Encyclopedia of Language and Education

2008 Edition
| Editors: Nancy H. Hornberger

Research Approaches to Narrative, Literacy, and Education

  • Gigliana Melzi
  • Margaret Caspe
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_251


Narratives rest at the core of human activity and relationships. Since ancient times, scholars and thinkers have conceptualized and analyzed narratives from diverse disciplinary perspectives. In this chapter, we define narrative as a genre of oral discourse that characterizes and facilitates culturally determined ways of communicating lived or imaginary events to others. We see narrative as a linguistic tool that represents ideas and past actions in memory, structures and evaluates present experiences, and helps humans make sense of the world around them. Loyal to this definition, narrative, literacy, and education are intimately intertwined, as early narratives lay the foundation for literacy development, and literacy, in turn, is the cornerstone of a successful formal education. Here we review past and current work addressing children's narrative development and the connections between their oral narrative abilities and the skills necessary for their ultimate educational...


Autobiographical Memory Narrative Analysis Narrative Research Emergent Literacy Skill Conversational Partner 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gigliana Melzi
    • 1
  • Margaret Caspe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied PsychologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Steinhardt School of EducationNew York UniversityNew York, NYUSA