RECONCEPTUALISING THE ROLE OF NARRATIVE IN EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA: LESSONS FROM THE FIELD
There has been a major â€˜turnâ€™ towards narrative, biographical and life history approaches in theÂ academy over the last 30 years. But whereas some significant narrative research has been carriedÂ out in the West, such approaches are in their infancy on the African continent. This article exploresÂ narrative at three levels from the influence of Western meta narratives to the national and moreÂ personal narratives of teachers and students. Drawing on two periods of narrative field work inÂ Ghana and South Africa, the article concludes with a discussion of three important lessons to beÂ learnt from the field: that the relationship between â€˜grandâ€™ hegemonic narratives and individualÂ life histories needs to be re-thought; that context and culture provide the hermeneutic â€˜glueâ€™ thatÂ provides meaning to the field narratives; and that narrative research can provide alternativeÂ sources of evidence for policymakers.
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