THE BLOG
04/04/2011 05:22 pm ET | Updated Jun 04, 2011

Connecting Meaning and Learning Through Storytelling

People instinctively organize their thoughts as stories. Well-crafted stories engage, inform, and inspire and inevitably resonate with us over time. The practice of storytelling is not a new one. Stories have always carried messages even before writing was the main carrier.

The art of storytelling in recent days has made a resurgence in business and marketing. People are realizing the power that narrative has in engaging and informing people about a product or a brand.

Within education, these same techniques can be used to create an emotional connection with curricular content. With the flurry of testing our students and teachers are now subjected to, education has become formulaic in its approach. Rubrics are given to students that define their success for them before they even attempt a task on their own.

The development and implementation of the Common Core Standards is the perfect opportunity in which we can rethink the way education is conceived. Using the standards as a foundation, we can be sure that our students are reaching necessary benchmarks and achieving learning outcomes on a national scale, while allowing for the flexibility and creativity our students and teachers need to thrive. Rather than being the end all in education, the standards instead should be conceived the foundation of a central story aimed at producing academic gains.

Time and time again I hear how uninspiring education is today, however through the power of story, it is possible that meaning and learning can powerfully coexist.

On the most basic level, children love stories and ache to consume them across media platforms. Spanning narrative across these platforms and weaving together the Common Core Standards will create an education ecosystem that will allow for learning to be immersive, innovative, and transformational. Students will be able to make connections to themselves and to the world around them and this naturally will begin a dialogue based on a story that relates to their family and life experiences -- giving each and every one of them a voice -- inevitably leading to a higher level of engagement.

It has been proven that successful schools build relationships, share resources, and connect with the needs of the community. Through storytelling concepts, we can build environments and worlds to connect technologies, languages, cultures, generations, and curricula, which will inevitably allow our learners to flourish in their digital future. Rich stories that move teachers, administrators, students, and parents will turn them into one cohesive community of action.

This community would inevitably be invested deeply in learning. These dynamic experiences will empower young people, allowing for the proliferation of information and knowledge, as well as ensuring that they will learn together and from each other. The shared sense of purpose that storytelling concepts create, along with opportunities to call upon individual strengths and abilities will inevitably promote achievement in our schools.