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Storying

A Path to Our Future: Artful Thinking, Learning, Teaching, and Research

Series:

Elizabeth P. Quintero and Mary Kay Rummel

This is a book about story, the human experience, teaching and learning, creativity and community. Story is so much more than decoding text and writing using academic language. It also includes literature and all forms of the arts; digital forms of story, from social media to documentation of history; and new forms of multilayered, multigenre research. Story is the backbone and the catalyst for personal connections, appropriation of knowledge, and synergy of knowledge for global citizens. Critical qualitative research is the methodology by which to document and analyze what is really going on in the complex, multidirectional interactions. The authors maintain that story in a broad and newly enlightened sense may help us to break out from the narrow concepts of literacy, content knowledge related to measureable standards, and random facts that are unrelated to dispositions for addressing human needs. Literacy as a conceptual synthesis of knowledge, skills, and dispositions has been giving us glimpses of synergistic ways to approach learning and teaching.
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Chapter Six: Loving Tulips Across Three Years: A Long-Term Project Story Begins

← 74 | 75 → CHAPTER SIX

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Imagine a slow and long bloom of a tulip. Coming from the ground in a single green stem seemingly vulnerable and fragile, developing and budding at the top; a new color forms, flashing out to the world with a message, “I am here. I have something to say...a story to tell.” The soft, shiny, and smooth petals grow up and weightily droop out to a razored edge, having inched their way out to a life filled with a past, a history, and meaning to share. Each petal is coded with stories, narratives to fill in the open garden spaces. Other blooms are standing tall, side-by-side and in unison. Many stories and experiences fill the tulip garden with a slight perfume washing across and reflecting life’s struggles, joys, hardships, and heart-songs.

Keeping in mind the heuristic tool and metaphor of budding tulips, as educator-researchers we find that revealing teachers’, children’s, and parents’ learning stories and making visible the experiences of our youngest and their families serve to construct narrative, meaning, and full-life experiences in schools for young children. In order to understand how we go about constructing mindful narratives that evoke emotions and desire to go on living and hoping, we turn to a few philosophical notions to illuminate our way.

Interpretive phenomenology (Van Manen, 1990) offers us a way to see into the experiences of others (their stories) and interpret them—“bridle them” ← 75 | 76 → (Dahlberg, 2006)—to grow in our own understanding (Gadamer,...

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