Stories, Storytelling, and Teaching

I’m in the final few days of preparation for the beginning of the Winter 2014 semester and my new gig as Instructor in the First Year Seminar program. Very excited. Excited to apply what I already know about teaching and learning; even more excited to learn new things.

And one of those things needs to be about stories and storytelling.

This remark by Judith Helfand, an accomplished filmmaker, put it into sharp relief:

Judith Helfand

My mother did not ever read me a bedtime issue, she read me a bedtime story.

My teaching style is often more about issues than it is about stories. And yet we know that stories and storytelling is the best way not just to convey information but to involve the participants (the learners, the audience, the soon-to-be storytellers themselves) in the ideas and the understanding.

And it’s not just a teaching technique, a tool to pull from the pedagogical toolbox when needed. Stories are something more profound and enduring. As Thom King said:

Truth About Stories

The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.


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