Learning and the Art of Storytelling

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What can we learn from the art of storytelling to enhance the learning experience?

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Learning and the Art of Storytelling

  1. 1. Story-telling (Learning)Lessons from the Art of Story-telling for Enhancing a Learning Experience
  2. 2. Legend goes, there was a King called Amarshakti,who ruled a kingdom in Southern India. He was ascholar and a powerful ruler.
  3. 3. King Amarshakti had three sons... ush akti Bah akti Ugrash ntsh akti Ana
  4. 4. The three princes were, what we would today call ’reluctant learners’ Must study.. . blah, blah, your future ... blah, blah, blahWhat’s the point... Here we go again I am bored!
  5. 5. Minister Sumati advised the king that instead of using conventional ways of teaching,they should find ways to wake the intelligence of the princes... and for this hesuggested requesting the great teacher, Pandit Vishnu Sharma to tutor the princes.
  6. 6. Since verbal sciences have no final end,Since life is short, and obstacles impend,Let central facts be picked and firmly fixed,As swans extract the milk with water mixed.
  7. 7. Holy Sir, as a favour to me you must make my threeprinces masters of the art of practical life. In return, I will bestow upon you a hundred land-grants.
  8. 8. O King, listen. I am not a man to sell learning.So keep your land-grants. But if I do not, insix month’s time, make the boys acquaintedwith the art of intelligent living, I will give up my own name.
  9. 9. Vishnu Sharma knew that he could never instruct the princesthrough conventional means. He employed a less orthodox way...
  10. 10. He weaved a succession of animal fables to help the princes understand the’wise conduct of life’. The collection of 5 discourses is called ’PANCHTANTRA’- meaning the five (pancha), treatises (tantra).
  11. 11. Panchtantra stories are still loved by kids in India andthe fables have been translated into many languages
  12. 12. Stories and narratives play a very important role in education
  13. 13. According to Marsha Rossiter and Carolyn Clark Stories help in sense-making Learners connect new knowledge with lived experience and weave it into existing narratives of meaning Bruner (1986) explains that a story develops the ‘landscape of action’ and the ‘landscape of consciousness’ (human intention). As audience we engage with both levels and enter into the minds of the characters and into the deeper meaning of the story.
  14. 14. Stories can be instruments of information andtransformation (Jackson 1995), taking the audience fromthe familiar to the unfamiliar.When one identifies with the character who has changedone can envision and embrace the possibility of change inoneself (Clark 2001).Stories make information rememberable because theyinvolve us in the actions and intentions of thecharacters and demand active meaning making.Stories enable us to engage with new knowledge, broaderperspective and expanded possibilities.
  15. 15. Harvard psychologist, Lawrence Kohlberg, who proposed a stage theory of moralthinking, used stories like this one, to test moral reasoning: A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was just one drug that might save her.
  16. 16. PHARMACYOnly one pharmacist had that drug and he was charging ten times thenormal price.The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, could arrange just half the amount.
  17. 17. PHARMACYHe pleaded and argued with the pharmacist that his wife was dying and socould the pharmacist please lower the price or allow Heinz to pay later.But the pharmacist refused.
  18. 18. PHARMACYHeinz got desperate and that evening he stole the drug.
  19. 19. Should Heinz have stolen the drug?Should he be punished? This story is very effective for further discussions on thinking and moral reasoning
  20. 20. In his book ‘Social Intelligence’, author Daniel Golemanexplains the impact of emotions on learning andperformance...
