Learning That Lasts – A Unique Tool for Educators

Educators and psychologists recognize that it is important to help children to develop problem-solving, analytical and analogical thinking skills. These skills encourage a lifelong love of learning and the habits of mind that enhance children’s experiences and potential as they continue their school careers and become young adults.

To do this, we need to use tools that encourage higher-level and critical thinking, foster empathy and conflict resolution, promote social and emotional skills which studies now show play a critical role in academic success.*

The Teaching-Story is just such a tool. These stories, combined with best-practice strategies provided in the activity guides and lesson plans that accompany them, ensure that this critical learning can take place.

This booklet describes the unique qualities of the Teaching-Story and how current brain research views this genre as beneficial. It explores higher-level thinking skills, such as analogical and contextual thinking, and describes how these are improved by the careful use of these stories. We look at the value of open-ended questions. We see that social and emotional, as well as empathetic benefits can be reaped when we use Teaching-Stories. Finally, we examine strategies, such as the use of meaningful repetition that will help us ensure children’s successful use of this material.

*No Emotion Left Behind, August 16, 2005, New York Times. Timothy P. Shriver chairman of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and of the Special Olympics, and Roger P. Weissberg professor of psychology and education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and president of the collaborative.

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