The Relationship of Narrative, Virtue Education, and an Ethic of Care in Teaching Practice


  • David P. Burns University of Alberta
  • Andy Rathbone University of Alberta



Narrative, virtue education, care theory


This paper is a philosophical examination of the role of narrative in moral education. We argue that narrative, conceived of as a moral educational practice and not as a method, is an indispensable element of both caring moral education and virtue education. We begin by explaining the distinction we make between moral educational method and moral educational practice. Then, we outline the concept of narrative, drawn from Ricoeur and Bruner, that we seek to draw upon. After briefly outlining both care theory and virtue education we demonstrate the value of narrative to these two divergent paradigms.

Keywords: Narrative; virtue education; care theory

Author Biographies

David P. Burns, University of Alberta

David P. Burns is a PhD student in Educational Policy Studies and a former teacher. His research interests include moral education and ethics in education.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to David P. Burns,

Andy Rathbone, University of Alberta

Andy Rathbone has an MA in the Sociology of Education. His research interests include complexity theory, narrative theory, and organizational change through reflective practice.