Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

What is an Education Narrative Genre?

This week, we have read (and heard) three examples from the genre of the “education narrative”: the Olivarez, Lorde, and Livingston pieces.  Your first essay assignment (Unit 1) in this class will be to write in this genre yourself.  So in this Class Discussion, we’ll have a conversation about what the features of this genre are. Please discuss some of the following in a comment of at least 250 words:

  • What, from what you’ve seen so far, are the “ingredients” (also known as “conventions”) of the education narrative genre? Be specific, bringing in excerpts + examples from the three texts.
  • What do you think might be a place to get started with your own education narrative?
  • What are your questions or concerns about writing an education narrative of your own?
  • If you like, you can also feel free to share an educational experience you had and ask for feedback from your colleagues (and me) to see if we think that might be a solid place to begin writing.

*DUE: Friday, 9/9 by noon

*Don’t forget to read through your classmates’ comments & engage where you see fit.

19 Comments

  1. Jamani Anderson

    Based on what I have seen so far are the ingredients also known as conventions of the education narrative is that they include personal essays, fairly tales, short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, autobiographies histories, even news stories can also be a part of a narrative genre. Narratives also may be a list of events in chronological order or an imagined tale with flash backs or multiple time lines. A place that may get me started with my own education narrative would be reading short stories gaining knowledge about the main idea of the short story understanding short stories in a way that I can analyze my own education narrative based on the short story. some questions and concerns I have writing an education narrative of my own are when your writing a educational narrative does it relate to a purpose of how its being viewed or how it impacted our experiences of education?
    How has writing an education narrative of my own serve the readers needs or interests?
    what can I learn from writing an education narrative of my own?
    A educational experience I had was having to research a word about conflict learning both aspects of conflict internal conflict and external conflict and I would have to explain both meanings behind conflict in order to understand how its seen in a everyday life and how it can lead to violence and war in certain situations.
    I learned that Conflict can lead to positive results and personal growth and that its considered the driving force of a plot in a dramatic literature.

    • Jamani Anderson

      Based on what I have seen so far are the ingredients also known as conventions of the education narrative genre is that they include personal essays, fairly tales, short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, autobiographies histories, even news stories can also be a part of a narrative genre. Narratives also may be a list of events in chronological order or an imagined tale with flash backs or multiple time lines. A place that may get me started with my own education narrative would be reading short stories gaining knowledge about the main idea of the short story understanding short stories in a way that I can analyze my own education narrative based on the short story. some questions and concerns I have writing an education narrative of my own are when your writing a educational narrative does it relate to a purpose of how its being viewed or how it impacted our experiences of education?
      How has writing an education narrative of my own serve the readers needs or interests?
      what can I learn from writing an education narrative of my own?
      A educational experience I had was having to research a word about conflict learning both aspects of conflict internal conflict and external conflict and I would have to explain both meanings behind conflict in order to understand how its seen in a everyday life and how it can lead to violence and war in certain situations.
      I learned that Conflict can lead to positive results and personal growth and that its considered the driving force of a plot in a dramatic literature.

      • Jill Belli

        Thanks Jamani for these thoughts. Please note that this Class Discussion asks you to first read/annotate the 3 new readings for this week (the Olivarez, Lorde, and Livingston) and to engage with them specifically as models for the education genre. I know I had just posted this material, so it would be helpful for you to take time to first work through all that material before participating here.

        • Jamani Anderson

          So for the first question right it”s asking about the narrative and giving examples from the 3 texts but isn”t the other 3 questions relating to us to answer in our own words ? After I annotate the 3 texts that was provided ?

          • Jill Belli

            Yes, that’s right!

          • Jamani Anderson

            ok thanks for clarifying I will start this over.

  2. Tahani Rabah

    The ingredients that I have been seeing with both stories I’ve read earlier, Is that both are in first person points of views and use a type of figurative language. The type that I have seen the most is imagery. I believe the genre I’ve been seeing a lot of stories but not the made up story’s. They are first person narratives. Like for an example in the July forth passage and the how writing saved me both used words first person words which are words like “I” “we” “ our”. I believe the steps to get started on my own narrative is to make sure I know exactly what I want to write about, make sure I use good transitions sentences. Also know that since it’s a personal writing I am writing in first person, so I can explain what’s going threw my head,my thoughts and personal feelings. Something that I still have a question about is not understanding what fully is a education narrative. Is it like a narrative of my education? Or will we be assigned a topic? An educational conflict I have encountered is actually learning a bit slower then the ones around me. I don’t like to learn in a fast paced environment. I like when everything is slow and I have a chance to ask questions, but college is nothing like that. Well most of my classes are fast and I noticed it has been a huge issue for me

    • Brandon Rivera

      Interesting analysis. I agree I do think each story is using figurative language in order to detail their personal life experiences. As to your question about what is education narrative. My understanding is it can be anything that happened to you that changed the way you view education and the way it thought you a lesson. It could either be something you learned from school or something that happened outside of school and want to learn more about. I hope that was somewhat helpful.

