Some Thoughts on Stories

In Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence, Roger Schank discusses the importance of personal narrative in learning. Everything that we learn and do has an associated story. Sometimes the story is about process, sometimes it relates to something more ethereal such as the environment or atmosphere that surrounded the learner at the time that they learned something. When the content needs to be remembered and applied, the individual will process and recollect the occasion that they learned and then interpret and adapt it to the situation at hand. Learning becomes a personal narrative based upon the recollection and adaptation of stories and events.

If this is so, how does it relate to day-to-day learning and creative experiences? How do we adapt this idea to a practice a practice of truly engaging learners and learning?

Perhaps that one method of learning happens in a way that is related to the Plato’s allegory of the cave of shadows- in an indirect manner. By this I mean that in order to teach a particular subject, especially a theoretical one, an instructor creates an assignment or learning adventure in which the learner addresses the through an indirect route where they are challenged to find their story by the process of the self-reflection that often happens when learning something new- especially a new technology.


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