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Narrative Theory

Narrative Pedagogy

Learning and Narrative Pedagogy

Following the previous discussion of narrative modification and reframing, the new stimulus enters through the personal ‘window’ frame but is refracted in a similar way to a light wave as it enters a window, i.e. in a variety of directions. This is the re-focusing, re-directing, and re-interpreting Allen describes above, and the self, or the ‘I’ both interprets and is the one being interpreted and who projects and the one who is being projected. Indeed, Allen’s analysis of fictional characters’ ‘reflexive gaze’ points out that there is a need for constant re-visioning of the world that people inhabit and the individuals who enter the dialogic and reflexive process will inevitably be forced to take responsibility for the re-visions. It is an indefinite refraction.

The ‘I’ in the narrative construct is the integration of subject and object and makes narrative learning a spiral-like process, never ending, but with a forward and upward momentum. Whilst the person’s life stories integrate shifts from the past, the present, to the future, s/he also unfolds the episodes to be (re)lived so that they are more in line with their current understanding, beliefs and values. In early chapters of this book, we examined the temporal character of life narrative. Now with the metaphor of refraction, it is possible to see how the individual can interpret and understand the narrative structure from different perspectives. For instance, with the support of an interlocutor, a facilitator, a critical friend, or a collaborator (which are different possible names for the partner in the dialogic exchange), one can focus on questions as follows:

  1. Why are these stories told in this way at a particular time? Are there any themes emerging? How do the themes connect to each other?
  2. What is the central plot of the narrative? Is it helpful in creating some kind of coherence in the person’s life? If it does, how does he/she see the contradictions and gaps in his/her stories?
  3. In whose voices are these stories told? 


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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