Narrative learning

The readings from this week reflected the need for students to experience learning as opposed to being given knowledge such as in the banking model as discussed in Paulo Freire’s, Chapter 2 from Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I definitely understand the need to create students that are constantly questioning information and not just receptacles with which to fill, however, I feel like somewhere there needs to a “baseline” of facts that we all take at face value (at least initially) in order for us to later build our narrative and critical thinking.  Moreover, there seem to be different kinds of questions we can ask.  For example, in young children, the questions we can ask involve getting them curious about words, numbers, nature, etc. so that they learn to not necessarily question what they learn but ask questions to learn.  Whereas in older students (high school/college), these questions may be better spent questioning what they learned and from where the information came.  This is why I really like the idea of “narrative learning”.  This reflects teaching/learning as more of a facilitated discussion led by a “teacher” but participated in by all.  This is opposed to the “lecturing at” situation or the situation where students to learn to ask questions but have no basis on which to ask their questions.

9 thoughts on “Narrative learning”

  1. I appreciate your post and like the narrative approach philosophy to teaching. This sounds a lot like the classes I am having in my doctoral program. There is much discussion and participation by the students. At this level we are challenging our thoughts and engaging in critical examination of ideas. I think this could be valuable way to approach learning environments for many ages. How wonderful would it be to engage a group of young children to foster ideas, discussion, and engagement in learning? Nice posting. 🙂

    1. I agree! While I know we are evaluating this in the context of a college classroom, it would be so cool to see how children responded to more experimental teaching styles like problem based learning!

  2. So where does the baseline stop and the narrative begin? What happens to people who are not able to have the experiential learning we have had the opportunity to have?

  3. I appreciated your post because I could see how education could become a runaway train if we don’t have anything to anchor it to. We need certain subjects to be taught, but I think the way to do it is to say that these sets of facts are put forth from the dominant parts of society and here is what others have to say. Asking questions to learn is an essential aspect of education in addition to asking questions about what one is learning.

  4. Nice post! I completely agree with the point you made we need to know the basics and general facts before we pursue learning in a more discussion and participatory way. I really like the idea of Narrative learning, but we definitely need to find time to learn the basics. Since others may be at different levels of learning the basics as well, when do we switch from banking to narrative learning.

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