A Narrative Pedagogy for Critical Science Literacy

Edna Tan, Angela Calabrese Barton, Erin E. Turner and Maura Varley Gutiérrez

in Empowering Science and Mathematics Education in Urban Schools

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780226037974
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226037998 | DOI:
A Narrative Pedagogy for Critical Science Literacy

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This chapter presents a case study of Mrs. Davis' teaching of a unit on dynamic equilibrium in the human body: energy in and energy out. It explains that making food and activity choices are deeply rooted in culture and routine, and are shaped by larger societal and economic pressures. Storytelling as a pedagogical practice in families and communities has been in existence as long as the spoken word. Stories have played only a peripheral role in the teaching of science or math in the prototypical Western school. Stories or personal narrative are described as the “precursor” to talking and doing “real” or “paradigmatic” science, providing both the space and the opportunity. “Narrative pedagogy” refers to an approach to teaching that is built with and through the telling of stories. The chapter describes how a narrative pedagogy frames inter-subjective meaning making and embodied knowing as central features of coming to know and be in science and of building epistemological and ontological ties among teachers, students, and science. It suggests how a narrative pedagogy allows the learning community to re-imagine the world (of science) and one's position in it, as one considers how to use both epistemological and ontological positioning to enact change.

Keywords: narrative pedagogy; science; economic pressures; stories; western school

Chapter.  12899 words. 

Subjects: Schools Studies

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