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Is narrative an endangered species in schools? Secondary pupils' understanding of 'storyknowing'

Heinemeyer, Catherine R and Durham, Sally (2017) Is narrative an endangered species in schools? Secondary pupils' understanding of 'storyknowing'. Research in Education, 99 (1). pp. 31-55.

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Abstract

This paper argues that narrative knowledge (or ‘storyknowing’) is marginalized within the English school system, because it is misunderstood and often not recognized as knowledge. We track the changing status of storytelling through some key moments in recent educational history, particularly focusing on its gradual erosion during the progressive era, the onset of the National Curriculum (despite the impact of the National Oracy Project), and the post-2000 period with its conflicting drives towards compliance and creativity.

To understand the consequences of this marginalization, we build up a picture of the value of nature of narrative knowledge, drawing firstly on the body of theorists who have investigated narrative. We then look to our long-term practice research with three groups of ‘low-ability’ 11-14-year-old pupils, in particular their own observations on storytelling made during a focus group. Both sources lead us to challenge the currently dominant perception that pupils listening to a whole narrative are in a passive role. Indeed, we provide evidence that reasserting the value of storyknowing may restore aspects of agency, autonomy and knowledge creation to both teachers and pupils which may not be afforded by overtly ‘active’ learning strategies. We conclude by considering the conditions in which storyknowing, as characterized by the pupils and theorists, might flourish within schools.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Heinemeyer, Catherine R and Durham, Sally Is narrative an endangered species in schools? Secondary pupils' understanding of 'storyknowing'. Research in Education, 99 (1). pp. 31-55. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0034523717740151
Related URLs:
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
School/Department: School of Performance & Media Production
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2519

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