Reconciliation of Philosophical Perspectives to Address Autoethnographic Methodological Concerns

  • Timothy Sibbald Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University
  • Victoria Handford Faculty of Education and Social WorkThompson Rivers University
  • Lloyd Kornelsen Faculty of EducationUniversity of Winnipeg


An instance of editorial work was found to address methodological issues at the juncture of autoethnography and narrative inquiry. The particular case is reported because it addresses the conceptual basis of known methodological issues. The case involved interactions between a chapter author and editors of a book as well as between the editors. Although the chapter was autoethnographic as initially submitted, through the use of research-oriented open-ended questioning, the editors engaged with the author causing the author to gain a deeper insight and richer narrative regarding his own experience. The result bridges the gap between autoethnography and narrative inquiry. Interactions between the editors were directed at providing constructive support while leaving ownership of the narrative with the author. The process has features overlapping and distinct from duoethnography. An empirical explanation is proposed through the reconciliation of philosophical stances of the author and editors.

Key words: Autoethnography, narrative inquiry, emergent design, duoethnography, editorial methodology

Un exemple de travail éditorial a permis d’aborder des questions méthodologiques à la jonction de l’autoethnographie et de l’enquête narrative. Le cas particulier à l’étude porte sur la base conceptuelle de questions méthodologiques connues. Le cas implique des interactions entre l’auteur d’un chapitre et les éditeurs d’un livre, ainsi que des interactions entre les éditeurs. Bien que le chapitre ait été autoethnographique lors de la soumission initiale, l’emploi par les éditeurs de questions ouvertes axées sur la recherche et communiquées à l’auteur lui a permis d’arriver à des connaissances approfondies et à un récit enrichi relativement à ses propres expériences. Les résultats jettent un pont entre l’autoethnographie et l’enquête narrative. Les interactions entre les éditeurs visaient à apporter un appui constructif tout en permettant à l’auteur de conserver son récit. Certaines caractéristiques du processus chevauchent la duoethnographie; d’autres s’en distinguent. Nous proposons une explication empirique née de la réconciliation des positions philosophiques de l’auteur et des éditeurs.

Mots clés: autoethnographie, enquête narrative, modèle émergent, duoethnographie, méthodologie éditoriale

Author Biographies

Timothy Sibbald, Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University

Tim Sibbald is an Associate Professor of Education with the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University. He focuses on mathematics education and teaches in the pre-service and graduate programs. He is the editor of the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education (OAME) Gazette. Two books that he edited and coedited, respectively, are Teaching Interdisciplinary Mathematics (Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks) and, with Victoria (Tory), The Academic Gateway: Understanding the Journey to Tenure (Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press).

Victoria Handford, Faculty of Education and Social WorkThompson Rivers University

Victoria Handford is an Associate Professor of Education with the Faculty of Education and Social Work at Thompson Rivers University. She currently serves as the coordinator of Graduate Programs in Education and teaches courses related to leadership. Her research is focused on leadership, strong school districts, issues related to higher education leadership, and trust. Tory, along with Tim, has co-edited Beyond the Academic Gateway: Looking Back on the Journey to Tenure (in press, University of Ottawa Press) and is working on the development of a book about sabbaticals.

Lloyd Kornelsen, Faculty of EducationUniversity of Winnipeg

Lloyd Kornelsen is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and the Director of the Human Rights program at the University of Winnipeg. His research interests derive from 25 years of teaching social studies and his current work with high school teachers. Lloyd has been awarded the Manitoba Education Research Network award for outstanding achievement in education. His recently published book, Stories of transformation: Memories of a global citizenship practicum, examines the meaning of global citizenship and several of its most affecting pedagogies.