that interrupt the traditional power dynamics in participant-researcher relationships. This paper ends with an exploration of issues of power that arose in the researcher-participant relationship and an examination of how alternative forms of member checks can provide room for new understandings of participant experiences.


Qualitative Research, Member Checks, Participatory Research, Marginalized Youth, Teenage Mothers

Author Bio(s)

Elizabeth (Liz) Chase, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at St. John’s University. She examines the schooling experiences of marginalized populations of students, those who challenge traditional notions of achievement in some form. Additionally, she explores preservice teacher education, specifically looking at collaborative models of instruction and support for new teachers in urban settings. Chase is a native New Yorker, a committed, but slow runner, and an avid reader of fiction, both contemporary and vintage. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: chasee@stjohns.edu.

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