R J Comeau - Curriculum Design & Research

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Story

Strengths

Goals

Express

Self-talk

Problem solving

Habits

Decolonize the mind

 

Below, you'll find excerpts from Know Thyself on helping students write more complete and positive stories of themselves.

Section 1: Know your own story (and work to tell it better)

Write and revise drafts of your own story, to form a coherent narrative of how you got to be who you are, and where you’re heading next.

 

Research into writing and psychology has shown that the ability to tell one’s own story well is linked with positive physical and mental health outcomes for the writer (Peterkin, 2009). One option for writing in this guide is to tell your own story, through multiple drafts, demonstrating increasing “narrative competence,” which Peterkin describes as the ability to tell one’s own story with cohesive structure and expressive meaning (p. 80). This kind of story only comes together over time, through various free-writes and multiple drafts. The process of bringing together your own story is what counts, moving from a rough draft of who you are, to one with more cohesion, clarity, and direction.

 

 

Tell your story

 

Select one of the prompts below, and write a page or two in response. In coming days, choose a different prompt, or revise earlier writing in response to feedback and conversations we’ve had about earlier drafts. Over time, let’s work to build a coherent and compelling story about who you are as a person and a student, with a narrative arc that bends toward the you that  you want to become.

 

Prompts: Write about …

  1. a moment in your life that shaped you as a person.
  2. your early experience as a student, and how it has influenced your present.
  3. your recent experience as a student, and how it has affected your work.
  4. a recent event that has caused you pain or stress, and how it has affected your work.
  5. a crisis that has shaped your identity.
  6. the role that race, class, native language, disability, sexuality and/or gender has played in your life.
  7. Choose your own topic, and write your story.

 

 

Early in the process, it’s best to just write, to get your story started on the page. As we work together on revisions, we’ll keep in mind the ideas of “narrative competence.”





References

Levinson, M. (2012). No citizen left behind (Vol. 13). Harvard University Press.

 

Peterkin, A. D., & Prettyman, A. A. (2009). Finding a voice: revisiting the history of therapeutic writing. Medical humanities, 35(2), 80-88.

Story

Strengths

Goals

Express

Self-talk

Problem solving

Habits

Decolonize the mind

HomeKnow ThyselfAnalysisExperientialCritical ConSeminarHS ReadingELA 12Contact

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