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A Narrative Approach to Development: Implications for Adult Education

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Abstract

Adult educators have relied heavily on stage and phase theories of human development to understand adults as learners and the place of learning in their lives. Such models of development have been questioned in terms of the developmental ends posited and the related implications for practitioners. This article describes a narrative approach to adult development and suggests that such a perspective holds rich potential for enhancing our understanding of adult learners and the possible roles educators might play in learners' developmental processes. Key orientations that constitute a narrative approach are discussed; they focus on narrative knowing and meaning making, and the temporal, retrospective, contextual nature of narrative development.

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... They posit that the development of a narrative identity occurs over time as individuals create their stories and their stories create them. According to Rossiter (1999) "As story, identity includes narrative elements of plot, character, setting, scene, and theme, and like narrative, it involves temporal movement, an unfolding of self through time. It is the integration of past, present, and future into narrative that gives an individual a sense of continuity necessary for identity formation" (p. ...
... In this view, construction of an acceptable life narrative is the central process of adult development" (Clark & Rossiter, 2008, p. 62). Rossiter (1999) suggests a turn from the "stage and phase models of development" such as Piaget's cognitive stages of development, Ericson's psychosocial stages and Kohlberg's stages of moral development, to adopt a narrative approach to development. She particularly challenges the vagueness of endpoints, and the generalizability of the direction of development espoused by these models in light of variations in gender, class and culture. ...
... Unlike the scientific approach, the narrative approach to development recognizes its inability to predict, since, based on the experience, the self continues to evolve and change. The narrative approach focuses on how we respond to and interpret unexpected changes in our lives (Rossiter, 1999). ...
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Although individuals have always narrated the story of their lives, it is only over the past few decades that narratives and their relation to human development have received much attention. Narratives are positioned firmly within education and particularly adult education as part of the teaching learning process. While adult educators have always used stories to teach, theorizing narratives as a means through which adults learn is a more recent occurrence. In this paper, I explore narrative theory and how it informs the teaching learning process through examining the relationship between narratives and the development of the self, showing how narratives are connected to adult development. Also examined is the influence of the sociocultural environment on narrative development, the relationship between narrative theory and learning and critiques of narrative theory.
... The words "narrative" and "story" can both be traced back to an original meaning of "to know." It is through narrative that we construct and maintain our knowledge of the world (Pradl, 1984) through the application of story as a metaphor for life (Egan, 1992;Norman, 2000;Rossiter, 1999). Hardy (1968, p. 5, cited in Norman, 2000 contends that "we dream in narrative, daydream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticise, gossip, learn, hate and live by narrative." ...
... Research described by Coles (1989), Mitchell (1991) and Rossiter (1999) support this view. Mitchell (1991) and Gudmundsottir (1995) have both elaborated on how narrative has the power to hold the audience or listeners' interest. ...
... Garnett (1998) elaborated that cultural codes are inevitably built into musical configurations which can tell us something about the reception of music and the interpretative framework which people bring to bear on music. From a more practical perspective Cooper (1998) With regard to narrative and human experience, Rossiter (1999) described an approach to adult learning and development based on narrative. She suggested that by using a narrative approach to learning our understanding of adult learners and their learning processes is enhanced. ...
... This approach is likely to lead to a more directive coaching style in which the coach 'knows best'. Rossiter (1999) suggests that one of the reasons that stage models of development are so popular is that they present practitioners with an easy to follow 'roadmap' to guide their practice and Bachkirova (2014) warns of the seductive properties of such theories. Cox and Jackson (2014) remind us that any developmental model is likely to represent only a partial perspective on adult development and exhort coaches to stay focused on the agenda as defined by the coachee. ...
... Other writers have critiqued adult development theories from an ethical standpoint. Rossiter (1999) asks whether it is ethical that the coach enters the coaching room with an intention to assess the coachee's stage of development. Van Diemen Van Thor (2014) carried out Subject-Object Interviews with eight volunteers. ...
Chapter
Adult development theories are based on the premise that development is a life-long process, that the way that people think, feel and/or make meaning of the world changes and evolves over time. There exist many theories as to the nature of this process, most describing a series of stages through which people progress with reference to some dimension of self. If the role of the coach includes being able to identify and facilitate changes in the way that people think and feel, then it behoves coaches to familiarise themselves with adult development theories and to decide for how to incorporate that knowledge into their coaching practices. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a high level review of a range of adult development theories and their relevance for academics, researchers and coaching practitioners.
... This observation was expected. Normally, adjustment in social identity is gradual and individualized ( McAdams 1988;Rossiter 1999) . The rate of progression may be related to the participan ts' duration of living in poverty, and the quality of their relationships with community and family members, immediate and extended. ...
... It is crucial to emphasize that the disclosures and reflections that occur in acceptance are essential to the incorporation process. These form part of the 'stories' that Rossiter ( 1999) indicates are important during identity construction. ...
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For many years, poverty has domi0nated international headlines as a global condition. In some countries, poverty has become a chronic socio-economic problem. This qualitative study explored the incorporation process of poverty into adult identity and assessed the nature of the learning that occurred. Destitute adults in Botswana were chosen and used as example. The study shows that poverty shapes adult identity and learning is transformational. The incorporation process is described. Implications for poor adult participation in education are highlighted.
... Our thoughts about the meaning-generating function of fictional stories are backed by theorists from different disciplinary backgrounds. Several scholars have argued that stories are the instrument through which people create meaning of experience and identity (Bruner, 1990;Kerby, 1991;Polkinghorne, 1988;Rossiter, 1999;Sarbin, 1986). Narrative form-including elements of plot, character, setting, scene, and theme-helps us to organize single experiences of our life and relate them to each other (McAdams, 1985;Polkinghorne, 1988;Rossiter, 1999). ...
... Several scholars have argued that stories are the instrument through which people create meaning of experience and identity (Bruner, 1990;Kerby, 1991;Polkinghorne, 1988;Rossiter, 1999;Sarbin, 1986). Narrative form-including elements of plot, character, setting, scene, and theme-helps us to organize single experiences of our life and relate them to each other (McAdams, 1985;Polkinghorne, 1988;Rossiter, 1999). In classical narratives, events are linked to each other as cause to effect (Chatman, 1980). ...