  3. Tahani Rabah

    The ingredients that I have been seeing with both stories I’ve read earlier, Is that both are in first person points of views and use a type of figurative language. The type that I have seen the most is imagery. I believe the genre I’ve been seeing a lot of stories but not the made up story’s. They are first person narratives. Like for an example in the July forth passage and the how writing saved me both used words first person words which are words like “I” “we” “ our”. I believe the steps to get started on my own narrative is to make sure I know exactly what I want to write about, make sure I use good transitions sentences. Also know that since it’s a personal writing I am writing in first person, so I can explain what’s going threw my head,my thoughts and personal feelings. Something that I still have a question about is not understanding what fully is a education narrative. Is it like a narrative of my education? Or will we be assigned a topic? An educational conflict I have encountered is actually learning a bit slower then the ones around me. I don’t like to learn in a fast paced environment. I like when everything is slow and I have a chance to ask questions, but college is nothing like that. Well most of my classes are fast and I noticed it has been a huge issue for me

  4. Jamani Anderson

    Based on what I have seen so far are the ingredients also known as conventions of the education narrative genre is that both narratives the Olivarez, Lorde, and Livingston pieces state imagery in a way that their both expressing their struggles with life and school and family purposes. one thing I have also noticed about ingredients thats being used is figurative language and first person point of views like for instance I have noticed that in both narratives is that it states that the words I, We, It. A place that may get me started with my own education narrative would be reading short stories gaining knowledge about the main idea of the short story understanding short stories in a way that I can analyze my own education narrative based on the short story starting off with transitioning my words and sentences in a order were it makes sense and connects very well. some questions and concerns I have writing an education narrative of my own are when your writing a educational narrative does it relate to a purpose of how its being viewed or how it impacted our experiences of education?

    How has writing an education narrative of my own serve the readers needs or interests?

    what can I learn from writing an education narrative of my own?

    A educational experience I had was having to research a word about conflict learning both aspects of conflict internal conflict and external conflict and I would have to explain both meanings behind conflict in order to understand how its seen in a everyday life and how it can lead to violence and war in certain situations.

    I learned that Conflict can lead to positive results and personal growth and that its considered the driving force of a plot in a dramatic literature.

  5. Brandon Rivera

    The ingredients of the education narrative genre from all three stories are acceptance and the personal stories told. When we look at “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing” by José Olivarez. The whole article is a story, and we even get a deeper connection with the storyteller Olivarez that even he cannot fully detail his story as it was a long time ago, yet still feels like he has to get this off his chest. Olivarez states “Before we go any further, I have to tell you that my memory cannot be trusted. Am I reconstructing my past to fit what I now know about how the decks were stacked against me and my classmates?” Olivarez questions this because it is not common for people to write about something that 1. means a lot to him, 2. It’s in the past that the future generation needs to hear the way society treated him and how he managed to find his identity.  

    With the topic of finding their identity, with the story of Lorde “The Fourth of July.” We see a child with a lighter skin mother and a darker skin father. Lorde’s mother mentions to her that she must not trust anything that white people tell her. But to this Lorde found it stranger and more confusing to hear it from her mother who was lighter skinned in comparison to her father. “It always seemed like a very strange injunction coming from my mother, who looked so much like one of those people we were never supposed to trust.” But with this Lorde would not question her mother or question why she was not “white” and struggled just as much as they did. 

    In Donovan Livingston’s Graduation Speech, his struggle with identity is a bit different. Donovan was born to be a public speaker. With this, he mentions silencing students and allowing them to find what they truly love and “uncuff us” is what we need. Donovan’s 7th teacher once told him that he can “put your excess energy to good use!” With that, she introduced Donovan to his own voice in public speaking. “So wake up — wake up! Lift your voices Until you’ve patched every hole in a child’s broken sky. Wake up every child so they know of their celestial potential.” Meaning we should support and lead students in finding their identity. 

    Question 2, I believe that the place to get started with your own education narrative would be to remember a time when you either felt happy, sad, or angry with yourself or with the world and how you responded to that. Also, an education narrative could take place at any moment in time. We saw that with “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing” by José Olivarez and “The Fourth of July” by Audre Lorde. Olivarez took place when he was just a child and like he mentioned himself, “Before we go any further, I have to tell you that my memory cannot be trusted.”  

