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Abstract

This article outlines a narrative method for the study of classrooms. The main feature of the method is the reconstruction of classroom meaning in terms of narrative unities in the lives of classroom participants. The theoretical character of the work is introduced through comparison and contrast with Schön's The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action (1983). The empirical basis of the work is drawn from an in-depth, long term, case study with selected science teachers in schools. Paradigmatic material drawn from studies with two teachers is used to illustrate the narrative method in this article and to develop the notions of personal philosophy and narrative unities as part of participants' personal practical knowledge. The article concludes with possibilities of the narrative method for the study of teaching and outlines how the notion of participants' narrative unities contributes to our understanding of science classrooms and of school improvement.