Using a Process of Collective Biography Writing in Higher Education fo Develop an Ability to Explore, Reveal and Critically Reflect

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


ABSTRACT Teaching and learning are frequently treated as processes that are separate from each other, while teachers and learners are considered as disembodied entities with a neutral position towards the content which is negotiated. In collective biography writing (CBW), a very different approach is taken. Writing, reading and learning are seen as an integrated whole, where teachers and educators and students participate in the same practice(s) and context(s), thus learning through a collaborative approach, with a particular focus on themselves as learners (teachers as well as students). In this article, a memory story example is used to show the process of being a subject and of being subjected in a social context. The example provides opportunities to become aware of how social forces work when the individual is socially approved and positioned. It is argued that the use of CBW as a methodological tool, informed by post-structural theory, is useful in learning processes that aim at revealing underlying social forces. The method supports critical reflection and opens up space for becoming more aware of differences and the construction of our ‘selving’.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Educational Sciences


  • collective biography writing, higher education, learning, critically reflect
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-390
JournalEuropean Educational Research Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch