Critical Imagination: serious play with narrative and gender.
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Narrative is one of the primary ways of human knowing, both of the physical and social worlds and of the self. Feminist post-structuralist theory can give teachers insights into the ongoing processes by which children construct feminine and masculine gender identities through narrative. It can provide a framework within which they might begin to make a wider range of narrative positionings available to both girls and boys. The cognitive, ethical and imaginative implications of this process for classroom practice can be taken up in the work of critical imagination. Three strategies are suggested for teachers: the deconstruction of lived and told storylines; the development of a reflective ethical practice congruent with post-structuralist understandings of the self and the world; and the writing/telling/adapting of multitudes of stories that interrupt binary thinking.