Staying with the detail: The use of story as a pedagogical tool within teacher education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


What is story? How do we, two teacher educators, use ‘storytelling’ as a pedagogical tool with prospective teachers? There are two versions of what ‘story’ means to us that we want to explore in this paper. The first is from Bateson’s book Mind and Nature, “A story is a little knot or complex of that species of connectedness which we call relevance… the notion of context, of pattern through time.” (pp. 13-14) and the second, from Bruner’s (1990) Acts of Meaning, focusing on “the role of narrativised folk psychology in the ‘organisation of experience’, particularly ‘framing’, which provides a means of ‘constructing’ a world, of characterising its flow”. (p. 56) This paper will firstly take the form of a “framing” – a narrative weaved from “segmenting events” (Bruner, 1990, p. 56) throughout our professional collaboration, which began in 1995. We have used story as a way of making meaning out of our experiences. In the early days our academic papers were entitled “Story of Silence” (1995), “Story of Sarah” (1996) even though we were advised not to use “story” because people might think we were writing fiction. We said that, for us, “story” was a technical word. We will then illustrate what we “do” with “story” as a pedagogical tool whilst working with people who are becoming teachers. For us story is a way of creating meaning through staying with the detail of experience and for our prospective teachers coming to know what to do when they literally do not know how to act – they do not have patterns over time in lived experience to fall back on. We will also illustrate how stories of self potentially can become reified into habits and therefore obstruct development.
Translated title of the contributionStaying with the detail: The use of story as a pedagogical tool within teacher education
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFirst Global Conference on Storytelling; Prague, Czech Republic, 13th to 15th May
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2012

Bibliographical note

Name and Venue of Event: Session 10b Education and Storytelling
Conference Organiser: Gavin Fairbairn, Rob Fisher

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Staying with the detail: The use of story as a pedagogical tool within teacher education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this