The storytelling idiot
I was at a storyteller’s potluck last weekend, and a newbie cornered me. He was searching for conversation when he found out I was a teacher. “Oh, cool cool maybe you can answer this, because I have always wondered, why don’t teachers use story more in their classroom?”
Now before you go off, thinking this guy was an idiot, I should explain that story, in this context is not stories, in a singular form. It is the idea that narrative serves as a framework for almost everything. So really what he was asking was, “How come you guys don’t use stories to explain stuff?”
NOW, you can think this guy is an idiot. (I did.)
It is in fact human nature to use story, teachers just do it better. Although we don’t always pay attention to what science tells use about story (the idiot doesn’t know this stuff either)
When we are being told a story, not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.
If someone tells us about how delicious certain foods were, our sensory cortex lights up. If it’s about motion, our motor cortex gets active.
That study did not look at what happens when we tell stories about logic or working through the scientific process but as a story telling teacher I am willing to assume there will be a cognitive connection.