I want to change the world, one story at a time. That’s my story for today, and it’s been my story for awhile.
You might say, “that’s a little over the top, don’t you think?”
“Not really,” I reply.
I’ll be talking about stories and their power to transform when I deliver two breakout sessions this morning at the MACTE fall conference. My topic will be, “Success and the Stories We Tell.”
We all have a stories that we tell ourselves. In fact, man has been telling stories for 27,000 years, since he was painting figures on the walls of his cave.
Our brains are wired for story. Studies have indicated that our brains “light up” to stories. We resonate with stories, all day long.
Robin Dunbar, a University of Liverpool psychology professor, posits that personal stories and gossip make up 65 percent of our conversations. This shouldn’t surprise anyone that’s gathered ’round the water cooler in the workplace, or the lunch table in the break room.
Students, if given the opportunity to connect with stories, particularly stories that resonate and have relevance in their lives and to their personal situations, are transported, just like anyone else.
When we take stories and craft narratives, it becomes writing. Writing matters. Despite claims that “print is dead,” and the push away from literacy coming from some, writing matters more, not less for the world of 21st century work. Sometimes, writing well requires more than 140 characters.
The CTE model of education is one committed to contextualizing learning. They do a great job in most cases. My challenge this morning is to provide a slightly different spin on story, narrative, and it’s role in connecting with students, particularly students struggling to connect school with the real world. I’ll also be sharing some ideas of my own about how these education hubs in key locations throughout Maine can impact their communities in a positive manner.
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. What’s yours?