Advertisement

Using Narrative Inquiry and Analysis of Life Stories to Advance Elder Learning

  • Nancy Lloyd Pfahl
Chapter
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 15)

Abstract

This chapter advocates intentional use of narrative with elder learners. Narrative and paradigmatic modes of thought are relational and linear, respectively; they are antithetical but complementary cognitive processes that lead to different kinds of knowing, regardless of age and cultural context (Bruner J, Actual minds, possible worlds. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1985a; Bruner J, Narrative and paradigmatic modes of thought. In: Eisner E (ed) Learning and teaching the ways of knowing. The National Society for the Study of Education, Chicago, pp 97–115, 1985b). Narrative thought links past experience, interpretations of the present, and future implications of action to discern the meaning of experience in context. The storied nature of lived experience lends itself to narrative inquiry and analysis. This discussion (1) leads to proposing a research-based narrative learning model derived through narrative inquiry and analysis and (2) considers the implications of narrative for educators, researchers, and other professionals addressing learning and longevity challenges. The model interprets cognitive and behavioral narrative processes as contributory elements of active human learning. How and to what extent can narrative inquiry and analysis applied to stories of experience contribute to active ageing with capacity, to lifelong learning, and to longevity potential?

Keywords

Life Experience Human Learning Critical Reflection Life Story Telephoto Lens 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Attias-Donfut, C. (2000). Are we moving to a war between the generations? In R. N. Butler & C. Jasmin (Eds.), Longevity and quality of life: Opportunities and challenges (pp. 197–213). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Bagnall, R. G. (1999). Discovering radical contingency: Building a postmodern agenda in adult education. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  3. Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. San Francisco: Chandler Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  4. Bateson, M. C. (2010). Composing a further life. New York: Knopf Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, B. (2009). A slow-burning fire: A special report on ageing populations. Economist, 391(8637), 1–16.Google Scholar
  6. Belenky, M. F. & Stanton, A. V. (2000). Inequality, development, and connected knowing. In J. Mezirow & Associates (Eds.), Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress (pp. 71–102). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  7. Boia, L. (2004). Forever young: A cultural history of longevity from antiquity to the present. London: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.Google Scholar
  8. Bruner, J. (1985a). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bruner, J. (1985b). Narrative and paradigmatic modes of thought. In E. Eisner (Ed.), Learning and teaching the ways of knowing (pp. 97–115). Chicago: The National Society for the Study of Education.Google Scholar
  10. Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Butler, R. N. (2000). The revolution in longevity. In R. N. Butler & C. Jasmin (Eds.), Longevity and quality of life: Opportunities and challenges (pp. 19–23). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Butler, C. B. (2005). Age-related paradigms. In M. A. Wolf (Ed.), Adulthood: New terrain (pp. 61–68). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  13. Cell, E. (1984). Learning to learn from experience. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  14. Clandinin, M. C., & Connelly, F. M. (1991). Narrative and story in practice and in research. In D. A. Schön (Ed.), The reflective turn: Case studies in and on educational practice (pp. 258–282). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  15. Clandinin, M. C., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  16. Clark, M. C., & Rossiter, M. (2008). Narrative learning in adulthood. In S. B. Merriam (Ed.), Third update on adult learning theory (pp. 61–70). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  17. Cresswell, J. (1994). Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  18. Cross, K. P. (1999). Learning is about making connections. Mission Viejo: League for Innovation in the Community College.Google Scholar
  19. Daloz, L. A. (1986). Effective teaching and mentoring. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  20. Didion, J. (1979). The white album. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.Google Scholar
  21. Doidge, N. (2007). The brain that changes itself: Stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science. New York: Penguin Group, Inc.Google Scholar
  22. Dowling, J. E. (1998). Creating mind: How the brain works. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  23. Fineberg, H. V. (2000). Conclusion: Synthesis. In R. N. Butler & C. Jasmin (Eds.), Longevity and quality of life: Opportunities and challenge (pp. 287–289). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Freeman, M. (1993). Rewriting the self: History, memory and narrative. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Freidan, B. (1999). Women in the longevity revolution. In R. N. Butler & C. Jasmin (Eds.), Longevity and quality of life: Opportunities and challenges (pp. 235–238). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
