What if…we really engaged storytelling? In A Whole New Mind, Dan Pink declares the invaluable nature of story. Countless experts implore us to develop storytelling’s power in communicating. On Thursday, @epdobbs and I participated in NPR’s StoryCorp. This priceless experience keeps me thinking about how to utilize story more deliberately in our educational designs and transformational efforts to enhance school.
CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60 Project Explained
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Creativity is THE KEY. Students in my math classes learn to tell their stories (math is a language, after all) any way that makes sense to them. Then we listen to the stories of how others approached/understood the stories. Learning to communicate ideas and listening to others helps you learn more, learn deeper, and learn how to communicate more effectively in any language.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Chris. I appreciate that you interpreted storytelling broadly and inclusively. To hear others’ stories is so valuable – whatever the subject-area or topic of the story.
That’s a good point; we also leave the story completely out of many other subjects like science and math. Do students know anything about the story of discovery in these subjects? It’s easily filled with as much adventure, intrigue hope and disappointment as anything you’ll find in literature. And I also wonder if we help students to see the stories in the work they are doing—that geometry proof is telling a story—you just have to look for it.
Many of the most powerful moments at schools are acts of story telling. I can still remember the goosebumps on my arm as Ms. Aisha shared her story coming to America as a refugee, and how much this helped to frame our work with the RRISA group two years ago. I also think Ben Steele’s annual portrait project which tells a wonderful visual story of the lives of adults who make up the Westminster community. And I can think of many moments where my own understanding of a particular viewpoint or idea has been enhanced considerably by getting to know the story of its author better.
One other important facet of this is making time to listen to these stories—particularly in the hustle and bustle of school. I keep coming back to the wonderful edu180atl post about public displays of listening.
It seems that one great thing StoryCoprs does is provide a framework for collecting, archiving and sharing these stories, which adds tremendously to their power. How weave all the separate stories (and moments to share and listen) together at schools?
I find it interesting that for the most part high school English classes focus the majority of their time on teaching kids to analyze story rather than creating story. I had no idea that I had the ability to be a creative story teller until college. Maybe we should examine this balance.