The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential of life story for the teaching of sociology to Social Work students. It contains the results of a teaching experiment in higher education which aims to foster sociological imagination among students.
The study employs a mixed methodology. The quantitative data came from a survey handed out to the students with closed and open questions. The qualitative information came from the contents of class exercises in which the students had to connect the theoretical contents of the course of sociology with the biographical narratives of different research subjects.
The results reflect student satisfaction or appreciation regarding the use of the life story as a teaching resource, as well as a successful acquisition of sociological skills and knowledge, such as critical thinking, micro-macro connection and the interplay between structure and agency.
Life story and narrative methods should be employed in post-secondary education as teaching instruments.
The study contributes to expand the reflection on narrative techniques as a pedagogical tool. The paper provides several examples of class exercises with biographical narratives that have demonstrated to be successful for teaching sociology in higher education.
Roca, B., Bermúdez-Figueroa, E. and Estepa-Maestre, F. (2019), "Life story as a tool for teaching sociological imagination", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-06-2019-0158Download as .RIS
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