Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Topic: The Uses of Stories

Ten-second review: Telling stories is the means of interpreting experience, and learning to compose narratives enriches life.

Title: “Teaching Trickster Tales: A Comparison of Instructional Approaches.” Maria Jarvey, et al. Research in the Teaching of English (August 2008), 42-73. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Quote: “Storytelling is one of the most powerful means we as humans have to capture, interpret and share…experience…. The creation and sharing of stories is…efficient and powerfully effective…for transmitting cultural knowledge, values and beliefs. From toddlerhood to old age, we use narratives in our lives to articulate, reflect on, and share our interpretations of experience…. Stories create templates for behavior and its interpretation…. Through narrative we develop a deeper understanding of the social world—of how others think, why they behave the way they do, and the implications individuals’ actions hold for others…. In sum, the ability to comprehend and compose narratives is intrinsic to human life, and refining these abilities adds richness and depth to that life.”

Comment: The importance of teaching students to write narratives, not only as stand-alones, but also as supporting details in expository writing.

A thought: “Stories create templates for behavior….” and yet we resist the censors’ claims that stories teach negative behavior. Just a thought.

And another thought: What are the best ways to teach students to write narratives
? RayS.

This blog, English Updates, reviews selected articles from current (2008-2009) professional English education journals.

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