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As suggested by the uncanny valley hypothesis, robots that resemble humans likely elicit feelings of eeriness. Based on the social-psychological model of meaning maintenance, we expected that the uncanny valley experience could be mitigated through a fictional story, due to the meaning-generating function of narratives. A field experiment was conducted, in which 75 participants interacted with the humanlike robot Telenoid. Prior to the interaction, they either read a short story, a non-narrative leaflet about the robot, or they received no preliminary information. Eeriness ratings were significantly lower in the science fiction condition than in both other conditions. This effect was mediated by higher perceived human-likeness of the robot. Our findings suggest that science fiction may provide meaning for otherwise unsettling future technologies.
... Narratives produced by adult narrators (Rossiter 1999;Bauer and McAdams 2004;McAdams 2008) or by adolescents (Reese, Yan, Jack and Hayne 2010) have become, generally, the focus of attention of the researchers in the fields of education and psychology to have an insight into either the learning styles of adults or their personality traits. In all of the mentioned studies, the focus of the research is on how individuals reveal facts about themselves by producing narratives. ...
... [28,[63][64][65][66][67][68][69] Storytelling is seen as a mechanism for sense and meaning making in education, [28,67,70] wherein listeners recognizing their position in relation to a story. [28,66,67,[71][72][73][74][75][76] Storytelling has also been conceptualized as a key mechanism for providing voice, or agency, to those who are typically marginalized or not heard or understood within educational environments. [28,64,67,68,71,72,74] The Humanities literature revealed five major themes: 1) the therapeutic aspect of story; 2) sense-making and story; 3) storytelling as a potential counter to the normative; 4) the interplay between the storyteller and listener; and 5) storytelling as a potential to promote culture change. ...
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Objective: Healthcare organizations are increasingly engaging the voice of patients and families through storytelling initiatives in hopes that this will yield compassionate and humanistic outcomes. To date, very little research is available that directly guides and justifies storytelling initiatives as a mechanism for promoting humanistic culture shifts in healthcare. This review aimed to uncover diverse research and evidence on how storytelling can be utilized to promote humanistic shifts in healthcare organizations. Methods: A meta-narrative review and analysis was undertaken including qualitative, quantitative, theoretical, and conceptual papers. Searches were restricted to English Language journals, and no time frame restrictions were made. A literature assessment form was created to guide the review using a consistent taxonomy to appraise each paper. Analysis was done in two-stages: firstly, identifying emergent themes within each research discipline; secondly, comparing and contrasting themes from the different disciplines. Results: A total of 115 papers were identified for review resulting from the literature review protocol. Eighty-three papers were included in the final review: 48 papers from Healthcare/Medicine combined, 28 from Business, 14 from Education, 5 from Organizational Development and 19 from Humanities (inclusive of Psychology and Communications). There were three key findings: 1) Storytelling promotes sense-making while also perpetuating bias; 2) Stories are uniquely primed to elicit empathy and compassion; 3) Story listening and how stories are interacted with by the listener are key considerations for organizations aiming to shift culture. Conclusions: This review solidifies storytelling as a mechanism suited to furthering humanistic practices in healthcare while contributing new knowledge in support of developing policies, strategies and research initiatives that account for how stories are understood and the processes that encourage reflection and interaction by listeners.
... Narratives are also deeply connected to our understanding of self and identity. As Rossiter (1999) explains, "As we understand the world and our experiences narratively, so also do we understand and construct the self as narrative" (p. 62). ...
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The purpose of this study was to explore how learners make meaning of their experiences at exhibits depicting narratives of the Polish Righteous Among the Nations of the World, free-choice learning contexts. The study focused on two exhibits at a university in the mid-Western United States. The conceptual framework of the study integrates free-choice learning, the role of narratives, reflection, and Holocaust education. Three main mechanisms emerged from the qualitative analysis and interpretation of data of how participants made meaning of their experiences: through emotions, being challenged, and broadening awareness. This study further informs our understanding of meaning making and learning in free-choice learning contexts, suggesting ways in which we might provide additional prompts to bridge historical distance and integrate connectors to learners’ personal contexts in international education exhibits.
... It is approximately at the age of nine that evaluative components start to dominate in the previously chronologically-ordered retelling of events. As children grow older, stories become longer, more complicated, full of direct and indirect speech, more coherent, with obvious causal reasoning and explicit " definitions of the situation " (Rossiter, 1999: 61). In general, our ability to interpret the world increases as we master narratives and turn into mature " self-constructing animals " that can achieve self-understanding only through self-interpretation: we " think . . . ...
... Skills that make information relevant include asking what the parent already knows, providing information relevant to the parent's concerns, and eliciting reflections about their learning experiences (Boud, Keogh, & Walker, 2013;Dirkx, 2001;Dunst, Trivette, & Hamby, 2010;Merriam & Leahy, 2005;Rossiter, 1999). These strategies for making adult learning meaningful are consistent with core competencies of family-centered practice identified by ZTT (2012) and DEC (2014) that emphasize engaging parents in planning, helping them identify goals, supporting family priorities, and embedding services in family activities. ...
Home visitors provide individualized services to families of infants and young children in their homes. Due to their unique role, home visitors must develop a specialized set of critical competencies—specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes. They therefore require preparation that differs in distinct ways from the preparation typically available to those who will teach young children in classrooms. This article outlines key considerations for higher education programs preparing the home visiting workforce. We present a comprehensive framework of competencies for home visitors and identify empirically supported knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for effectively working with parents who are adult learners from diverse backgrounds, who face their own unique challenges, and who nearly always have strong emotions about their children and their parenting. Using the competencies as a guide, we propose three major recommendations for higher education to ensure adequate preparation for home visitors who serve families with infants and toddlers—(1) interdisciplinary coursework, (2) cross-sector integration of students in child development courses, and (3) multiple home visiting experiences with a range of families. © 2016 National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.
... Hermans (1997) pointed out that the personal narrative is dynamic and has a social dimension and that people's personal stories are constantly shaped by culture and context. The narrative is an unfolding of those stories, and the central task of the personal narrative is the creation of coherence (Rossiter, 1999). Narratives have the power to evoke great personal change; in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, for example, members exchange stories that allow others to see the destructive pattern of an alcoholic life and imagine how their lives can be changed (Merriam, 2001). ...
