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ERIC Number: EJ782663
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1059-9053
"Knowing Our Place and Time:" Memoir as Pedagogy
Simmons, Steve R.
Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, v37 p1-7 2008
This article gives a perspective on the use of memoir writing as pedagogy in three undergraduate courses at the University of Minnesota in 2002, 2005, and 2006. Each of these courses explored the significance of "place" and "time" in the lives of the students. In each, the students wrote memoirs ranging from about 1500 to 5000 words in length. Selected quotations from student evaluative reflections, as well as excerpts from representative student memoirs, help to consider the educational merits of memoir writing in university-level courses. Memoir serves as a way to encourage students to bring their experiences into classes and also helps them to develop important personal reflection skills as they look for deeper meanings from their life stories. One of the most important outcomes of using memoir as pedagogy is the impetus it gives for students to examine and reflect upon aspects of their busy lives. Although some students in these courses found memoir writing awkward at first, all considered the experience to be very worthwhile, both for their current understanding and future development. One student noted that reflecting on her life through writing a memoir "...has not only given me insight on my past, but on my future." This article concludes with an exhortation to also use memoir writing as pedagogy in other kinds of courses, including professionally oriented ones. Some suggestions about how this might be accomplished are offered. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A