Who is Telling the Story? The Critical Role of the Narrator in Reflective and Reflexive writing

Author/s Gillie Bolton
Publishing Year 2012 Issue 2012/1
Language English Pages 20 P. 35-54 File size 367 KB
DOI 10.3280/ERP2012-001003
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Telling and retelling the stories of our lives is the stuff of reflection and reflexivity. Asking ‘who narrates these stories?’, getting beyond thinking of the narrator as ‘just me’, and events as ‘just what happened’ are what make this process critical. We create narratives rather than regurgitate slices of truth, so we also construct the narrator of each story. This paper discusses and exemplifies the exploration of dynamic narrators, such as variations of the autobiographical ‘I’ (eg ‘internal mentor’), or fictional explorations of different perspectives (eg patient or student as ‘I’). Exercises and activities to inspire practitioners to write such narratives exploratively are demonstrated, inevitable confidentiality issues and the dynamic educative element of uncertainty are examined, and an underpinning theory of the self proposed. The particular value of writing (rather than oral discussion) to critical reflexivity is also explained. Focussing upon the perspective from which narratives are written is essential for critical enquiry.

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Gillie Bolton, Who is Telling the Story? The Critical Role of the Narrator in Reflective and Reflexive writing in "EDUCATIONAL REFLECTIVE PRACTICES" 1/2012, pp 35-54, DOI: 10.3280/ERP2012-001003