... According to Rossiter (1999), incentives, such as granting privileges or giving praise, motivate learning. The instructor should determine an incentive that is likely to motivate an individual at a particular time. ...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the adult education technology program at a chartered alternative adult education center in Florida. The adult education center had a low rate of students passing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). This study examined the impact of the use of computer technology in an effort to improve student learning in mathematics, reading, and science. Computers at the institution were used by all students for tutorials to prepare them for the FCAT and to obtain a high school diploma. The research questions for this study were as follows: 1. Is the education technology program of the adult education center achieving the desired school district’s goal? 2. Does the curriculum provide the necessary technology skills to students that will enable them to pass the FCAT and obtain a high school diploma? Research methods for this project were both qualitative and quantitative. The Content-Input-Process-Product (CIPP) model was used for the evaluation of the adult technology program. Fifty students were randomly selected from the pool of students who took the FCAT. The results of the FCAT were examined to determine if the students were achieving desirable scores in accordance with the school district’s standard. The results were compared with the previous year FCAT scores to see if there were positive improvements in student scores. Students and faculty were also surveyed by the use of a Likert-type survey. It was found that the education technology program of the adult education center was achieving the desired school district goal and that the curriculum was providing the necessary technology skills to students that would enable them to pass the FCAT and to obtain a high school diploma. With the use of technology at the adult education center, the rate of students passing the FCAT increased nearly 50% over the previous year.
... A qualitative approach, narrative gerontology, was used to understand how older adults make meaning of their experiences of discrimination and oppression. Narrative analysis and narratives focus on the meaning of change and events over the life course and provide an understanding of how people achieve transformation (Rossiter, 1999). The approach focuses on how people interact in the world they live in and on process rather than outcome. ...
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This article presents the results of a study that examined 24 ethnically diverse older adults' autobiographical memories of critical life events involving discrimination and oppression. Narrative interviews reveal the impact that such experiences have on individual, family, and societal resilience. The study contributes to the growing body of research literature that allows for a deeper understanding of how a client's particular life story and personal experiences interplay with collective histories. It also discusses how clinicians, including physicians, nurses, and social workers, can benefit from conversations that mutually construct personal narratives that reveal circumstances pertinent to intervention strategies (Cobler & Cole, 1996; Gergen, 1996).
... This duality provides educators with a rich tool on which they can rely to teach traditional concepts, such as topic research, producing a script and a story that are engaging and knowledge sharing, while inserting learners in an activity which speaks directly to the medium that is part of the current reality (Robin, 2008). In addition to that, educators can use it as a tool to teach how the process of creating a digital story allows the producer to become part of the registry, as it helps the learner to make meaning (Garcia & Rossiter, 2010;Rossiter, 1999;Bruner, 1996). ...
Chapter
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Purpose. The purpose of this proposed project was to develop and evaluate an online version of a digital storytelling course delivered through the university’s Canvas learning platform. Background. In digital storytelling, participants write their personal stories in a clear and linear structure, and then create short movies using relatively simple video editing software. This provides an opportunity to share life lessons, leave a legacy, and engage socially with their peers. Method. We adapted the content and activities from the earlier face-to-face course into weekly online modules. The target audience comprised 15 older adults between 60 and 75 years old. A Research Assistant (RA) provided online assistance when requested using Skype. A qualitative approach was employed to collect data, including a demographic questionnaire, module questionnaires, a course evaluation survey near the end, and individual interviews. Results. The findings of our evaluation showed that 9 of the 15 participants were able to complete the online course in varying timeframes. Participants’ feedback was very positive and all participants who completed the course reported that they would recommend it to a friend. Conclusion. Two key suggestions emerged for improving the course. First, make the time and workload requirements clear during the recruitment process. Second, investigate ways for reducing the time required to complete the course in future offerings. Despite these suggestions, the results appear to provide support for offering the digital storytelling online course to a wider audience of older adults.
... This duality provides educators with a rich tool on which they can rely to teach traditional concepts, such as topic research, producing a script and a story that are engaging and knowledge sharing, while inserting learners in an activity which speaks directly to the medium that is part of the current reality (Robin, 2008). In addition to that, educators can use it as a tool to teach how the process of creating a digital story allows the producer to become part of the registry, as it helps the learner to make meaning (Garcia & Rossiter, 2010;Rossiter, 1999;Bruner, 1996). ...
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Abstract The aging population is growing steadily worldwide. At the same time, people are increasingly relying on technology for socialization. Thus, it is important to find ways of stimulating older adults to acquire digital literacy skills, and to foster social connectedness and lifelong learning. Previous research indicated positive results in achieving these goals through a face-to-face digital storytelling course for elders. This thesis describes a project that studied two offerings of a fully online version of the course. The courses ran for 10-15 weeks. Data collected using a qualitative approach included a demographic questionnaire, instructional materials surveys, and a course evaluation survey, followed by individual interviews. Results showed positive and consistent responses regarding the instructional material design, the sense of accomplishment and agency for creating legacy, the desire to continue using this technology, and the benefits of bonding with colleagues and the facilitator. Keywords: digital storytelling; older adults; social connectedness; lifelong learning; instructional design; online learning
... Empirical data was collected using a narrative interview design (Rossiter, 1999). As a method, narrative interview is based on a generative question and focuses on experiences as expressed in lived and told stories of individuals (Creswell, 2013, p. 54). ...
Conference Paper
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This paper discusses the results of a qualitative narrative study that focuses on academics´ professional identity and teaching practice at the university during the structural reform at Tallinn University, Estonia. The aim of the research is to understand how professional identity is formed in relation to the development of teaching practice in the frame of interdisciplinary projects introduced as an innovation at the university. The central research question is: How does the continuously changing university context, suggested teaching approaches and innovative projects affect professional identity, beliefs, and teaching practice of academics? The empirical data consists of 48 narrative interviews with academics from different study fields. The empirical data was analyzed using qualitative content analysis with narrative coding. The presented narratives indicate that on the institutional level the entrepreneurial cultures are more visible than collegial cultures. On the individual level there are slow, but meaningful changes in teaching practices, as well as beliefs, understandings and professional identities of academics.
... Given that the everyday direct exposure to technological agents is somewhat limited and certainly not a salient part of people's lives, conceptual knowledge about these entities is not necessarily formed from prior experiences but rather from fictional stories like films and TV shows (Polkinghorne 2013;Rossiter 1999). For this reason, the uncertainty surrounding these entities can be high and people may use the only representation available at their disposal: fictional representations to reduce unpredictability (Appel 2008;Appel and Mara 2013). ...
