ERIC Number: EJ1161647
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Is Narrative an Endangered Species in Schools'? Secondary Pupils' Understanding of "Storyknowing"
Heinemeyer, Catherine; Durham, Sally
Research in Education, v99 n1 p31-55 Nov 2017
This paper argues that narrative knowledge (or "storyknowing") is marginalized within the English school system, because it is misunderstood and often not recognized as knowledge. We track the changing status of storytelling through some key moments in recent educational history, particularly focusing on its gradual erosion during the progressive era, the onset of the National Curriculum (despite the impact of the National Oracy Project), and the post-2000 period with its conflicting drives towards compliance and creativity. To understand the consequences of this marginalization, we build up a picture of the value of narrative knowledge, drawing firstly on the body of theorists who have investigated narrative. We then look to our long-term practice research with three groups of "low-ability" 11-14-year-old pupils, in particular their own observations on storytelling made during a focus group. Both sources lead us to challenge the currently dominant perception that pupils listening to a whole narrative are in a passive role. Indeed, we provide evidence that reasserting the value of storyknowing may restore aspects of agency, autonomy and knowledge creation to both teachers and pupils which may not be afforded by overtly "active" learning strategies. We conclude by considering the conditions in which storyknowing, as characterized by the pupils and theorists, might flourish within schools.
Descriptors: Knowledge Level, Foreign Countries, Early Adolescents, Low Achievement, Story Telling, Focus Groups, Teaching Methods, Educational History, National Curriculum, Creativity, Secondary School Students, Student Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A