the power of stories or week 3 #creativeHE

This was our session around story, stories, our stories, their stories for learning and teaching. Stories we create, tell, share and live. Stories which help us learn about ourselves, others and the world around us. It became clear very quickly how powerful stories are to make emotional connections, how they help us keep memories alive but also created powerful triggers to be in somebody else’s shoes and empathise but also mirror behaviour (see also a fascinating article about the science of storytelling I came across this week). The group has started coming together and it is wonderful to see how colleagues have opened up and feel free to express themselves. We all opened our hearts and showed vulnerability. But it was ok. It was our decision and we knew we were safe within our little community.

Beyond our own personal stories we also explored the use of creating stories to analyse and synthesise in a visual way academic articles. Could this present a useful approach especially for students new to critiquing academic literature and do this within a small group and through a way that is perhaps more hands-on, collaborative and visual? Could this be a useful starter activity if we use for example the flipped classroom approach? Might be something I could discuss with Prof. Simon Lancaster for example to find out if he has used something like this or would consider using with this students? I am also thinking about my own colleagues and their own students. If you are reading this, please comment below. I would be very interested to find out what your thoughts are around this.

co-creating stories based on academic papers a kinaesthetic, visual and collaborative approach, photo a bit out-of focus, sorry… ;( image source:

While I am writing this, for some reason, my mind seems to wander already towards the next session (it is Saturday evening when I started capturing these thoughts… and the session was on Thursday). I am now trying desperately to remember what happened… Does this delay in capturing my reflection hinder me now to actually look back and remember anything specific that I would like to take forward? Or is it that sometimes things just fade away quicker than others? The bits that I decided to leave out pop into my head now… but why? Maybe because we tend to remember more the ‘negatives’, the things we didn’t achieve? I started an activity which remained incomplete (don’t know if any of my colleagues would actually know which one I mean). The reality is that there were some connectivity issues. The activity was to demonstrate something very specific… I now think that I will do the second part the activity next week, and see if it helps colleagues understand an important concept which I think is not just relevant for children’s development. Writing about it now, actually makes me change my original plan. Part two will be done next week, but the activity itself will be completed in session 5. Yes, this makes sense and fits nicely with my plans for that day. I can’t really say much more now. Well, I could but then it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore… but just happened here is, and idea developed and evolved into something else while I was in the process of reflecting on something that I had to leave incomplete during the session. I am pleased now that this did happen… and I will manage to turn this mistake if you like into an opportunity.

I was sort of checking myself the other day on what I have been modelling so far and could see that it was hands-on creativity that could work anywhere and didn’t rely on tech. Actually looking back now and specifically to the last task from last week, there was the option for colleagues to turn the stories they created within their groups into digital stories, it didn’t happen. Both groups preferred to work on low-tech activities. Then this morning, Sunday, I read David Hopkins blog post which seems very much related to my some of my thoughts regarding technology and it was a bit spooky, I have to admit, but nice also that other people are thinking about these things too.

However in both groups digital tools were used to support the activities without being prompted. In one case, the iPad became the timer and camera to capture some photos, while in the other group, one colleague used their tablet to capture notes and the mindmap. Is this what we would call normalised use of tech? I think it is.

The fresh entries from the Value Jar follow: Thank you everybody. I will continue collecting responses and we could synthesise all your responses after week 5 and see what these actually all mean for you, me and us.

Excellent session about the power of storytelling. Nice to see the group getting closer and learning from each other. Great ideas to use straight away. Thank you 😉
Realised how my own learning preference/beliefs influence and perhaps constrain my practice as a teacher.
Sharing experiences, opening up and seeing the world in a different way – tools to do this.
The realisation of the power of storytelling allowing individuals to connect with each other through verbal communication.
Explored how stories can be used to inspire and develop communities.
We explored storytelling as way of connecting students at emotional level. Instigating emotions in students to help them connect with concepts they are learning to connect to a wider world.
We reflected on using storytelling in the classroom, we created our own stories and looked at ways to introduce activities with storytelling. ;)… and it was fun!
I enjoyed the experimentation with storycubes and creating ideas together.

Can’t wait to see you all next week for more fun and play! Yes, our next session will be about play and making stuff for learning 😉

Draft No 1

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