"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reflection on narratives

In reading this week's readings about narratives, I have a deeper understanding of a project we completed in Dr. Muth's 601 class: an educational biography. This is the second time I am reading Michelson's article about the self as text, and I'm finding myself reflective about that educational biography, and putting it into the framework of this class.

I found the educational biography project really difficult to complete.  We moved a lot when I was a kid, so I attended a huge number of schools throughout my K-12 years.  I even put off going to grad school for a really long time because I was never an awesome student until my latter years in undergrad, and even then, my confidence was not great.  Reading Boudin's article about learners in prison also struck a chord with me, as it writes a lot about poverty and situational life instability---familiar topics.  This quote resonated with me, talking about the prisoners' lack of self-confidence when it came to education:
...they brought with them negative feelings about education and about themselves as learners.  Attitudes about race, class and gender undermined their confidence to learn academically, compounding their insecurities about school. --Boudin, p215
I think I'd suggest to Dr. Muth that he add the Boudin reading to the Michelson reading for the 601 class, when discussing how to write about the narrative self.  I think the two are great companions to one another, coming from different perspectives.  I'm reflective of my educational biography project, which might look different if I wrote it today.  However, I could probably rewrite it every semester in this program and have a different perspective. That's one of the goals of this program, though, right?  Critical reflective practice?

To tie it back into digital literacy, and because I was tempted to just type a smiley face at the end of that last paragraph, I leave you with Chelsea Peretti from Brooklyn 99:


  1. Caitlin, I never moved around as a kid, but as a teacher, I had many students who would disappear off my roster and I never knew where they went. I'm not a fan of a nationalized curriculum; I like the fact that education is locally controlled (or at least it's supposed to be through school boards, yet an increasing number of schools are being taken over by the state) - but stories like yours remind me how difficult it must be for students to leave one school system and enter another that has a completely different curriculum. While I think this could be an enriching experience for kids by exposing them to a variety of course content, I think we most often don't bridge the gap very well and leave the kids feeling lost. :-(

  2. Caitlin- good idea about using Boudin in 601 with Michelson...will give it some thought. I wrestle with these very different views of narratives and look forward to working through some of my perplexities with you in class next week!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.