A Continuum of Learning: Enhancing Connections Between Teacher-Candidates and Education Graduate Students Through a Narrative Framework


  • Lisa A. Mitchell Queen's University




narrative research, mentorship, teacher identity


This paper was written to complement the book review; "What’s Your Story? A Book Review of Leah Fowler’s A Curriculum of Difficulty: Narrative Research in Education and the Practice of Teaching" (2006), which can also be found in this issue of in education. This paper challenges teacher-education professionals to consider the benefits of creating and facilitating meaningful mentorship opportunities between teacher-candidates and education graduate students. This paper discusses Fowler’s (2006) model for narrative inquiry and its relationship to the formation of teacher identity and explores whether or not this particular model can support the creation of sustainable and effective mentoring relationships in current teacher-education programs. Teacher-candidates and graduate students alike will both come to a “deeper understanding of the relationship among past, present, and projected senses of self” (Sumara & Luce-Kapler, 1996) as they engage in mutually beneficial, critically reflective learning practices. Purposeful construction of mentorship opportunities that honour the experiential stories of individuals may serve to further increase education students’ awareness of their dynamic position along a continuum of learning in both undergraduate and graduate contexts.

Keywords: narrative research; mentorship; teacher identity

Author Biography

Lisa A. Mitchell, Queen's University

Lisa A. Mitchell is currently a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She holds a Master of Education in Leadership Studies from the University of Victoria, a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Music from Capilano University. Prior to returning to university to pursue her PhD, Lisa was a full-time educator, having taught in the International Baccalaureate program at Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Victoria, BC and as a public high school teacher in northern Manitoba. She is currently teaching in the Bachelor of Education program at Queen’s University as the Graduate Teaching Fellow for FOCI 293: Understanding International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Teaching. Lisa’s PhD research in international education initiatives in Canadian universities focuses on transformative learning and the development of teacher identity through the use of narrative methodologies.