The Storytelling Teacher: Using Storytelling to Improve Engagement and Content Retention in History and Social Studies for all Learners

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the way that story is used as a method of making the culture and history of distant and diverse peoples meaningful to junior high school students. Canada's aboriginal community utilized the traditional method of communicating the history and teachings of their people via oral communication. These stories teach the student about the way that a culture has lived, utilized the land and interacted with nearby cultures. Often learners are reluctant to engage in traditional history classes due to a lack of engagement, but when teaching uses the aboriginal model of oral history, students have a greater ability to retain and recall the essential understandings of a topic area. In addition, through learning the stories held in high esteem by diverse cultures, students gain a greater appreciation of their values and perspectives. As a result, this study demonstrates that by learning multiple perspectives through the stories valued by different communities, students are more likely to learn necessary curricular outcomes. In addition, students are also more likely to form positive opinions of distant cultures and to feel greater responsibility to contribute to global society.



Author Information
Matt Berrigan, Foothills School Division, Canada
Chelsea McNutt, Foothills School Division, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2015
Stream: Education for interdisciplinary thinking

This paper is part of the ACE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21