Last week we brought you a paper and original introduction from Dr Naomi Thompson on the potential of storytelling for teaching about youth work. This article expands that theory into STEM teaching. The key for us is in making the content relatable and fostering an emotional connection. We love how that’s explored here in terms of new pathways to make something accessible that once wasn’t.
Storytelling can create educational environments where content is approachable and relatable, gives meaning to complex information and creates new pathways to existing knowledge. STEM projects, which are designed to ensure that students have opportunities to learn problem-solving skills, engage in real-life experiments and analyse data, can be enhanced by adding story and humor, increasing overall student engagement.
storytelling creates new pathways to existing knowledge
This was the central message of a recent webinar hosted by edWeb.net, hosted by Jenni Light, senior manager of insights and strategy for Cartoon Network; John Britt, writer and producer at Cartoon Network’s Creative Group; and Chris Rettstatt, product manager at Wonder Workshop, a robotics company based in Silicon Valley.
Creating educational environments where students have emotional connections and are invested in the lesson can be attained by adding storytelling elements to STEM projects. One example is an anecdotal approach to teaching robot obstacle detection. Teachers can create a story-based challenge about obstacle detection in which students navigate a spaceship to avoid meteors and land on an alien planet. This storytelling pathway to a lesson creates a more reliable connection between the student and the subject.