To Teach Science, Tell Stories
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The narrative is a fundamental, ubiquitous mode of human communication. A story – an account of events with emphasis on personal perspective or connection, employing dramatic tension – is among the most widespread and common methods of communicating information. Stories strengthen the social bonds of human society and facilitate the transmission of culture. We learn about our world by hearing and seeing stories, and in turn we share our understanding of the world by telling stories. Neuroscience research supports the importance of narratives to human culture. Stories activate neurochemical pathways related to trust and social bonding, and the emotional resonance evoked by a narrative stimulates neural systems related to empathy. Education has long made use of the story as a pedagogic technique. Evidence is building that not only is a story innately interesting and compelling, but that use of this technique stimulates learning and recall. Teachers of humanities have widely embraced the value of teaching with stories. Although science teachers have been hesitant to adopt this technique, research indicates storytelling and related use of narrative is effective in promoting the understanding and acceptance of science concepts. There are a wide range of narrative teaching techniques that can be used in a science classroom, involving involve both teacher and student as storyteller.
DepartmentGraduate Liberal Studies
CitationRose, James A., V (2017). To Teach Science, Tell Stories. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14346.
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Rights for Collection: Graduate Liberal Studies