Article
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Artificial intelligence and robots may progressively take a more and more prominent place in our daily environment. Interestingly, in the study of how humans perceive these artificial entities, science has mainly taken an anthropocentric perspective (i.e., how distant from humans are these agents). Considering people’s fears and expectations from robots and artificial intelligence, they tend to be simultaneously afraid and allured to them, much as they would be to the conceptualisations related to the divine entities (e.g., gods). In two experiments, we investigated the proximity of representation between artificial entities (i.e., artificial intelligence and robots), divine entities and natural entities (i.e., humans and other animals) at both an explicit (Study 1) and an implicit level (Study 2). In the first study, participants evaluated these entities explicitly on positive and negative attitudes. Hierarchical clustering analysis showed that participants’ representation of artificial intelligence, robots and divine entities were similar, while the representation of humans tended to be associated with that of animals. In the second study, participants carried out a word/non-word decision task including religious semantic-related words and neutral words after the presentation of a masked prime referring to divine entities, artificial entities and natural entities (or a control prime). Results showed that after divine and artificial entity primes, participants were faster to identify religious words as words compared to neutral words arguing for a semantic activation. We conclude that people make sense of the new entities by relying on already familiar entities and in the case of artificial intelligence and robots, people appear to draw parallels to divine entities.
... The paper is based on 24 life-history interviews with vocational teachers representing different fields, age groups, both female and male teachers from different regions of Estonia. Empirical data were collected using a narrative interview design (Rossiter, 1999) that focuses on experiences as expressed in the lived and told stories of individuals (Creswell, 2013, p. 54). The narrative interview started with the generative question-'please tell me how you became a vocational teacher'. ...
Article
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In recent decades, the work of teachers worldwide has undergone deep change. We have seen that teachers have encountered recent challenges differently and adapted to educational changes to a different extent depending on their personal disposition, but also school leadership and workplace support. This study focuses on the example of Estonian vocational teachers that serves as an interesting case for analysing how the interplay of the transitional context and neo-liberal policy trends adopted since Estonia regained its independence in 1991, after 50 years under Soviet rule, have affected the individual trajectories of teachers’ lives. This paper aims to understand how the interplay of the institutional context and individual (work) lives shapes Estonian vocational teachers’ understandings of their work and professionality. We suggest that certain periods of practice are visible in teachers’ narratives and those periods might be considered as enabling different degrees of agency. However, our interviews also revealed that different reform periods have been perceived and responded to differently. In the context of 25 years of the educational reform process, the policies and requirements introduced have been refracted at different levels (Goodson & Rudd, 2017), including that of the vocational field, the schools and individual teachers. Our results confirm that teachers individual, social, cultural and material resources such as competence, career stage, relations and networks, school leadership and prevailing culture at schools have their role in enabling or hindering the agency of teachers.
... We suggest the use of narratives to practise reflexivity in this movement. From a narrative perspective, the self is but an unfolding story that simultaneously reveals and creates the self (Rossiter 1999). Our individual narratives represent our lived experiences through which we discover and give meaning to the ways in which we relate and interact with ourselves and others (Leitch 2006;Uhl-Bien, Marion & McKelvey 2007). ...
... 87); however, our selves are constantly changing. By compiling my experiences into a coherent story from my diagnosis to my near death, I have worked to make sense of my own life (Rossiter, 1999 . Understanding identity as a narrative construction is another way of conceptualizing personal change" (Clark & Rossiter, 2008, p. 62). ...
Thesis
This uniquely formatted split-page autoethnography tells my story of learning to live with disability for more than 40 years. It presents the results of my personal narrative inquiry in the form of a layered account of embodied learning. This account offers an evocative autoethnography and analyzes disability in the context of an ableist society. It begins with my diagnosis of diabetes. Then it describes the effect of my disability on my identity, my marriage, my role as mother, my friendships, and my career. Finally, it closes with my near-death experience. I have reflected on my experiences as lived and as written. I set these experiences within the body of research on disability and within the context of adult education and lifelong learning. I examined the culture that has shaped who I have become/am becoming as a disabled person, as a researcher, and as a writer.
... We suggest the use of narratives to practise reflexivity in this movement. From a narrative perspective, the self is but an unfolding story that simultaneously reveals and creates the self (Rossiter 1999). Our individual narratives represent our lived experiences through which we discover and give meaning to the ways in which we relate and interact with ourselves and others (Leitch 2006;Uhl-Bien, Marion & McKelvey 2007). ...
Chapter
(1) Ajani O.A & Uleanya C (2021). Decolonisation and the aims and purposes of Teacher Education. In Felix Maringe (Ed), Higher Education in the melting pot: Emerging discourses of the 4IR and Decolonisation. CapeTown, AOSIS International. https://books.aosis.co.za/index.php/ob/catalog/book/305.
... Indeed, there are stories to be told. Mutual sharing of stories helps individuals connect with others [11]; [12], and it provides a means for turning an otherwise chaotic, shapeless experiences into a coherent whole filled with meaning [13] [14]. ...
... Throughout the research process we began to understand that the real 'job' women perform, during their life, is the (re)construction of the self in relation to society (Fenwick, 1998, Rossiter, 1999, Tennant, 1998. In this process Theories of Learning 01.indd 220 Theories of Learning 01.indd 220 18/9/08 11:54:45 AM 18/9/08 11:54:45 AM of searching for and developing the self, work does represent a possible and desirable way for women to structure and make sense of their life and to widen their action space in society. ...
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Danny Wildemeersch, Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), is a well-known scholar in European youth and adult education research. He has a special interest in educational and learning activities in grassroots movements, initiatives and organizations dealing with social exclusion, participation, sustainable development, etc … For some ten years (1993–2003) he worked closely together with two younger researchers, Veerle Stroobants and Marc Jans, a.o. in a cross-national EU research project, investigating the situation and possibilities of socially vulnerable youth in six European countries. The research resulted in various contributions, including the book "Unemployed Youth and Social Exclusion in Europe: Learning for Inclusion?" (Weil, Wildemeersch & Jansen, 2005). The following chapter is written by Wildemeersch and Stroobants and presents a framework on transitional learning, building on the dissertation of Stroobants (2001) and on fi ndings from the European research. Some of these insights were presented earlier in an article "Making sense of learning for work", by Stroobants, Jans and Wildemeersch in the International Journal of Lifelong Education (2001).
... El Storytelling potencia otro de los aspectos claves de AICLE/CLIL, la interculturalidad y la concienciación cultural, el "arte de contar historias", según Georgiou y Verdugo (2010) fomenta la concienciación cultural, así como ofrece valores y creencias y estimula la curiosidad de los niños promoviendo a su vez, un mayor acercamiento al mundo que los rodea. En la misma línea, Rossiter (1999) establece que los programas educativos basados en historias potencian la tolerancia, la apreciación y el respeto hacia la diversidad. ...
