Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 16, Issue 3, April 1, 2000, pages 349-363.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Kathleen Martin was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(99)00066-9.
This paper examines the teaching practices of one American Indian teacher in a high school literature class. It explores the teacher's use of narrative as an instructional strategy designed to convey abstract concepts through concrete experience. The narratives engage students in critical thinking and personal reflection, and provide them with the opportunity to make connections between social and historical contexts. In addition, the teacher uses stories to contrast multiple contexts with personal experiences, which reflects teaching strategies previously identified as those used by effective teachers. There is evidence that sharing ideas and concepts through story is an important way of encouraging social relations and helping students make connections between what they are learning in school and what they know of the world. Based on data analysis, this study presents a model of the teacher's use of narrative as a strategy to pose critical questions, frame a context for discussion, encourage students to reflect on personal perspectives, and introduce ideas and concepts. The model provides a visual representation of the teacher's use of narrative as a way of clarifying course content, contextualizing meaning, and reinforcing understanding.