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Free Content Diversifying the discourse of progression to higher education: Digital storytelling methodology in widening participation practice

This paper commences from a critique of the generalised discourse of individualistic capacities in widening participation to higher education. It examines the potential of digital stories to diversify understandings of progression to higher education as a reflexive learning process for participants and institutions alike, by considering one cohort of students participating in a digital storytelling award at a university in the North of England. The concepts of narrative imagination, narrative learning and reflective referentiality are utilised to advance a theoretically informed argument for the potential of this methodology, given the position set out in the paper that the impact of digital stories such as these is unlikely to be transparent or easily measurable in the positivist language of much widening participation practice. The digital storytelling methodology invites a more nuanced consideration of student voice than usually pertains in widening participation, with potential to diversify a reductive discourse of under-represented groups.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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