Narrative as a Teaching Strategy

Butcher, Susan E.
September 2006
Journal of Correctional Education;Sep2006, Vol. 57 Issue 3, p195
Academic Journal
Research shows that those who are incarcerated, as a whole, have come from difficult past environments. This leads to having a different way of learning than most others who have had successful educational experiences. Because of this, my research project .focused on exploring storytelling/narrative, as a teaching strategy, and how it influences adult learning in a correctional facility. Three methods of research were used. As the first method, a formal literature review was prepared to obtain background information on storytelling, including past history and current use. Second, Wisconsin Department of Corrections professionals were interviewed to explore their teaching strategies and use of storytelling with offenders. The final element was a personal observation journal. In analyzing the data given, three themes emerged. These included connection between teacher and student, validation of student experience and student perspective. Connection between teacher and student was seen in the relationship between student and teacher in the classroom. Validation of student experience was shown in developing empathy for self and others and being able to see how past behavior influences present circumstances. Student perspective included learning to broaden and challenge the student's current perspective, issues related to changing thinking patterns, and approaches that involve reflection.


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