Workshops targeting especially teachers are rare. Only few storytellers are officially certified as trainers and thus can provide credited training modules. The majority of the cases, workshops are targeting a broad group of professionals working with children, as librarians, social workers and of course teachers. In Flanders the Dutch Language Union developed a reference frame for the language competences of teachers in Belgium and The Netherlands. One of the thirteen objectives in this document is devoted to storytelling: “ Teachers are storytellers, whether they teach pupils in higher secondary or pre-schoolers who have only just entered the school. Teachers tell about their own experiences, or take children into a fantasy world. Fairy tales, sagas, myths and biblical stories are told. Teachers tell stories in order to present learning content, e.g. history. Teachers also tell without presenting learning content, just for the children’s amusement, or because they are so full of an event that they want to ‘tell their story’. Most pupils enjoy listening when their teacher tells a story. Storytelling contributes to the language development of pupils, to their cognitive development in a broad sense, but also to their social and moral development. By means of stories and by interacting around these stories, values and standards are formed, and pupils develop in many ways. The teacher analyses which situation is suitable for storytelling. While telling, he adapts his story to the language level and fits in with the pupils’ environment. While he’s telling his story, he sees how he gets across and he adjusts his story. Thus he creates a fascinating interaction with his public. The teacher can tell different sorts of texts (stories, experiences …) in different ways (informing, persuading, activating, amusing).”
References Bruner, J. Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986. Clarke, M. C. & Rossiter, M. “Narrative learning in adulthood.” New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 119, 61 – 92, 2008. Gudmundsdottir, S. “The Narrative Nature of Pedagogical Content Knowledge.” In Narrative In Teaching, Learning, And Research, edited by H. McEwan and K. Egan, pp. 24-38. New York: Teachers College Press, 1995. Hamilton, M. & Weiss, M. Children Tell Stories: Teaching and Using Storytelling in the Classroom. Richard C. Owen Publishers, Inc., 2005. Harris, P. The Work of the Imagination. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. Hopkins, R. L. Narrative Schooling. New York: Teachers College Press, 1994. Polkinghorne, D. E. Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1988. Roney, R.C. “Storytelling in the Classroom: Some Theoretical Thoughts.” CITStorytelling World; V9 p7-9 Win-Spr 1996. Rossiter, M. Narrative and stories in adult teaching and learning. ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH, 2002.
This last text seems to us very close to an ideal approach to storytelling in education.