Narrative in lecture: Portraiture of faculty experiences and perceptions in higher education

Robert J Cannon, University of Pennsylvania


Teaching methods available to academics abound (Heimlich & Norland, 1994), with many of these methods considered to be potentially effective in higher education (Bain, 2004). Two categories into which these methods fall are teacher-centered and learner-centered instruction (Knowles, 1984). While lecture has long been considered a teacher-centered practice (Weimer, 2002), this study argues that with the integration of narrative into lecture, learner-centered principles are contained within a traditionally teacher-centered practice. An awareness of how faculty use narrative in lecture in higher education will be obtained through an examination of the experiences and perceptions of those faculty studied. Qualitative portraiture was used to portray deeply descriptive experiences and perceptions of two faculty members from distinct disciplines and institutions to document their "authority, knowledge, and wisdom" (Lightfoot, 1997). Biographical documents, interviews, and observations served as data sources. The following primary research questions are addressed: (1) How do higher education faculty use narrative when they lecture? (2) How do faculty perceive their own experiences with using narrative in lecture? (3) What are faculty perceptions of the use of narrative in lecture, as it is generally used in higher education? This study has significance to practitioners in teaching disciplines, in that faculty who do not use narrative will gain exposure to the experiences and perceptions of faculty who do. It has significance to theorists, in that perceptions and descriptive experiences of faculty will provide a basis upon which to develop further theory on what factors contribute to narrative in lecture being used to teach in higher education.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Curricula|Teaching|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Cannon, Robert J, "Narrative in lecture: Portraiture of faculty experiences and perceptions in higher education" (2007). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3287347.