Good to hear from you. I've ordered Teaching as Story Telling. Thanks
for the recommendation.
Part of what appeals to me in the little I know of Egan is the AND implied
in the model. As opposed to "ironic" *replacing* (say) mythic, it's added
on. I guess many Piagetians look for "reconciliation" of different modes
of thought, but I'm more interested in thinking from different
(unreconciled, un-synthesizable) perspectives.
You: "This is counter to the prevailing view in many literature courses,
where relativism rules, and orality and literacy are often seen as
separate but equal, or maybe with orality given a slight edge."
Have you seen Kevin Porter's "Methods, Truths, Reasons" in the April 98
College English? I liked it: tightly argued, highly nuanced, employing
relevant threads of analytic philosophy (particularly Donald Davidson) to
"rehabilitate" truth and reason in language studies. Relativists have got
away with too much for too long! Up with truth!
The article follows an earlier (Sept. 95) CE article by Dasenbrock that
argued that anti-objectivist arguments tend to be totalizing, because they
never accept the ground on which a critic might stand. Relativists and
anti-objectivists are therefore solipsists. Psychoanalysts, New
Historicists and some anti-objectivist feminists (for example) "absorb"
counterevidence in such a way that it always ends up supporting their
Re: Steven Pinker. I have little time for any student of cognition who
talks of "excess cognitive capacity," that is who seems to have a sense
that the computer is the explanatory metaphor for the brain. When in
comes to consciousness, I'll take Nabokov's metaphysical (and physical)
musings any day over most current cognitive approaches.
You: "This is not a book about using fictional stories in teaching, nor
about how to tell stories more effectively; rather it is about how to use
the power of the story-form in order to teach anything more engagingly
and meaningfully. It provides a model for planning that encourages us to
see lessons and units as good stories to be told rather than sets of
objectives to be attained. [Just like The Educated Mind,] The text contains
numerous examples of how the model can be used in planning lessons
and units in Social Studies, Mathematics, Language Arts, and Science."
Me: I'm always on the lookout for good stuff on the role of narrative /
story in learning, thinking, communications. Thinking of your Business
Communication course, I sometimes like to ask people, following a
consultation session, to distill what they're thinking into a little story:
what you'd tell a good friend in 3 to 15 sentences that would make
sense of it all. Congrats to you for your results in the course.
I've asked for the text you use on ILL. I don't know it.
Thanks for the flattering comments. If *methodolgy* is one of the
reasons you use my Spilka article, you might want to look at the thesis
version, which you can borrow from Carleton, or I'll fax you the relevant
All the best to you.