Reflective Storytelling


Using Storytelling to Enhance Reflection

As an alternative to journaling or blogging, digital storytelling can be an engaging way to involve students in reflective learning activities. The except below is from a research article by Jason McDonald (2009), who examined how storytelling principles might impact instruction:

“Stories play a crucial role in human learning. As Schank (2005a) recently concluded:

“Stories have been at the center of human consciousness for a long time. People tell
stories, and the stories they tell shape who they are. People hear stories and remember
those that resonate deeply with them … Good education requires good stories. (p. 5)”

Stories can motivate people to make significant and lasting behavioral changes
(Denning, 2004; Singhal & Rogers, 1999), help them meaningfully interpret other
experiences (Bruner, 2004, 1987), and give them context to use learned information
in real-world environments (Andersen, 2004; Jonassen & Hernandez-Serrano, 2002).
Postman (1989) argued that peoples’ sense of identity is closely associated with the
stories they tell. Schank (1990) hypothesized that stories are a fundamental component
of human memory, and the foundation of even the most basic mental events.”

Below are some resources and examples of digital storytelling:

  • Storytelling as a means of reflecting on the lived experience of making curriculum in teacher education– Early Childhood educators discuss their use of storytelling while developing curriculum. Their purpose was to better understand and improve their practice as ECE teachers and to better appreciate the complexities of learning for their students and themselves.“…contrary to Schon’s (1983) portrayal of reflection as being a solitary process, we found that interaction with others generated more productive lines of inquiry. We believe that the collaborative process of storytelling has enabled us to critically unravel implicit and tacit beliefs and actions associated with developing curriculum and teaching.”
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