(from Storytelling Magazine) – Quantitative Studies * Innovative Projects
by Jackie Baldwin and Kate Dudding
First, we must confess a strong bias. We believe that storytelling belongs in every school around the world, and we want to encourage and support that goal. Here’s how we went about it with our project, Storytelling in Schools.
As pressures build in schools for national testing, reporting and accountability, many people feel storytelling can be eliminated in schools. However, we knew that there were many quantitative studies documenting the methods and effectiveness of using stories and storytelling techniques in traditional classrooms to help teach the standard curriculum. But these studies were not easily accessible nor widely publicized. We wanted to make this information readily available to anyone interested in storytelling in schools so they could examine, learn from and emulate these studies.
Storytelling in Schools contains four basic elements.
1) A free downloadable booklet for school and arts administrators containing brief descriptions of classroom projects, broken down into Quantitative Studies and Innovative Projects, with follow-up links to the web site. (www.storytellinginschools.org/booklet.pdf)
2) A free downloadable brochure to be handed out at appropriate venues containing information about this project, backed up by position statements from national agencies on the value of storytelling in classrooms. ( www.storytellinginschools.org/brochure.pdf )
3) An online searchable web site for school and arts administrators, which describes each classroom project in detail with contact information for the program director.
4) An online searchable how-to web site specifically for storytellers, including detailed information about varied topics such as state standards, marketing and fee structures. (http://www.storytellinginschools.org/how-to)
For our first edition, we found 25 quantitative studies and 65 innovative projects covering art, music, drama, history, language arts, mathematics, physics and science, oral interpretation & presentation, cultural awareness & understanding, classroom behavior, behavioral problems, student/teacher relationships, teacher training, libraries, and museums. Other studies and projects will be added with our quarterly updates.
Already this information is being used. For example, Susan McCullough in FL wrote us: “I’m putting together a proposal for a county-wide Storyteller-in-Residence position. Because administrators don’t like to read research, though they like everything to be research-based, I’m going to use your booklet. You’ve done my work for me. The research is there in all fields: cross-curriculum, literacy, behavior, student & teacher, K-12; all the areas I’m addressing.”
Here’s what we’d like you to do to help us with our campaign to bring storytelling to all schools. We suggest that you print out copies of the brochure to keep with your business cards and your own brochures. Whenever you display your business cards and brochures, include the Storytelling in Schools brochure. When you have a meeting with school or arts administrators, print out a copy of the booklet for them. And add a link to www.storytellinginschools.org on your web site.
All feedback is welcome. If you are aware of additional programs underway, please go to www.storytellinginschools.org/how-to/submit or contact Jackie Baldwin
through (http://www.story-lovers.com) or Kate Dudding through (http://www.katedudding.com).