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


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 Eleven: Storying: Ways of Seeing

← 142 | 143 → CHAPTER ELEVEN


The Irish have a word that is used by people interested in environmental issues, dinnseanchas. Translated into English, the terms means “deep lore of place,” and it encompasses the whole history of a place. The individual is formed by interaction with his/her place, and is part of a large story. Central to dinnseanchas is story and how story engages the whole history of a place (Wall, 2011).

Thus, we end this book with a narrative essay and a selection of narrative poems in which the artists uncover for the reader the layers of meaning, the characters, and the histories, of two very different settings. “Roads, Stories, Indians, Air” is an essay from the book Northern Orchards: Places Near the Dead, a mixed-genre collection on cemeteries and sacred space by James Silas Rogers (2014), director of the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The focus of this narrative essay is one particular cemetery in one particular place and the stories it holds.

We go to cemeteries, in part, to realign ourselves with the stories we have already received. This is especially true if we have bonds of ancestry and recollection with someone buried there; but even when we lack such connections, we can go to cemeteries in order to wait for other people’s stories. Most gravestones provide at ← 143 | 144 → the very least a protagonist, a beginning, and an end, and one of the odd things about...

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