Kara M.M. Vloet, Ina H. ter Avest & Els W.T. De Boom
Fontys Training Center for Special Educational Needs Tilburg, The Netherlands





People are both author and actor in telling their life story. In a dialogical process this story develops into a lifelong history, including a theme and a plot. Self-narratives take place in a cultural context in which fairy tales, parables, myths, novels and films exist. These other stories might be of great help in voicing the self, discovering unknown feelings, revealing a theme or a plot in one's own life story. For one can identify with a character, take alternative positions so that new perspectives are offered. We are exploring the role of existing stories in life history development, by showing the Father and Daughter story, an 8-minute animation-film by Michael Dudok de Wit. A father says good-bye to his young daughter and leaves. As the wide Dutch landscapes live through their seasons so the girl lives through hers. In what way does this story help a person to tell his narrative, and to discover its theme and plot? We invite the conference-participants to actively engage in our research project by exploring the relationship between the Father and Daughter story and their own narrative. We will present the preliminary results of our pilot study, and discuss the possible applications.