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Personal Narratives and Policy: Never the Twain?

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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Griffiths, M., & MacLeod, G. (2008). Personal Narratives and Policy: Never the Twain? Journal of Philosophy of Education, 42(Supplement s1), 121-143, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9752.2008.00632.x/abstract

    Accepted author manuscript, 390 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-143
JournalJournal of Philosophy of Education
Issue numberSupplement s1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


In this article the extent to which stories and personal narratives can and should be used to inform education policy is examined. A range of studies describable as story or personal narrative is investigated. They include life-studies, life-writing, life history, narrative analysis, and the representation of lives. We use ‘auto/biography’ as a convenient way of grouping this range under one term. It points to the many and varied ways that accounts of self interrelate and intertwine with accounts of others. That is, auto/biography illuminates the social context of individual lives. At the same time it allows room for unique, personal stories to be told. We do not explicitly discuss all the different forms of auto/biography. Rather, we investigate the epistemology underlying the personal story in the context of social action. We discuss the circumstances in which a story may validly be used by educational policy makers and give some examples of how they have done so in the past

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