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Book Review Essay: Using Narratives in Research and Practice:Narrative and the Practice of Adult Education (Professional Practices Series), by Marsha Rossiter and M. Carolyn Clark. Malibar, FL: Krieger, 2007. 187 pp., $27.50 (hardcover). Using Biographical and Life History Approaches in the Study of Adult and Lifelong Learning: European Perspectives, edited by Linden West, Peter Alheit, Anders Silig Andersen, and Barbara Merrill. New York: Peter Lang, 2007. 310 pp., $62.95 (paper)

Book Review Essay: Using Narratives in Research and Practice:Narrative and the Practice of Adult Education (Professional Practices Series), by Marsha Rossiter and M. Carolyn Clark. Malibar, FL: Krieger, 2007. 187 pp., $27.50 (hardcover). Using Biographical and Life History Approaches in the Study of Adult and Lifelong Learning: European Perspectives, edited by Linden West, Peter Alheit, Anders Silig Andersen, and Barbara Merrill. New York: Peter Lang, 2007. 310 pp., $62.95 (paper)

Abstract

Colleen AalsburgWiessner North Carolina State University Nancy LloydPfahl Learning Strategies Consultant, Washington, D.C. Having conducted multiple studies on uses of narrative processes in education, and having used narrative inquiry approaches for those studies, we were eager to read and reflect on these texts. Whereas the first book is practitioner based, focused to stimulate the use of narratives in practice, the second comes out of European Studies in Lifelong Learning and Adult Learning Research (ESREA) as a “significant body of writing across language barriers and cultural difference, creating a basis for deepening conversations and research collaboration,” as stated in the Preface. Both books succeed in different ways, and together they offer guidance for using narrative in practice, which then can become the subject of research and venue for applying research findings. Both books offer the opportunity to consider narrative as serious pedagogical and research approaches and to move beyond conceptualizing stories as peripheral to teaching and learning intentions. Between them exists a space for research studies on multiple uses of narrative for learning and change. Rossiter and Clark build a strong anecdotal case, grounded in theory and in their prac- tices, to encourage adult education practitioners to tap the
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