The Role of Narrative in Development and Learning

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    In 2007, a UNICEF survey comparing self reports from children in western nations relating to their feelings of ‘well-being’ indicated that England produces the unhappiest children in the western world (2007). In a 2013 update, UNICEF found the UK still well behind other European nations. The proposed presentation will explore issues relating to infancy that may explain some issues that may underlie this phenomenon.

    It will begin with the model of the human being outlined by Lyle: a ‘storying animal’ (2000, p.55), going onto explore how this begins from birth; Zeedyk (2206, p.322) explains that conversations between caring adults and infants are a ‘jazz duet... the two partners are not dancing to someone else’s tune but.... creating one of their own.’

    The focus of the presentation will be the lack of understanding that exists relating to the need for shared narrative-building between infants and carers, including the current emphasis upon ‘school readiness’ within the Early Years Foundation Stage (Whitebread and Bingham 2011). In a recently published article in the International Journal of Play, the presenter argues:

    Over the last few decades, Anglo-American society has increasingly placed children within highly artificial, adult-directed environments, initially aimed at creating a ‘readiness’ for the mainstream experience of immersion within rushed transmit-and-test processes. (Jarvis, Newman and Swiniarski 2014, p.63)

    In summary, the presentation/ poster will focus upon the crucial role of narrative in development and learning, and how its profile may be publically raised amongst those developing policy and practice for young children.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2014
    EventBPS North East of England Branch Annual Conference - Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
    Duration: 12 Sept 201412 Sept 2014

    Academic conference

    Academic conferenceBPS North East of England Branch Annual Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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