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From Pen to Podcast: Facilitating Critical Moral Reasoning and Critical Consciousness Through Constructing Narratives of Personal Conflicts


This mixed methods study investigated 10th grade students' shifts in reasoning between handwritten narratives of personal conflicts and their production of digital podcast versions of the same conflicts. Specifically, shifts in perspective, resolution, domains of social reasoning, domain coordination, and storytelling elements were compared. This study was implemented as a curriculum intervention with 32 participants in a public high school in British Columbia. Analyzing multiple narrative constructions of the same personal conflict, but within different mediums, is conceptualized as a way of stimulating and bringing into view developmental transformations, including the development of critical moral reasoning and critical consciousness. Key findings include a significant decrease in victim perspectives in the podcast format, and an increase in the use of the conventional domain in students’ resolutions of their conflicts in the podcast format. The type of characters included in students' conflicts changed between narrative and podcast, and students arrived at different types of conclusions. The podcast is proposed as a storytelling format that can target specific critical moral reasoning and critical consciousness components, such as transactive reasoning, heteroglossia, and making connections between personal and societal struggles. Implications for educators include how to identify emerging critical moral reasoning and critical consciousness skills within students' podcasts, as well as barriers that students may face in the process of coming to critical conclusions.

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