Wednesday, 8 March 2006

The Power of Narrative

According to wikipedia [],

a narrative is a story, an interpretation of some aspect of the world that is historically and culturally grounded and shaped by human personality (per Walter Fisher).

In an article called I Shared my Bed with Mice, Doug of Borderland told the story why he decided to enter the teaching profession:

The insight that led me to become a teacher presented itself when I was standing at the top of a three-legged ladder with an apple sack on my shoulders, with branches in my face....

A Mexican family drove into the orchard in a yellow Buick. They were assigned the row next to me. There were several people working the row, and they all spoke Spanish. There were kids in the car.

I began thinking about the limited options those people must have had to be all living out of that car and working as fruit pickers. I realized that any day I chose to quit I could return to the university and pick up where I left off. The difference between me and them, I reasoned, is that I had a foundation in the basics of reading, writing, and math-tools that I could use to construct an alternate future.

As you read Doug's story, you are seeing the world through the thinking mind of the author - a powerful way to gather experiences which may otherwise unavailable for you. That's learning from second person experience. More

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