I’ve been reading Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind. Chapter five deals with how powerful Story can be for learners. Pink talks about how “Stories are easier to remember – because in many ways, stories are how we remember (Pink 223).” I started thinking about how true that really is and not just for students. Just think of all the commercials that use Story to heighten an emotional response. Here are a just a few that I really liked: Chipotle “Back to the Start”, Jeep Renegade, and Zillow. The Zillow one almost made me cry. The advertising market has definitely embraced the idea of the power of the story.
I remember in college studying Joseph Campbell’s work on “the hero’s journey” and archetypes. His book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, written in 1949 fits well with this discussion. His work addresses how all stories from all people have similar threads in them and ties humankind together. Hmmm….back in 1949…and today’s advertisers think they’ve discovered something…In actuality, the power of the story began way before even 1949.
Jesus Christ used parables to connect to the people he was addressing. Those stories still resonate with us today. Time after time Jesus used powerful parables and metaphors to share his story of love and grace.
As educators, I believe the power of the story has great significance for us. As we design engaging lessons for students, we should keep in mind the power of the story. Would love to see some comments on ways to do this! Here are a few I have thought of:
- Tell the background story of how something was made or came about.
- Tell a personal story of how whatever you are teaching has affected you.
- Have students write stories to explain whatever you are teaching.
- In English classes have students write their own stories.
When and how has the power of story affected you?