Thursday, 30 December 2010

Story time

Recently read David J Brier and Vicky Kaye Lebbin (2004) 'Teaching information literacy using the short story', Reference Services Review, 32/4 pp 383-387.

I like the idea of stories helping us to retain information. I know that in this instance the article is referring to the imagined story or tale, but the point still fits well with one of my many theories of teaching - that a true 'story' or - yes if you want a more technical term - a case study - is better at making the point, and importantly allowing that point to have been retained to become effectively learnt, than I ever could with bullet points on a powerpoint (or just my voice droning on).

Personally I like a visual clue as well as the story. So well-illustrated children's story books were made for me.

Cue the start to an article that might make it beyond my computer:

Communities in the past were built on narrative, or stories. Children were taught about life, about skills, about who they were and how to behave through stories. Narrative engaged the mind, and fuelled the imagination. A story that one person tells one audience, and a different person to the same audience, might be presented differently but can still have the same impact and the same truths contained. Community Learning is all about using different people to tell the same story, to teach the same principles but from different viewpoints...........


  1. Looking forward to seeing the rest of yr projected article. But note a counter-example. Weather forecasters' attempts to mould their work into a kind of narrative actually makes it harder to follow (for me at least) than the strictly schematic shipping forecast.

  2. interesting thought - are you referring purely to the shipping forecast or the more general weather forecast.