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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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Epilogue: Taking Agency and Paying Attention



In this research and in this book, we think about the experience of each generative story site within the context and framework of story.

The grounding of this research is combinations, or reconceptualizations, of postmodern and narrative theoretical influences. This perspective is supported by data that show that effective learning is a continuum, always in flux. We looked to the dynamic idea of the bricolage (Kincheloe, McLaren, & Steinberg, 2012) as an ← 159 | 160 → inspirational frame for looking at story and supporting research that involves story on multiple levels.

The findings of this research show that there is never one finding as a result of the research about learning. Learning effectively is the interrelationship of life and teaching in a continuum looping around in various intersections. And as in the Lorenz butterfly, the system (the data) never exactly repeats itself; the trajectory never intersects itself (Gleick, 1987). Instead it loops around and around forever and illustrates information we can learn from our informants’ lives. The three fixed points for us here are the theoretical perspectives relating to critical theory, narrative theory, and the intersection of the two, through which we view the data. The system that changes is the interaction of the themes in the sites for story, changing constantly according to the individuals and the contexts. In other words, theory changes in light of different participants and contexts. It is our experience that learners of all ages, when given the opportunity, take agency,...

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