Article published in:Methodology of Narrative Study: What the first thirty years of Narrative Inquiry have revealed
Edited by Allyssa McCabe and Dorien Van De Mieroop
[Narrative Inquiry 31:1] 2021
► pp. 191–213
The Two-Lens Approach
A holistic theoretical framework for studying the form, content, and context of children’s narratives
Over the past 30 years we have seen a welcome growth in the understanding of narrative as a complex and broadly defined set of concepts. While the complexity of children’s narrative development has been brought to light by researchers and theorists across multiple fields of study, reflecting this growth by comprehensively analyzing narrative complexity still remains a challenge. One reason for this ongoing challenge is the isolated, disparate focus of the approaches, either in analyzing solely story structure, content, or function. Few approaches combine these disparate dimensions to comprehensively analyze children’s narratives. In response, we build on research from the past 30 years to develop the Two-Lens Approach, a holistic theoretical framework for analyzing the form, content, and context of children’s narratives. This paper presents and applies this approach in an effort to start closing the gaps among the field of narrative analysis and narrative theory.
- Conceptualization of narrative
- Existing approaches in assessing narrative development
- Assessing narrative structure
- Assessing narrative language
- Combining form and linguistic content
- Beyond structure: Assessing narrative context and culture
- Building on existing approaches to analyze narrative complexity
- The Two-Lens Approach model
- Story’s narrative dimensions
- The reader’s two lenses: Formalist and interpretive
- Formalist lens
- Interpretive lens
- Child’s contextual factors
- Benefits of the Two-Lens Approach
- The Two-Lens Approach in action: Case study with two stories
- The story medium: StoryBlocks and the Learning Loops system
- Profile of 7-year-old Dana
- Dana’s StoryBlocks stories
- Dana’s stories analyzed by the Two-Lens Approach
- Interpreting Dana’s stories
- Conclusions and future considerations
Published online: 08 October 2020
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