    My concerns about writing an education narrative of my own would be, not knowing what to write about. I have stories but I personally feel like they are not interesting enough. Also, I do not want to write something that I vaguely remember. I enjoyed reading Olivarez’s story, but I lost interest once he mentioned that he cannot be trusted, and that the information could be a bit off. Olivarez sort of started to write 3 stories in one and personally it was a little confusing to follow the timeline.  

    An educational experience that I had and still have would perhaps have to be about my medical condition and the many surgeries I went through and how that sparked my interest in what I want to study. But again, as I mentioned, I do not know if that would be interesting enough to write about or if it connects to an educational narrative. If possible, could anyone let me know if this is a decent idea or if I should focus on something else? Thanks for reading. 

  6. Holaly Dzakpa

    There are many different types of narrative genre such as essays, short stories, novels, fairy tales, autobiographies and news stories. From my understanding in “Maybe I Could save myself through writing” by Jose Olivarez He engages the reader by introducing himself after the title of his article. The audience can quickly infer that the author had trouble feeling like he belonged in his school days. He insists on pointing out that he was just a kid and he may not be able to describe everything he went through in detail. Looking at “Fourth of July” by Andre Lorde, she is just trying to figure who she is while facing the difficulty of a world where her family members and others like her are not accepted. A place and time where all of her actions would be immediately judged and and how black individuals were separated from general society. In the act of trying to find herself, she notices that her father is a darker skinned man who is met with racist statement but given that her mother is lighter skinned she is confused about not trusting white people when she views her mother as someone not identified as colored. In the graduation speech by Donovan Livingston, one thing that caught my attention was when he stated that ” As educators, rather then raising our voices over the rustling of our chains, take them off. Un-cuff us.” The viewers can immediately interpret that as instead of teachers getting frustrated over students talking, let our ideas become engaging conversations in the classroom and topics of class discussions. When he mentions waking people up he talks about how his 7th grade teacher told him to put all that childish energy into something else which introduced him to public speaking (Which I think he excels at). “Together we can inspire galaxies of greatness for generations to come. No, sky is not the limit. It is only the beginning. Lift off.”

  7. Henry Ren

    After reading the texts, the three main “ingredients” that I found so far were setting, theme, and perspective. In all of the texts, especially ” “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing” by José Olivarez and “The Fourth of July” by Audre Lorde, perspective was used to illustrate the challenges that the author had faced in their life. In “maybe I could Save Myself by Writing,” Olivarez uses setting and perspective to create a theme by showing his perspective on how he did not fit in when he had moved from Mexico to America and back. Instead, he uses writing as an escape and found his passion, creating a theme of self-acceptance and finding your passion rather than trying to fit in. In “The Fourth of July” by Audre Lorde, the same technique is used where the setting is a vacation trip to Washington and her perspective on facing racism creating the theme of having to speak up as opposed to her parents who accepted the racism. Donovan Livingston’s speech was also similar, but it focused more on prospective and how he used his biggest “weakness” and “problem” and turned it into his biggest strength.

    I think that a place that would be best to start on when working on my education narrative is something in the past, such as a memory, that has high importance and meaning to me so I can set the stage and give the reader a better idea about me.

    My biggest concern is probably structuring the Education Narrative. My biggest weakness is probably organization and structure of essays.

    An educational experience that I remember vividly was around 9/10th grade when I really began writing. Prior to that, I always viewed writing as a chore and something to get done quickly, but as I grew older, around 9th grade, I realized that writing comes from your brain and you are actively writing your thoughts out that other people will read and have to understand with what you have given them. I never looked at writing the same after and although I’m still not very good at it, I believe that I have come a long way from writing like I used to over the years.

  8. logann

    Educational Narrative genres all require the same social purpose to follow similar structure patterns. The importance to understanding genres is to develop the purpose of the text, the audiences its recommended for and the language that shaped the overall meaning of the story. “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing” by José Olivarez, “When I was a teenager, I felt like I belonged nowhere.” “The Fourth of July” by Audre Lorde, “American racism was a new and crushing reality that my parents had to deal with every day of their lives once they came.”  Donovan Livingston’s Graduation Speech, “Spill your emotions in the big dipper and pour out your soul.”  All these stories have share a common genre. They all have a negative perspective growing up and believed in themselves to make it a positive. To help them grow up as a person they needed to use reading and writing strategies to help gain their confidence and knowledge they need to achieve the impossible. If I were to start my own narrative I would first think of a topic and jot down interesting ideas points and facts on what I want to write about. After that I will just start writing making sure they is a proper plot to my story including the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action and Resolution. Most importantly make your it makes sense and stays in first or third person. Some questions I have are what will I have to write about? Do we chose out own topic or is it assigned? How long does it have to be? Should I write about my whole life education or just one particular year or moment that has shaped me? Can it be about a specific person that has helped me or my education in general?

