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Telling the stories of others
This workshop will enable an exploration into the challenges and issues that emerge when a writer uses their position as a researcher to tell the story of a population that does not have access to publication and distribution. Through a series of prompts and provocations that will facilitate group discussions it will explore debates that researchers engage with when ‘telling the stories of others’. These include the power relationship, the potential responsibility to engage in on going dialogue with participants, the primacy that may or may not be given to the participants own voices, and the implications that these and other factors have on the writer’s ability to assert and develop their own authentic voice and interpretation. Although applicable to writing about excluded and marginalised groups, the workshop takes a broader view. It acknowledges that researchers engaging in publication have a unique voice and therefore that even research into frequently researched populations such as teachers and school leaders involves tension between giving voice to others and presenting a writer’s own interpretation. Examples used in the prompts and provocations will focus on published research by early career researchers to enable a specific focus on how relatively recent doctoral and masters’ students addressed these issues in their first publications. The workshop will be driven by a series of linked prompts and discussion activities, concluding with a plenary in which some common understandings and agreed differences in viewpoint emerging from the workshop will be addressed.