  21. 21. Stories can play a major role in creating such ’inspired moments of learning’
  22. 22. What can teachers and parents learn from the art of storytelling, to make learning experiences highly engaging, meaningful and effective?Let’s look at some elements, that go into making of a good story, and can be used to enhance learning experiences
  23. 23. Elements of a Story that can Enhance a Learning Experience 1. Structure 2. Conflict (emotional sub-text) 3. Resolution
  24. 24. 1. Structure Aristotle Gustav Freytag Joseph Campbell 2. Conflict 3. Resolution Persuasion - Ethos, Pathos, Logos The Rider, the Elephant, the PathStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  25. 25. 1. Structure Aristotle Gustav Freytag Joseph Campbell 2. Conflict 3. Resolution Persuasion - Ethos, Pathos, Logos The Rider, the Elephant, the PathStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  26. 26. Aristotle suggested a Three-Act Structure for Drama, in his ’Poetics’ (c. 335 BCE) 2. M idd le g nin 3. E gi n nd e 1. BStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  27. 27. According to Aristotle, Mythos or Plot... is the sequence of events in a story events are causally related events can come as a surprise first, but the logic must be revealed later plot must arouse emotions of the audienceStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  28. 28. Let’s look at an example...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  29. 29. Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  30. 30. No causation Little emotionStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  31. 31. Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  32. 32. C au s at io n Em o t io nStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  33. 33. Elements of a Story 1. Structure Aristotle Gustav Freytag Joseph Campbell 2. Conflict 3. Resolution Persuasion - Ethos, Pathos, Logos The Rider, the Elephant, the PathStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  34. 34. Gustav Freytag suggests a Five -Act Structure for Drama 3. Cli ma x 4. n c t io Fa l li n gA gA isi n cti on 2. R 1. Expo sitio n 5. Deno ueme ntStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  35. 35. 3. Cli ma x 4. n c t io Fa l li n gA gA isi n cti on 2. R 1. Expo sitio n 5. Deno ueme nt Exposition of the situation, characters introduced, what kind of people they are and their relations, goals and motivation Main Character gets to know the goal and what is at stake if he or she failsStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  36. 36. 3. Cli ma x 4. n c t io Fa l li n gA gA isi n cti Conflict is introduced 2. R on 1. Expo sitio n Small problems thwart 5. Deno ueme nt protagonist Protagonist overcomes these secondary obstacles He or she is finally in a position to go for primary goalStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  37. 37. 3. Cli ma x Turning Point 4. n c t io Fa l li n Single big decision gA gA isi n that defines outcome cti on 2. R Protagonist and 1. Expo sitio n 5. Deno ueme nt antagonist plans get revealed and get in direct or indirect conflict Protagonist makes a decision or choice which shows his or her main qualityStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  38. 38. 3. Cli ma x 4. n c t io Fa l li n gA gA isi n Greatest tension cti 2. R on Things go wrong for 1. Expo sitio n 5. Deno ueme nt protagonist Seems evil will triumphStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  39. 39. 3. Cli ma x 4. n Fa c t io l li n gA gA isi n cti on 2. R 1. Expo sitio n 5. Deno ueme nt Final confrontation and decisive win for protagonist All ’whys’ are answered and long- term consequences revealedStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  40. 40. Let’s look at an example...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  41. 41. You must stay curious, read more, learn to learn...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  42. 42. Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  43. 43. Let me tell you a storyStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  44. 44. A group of graduates from a prestigious university were asked...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  45. 45. Why do we have seasons?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  46. 46. 23 out of 25 students immediately gave the same answer that the earth is closer to the sun in the summer than it is in the winter due to the elliptical orbit of the earth. farther = winter closer = summerStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  47. 47. Do you agree?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  48. 48. Dunno!Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  49. 49. This argument does not hold water because if it were so then at that point in time both Southern and Northern hemispheres would have the same season and we know this is not true. farther = winter closer = summerStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  50. 50. The Earths axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees. The tilt of the Earth means the Earth will lean towards the Sun (Summer) or lean away from the Sun (Winter) 6 months later. In between these, Spring and Autumn will occur. Northern Hemisphere N. Hemisphere = Summer = Winter S. Hemisphere Southern Hemisphere = Summer = WinterStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  51. 