  26. Gudmundsdottir, S. (1995). The narrative nature of pedagogical knowledge. In H. McEwan & K. Egan (Eds.), Narrative in teaching, Learning, and research (pp. 24–38). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  27. Hill, L. H. (2001). The brain and consciousness: Sources of information for understanding adult learning. In S. B. Merriam (Ed.), The new update on adult learning theory (pp. 73–81). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  28. Jarvis, P. (2006). Towards a comprehensive theory of human learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Just, M. A., & Varma, S. (2007). The organization of thinking: What functional brain imaging reveals about the neuroarchitecture of complex cognition. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 7(3), 153–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kasl, E., Marsick, V., & Dechant, K. (1997). Teams as learners: A research-based model of team learning. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 33(2), 227–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kegan, R. (1994). In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Kegan, R. (2000). What “form” transforms? A constructive developmental perspective on transformational learning. In J. Mezirow & Associates (Ed.), Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress (pp. 35–70). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  33. Keller, H., & Werchan, A. (2006). Culture, learning, and adult development. In C. Hoare (Ed.), Handbook of adult development and learning (pp. 407–430). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Kotulak, R. (1996). Inside the brain: Revolutionary discoveries of how the brain works. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel.Google Scholar
  35. Márquez, G. G. (1988). Love in the time of cholera (E. Grossman, Trans.). New York: Alfred Knopf.Google Scholar
  36. Marsick, V. J., & Watkins, K. E. (2001). Informal and incidental learning. In S. B. Merriam (Ed.), The new update on adult learning theory (pp. 25–34). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  37. Merriam, S. B. (2001). Something old, something new: Adult learning theory for the twenty-first century. In S. B. Merriam (Ed.), The new update on adult learning theory (pp. 105–112). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  38. Merriam, S. B., & Clark, M. C. (2006). Learning and development: The connection in adulthood. In C. Hoare (Ed.), Handbook of adult development and learning (pp. 27–51). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Merriam, S. B., & Kim, Y. S. (2008). Non-western perspectives on learning and knowing. In S. B. Merriam (Ed.), Third update on adult learning theory (pp. 71–81). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  40. Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  41. Mishler, E. G. (1986). Research interviewing: Context and narrative. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Mishler, E. G. (1990). Validation in inquiry-guided research: The role of exemplars in narrative studies. Harvard Educational Review, 60, 415–442.Google Scholar
  43. Pew Research Center (2009, June 29). Growing old in America: Expectations vs. reality: A social & demographic trends report. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1269/aging-survey-expectations-versus-reality. Accessed July 3, 2009.
  44. Pfahl, N. L. (2003). Raising the bar for higher education: Using narrative processes to advance learning and change. Unpublished dissertation, Columbia University, New York.Google Scholar
  45. Pfahl, N. L., & Wiessner, C. A. (2007). Creating new directions: Drawing on life experiences in community adult education contexts. Adult Learning, 18(3 & 4), 9–13.Google Scholar
  46. Piaget, J. (1955). The child’s construction of reality. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  47. Polkinghorne, D. (1988). Narrative knowing and the human sciences. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  48. Polyani, M. (1966). The tacit dimension. Garden City: Doubleday & Company.Google Scholar
  49. Price, J. (1999). In acknowledgment: A review and critique of qualitative research texts. In R. Josselson & A. Lieblich (Eds.), Making meaning of narrative. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  50. Sarbin, T. R. (1986). The narrative as a root metaphor for psychology. In T. R. Sarbin (Ed.), Narrative psychology: The stories nature of human conduct (pp. 1–21). Westport: Praeger Publications.Google Scholar
  51. Schaafsma, D. (1993). Eating on the streets: Teaching literacy in a multicultural society. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  52. Taylor, K., & Lamaroux, A. (2008). Teaching with the brain in mind. In S. B. Merriam (Ed.), Third update on adult learning theory (pp. 49–59). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  53. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2009). World population prospects 2004: Analytical report (Population Studies No. 246). http://un.orglesa/population/publications/wppp2003_VOL_3.pdf. Accessed February 11, 2009.
  54. Vaill, P. B. (1996). Learning as a way of being: Strategies for surviving in a world of permanent whitewater. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  55. Vattimo, G. (1992). The transparent society (D. Webb, Trans.). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Wiessner, C. A., & Pfahl, N. L. (2007). Choosing different lenses: Using storytelling as a narrative technique to promote knowledge construction and learning in adults. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 55(1), 27–37.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adult Learning and Resource Development ConsultantAlexandriaUSA

Personalised recommendations