How can teacher educators mobilize contemporary understandings of personal narrative -- as socially and dialogically shaped in the context of culture and as instrumental to sociocultural processes of self-authoring -- in the teaching of narrative writing and, more specifically, in the work of teaching teachers to teach narrative writing? Rarely do teachers teach strategies that might result in good narratives. Rarely do narrative texts written in school (or any other kinds of texts written in school, for that matter) actually go anywhere beyond the teacher, thus failing to offer students experience in negotiating meanings with readers, working out the versions of self in context that narrative writing can foster. Teaching personal narrative well, in ways that are consistent with a social and dialogic view of personal narrative’s value and the identity work it can support, has proven challenging. This essay describes and reflects on one effort to do so in a teacher education setting. We introduce the example of a class-to-class partnership between teacher candidates and first-year college writers not as a success story or an exemplar, but rather as a problematic case to stimulate conversation about the challenges of narrative writing teacher preparation.
Juzwik, Mary M.; Whitney, Anne; Baker Bell, April; and Smith, Amanda
"Re-thinking Personal Narrative in the Pedagogy of Writing Teacher Preparation,"
Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education: Vol. 3
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/wte/vol3/iss1/4