Higher Education

, Volume 71, Issue 6, pp 805–818 | Cite as

Linking capabilities to functionings: adapting narrative forms from role-playing games to education

  • R. Alan ChevilleEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Possible futures for Science and Engineering Education


This paper explores science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in the context of inequality of opportunity by examining educational systems through two lenses: curricular mode and system scale. Curricular mode classifies learning experiences as addressing knowing, acting, or being, while system scale captures how learning experiences are aggregated into credentials. The paper argues that the curricular mode of being can be better implemented and credentialed within educational institutions if students learn to develop a self-narrative through navigating a multiplicity of learning experiences. Since narrative is implicit rather than explicit in existing university structures, the paper develops a speculative model based on role-playing games that integrates narrative and allows new forms of personalized credentials. The goal of the paper is to initiate a conversation around alternative curricular structures that allow emergent self-narratives within disciplinary structures.


Role-playing game Credentialing Curriculum structure Narrative Educational philosophy Agency 



This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant DUE1451713. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringBucknell UniversityLewisburgUSA

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