I have recently been exposed to a group of educators who believe the best way to inquiry is through the narrative process. Their approach is a personal one. My reading in this area started with a woman named Vivian Paley, a kindergarten teacher who used a form of community drama in her class to help students grasp new ideas and to express themselves.
The thing about using narrative for inquiry, and I am not objecting to it, just thinking out loud, is that its personal approach tends to be too subjective and for some not approachable. The opposite of the narrative would of course be a straight forward proposal, giving the reader something to think about, challenging him, and backing up statements with numerous facts and figures. The problem with the second approach, of course, is that black and white figures don't always tell the whole story and can be skewed.
What interests me about this trend toward narrative in educational inquiry is that it goes in the face of No Child Left Behind and its emphasis on quantitative results. Maybe its a reactionary movement within education. Not that I would ever want to accuse my fellow teachers of being passive aggressive.
As always, when thinking about extremes, the middle road seems the best, taking the cream that both sides have to offer.