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UBC Theses and Dissertations

In the presence of each other : a pedagogy of storytelling Kuyvenhoven, Johanna Claudia


During a day in school, many stories are shared orally between children and their teacher. In order to learn about what happens during storytelling and better understand its role in classroom learning life, I took a seat in a grade 4/5 classroom from September 2002 until February 2003. In my ethnographic study, I learned about one teacher, Linda Stender's intentional use of storytelling to teach. It included times during which children told and heard stories they remembered and other times when she told stories to explain a point. She also told longer stories to listening children sprawled on the floor. Storytelling was a unified pedagogy. Linda taught children an ability and knowledge body that is particular to sharing a story aloud. Storytelling pedagogy was developed and enacted by means of three related, specific participations. In the first, participants listened and told during social awareness. They developed language abilities, social facility and knowledge as well as vocabularies for storytelling. In the second, mindful interaction, participants used a story as a "thinking place." Storytelling was the means to illustrate information, explain abstract concepts and connect ideas to their applications. In the third, children participated in deep imaginative engagement. Children entered private imaginative space where they engaged story-world life. This participation taught imaginative abilities, the particular knowledge gained through human experience, empathy for others and enriched their self-understanding. This is new theory. In the presence of each other, a teacher taught and children learned within the circle of a storytelling in three ways: social awareness, mindful interaction and deep imaginative engagement.

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