Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Storytelling as an assessment tool

Lately we've been discussing Doug Lipman's course on storytelling (called Storytelling Workshop in a BoxTM, available from or email and most recently the topic of eliciting stories. Doug urges storytellers to hear other people's stories and in so doing this will help them become better storytellers. Some important aspects of eliciting a story are listening and imagining what is happening in the story. At some point in the imagining processes the listener needs to question what they might be missing in the story. What gaps are there in the story? My wife for instance can read a novel and find holes or character changes.

Then I was thinking after listening to some children retell a Bible story they had just heard in church, about storytelling or retelling a story as an assessment tool for comprehension. In one way, this would help the teller see what impressions the story made on the audience, and in another possibly show what the listener understood or didn't understand.

In the field of sociolingusitics, questioning people about stories they've heard is a useful way to assess how well they might understand another language variety. This method can take a variety of forms, answers to direct questions on short stories or a retelling of the story.

So, I did what I usually do, and search Google to see what others have written on the subject of storytelling and assessment and found this e-article on the subject of using storytelling as an means of assessment by George Rooney called 'Storytelling and Contextually Based Design Techniques for Needs Assessment'


Brother Wolf said...

Doug Lipman is an amazing storytelling coach and I have worked with him extensively. He is very supportive and positive and I would leap at the snatch the gift of working with him again.

I interviewed him on my podcast the Art of Storytelling with Children about how to market ourselves outside the storytelling community. IF your interested take a listen -

Jim Stahl said...

Thanks very much for your comment. Although I've not met Doug or taken his course I've had someone who was taking his course teach us what he was learning. We had some great discussions and continue to meet weekly. Thanks for the link.