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Narratives of 'experience' and pedagogical practices

Burman, Erica (2003) Narratives of 'experience' and pedagogical practices. Narrative inquiry, 13 (2). pp. 269-286. ISSN 1387-6740

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Abstract

This article explores the relevance to teaching and learning practices of recent methodological and interpretive shifts within qualitative and feminist research, from eliciting and analysing narratives of personal 'experience' to attending to the crafting of situated stories or accounts. Drawing on three distinct theoretical frameworks I analyse examples from women's studies and psychology class groups to argue for the value of elaborating both 'experience-close' and 'experience-distant' arenas within teaching and learning contexts. These arenas not only facilitate sites for interrogation of personal-political relations, but also the construction of these relations within specific contexts can be elaborated. By Such means I suggest that innovative and exploratory practice can be supported within academic contexts without posing difficulties of overexposure for either individuals or groups. Further, holding in mind several different models can perhaps help ward off the dynamic of (either attributed or enacted) totalization or coercion potentially associated with a singular commitment to any one approach.

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