Article
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El presente artículo analiza el origen de la metodología CLIL/AICLE como respuesta a la creciente demanda del bilingüismo y su uso eficaz en el aula de educación infantil a través de los álbumes ilustrados. Este recurso didáctico brinda la oportunidad a los alumnos de adquirir, por medio de las 4C’S, la Taxonomía Bloom (LOTS Y HOTS) y las funcionalidades de la neurodidáctica, la lengua no materna de forma dinámica, multisensorial, así como potenciar la imaginación y el pensamiento crítico. A través de un caso práctico de un álbum ilustrado titulado Spot goes to school, trabajamos en una sesión los aspectos mencionados anteriormente.
... Rather than a unitary sense of storied self, a multiple sense of storied self assumes a self consisting of interacting "selfnarratives and relational narratives" (Dirkx, 2007, p. 113). Research by Clark (2001Clark ( , 2010, Clark and Dirkx (2000), and Rossiter (1999Rossiter ( , 2004Rossiter ( , 2007 are examples of transformative learning that assume a storied self. Rossiter (2007) distinguished a narrative understanding of identity in which the "self is understood as unfolding story rather than as a static state" (p. ...
Thesis
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The purpose of this study was to examine the self-reported learning and transformation of men recovering from substance addiction who had attended a residential treatment centre in British Columbia (BC). Untreated addiction stems from and causes unacceptable levels of human misery and incurs serious social and economic costs. Treatment is a key strategy for lowering the costs associated with addiction. The thesis brings together transformative learning theory with theories of transformation from the recovery field to focus on identity transformation. It employed a narrative inquiry methodology due to its emphasis on subjective experiences of transformation. Data collected from a convenience sample of seven adult men were recorded, transcribed, and coded for themes. The study sought to answer three research questions: (1) What are some of the processes involved in personal transformation as reported by men recovering from addiction? (2) What are the contextual factors that facilitate, delay, or inhibit personal transformation as reported by these men in the context of residential addiction treatment? (3) How do the lives of these men, and their sense of identity as men, change as a result of their self-reported learning? The study concluded that (a) participants’ personal transformations involved rational and extrarational processes; (b) such transformations were facilitated by having a safe, private, and peaceful environment to engage in self-reflection and the presence of other men with whom they could relate and engage in meaningful conversation; and (c) participants’ identity transformations resulted in lifestyle changes—more meaningful relationships and work, helping others, and improved self-care—as well as positive changes in how they related to themselves, others, and the world. Study results have important implications for transformative learning theory and programs designed for men as adult learners situated in residential addiction treatment settings.
... For further discussion, seeRossiter (1999). ...
Research
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This paper explores the relationship between self-perceptions of agency and transformational experiences amongst young self-identified social change agents. The extent that these experiences manifest on a social compared to individual level is explored through transformational learning theory. An analysis of the participants’ corresponding learning unfolds in two parts – firstly with respect to their past experiences affecting their self-perceptions of agency, and secondly with respect to their own act of articulating and synthesising these reflections during the surveying process itself. Mezirow’s and Freire’s theories of learning, together with narrative development theory, form the underlying theoretical analysis. Counter-posing the theory is my critical reflection on my own learning as part of the research process.
... Research on the use digital storytelling for educational purposes showed that learners of all ages can benefit from it, because it fosters storytelling skills, self-reflecting practices and provides a way for the learner to draw meaning from experiences (Rossiter, 1999). Not only can traditional concepts (e.g. ...
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Given the increase in the ageing population worldwide, as well as the use of technology for communication, stimulating the acquisition of digital literacy skills in order to foster social connectedness and lifelong learning among the older adult demographic is of great importance. This study developed a fully online asynchronous digital storytelling course for seniors, aged 55 and older, and investigated their experiences and perceived benefits for creating short digital stories throughout the two offerings of the course. Each of the offerings lasted for 10-15 weeks on the Canvas online management platform. A total of sixteen participants were recruited in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with nine of them concluding the course, all female. The instruments used to collect their responses comprised a demographic questionnaire, written and video instructions surveys, a post-course evaluation survey and post-course individual interviews. The results showed consistently positive responses in regard to the intention to continue using this technology after experiencing social connectedness, the feeling of accomplishment and agency for having registered their legacy, and the effective design of the instructional material. The study revealed three main themes: (1) the importance of the facilitator continuously encouraging and supporting participants, (2) the stimulating connection among colleagues for sharing personal experiences and being part of a learning group, and (3) the effectiveness of introducing the instructional material through scaffolding. The researcher found that the sense of agency and the social connectedness fostered were greatly beneficial to participants for inspiring them to use the Internet to continue learning and socializing in this era of virtual communication. This study demonstrates that online digital storytelling fosters social connectedness and lifelong learning in older adults, and stimulates them to acquire digital literacy skills.
... The use of narrative and stories in adult education has been receiving increased attention in recent years (Carter, 1993;Rossiter, 1999). Greater understanding has been developed in terms of how a narrative orientation to teaching and learning can assist students in achieving their educational goals (Karpiak, 2000). ...
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The value of stories as a learning tool has received increased attention in the adult education literature. Narratives provide opportunity for learners to use their lived experiences to make sense of new information or knowledge. Students in an upper level Gender and Leisure course engaged in autobiographical writing as a means of exploring and understanding how gender interacted with their leisure behaviors throughout their lives. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 students after the assignment had been completed. The purpose of this study was to understand students' experiences with writing narratives and how this contributed to their learning both related to and beyond the course content. Discussion relates to the identified roles that story construction played in enhancing students' understanding of key concepts as well as helping them make connections between the concepts and their future roles as practitioners.
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In this article the author presents a qualitative study about resilience and healing among Cambodian survivors of the communist Khmer Rouge regime. The database of the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) was used to analyze 30 stories of people who survived but lost family members during the Khmer Rouge regime. The participants acted as civil parties in the Cambodian tribunal involving a trial of "Duch," the head of Tuol Sleng prison or (s21), where survivors' relatives were interrogated, tortured, and killed. Participation in the DC-Cam investigations and in the trial were seen as healing, resiliency factors. Resilience is a person-environment concept that addresses how people and societies overcome/recover from adverse or traumatic events. Resilience was revealed here through people's narratives of critical events that occurred at the personal, interpersonal, sociocultural, and societal levels. Thus, the participants' stories allow us to hear the "truth" of these experiences, how they have made meaning of them, and how they mustered their personal and environmental resources to deal with overwhelming demands (Gutheil & Congress, 2000 ). Findings suggest that participants attained closure and a sense of justice as a result of their interacting with DC-Cam staff and giving testimony to the tribunal.