  9. Neal Ross

    The conventions of a narrative genre are experiences, first had experiences that provoke the deep emotions and thoughts. Stirring up questions and lead to learning from your own and others experiences, combating injustices we see and face in our society. “The Fourth of July” describes Lorde as angry as she is recounting her experiences of injustice. She should be angry and has every right to be, facing discrimination and segregation. She didn’t let herself be defeated, she takes these experiences, creates a platform and uses it to combat and educate the injustices she is faced with. An educational narrative that will live on to educate by expressing her emotions. Pieces of work that will live on way past her time to instill a sense of what she had to go through not letting her story go unheard. A social change leader for herself and all those who experienced and still experience discrimination of any kind. Narratives are about ones own experiences, Olivarez uses his own educational and cultural experiences in “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing” to make us think deeper on the cultural and educational standards. angry about one sided teaching he’s bee brought up on through our educational systems. Histories taught as stories where there is a good and bad guy, a history in which we “America” are the heroes and on the right side of justice not accounting for the effects on other nations or peoples. overlooking sufferings that were caused. a white male dominated education no matter minimizing the impact others had on current society.

    Forming your own educational narrative would require to draw from personal experiences, something you feel strongly about. Any injustices you may have experienced, something you would want to see changed in society. Emotions and getting the reader to feel those emotions would be rattail so what techniques would you use I order to make anyone reading relate and be empathetic toward your own narrative.

  10. aniyla

    An educative narrative is a story about an authors life or experience in life that end up teaching them an important lesson to help them change for the better. in the text “maybe i can save myself” the author speaks about his childhood how he felt inferior to the others as he was young then when he got older he went to Mexico were he saw a whole bunch of people who spoke like him and looked like him but still didn’t belong when he started in his new school they had a poem slam which was a group of people who enjoyed poetry. Due to the fact that he like poetry he connected with the others that had the same interest in him and finally felt like he belonged somewhere

  11. Khandoker

    Autobiographies or memoirs are what the Education Narrative most correlates to, at least it seemed so to me. From the three pieces of content we covered in class, all of them had experiences and opinions from the author’s past littered through out.

    In José Olivarez’s article he relates a lot of the content with himself. He mostly speaks of his own experiences, what it was like for him growing up, his take on historical events as well as the challenges he faced being a first generation American coming from immigrant parents. He also writes about how his experiences changed his perspective on things he firmly believed in. He writes about his goals for the future as well and how he tries to help others people similar to him overcome their challenges.

    Audre Lorde’s piece is also similar and in fact reads very much like a memoir, detailing her experiences and how they had affected her. In the piece she describes what was perhaps supposed to an educational trip to Washington and how the racism she faced throughout the trip affected her views on various educational, political and philosophical topics. She also states many of the emotions and questions she had at the time which lets the readers ponder on them as well.

    Last but not least, Donovan Livingston’s graduation speech also details his educational life, the challenges he faced and how they shaped him. He makes a lot of points about how the education system should be, the problems he had faced and how he turned his weaknesses into strengths. He also references historical excerpts like quoting Horace Mann at the beginning of his speech which relates to the topic he is presenting.

    All three pieces make a lot of other points as well such as suggestions and lesson’s they wish to impart on the reader, but the thing they all have in common is personal experience. To me it seems the Education Narrative primarily focused on presenting thoughtful and insightful questions to the readers and the authour’s take on the matter. Perhaps from their experiences the readers may gain a new perspective on matters they did not think could be viewed in that way.

  12. Jill Belli

    This week, as we work to revise Unit 1 drafts, we’re going to continue our conversation about “What is an Education Genre?”

    Take some time to revisit the readings + annotations (in Perusall and on Schedule) and everyone’s comments here, and let’s keep the discussion going. Developing a better understanding of the conventions of the Education Narrative Genre through these example texts will help you to strengthen your own Education Narratives!

    To get the ball rolling, below I’m offering another example of the genre. I find this text particularly compelling! Take time to watch and annotate it (the transcript is provided as well, if you want to follow the video along there), and add your thoughts here. I’d also love for you to share examples of education narratives that you know or find!

    Three Ways to Speak English by Jamila Lyiscott (transcript)

  13. Neal Ross

    Narratives can be taken in many directions, but whatever way you decide to use your narrative rhetorics are always used. Being able to understand how to use rhetorics to optimize your message will be key to forming a narrative that can appeal to your audience and get them to engage with your story. Through the writing process you often reconsider how the audience receives your narrative and will adjust your narrative in order to appeal to the audience and create the biggest impact possible.

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