51. Don’t just rely on your intuitive thinking, be sure to check your cognitive bias.Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  52. 52. Hmm....Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  53. 53. 1. Exposition You must stay curious, read more, learn to Let me tell you a story learn... Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  54. 54. Do you agree? 2. Rising Action Dunno!Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  55. 55. 3. ClimaxStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  56. 56. 4. Falling Action Northern Hemisphere N. Hemisphere = Summer = Winter Southern Hemisphere S. Hemisphere = Winter = SummerStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  57. 57. Don’t just rely on your intuitive thinking, be sure to check your cognitive bias. 5. Denouement Hmm....Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  58. 58. 3. Climax Do you agree? 2. Rising Action Dunno! 4. Falling Action Northern Hemisphere N. Hemisphere = Summer = Winter Southern Hemisphere S. Hemisphere = Winter = Summer Don’t just rely on your intuitive thinking, be sure to check your cognitive bias.1. Exposition You must stay curious, read more, learn to Let me tell you a story 5. Denouement learn... Hmm.... Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  59. 59. Key Elements of a Story 1. Structure Aristotle Gustav Freytag Joseph Campbell 2. Conflict 3. Resolution Persuasion - Ethos, Pathos, Logos The Rider, the Elephant, the PathStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  60. 60. According to Joseph Campbell, the journey of the archetypal hero in mythologies consists of Call to Adventure Refusal of the call Divine intervention or Epiphany Journey of Trials & Tribulations Return and Master of the two worlds ransformati on of self journey can be within - t The hero’sStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  61. 61. Let’s look at an example...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  62. 62. Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  63. 63. e Ad v e nt ur o Ca l l tStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  64. 64. Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  65. 65. of th e Ca l l Re f us a lStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  66. 66. Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  67. 67. e r ve n t io n In tStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  68. 68. Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  69. 69. n s u l at io ls & Tr i b Tr i aStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  70. 70. l Ad ve n t u re l of t he Ca l o a Ca l l t Re f us n s u l at io ls & Tr i b e n t io n Tr i a In t er vStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  71. 71. Key Elements of a Story 1. Structure Aristotle Gustav Freytag Joseph Campbell 2. Conflict 3. Resolution Persuasion - Ethos, Pathos, Logos The Rider, the Elephant, the PathStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  72. 72. Conflict and its resolution moves the story forward... convincingly Conflict could be between protagonist and antagonist Or conflict could be with-in the protagonistStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  73. 73. Let’s look at t wo examples...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  74. 74. You must stay curious, read more, learn to learn... Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  75. 75. You must stay curious, read more, learn to learn... Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  76. 76. You must stay curious, read more, learn to learn... Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  77. 77. Conflict You must stay curious, read more, learn to learn... Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  78. 78. To put the story so far, in perspective...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  79. 79. Stories can inform, inspire and transformStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  80. 80. In the context of education, a story can help a learner imagine... ‘what is possible’ What is What is possibleStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  81. 81. The learner is the ‘hero’ who has to undertake the learning journey towards ‘what is possible’Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  82. 82. In this learning journey, the ‘learner hero’ has to resolve ‘inner conflicts’Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  83. 83. What is possible Learner’s Inner Journey Conflicts What isStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  84. 84. Inner conflicts of a learner could be...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  85. 85. Inner conflicts of a learner could be... Cynicism, SkepticismStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  86. 86. Inner conflicts of a learner could be... Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer Simpson Cynicism, Skepticism Fear of Failure or Ridicule (what will other’s think of me)Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  87. 