Stories candles tell: The power of narrative

Any good teacher will acknowledge the  power of a good story. All those little faces watching you intently, mouths agape, eyes wide and inviting, hanging on your every word.


Storytelling, Concord Library by Local Studies NSW on Flickr under CC BY-NC 2.0

Rarely is there a time when students are more engaged than when they are hearing an interesting narrative. It could be reading a book, recounting an experience, or inventing a fable in order to teach a moral. Students love them all the same.

And the benefits don’t end with extra motivation. Researchers have proven that cleverly disguising content in the neat wrapping of a story actually aids memorisation and recall.

Dan Millman illustrated this when he listed 20 objects and asked the audience to recite them back to him in order, and then backwards. Impossible, right? Not when he wove the objects into an intricate and intriguing story that seminar members could visualise. Incredible is the learning potential of a good ol’ chinwag.

My husband always says curriculum is the boring bits in between having a yarn with the kids. Well, I still think that what we teach is important, but when the “how” is a story, the class’ involvement increases exponentially.

And if you can make the story funny? You’ll have them eating out of your hands.


SXSW 2012 Sketchnotes: 05-06 Storytelling for Entrepreneurs by Mike Rohde on Flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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