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|Title: ||Visual and Verbal Narratives of Older Women Who Identify Themselves as Lifelong Learners|
|Authors: ||Weinberg, Brenda J.|
|Advisor: ||Conle, Carola|
|Department: ||Curriculum, Teaching and Learning|
|Keywords: ||lifelong learning|
|Issue Date: ||25-Feb-2010|
My inquiry, involving participant-observation and self-study, explores the stories of four older women through verbal and visual narratives. Showing how two specific types of visual narratives—sandpictures and collages—stimulate experiential story-telling and promote understanding about life experiences, I also illustrate how engagement with images extends learning and meaning-making. Effective in carrying life stories and integrating experience, the visual narratives also reveal archetypal imagery that is sustained and sustaining. Considering how visual narratives may be understood independently, I describe multiple strategies that worked for me for entering deeply into the images. I also elaborate on the relationship of visual narratives to accompanying verbal narratives, describing how tacit knowing may evolve. Through this process, I offer a framework for a curricular approach to visual narratives that involves feeling and seeing aesthetically and associatively and that provides a space for learners to express their individual stories and make meaning of significant life events.
Salient narrative themes include confrontation with life-death issues, the experience of “creating a new life,” an avid early interest in books and learning, and a vital connection to the natural world. New professions after mid-life, creative expression, and volunteerism provide fulfillment and challenge as life changes promote attempts to marry relationships with self and others to work and service.
My therapy practice room was the setting for five sessions, including an introduction, three experiential sandplay sessions, and a conclusion. Data derive from transcripts from free-flowing conversations, written narratives, photographs of sandpictures, and field notes written throughout the various phases of my doctoral process.
This study of older women, with its emphasis on lifelong learning, visual narratives, and development of tacit knowing, will contribute to the field of narrative inquiry already strongly grounded in verbal narrative and teacher education/development. It may also promote in-depth investigations of male learners at a life stage of making meaning of, and integrating, their life experiences. New inquirers may note what I did and how it worked for me, and find their unique ways of extending the study of visual narratives while venturing into the broad field of diverse narrative forms.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral|
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses
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