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Vocation across the AcademyA New Vocabulary for Higher Education$
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David S. Cunningham

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190607104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190607104.001.0001

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Called to Tell Our Stories

Called to Tell Our Stories

The Narrative Structure of Vocation

(p.67) 3 Called to Tell Our Stories
Vocation across the Academy

Shirley Hershey Showalter

Oxford University Press

The ability to discern our vocations depends in part on the stories that we tell about our lives, as well as how we embody those stories. Narrative is a key category across a wide range of scholarly fields; it provides us with insight as to how vocational discernment can occur across the range of academic disciplines. Undergraduate education takes place at the intersection of the student’s story, the teacher’s story, and the story that is created in the classroom as lives are woven together. Once we discover that we are not simply at the mercy of our stories, but that we can compose, reframe, and reimagine them, our field of vision widens and we become capable of greater breadth in vocational reflection. Educators can look for ways to ask the right question at the right time, thereby encouraging students to enter more deeply into reflection on their own life narratives.

Keywords:   vocation, calling, narrative, story, reframing narratives, educators, encore life stage, intellectual genealogies, narrative theory, life course perspective

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