87. Inner conflicts of a learner could be... Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer Simpson Cynicism, Skepticism Fear of Failure or Ridicule (what will other’s think of me) Inertia to Act or lack of energy and enthusiasmStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  88. 88. Inner conflicts of a learner could be... Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer Simpson Cynicism, Skepticism Fear of Failure or Ridicule (what will other’s think of me) Inertia to Act or lack of energy and enthusiasm Rigid Mindset (habits die hard)Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  89. 89. Inner conflicts of a learner could be... Lack of Self-Efficacy Self-belief about lack of abilities, that in-turn leads to lesser effort being put into learningStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  90. 90. Inner conflicts of a learner could be... Lack of Self-Efficacy Self-belief about lack of abilities, that in-turn leads to lesser effort being put into learning Boredom & AnxietyStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  91. 91. Inner conflicts of a learner could be... Lack of Self-Efficacy Self-belief about lack of abilities, that in-turn leads to lesser effort being put into learning Boredom & Anxiety Ambiguity or Lack of ClarityStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  92. 92. Inner conflicts of a learner could be... Lack of Self-Efficacy Self-belief about lack of abilities, that in-turn leads to lesser effort being put into learning Boredom & Anxiety Ambiguity or Lack of Clarity Focus on Problems not SolutionsStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  93. 93. What can we learn from the art of story-telling about how to ‘resolve’ learner’s inner conflicts ?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  94. 94. Key Elements of a Story 1. Structure Aristotle Gustav Freytag Joseph Campbell 2. Conflict 3. Resolution Persuasion - Ethos, Pathos, Logos The Rider, the Elephant, the PathStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  95. 95. Resolution could be through persuasion According to Aristotle a persuasive argument has three components 2. Path os 3. hos L og t os 1. EStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  96. 96. 2. Path os 3. hos L Speaker’s og t os 1. E credibility, authority and characterStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  97. 97. 2. Path os Appeal to 3. hos emotions ogL t os 1. EStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  98. 98. 2. Path os 3. hos ogL t Appeal to logic os 1. E through facts, dataStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  99. 99. Let’s look at an example...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  100. 100. 1. Etho s (ethical) “See how I am still so curious, eager to learn new things and You must stay curious, make it a point to read for at read more, learn to learn... least an hour every day.“ Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  101. 101. 2. Pathos (emotional) “Let me tell you a story...“ 1. Etho s (ethical) “See how I am still so curious, eager to learn new things and You must stay curious, make it a point to read for at read more, learn to learn... least an hour every day.“ Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  102. 102. 2. Pathos (emotional) “Let me tell you a story...“ 1. Etho s (ethical) 3. Logos (logical) “See how I am still so curious, “According to American eager to learn new things and You must stay curious, Society of Training and make it a point to read for at read more, learn to learn... Development (ASTD), the least an hour every day.“ amount of knowledge in the world doubles every 18 months.“ Why?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  103. 103. Key Elements of a Story 1. Structure Aristotle Gustav Freytag Joseph Campbell 2. Conflict 3. Resolution Persuasion - Ethos, Pathos, Logos The Rider, the Elephant, the PathStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  104. 104. In their book ‘Switch - how to change things when change is hard’ authors Chip and Dan Heath take a deeper look at inner conflicts...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  105. 105. They look at the inner conflict as a dilemma bet ween ‘HEART and MIND’ and use the analogy given by psychologist, Jonathan Haidt...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  106. 106. Your Mind or rational side is THE RIDERStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  107. 107. Your Heart or emotional side is THE ELEPHANTStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  108. 108. THE RIDER (mind or rationality) (+) - is a visionary (thinks long-term) - good at planning and direction - accepts delayed gratification (-) - Over analyzes (analysis-paralysis) - Limited strength (self-supervision is exhausting)Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  109. 109. THE ELEPHANT (heart or emotions) (+) - can provide energy and enthusiasm - responds well to positive emotions - love, compassion, empathy, loyalty (-) - lazy and unpredictable - desires instant gratification - negative emotions (loss of energy or focus)Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  110. 