Everyone loves a good story. We all recall our favourite stories. Storytelling techniques can provide a powerful aid to enhance student learning. Using Stories in Teaching is a scholarly and practical guide to assist teachers in higher education use or develop storytelling techniques. The authors outline the benefits of storytelling, locating the technique within the broader category of narrative.
The Guide covers practical aspects of using stories in teaching, including where to find stories, how to incorporate storytelling into teaching and which types of stories might be suitable for different teaching purposes. The process of finding, culling, incorporating, using and refining stories is viewed as a cycle with key questions and examples provided for each part of the process. The vast range of story types is outlined with links to appropriate repositories of stories. A range of delivery mechanisms are suggested, with assistance on choosing appropriate mechanisms for different circumstances. Throughout the Guide, references allow practitioners to move beyond the text to explore further this approach to teaching. There is guidance on whether stories should be told by the teacher or the students, how to assess the learning benefits of storytelling techniques and creative approaches to using stories in the classroom. The risks and challenges faced by teachers and students in using stories are covered, with suggestions for dealing with them. The Guide provides advice on ensuring that all voices are heard and respected and how to handle sensitive stories and difficult students. Creating a safe space in the classroom or in a learning management system is important, and this is especially so where personal experiences might form the basis of a story used in teaching.
Throughout the Guide, the authors draw on their own experiences and the experiences of their colleagues to provide real examples of storytelling as it is currently being used in Australian universities across a wide range of disciplines. These quotes provide examples of successes and lessons learnt from failures. Whether you are new to using stories in teaching, would like to develop existing storytelling practices or want to experiment with innovative approaches to a time-honoured technique, this Guide is designed to provide readily accessible ideas and suggestions from authors who have extensive experience in successfully incorporating storytelling techniques across a range of disciplines and learning environments.