Three Types of Learning from Storytelling in The Example of Non-traditional Students



Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description This paper shows that the study of narrated biographies in higher education research by applying learning theories to live accounts can help understand how, whether, and what people learn from their previous educational biographies when coming to higher education. In the setting of a biographical narrative interview, the narrators in this research presented meaningful biographical experiences that were crucial for developing their educational trajectories. Those experiences were, in their nature, either educational, familial, or work-life-related. Investigating students’ educational biographies helps understand the interdependence of education and biography (Merrill & Alheit, 2004). The narrators gave meaning to their experiences when they placed them in a meaningful order in their life stories and interpreted them. However, this study explored that the narrators do not present the experiences separately, one after another. The narrative analysis revealed that those experiences are intertwined. In adding another experience, the narrators discover new, previously unseen meanings. Therefore, it is possible to talk about the learning process in the narration itself. This paper revealed three qualitatively different types of learning that go on in narration: learning by analogy, learning by authority, and learning by audit. The results of this study suggest that the use of stories can be beneficial for enhancing learning for (not only mature) students in higher education institutions “it is only in more exceptional circumstances that we engage deliberately in narrative construction in order to learn from it.”(Goodson et al.,2010). However, there are some records of programmes that focus on the autobiographical work of adults in education (Alterio & McDrury, 2003; Dominicé, 2000; Van Houten, 1998; Rossiter & Clark, 2010). The study results have implications for both higher education research and practice. They suggest that narrative pedagogy could be employed more as a teaching method to make learning more personal and connected to biographies.
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