A theoretical framework for narrative explanation in science

TitleA theoretical framework for narrative explanation in science
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsNorris, SP, Guilbert SM, Smith ML, Hakimelahi S, Phillips LM
JournalScience Education
ISBN Number1098-237X
AbstractThis paper deals with a number of conceptual and theoretical issues that underlie the proposal to employ narrative explanations in science education: What is narrative? What is explanation? and What is narrative explanation? In answering these questions, we develop a framework of narrative elements and characteristics of narrative explanations. Two possible examples of narrative explanation are presented and examined in light of the framework. This examination brings to light various conceptual and empirical questions related to the examples and to the larger issue of the use of examples like them in science instruction. The value of the framework lies partly in its power to point to such questions. The questions can guide a program of theoretical and empirical research into the psychological reality of the narrative form of explanation, the existence of narrative explanations in science, the use of narrative explanations in science teaching, and the nature and extent of the narrative effect upon which proposals for the use of narrative often are justified. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed, 89:535-563, 2005
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