Reflection on Grand Narratives and Higher Education

Frank’s chapter argues that we as instructors need to break down grand narratives and help students to question the narratives they are sold. In one section, she talks about how encyclopedias are compiled by people influenced by grand narratives and given authority by being placed on a library’s shelf. In one of the classes I observed at the beginning of the semester, a student questioned how a dictionary could be biased when the librarian said that pretty much everything can have a bias. The librarian explained that it was possible for a dictionary to have bias. This article brought me back to this conversation and reinforced why it is such an important conversation to have. It is so vital for students to be given the opportunity to explore multiple perspectives and realize that even something like an encyclopedia or a dictionary can be a part of a “grand narrative” and not representative of everyone and every experience.

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