Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Power of Stories

When I was in graduate school, I had a professor who was very into storytelling as a method of getting students to remember and internalize information. Although I have thought back to this fleetingly over the last four years I have been a teacher, I've never consciously tried to tell many stories. Every once in a while, I have been inspired and one has popped out, but like many things I learned in grad school, it's just one more "best practice" I keep forgetting to return to.

Lately, this idea keeps popping up, though, leading me to believe that the universe is trying to send me a message.

Evidence #1: Just a week ago, a student answered a question by reminding the class of something I had told them back in September. I didn't even remember having said it, and at best I said it casually, off the cuff, but clearly it was so powerful it has stuck with him all these months.

Evidence #2: Over the summer we read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, in which the idea of storytelling as a vital twenty-first century skill is a primary focus.

Evidence #3: Just an hour ago, I was trolling through one of my favorite sites, Lifehack, and I stumbled on this post about storytelling.

It's all starting to add up. Storytelling as teaching method. . . intriguing.