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Chapter 6: Learning Through Stories

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  • Chapter 6

    Learning Through Stories
    Life is full of stories. Or maybe life is only stories.
    Ruth Ozeki 1 source:A Tale for the Time Being

    We conclude The Changing Story, aptly, with stories that change. An essay becomes an illustrated story.

    What follows are story-like essays where I share experiences teaching with digital stories. As teachers we look for ways to model what we are educating in the forms that we choose to convey our subject matter; hence, I am employing stories to help us learn more about stories.

    My aim is for you to learn about my challenges and insights in the classroom with my students in order to help you make sense of your experiences, as well as to aid you in considering the teaching and learning possibilities of stories.

    Paired with each essay is an illustrated version (illustrated story). The illustrations were created by two student artists. My hope is that you do a kind of meta-analysis of your ongoing understanding of different ways of knowing, including visual learning. You could read the essay and then take a few moments to reflect on what you absorbed and how the textual form contributed to your knowledge. Then read and view the paired illustrated story and consider the alchemy of images and text--how the illustration and the writing work together, and how they impact what you learn, feel and think about. Then step back and move recursively between essay and illustrated story, and consider what was left out from the essay in the illustrated version, as well as the power the images generate.

    Every Day Epiphany

    White Swan

    Teaching In My Head

    In the Beginning

    If a Bridge Falls

    As a writer and a teacher at the university level, I care passionately about the need for students to know how to write well-crafted sentences, paragraphs, and essays. I have also come to realize the importance as well as the richness of the “combinatorial” power of thoughtful integration of images and text, as well as the elemental role of story in facilitating transformative learning. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy reading, viewing, and reflecting on these essays and stories. Thank you.

    End of Chapter