Telling Tales

Story-telling is one of the oldest forms of instruction, and one of the best.

Is chatting over the garden fence a myth in itself embodying assumptions about the nature of neighbourliness in the suburbs? Even the existence of the fence says something...

The bottom line

I could go on about the status of stories, but that is not the point, fascinating though it is. Stories are not merely illustrative anecdotes (although that is a very good way of using them); they have unique qualities which can profoundly influence the nature of students' learning.

Use them. Use caution, but use them. And be aware of the potency of your students' counter-stories: you need to be able to de-construct them, too.

For more ideas around this follow these links (linking to the site does not imply any personal endorsement of the implicit values葉hat's the problem with stories!) Some sites are about stories, some about how they might be used, some just pose questions. Think about them critically

About a traditional Sufi teaching story

More in the same vein

Scroll down to the bottom for stories about bio-technology

Stories to illustrate sermons, I think.

See here for the place of the story in the overall learning process


To reference this page copy and paste the text below:

Atherton J S (2013) Learning and Teaching; [On-line: UK] retrieved from

Original material by James Atherton: last up-dated overall 10 February 2013

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