An unexamined life is not worth living Socrates (470-399 BC)

In this article I reveal transformative experiences stemming from non-verbal communication in the context of active interviewing in narrative research. Drawing upon my recent experience interviewing positive veteran teachers about the relationships they believe vital in maintaining their passion and enthusiasm for teaching, I explore the unique nature of narrative research in fostering intra-personal transformation. The goal of the article is to highlight transformation as an outcome in narrative research, with particular focus upon non-verbal communication in active interviewing. The article is constructed to examine transformation in thinking and understanding within the relational nature of narrative research in education; to highlight the complexity of non-verbal communication in the context of narrative research; and, to consider the nature of personal reflective practice in examining one's ontological and epistemological framework for establishing respectful and ethical relationships between researcher and participants in narrative research.


Non-Verbal Communication, Active Listening, Active Interviewing, Transformation, Narrative Research, Ontology, Epistemology

Author Bio(s)

Peter F. Prout, Ph.D. is an Honorary Lecturer/Researcher in The School of Education at Edith Cowan University, Mt. Lawley, Western Australia (WA. His academic and research interests include pre-service teacher education, school leadership, community education, and mentoring teachers and leaders in schools. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: p.prout@ecu.edu.au

Geoffrey M. Lowe is a Senior Lecturer/Researcher in the School of Education at Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, Western Australia (WA He has written a number of award winning music education reference texts, and his academic interests include motivation theories, community education and staff and student wellness. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: g.lowe@ecu.edu.au

Christina Gray is a former secondary drama, dance and English teacher and now the Coordinator of Dance and Drama Education (Secondary) with the School of Education at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Christina’s recent research projects include: The power of connection: Identifying the role of social interaction in the coping strategies of experienced teachers; Arts-based pedagogy: Engaging children with additional needs through multi-sensory storytelling, and, Investigating the ‘readiness’ and proficiency of beginning Arts teachers in Western Australian secondary schools. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: c.gray@ecu.edu.au

Sarah Jefferson is a former Head of English and Literacy Co-ordinator. She is currently a Unit Co-Ordinator for the Master of Teach Secondary at Edith Cowan University. Sarah’s current research is examining the positive coping strategies of Veteran West Australian teachers. sarah.jefferson@ecu.edu.au


Peter wishes to acknowledge and thank Dr Jennifer Wolgemuth for her generosity of time and insightful counsel.

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