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Almost no literature in the academic field of Jewish education exists that studies congregational rabbis as teachers of adults. This article seeks to contribute to filling the gap in the extant literature base. Using portraiture, the study describes and analyzes the aims of rabbinic teaching of adults in a synagogue setting. The findings suggest that regularly facilitating learners' intellectual and religious development, democratically guiding their communities' evolution through an emphasis on learning, and collaboratively joining their congregants in shaping the construction of personal and communal Jewish narratives are central aims of congregational rabbinic teaching of adults.
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As educators, synagogue rabbis frequently devote a great deal of time to teaching adults. Yet little empirical research exists about what they do. This study describes and analyzes the teaching of three congregational rabbis who have excellent reputations as teachers of adults. In particular, it focuses on how these rabbis incorporate personal stories into their teaching and examines the ways that sharing such stories is integral to their teaching approaches. Rabbis who use stories in their teaching potentially occupy a crucial place in the Jewish identity development of their adult learners. This study offers rabbinical seminaries recommendations for how to incorporate the results of the research into their curriculum.
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A financial awareness education program was implemented with construction industry apprentices in Victoria, Australia. The program included face-to-face delivery of education around a range of financial management issues that apprentices face as they begin their apprenticeship. The paper reports on an evaluation of the program, which included surveys at completion of the presentation, as well as focus group follow-up two months later. Both intended behaviour change and actual behaviour change, including knowledge retention, are noted in the results. The program evaluation highlights factors such as relevance and immediacy of need as crucial to determining appropriate content and successful implementation. The paper concludes by recommending inclusion of financial awareness in vocational education curricula on an ongoing basis, rather than as ad hoc delivered programs, to ensure sustainable knowledge gains and behaviour change outcomes.
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This study of the oral narratives and digital stories of immigrant women living in Toronto explores the tension between self-knowledge and self-expression, and how it manifests in the processes of storytelling that unfold in digital storytelling workshops. Both in their multimodal complexity and in the significant shifts from their original telling, the digital stories seem to offer something in excess of the storyteller's conscious intention. Here we consider what these unexpected self-expressions might mean for theories of narrative and practices of narrative inquiry: How do the unconscious dynamics of storytelling complicate our notions of narrative? How can narrative inquiry account for the unconscious? To explore these questions, we begin with a conceptual exploration of narrative and its limits and possibilities, followed by a discussion of two case studies that illustrate a range of dynamics – telling several different stories, telling a contradictory story, and repeating the same story over and over.
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Adult learners often tell and retell their stories of learning. These previous experiences, encounters, and histories of learning are significant in the construction of adult learners' identities, biographies, and relationships to learning. Narrative perspectives of identity invite adult educators in considering how their educative practices enable adult learners in further 'storying' themselves as active participants in learning, both within the lifeplace and workplace. "The stories we tell about our lives are not necessarily those lives as they were lived, but these stories become our experiences of those lives….Stories are true to the flux of experience, and the story affects the direction of that flux" (Frank 1995, p. 22). Introduction Adult learners often tell and re-tell stories about learning. These stories are usually comprised of adults' previous experiences of learning. These previous experiences, in turn, contribute to the current telling of stories told about working, learning, and living. These current tellings contour the potential horizons and trajectories for individuals' working lives, and "learning careers" (Bloomer and Hodkinson 2000). The stories of learning that are continually told and re-told by individuals contributes to the development of learner identities – or the multiple ways in which adult learners see themselves in the world and how they interpret their participation and engagement with learning in the workplace and "lifeplace" (Davis 2005). However, some stories that adult learners tell about themselves may not accurately portray their skills, experiences, and abilities. Some version of identities that adult learners construct may become dominant and more visible than others, resulting in learners not noticing (or valuing) alternative tellings and possibilities of seeing their strengths and dispositions to learning. As Frank's (1995) quote above suggests, some stories of learning that workers narrate about themselves may not necessarily reflect their capacities and potential, but rather be influenced by the flux of adult learners' experiences of learning. As Sharkey (2004) demonstrates, the stories that individuals self-censor and do not tell within autobiographic work can be just as powerful determinants in identity construction as those they do tell. Yet, the stories adult learners tell about themselves can shape and direct how they construct identities in relation to learning. Adult learners' perspectives and dispositions to formal learning may shape the contours of one's 'relationships' to formal learning. Conceptualizing Learner Identities "It is not unreasonable to conjecture that identities are crucial to learning … identities are likely to play a critical role in determining whether the process of learning will end with what counts as success or with what is regarded as failure" (Sfard and Prusak 2005, p. 19).
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The authors situate this chapter within the context of contemporary educational leadership where leaders face technical and adaptive challenges that are increasing in complexity and quantity. In many cases, these are challenges for which they could not have been prepared (e.g., new accountability measures). While adult learning and adult developmental theories have been employed widely to support adults' learning and development in other sectors, they are only recently being employed to inform the practice and preparation of school leaders. Therefore, the authors describe seminal theories of adult learning and development as a promising foundation to improve curriculum and learning spaces for aspiring and practicing leaders. These theoretical lenses are helpful for curriculum design and content in Pre-K-20 learning centers and also higher education. Put simply, research establishes that employing these will more fully equip leaders to support other adults' learning and development in their communities in order to meet complex educational challenges.
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This study looks at issues of Bildung and vocational education from a biographical perspective. These issues are conceptualized in terms of Bildung in action, developed in relation to Schön’s concept reflection in action; Bildung through making as a way of thinking about processes of Bildung connected to crafts; and Bildung in vocational contexts, ie. contexts of vocational education and work. The concepts are enriched through an extensive auto/biographical case study of master craftsman Wolfgang B.’s educational biography focusing on stories of Bildung where processes and actions are described as well as the curricular structure of his training. Some of these stories and aspects of the case have then been analyzed in two articles, one dealing with questions of aesthetic Bildung in vocational education using Schiller as conceptual lens and one dealing with educating for vocation- al excellence using Aristotle’s concepts techne and phronesis to understand the narratives analyzed. The results are an increased and differentiated understanding of Bildung in vocational contexts, especially as related to the coexistence of skill training with education for Bildung and the unique perspectives that auto/biographical studies of retired or semi-retired craftspeople bring to the field of research connecting biography, Bildung in action and vocational education.
