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Narrative Theory

Narrative Pedagogy

Learning and Narrative Pedagogy

What we must stress though is the episodic nature of narrative pedagogy and learning. Life throws up many challenges and transitions, dilemmas and disorientations, changes and continuities; meanwhile the wider historical and social context is subject to similar disruptions, dysfunctions and conjectures. As a result, the spiral of narrative pedagogy and learning is in endless flux. Moments of integrity are followed by moments of ambiguity, moments of transformation by moments of consolidation. This is a process of endlessly ‘returning to go’ – each time the learning threshold has been built at a new level – the process of being and becoming is therefore, for many, cumulative. It is a sort of upward ‘ratchet’ effect. The purpose of narrative pedagogy is to maximise this cumulative process in ways that facilitate human meaning-making and human happiness.

5. Jennie – a case study of the narrative process

Jennie was in her early fifties when Scherto’s conversation with her began. Jennie was part of a wider study exploring the impact of narrative encounter on individuals’ understanding of themselves, their life and their actions in the world. Scherto and Jennie’s conversation continued over a period of one year during which they met four times, each meeting lasting 2-3 hours.

Jennie is a district nurse, and a team leader. Jennie and her team provide healthcare and medical treatment to elderly people in a county council in England. Many of the elderly either suffer from long term illnesses or are terminally ill. Jennie’s job involves visiting the elderly in care homes or their own homes.

Born in a middle-class family, Jennie’s father was a musician, head of a music college in England; her mother was a school teacher and then a deputy headteacher. She also has two siblings – one elder sister who is ‘the beautiful one’ and who is married to a rich businessman and has been living in the USA for the last thirty-five years, and one younger brother who suffers from schizophrenia.

Jennie said that throughout her childhood, she was under tremendous pressure to do well. Her father tried to teach her to play the piano when she was four or five years old, but Jennie said that she didn’t have enough talent, which was a ‘huge disappointment’ to her father. Then she was encouraged to try another instrument – the violin, taught by a well-known violinist and a family friend. Although she wasn’t keen on either instrument, Jennie was not allowed to give up without trying. So by the time she was fourteen, she only achieved Grade Five in both. That was after at least eight years’ practice. She was finally given permission by her parents not to continue with her music lessons.

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Narrative Pedagogy
  • Date of publication: 01/01/2011
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 174
  • Publisher: Peter Lang
  • Subject:
    Narrative Theory
  • Available in:
    English
  • Appears in:
    Narrative Pedagogy
  • Number of editions: 1
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £20.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-4331-0891-4
  • Purchase this book:
    Peter Lang
  • Buy used and new from: Amazon UK