110. “What looks like Laziness is often Exhaustion“ What is What is possible se? Iu ? k ake rea uld t Im b icul sho will diff ould ools ne t sh sto too tt The Wha Wha It’s THE RIDER Changing habits is tiring (self-control is exhausting) Prefer to maintain status quo Sees only problems on the path of change Too many choices (analysis paralysis)Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  111. 111. “What looks like Resistance is often Lack of Clarity“ What is What is possible ? y art it abil ? n st ble o it he ossi eve et Id imp hav uld do I s is sho on’t How Thi Why THE ELEPHANT Id Why change? No emotional connect with change The challenge is too big I don’t have the ability (lack of self-efficacy) How should I go about it - what steps?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  112. 112. To Resolve the Inner Conflict, and bring about change (from ’what is’ to ’what is possible’), you need to appeal to both the rider and the elephantStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  113. 113. What role can Stories play in ‘Directing the Rider’ and ‘Motivating the Elephant’ ?Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  114. 114. Direct the Rider Role of Stories Stories that demonstrate change is possible Focus on solutions (and not the problems) i.e. don’t focus on what is broken and how to fix it instead focus on what is working and how to do more of it Stories that explain the critical stepsStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  115. 115. Let’s look at an example...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  116. 116. Once upon a time there was a boy who was heart-broken because he got ‘F’ grade in Math and Science. He thought to himself he was no good at studies...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  117. 117. The story should go on to explain how he changed his mindset... Instead of looking at the bad grades he considered his ’A’ grade in English How did I get an ’A’ in English? Good study habits? Hard work? Multiple performance opportunities (writing, debating)? Deep interest and confidence? He then applied the same learning approach to other subjects He got a ’C’ in Math and Science and a ’B’ in History!Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  118. 118. Motivate the Elephant Role of Stories Stories that provide an emotional connect That inspire hope That help achieve some ’quick wins’ That ’grow the person’ - help them gain self-efficacyStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  119. 119. Let’s look at some examples...Structure > Conflict > Resolution
  120. 120. Stories inspired by Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory Tele-novellas and Radio-dramas narrating stories of model behaviour have been very successful in bringing about social change like, - radio drama, ’Taru’, in India, about female reproductive health - radio drama, "Twende na Wakati," or "Lets Go with the Times," in parts of Tanzania, about HIV and AIDS - "Ven Conmigo," or "Come with Me," in Mexico, on adult literacyStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  121. 121. http://www.population.org/old/programs_india_taru.shtml http://www.population.org/
  122. 122. Principles on which these stories are based (according to Bandura) Contrasting Role Models - positive, transitional and negative Characters demonstrate how to manage set-backs or enlist support Personal Relevance - from audience perspective Aspirational Linkage (i.e. based on audience’s aspirations) Vicarious Motivators Environmental Support - tell the audience what support is available for making the change and where to look for itStructure > Conflict > Resolution
  123. 123. To conclude...
  124. 124. Stories help a ‘learner hero’ What is possibleembark on a journey towardsself-confidence andunderstanding... Learner’s Inner Journey Resolution Conflicts What is
  125. 125. Stories help a ‘learner hero’ What is possibleembark on a journey towardsself-confidence andunderstanding... Learner’s Inner Journey Resolution Conflicts What is ...by creating inspired moments of learning that combine - full attention, enthusiastic interest and positive emotional intensity.
  126. 126. Do you remember stories that made history come alive for you, orbiographies that got you back on your feet when you were down? We can all learn from ‘hearing’ stories - parables, moral tales, stories of adventure... We can also learn by ‘telling’ stories - sharing our own ‘hard knocks of life’ tales, that helps us make sense of our life situation (blogging for catharsis!) And, best of all, stories can make the learning experience a lot of fun
  127. 127. References ‘Narrative Perspectives on Adult Education’ - Rossiter & Clark ‘Social Intelligence’ - Daniel Goleman ‘A Private Universe’ - projects about misconceptions in Science ‘A Hero with a Thousand Faces’ - Joseph Campbell Wikipedia - Panchtantra, Kohlberg, Aristotle and Freytag ‘Switch’ - Chip & Dan Heath Lecture by Albert Bandura - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjIbKaSXM3A
  128. 128. Author & Illustrator Atul Pant

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