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The purpose of this article is to present narratives from 15 adolescents experiencing shy behaviour as an emotional and behavioural problem in the school context in light of narrative understanding. The investigation is intended to generate knowledge about this largely under-researched phenomenon based on the personal accounts of those who are actually experiencing it. Their narratives are the foundation for a discussion regarding implications for future practice in the context of school in relation to this group.
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Narrative inquiry has been a popular methodology in different disciplines for the last few decades. Using stories, narrative inquiry illuminates lived experience, serving as a valuable complement to research methodologies that are rooted in positivist epistemologies. In this article, we present a brief introduction to narrative inquiry including narrative data collection, analysis and interpretation. Situating narrative inquiry under the umbrella of post-qualitative research, we argue that, because of its ability to communicate evocative stories and to inspire empathy, narrative inquiry is an indispensable methodology in the study of human being and becoming, making this methodology an important contribution to the field of adult vocational education and technology.
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For college instructors who have moved from industry to teaching in adult education, developing a professional identity is a continuing process. This study examines the experience of nine instructors who transitioned from industry to teaching adults in a technical and vocational (TVET) Canadian college in the Middle East. The purpose of the research was to explore the way instructors form a sense of professional identity. The study also explored how education and experience in industry contributes to and/or influences instructors' formation of professional identities. Lastly, it examined how participation in professional development activities forms instructors' professional identity. To form a professional identity, instructors must reflect on their attitudes, behaviour, and motivation. This reflection is necessary for instructors to understand their decision-making and
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The purpose of the study was to explore the meaning of the Encore Career experiences of the research participants, who are baby-boomer, from a transitional learning perspective. There are four puzzles to guide the purpose of the study: First, what kind of life did Baby Boomer retirees live before the Encore Career? Second, what inspired Baby Boomer retirees to experience the encore career? Third, what kind of the Encore Career activities did the Baby boomer retirees experience? Finally, from a transitional learning perspective, what is the meaning of the Encore Career experiences that the Baby Boomer retirees experience? For these research puzzles, thesis research used narrative inquiry research method. For the research data, researcher conducted in-depth narrative interviews with the participants and additionally collected related data such as the biographic books they had published, etc. The period of gathering the data was from December 2016 to August 2017, and researcher wrote research text according to the in-depth narrative interviews that had been conducted twice during July and August. For the analysis and interpretation of the data, researcher used the narrative inquiry research method introduced by Clandinin and Connelly(2004). From the perspective of four basic strategies and combination strategies of the theoretical frameworks for transitional learning, proposed by Stroobants, Jans, and Wildemeersch(2001), researcher categorized and interpreted the stories of the participants’ Encore Career experiences, and schematized the results. The conclusions areas follows. Firstly, the research participants had lived a relatively successful and happy life in the first chapter of their lives. However, they have encountered their second chapter without proper preparation for their retirement. Secondly, the reason why they went through Encore Career activities was because each of them needed to adapt to the new life after coming down from the stages of the first chapter. They mutually reflected on their lives that had been lived for others, faced with the time of depression, and began to perceive solely about themselves. They started to find the lives that they want to live in the future, (re)constructed their first chapter of life and reflected upon the meaning of death, and began to understand their current situation in regards of social context. In addition, they began to recognize the delight of giving and sharing, which they had not imagined when they had had a life for profit-making activities. Thirdly, researcher was able to categorize the contexts of their Encore Career experiences by three time-base stages; the beginning phase, middle phase, and ending phase. Each of the experiences had different core metaphors. In the beginning phase of Encore Career, the adaptation, stimulation, growth, and (re)designing activities were processed. They individually reflected on their former lives and began to think about how they will manage the rest of their life. After that, they pursued holistic growth, in which they tried to find and do what they are good at and what they value the most. In the middle phase, based on the growth they achieved in the beginning phase, they pursue lifelong learning and challenged themselves in order to live as their true selves by (re)designing and distinction Encore Career activities in their own ways. In the ending phase, their Encore Career activities were connected to the perception of social reflectivity, which was developed into another perception focused on the thoughts of social meaning and possibility of social change, and they began to resistance and (re)structure their own dreams and valuable activities for the rest of their life. Fourthly, from a transitional learning perspective, the meaning of their Encore Career activities and experiences can be summarized with four basic strategies and another four combination strategies. To begin with, the disclosed meaning of the [adaptation] strategy, among the four basic strategies, was to re-prepare another stage of their life after coming down from the colorful first stage. The meaning of [growth] strategy was to pursue holistic growth in which they try to do what they like, can do well, and think valuable. The meaning of [distinction] strategy was to pursue their Encore Career activities in their own way. Lastly, the meaning of [resistance] strategy was to aim for their dreams and socially valuable acts. The meaning of [stimulation] strategy, among the four combination strategies, was to reflect on their past life and ponder upon their rest of life. The meaning of [(re)design] strategy was to pursue lifelong learning. The meaning of [challenge] strategy was to becoming and to be me in live as their true selves. Lastly, the meaning of [(re)construction] strategy was to gradually become a person who has important existential meaning for somebody else. Through the results above, the conclusions of this thesis are as follows. The experiences of the research participants’ Encore Career activities are a process of relentless feedback and reaction to the world, and another process of push and pulling of survival and defining values and meaning in their second chapter of life. Secondly, Encore Career activities are a process of to be me or becoming to live as one’s true self via individual reflection and social reflectivity of a subject who is full of self-will and autopoietic being. Thirdly, the transitional learning framework operate as useful tools for pursuing and realizing the meaning of the second chapter of their lives for baby-boomer retirees which can be earned by living a humane, existential, and self-transcendental life.
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This nationwide qualitative study investigated how 25 school leaders serving in schools with varying resources, perceive the practices they use to support teacher learning. The study discusses how these leaders understand the human resource challenges they face in supporting teacher learning and highlights their creative responses to these challenges across school contexts. Although the principals experience similar challenges, the challenges manifest themselves differently, and the strategies devised to overcome them are tied to the specific contexts of the leaders’ schools.
