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ERIC Number: EJ1005733
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1045-1595
Healing the Past through Story
Mullet, Judy H.; Akerson, Nels M. K.; Turman, Allison
Adult Learning, v24 n2 p72-78 May 2013
Stories matter, and the stories we tell ourselves matter most. Truth has many layers and narrative helps us makes senses of our multilayered reality. We live a personal narrative that is grounded in our past experience, but embodied in our present. As such, it filters what we see and how we interpret events. Attachment theorists tell us our early experiences with caregivers flavor interactions with others; we engage, avoid, become overanxious, or behave inconsistently based on the story formed in childhood interactions. In other words, we can become stuck in a childhood story that no longer serves a survival purpose. Narrative psychologists report we can grow into a secure adult attachment mode by bringing new meaning to the old story. Thus, how we interpret those stories through retelling can help to heal the past. Adult learners bring their life stories into the classroom and the nature of those stories either enhance or impede learning. The purpose of this article is to share current research and practice in narrative psychology and critical theory, as applied to adult learners, and to suggest ways to bring healing through story retelling and story-editing processes within personal narrative papers. Adult learners bring new meaning to their life stories by (a) recognizing other stories as alternatives to the stuck story, (b) addressing the magic question, and (c) practicing multiple perspective taking. The facts do not change, but how learners view the facts makes a difference in how they embrace new learning challenges.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A