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ERIC Number: EJ1162953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1918-2902
Listening to Their Lives: Learning through Narrative in an Undergraduate Practicum Course
Cairney, Kristen; Breen, Andrea V.
Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v8 n3 Article 3 Jun 2017
Experiential community-based learning is used for academic purposes, as well as to promote students' civic education, moral development, and the development of identity. Recent advancements in narrative identity theory may have important implications for enriching our understanding of how learning occurs in the context of community-based learning. In this study we examine students' learning in a third year undergraduate practicum course in the human services through the lens of narrative identity theory. Nine students (ages 20-26) who had recently completed the practicum course completed a semi-structured interview focusing on the story of their practicum experience and their changing conceptions of self and others. Results of thematic analyses suggest that students experienced important shifts in their understanding of self and others and their learning occurred through engagement with others' stories. Students who worked with vulnerable populations reflected on the biases and stereotypes they held prior to their practicum experience and described developing new insights into the experiences and social realities of marginalized others. Experiences of discomfort/disorientation and active-engagement in reflective meaning-making were critical to students' learning. We discuss implications for incorporating narrative in teaching and learning.
University of Western Ontario and Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Mills Memorial Library Room 504, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A