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Introduction: A growing emphasis on humanistic medical care has led to the development of programs to imbue more humanistic values into training physicians. The ScribeMD intra-class pen pal program is a narrative medicine tool designed to meet this need with a focus on the journey through medical education. This study intends to evaluate the efficacy of this novel program on the participants’ professional identity formation (PIF), emotional intelligence development (EID), and narrative competency improvement (NCI). Methods: This program evaluation involved quantitative and qualitative survey solicitations from first and second-year medical student participants and controls. An efficacy-triangulation model was developed as a quantitative outcome-measuring tool linking objective, writing prompts, and survey data. Results: The quantitative results showed statistically significant improvements in line with the Efficacy Triangulation Model in the participant group. Qualitatively, reflective and insight-driven gains were elicited, as were notable themes of personal and community improvements. Conclusion: ScribeMD poses a unique avenue for the development of more humanistic physicians during their medical education. We recommend additional development of the Efficacy Triangulation Model as well as the program design itself. We also recommend the piloting of this program in other healthcare-education settings both with medical education and other health professions.
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With online learning solutions responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic, it is important for educational technologists and other practitioners to understand how learners are experiencing the demands of socially distanced online learning and how they conceive of themselves within distant spaces and digital communities. Research into the metacognitions of learners provides a non-technocratic focal point through which such information can be extracted. Framing learner self-beliefs as a form of metacognitive knowledge, the current article presents a virtual reality assisted thematic analysis of the self-appraisals of 210 socially distanced online learners at a Japanese university. The study focuses on the discursive rationalizations expressed in service of the academic self-concept. Four themes were identified in the data; formal assessment, affect and emotion, self-regulation, and transformative awareness. Such research provides educators with a platform for pedagogical intervention and course design considerations relative to the challenges of the online learning experience.
Chapter
Narrative inquiry has been a popular methodology in different disciplines for the last few decades. Using stories, narrative inquiry illuminates lived experience, serving as a valuable complement to research methodologies that are rooted in positivist epistemologies. In this article, we present a brief introduction to narrative inquiry including narrative data collection, analysis and interpretation. Situating narrative inquiry under the umbrella of post-qualitative research, we argue that, because of its ability to communicate evocative stories and to inspire empathy, narrative inquiry is an indispensable methodology in the study of human being and becoming, making this methodology an important contribution to the field of adult vocational education and technology.
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The article examines both the theoretical and practical aspects of storytelling as a teaching technology in higher education at the second (master's) level. The benefits of incorporating storytelling into the practice of teaching the course "Leadership in Education" is demonstrated, since telling stories is a relevant tool for leaders at all levels. The content and objectives of the course "Leadership in Education", which is included in the innovative educational program "Corporate Education and Personnel Development" at Borys Hrinchenko University of Kyiv, are briefly described. There is a brief theoretical review of current English and Ukrainian scientific works on the subject under consideration. The following functions of storytelling as a teaching technology are distinguished: educational, value-oriented, motivational, educational, developmental, communicative, and mentoring. Methodological recommendations for the creation of a successful story, relating to its structure and required components, are developed. An example of recommendations on the use of storytelling, which the author followed when teaching the course "Leadership in Education" at the second (master's) level of higher education, is given. The recommendations are based on the theoretical generalization of scientific views of scientists and their own pedagogical experience. Based on student feedback, it is concluded that using storytelling in higher education as a technology that improves the efficiency of the educational process is recommended. The study has confirmed the need for a thorough examination of the pedagogical and psychological foundations of storytelling, as well as appropriate teacher training in the use of this technology.
Article
This interpretive study examined the experiences of ten adults returning to college in a liberal-education degree program. Six themes emerged from the interviews: having experienced a lack of academic success earlier in life, having had the sense that something was missing in one's life, feeling confident that one is a smart person, believing that the degree does not carry as much weight as is commonly believed, wanting to be practical in one's academic work, and feeling that one has changed throughout the process. Further, personal transformation and contradictory feelings about academics were common elements of the experience.
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Publisher Summary Adult development is one of the few fields in American psychology that has traditionally embraced the collection and analysis of individual's narrative accounts of their lives. This chapter discusses newer perspectives on the relationship of these narratives to adult development. It suggests that an individual's narrative accounts play a major role in the construction and understanding of these stages. By drawing on a personological theory of identity and social construction theories of both narrative and affect, the chapter describes different process approaches that demonstrate how life stories reveal and define the developmental and affective challenges of adult life. Each of these approaches has generated a new body of empirical research that has broadened and deepened understanding of the psychosocial “stages” of identity, intimacy, generativity, and ego integrity.
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This article examines the longstanding assertion that psychological models of adult development are useful for practitioners of adult education. Earlier andmore recent psychological models of adult development are described. A critique of these models provides evidence to seriously question their importance in adult education. Concerns over the practical implementation of the models, such as helping practitioners to better understand how adults change, are raised in order to stimulate debate on the subject.
Article
The narrative structure of theoretical accounts of late adolescent (LA) moral development by L. Kohlberg (1973) and W. G. Perry (1970, 1981) is compared with the structure of personal accounts given by 2 19-yr-olds asked to describe their own moral development. Perry's account, which suggests that an absolute reliance on moral standards is replaced by a more relativistic and contextual view of moral conflict and choice, more closely resembled the Ss' stories than did Kohlberg's views. Implications for alternative theories of LA moral development are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The concept of development, whatever the specific domain of interest, is intrinsically bound up with both the idea of narrative and the idea of the moral.
Article
Some of the chief characteristics of the narrative psychology of Bruner, Polkinghorne, Sarbin, Freeman, Howard, and White and Epston are outlined with implications for therapy discussed. Narrative psychology is then related to some current models of adult development, including those of Kegan, Perry, Belenky, Labouvie-Vief, Levinson, Basseches, and Pascual-Leone. Types of narrative competence are discussed and an argument is made that developmental readiness for narrative must be considered if narrative approaches are going to be applied. Different types of narrative approaches are shown to be indicative of particular developmental stages. The social relativism of narrative psychology is addressed and it is argued that developmental models provide a scheme for assessing the maturity of alternative narrative constructions.
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The problem of finding continuity across the life course can be tied in part to a theoretical perspective which looks essentially forward in time. It can, however, be significantly minimized within a framework that is more genuinely historical, one that looks back over the flow of events in an attempt to understand and explain their possible connections. That this involves a necessary immersion of the researcher in the researched precludes the possibility of establishing any final objectivity, but need not detract from the validity of the knowledge which can derive from intersubjective consensus. It is through a dialectically informed narration that a new conceptualization of development, founded upon the approximation toward self-constructed ends, can emerge. The reading of this development will necessitate critical reflection as to what its optimal forms are and how they might be achieved.Copyright © 1984 S. Karger AG, Basel