Narrative Pedagogy for Introduction to Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy 35 (2):113-141 (2012)
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This essay offers a rationale for the employment of narrative pedagogies in introductory philosophy courses, as well as examples of narrative techniques, assignments, and course design that have been successfully employed in the investigation of philosophical topics. My hope is to undercut the sense that “telling stories in class” is just a playful diversion from the real material, and to encourage instructors to treat storytelling as a genuine philosophical activity that should be rigorously developed. I argue that introductory courses focused on student narratives fulfill the ideals of learning-centered teaching. Since narrative learning also promotes self-knowledge and empathic understanding, there is good reason to consider replacing or supplementing canonical texts or arguments with narrative assignments. The concluding sections provide details as to how such assignments can be constructed,integrated into course units, and assessed.
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