"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Narrative Stories Enhance Learning

Narrative Stories Enhance Learning

Rossiter notes: Stories are effective as educational tools because they are believable, rememberable, and entertaining (Neuhauser 1993).

We have had many narratives though out our required literature. This week really drives homes the critical need for narratives and the benefits associated with narratives. Daily, I see the value in narratives within parenting, mentoring, and education. Just yesterday my 12 year old daughter told me a story that I told her when she was in Kindergarten. My daughter informed me of how that story aided in her achievement all A’s. I am sure we all have many examples of real life learning experiences through narratives.

I am assuming Narratives will be a critical requirement for our projects. What is the best way to document the narrative responses for our 1-2-3 projects?


  1. Shannon, I just attended a workshop this past weekend on Orality Strategies/Storytelling for teaching auditory learners. We were mainly focusing on teaching people who are illiterate or who come from backgrounds where they have no written language. However, the facilitator discussed how storying is universal, and that all people have an affinity for learning through storytelling. That is awesome that your daughter was able to remember a story that you told her when she was only in kindergarten! I know that I am also able to remember many stories that my parents and grandparents told me, even though I can't always remember what I had for breakfast in the morning. :-)

    To comment on the second part of your post, I have also been struggling with how to incorporate narratives into the project. I have heard so many good stories, which I have learned from, but I am not sure how to present the data to the class. I was thinking that maybe I could select one good story that brings up many of the common points from our interviews to share with the class, but there are not as many commonalities in my data as I expected.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks Rachel, and GREAT question, Shannon!!! It's hard in 1-2-3 because we are not recording the interviews. But your question and Rachel's response made me think that maybe one strategy would be, in the write-like-hell step, after you get everything down you can remember, is to go back and ask, "what stories did I hear? and maybe give a little mental space to recall the stories as complete entities (even though they may have been spread out and interwoven in the discussion).
    Another idea: listen for share narratives--not the personal and individualized stories, but the grand narratives that we received from the culture and pull out when we need to explain something--like the narrative of "rugged individualism" or "western expansion" or "American exceptionalism or "immigrant boot-strapper" (who pulled himself up by his own bootstraps), or...these narratives are also important!
    Lastly (and this may be impossible), what about asking the respondent if she/he would mind writing the story down and asking permission to share it with the class?
    Remember, you wont have too much time in class to relate the stories in full, but they would be awesome things to append to your paper three!!
    Thanks again for this question Shannon--do others have more ideas???? B.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.