Developing and extending Wertsch's idea of narrative templates

Philpott, Carey (2014) Developing and extending Wertsch's idea of narrative templates. International Journal of Research and Method in Education. pp. 309-323. ISSN 1743-7288 (

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Narrative inquiry has become increasingly popular in recent decades. Although James Wertsch has developed a well theorised model of narrative as a sociocultural tool, his work has not been as influential on this narrative inquiry as it might have been. This may be, in part, because Wertsch has mostly applied his model to the collective memory of national communities rather than to other mental actions or to smaller or more local meso-level sociocultural contexts. This paper develops Wertsch’s idea of the narrative template so that it might be more readily used in researching meso-level sociocultural contexts and for researching mental actions other than remembering. For example, learning and the formation of professional identity. It draws on specific examples from education and from teachers’ professional learning in England to do this.