Annie Murphy Paul has started a project on her blog that she calles Learning Through Stories.
A lot of scientific research—and our own experience—demonstrates that we understand and remember material best when it’s presented to us as a narrative, or when we tell our own story about it.
We love the approach (no surprise here). After all, Jean-Jacques Rousseau proved a long time ago with his book Emile: Or, On Education that stories are a great vehicle even for teaching complex ideas. One of the most recent attempts to teach a complex body of knowledge through a story (and I mean a real, long, thick-book kind of story) was David Brooks The Social Animal.
The Learning Through Stories project will be micro-stories (probably not even short stories), but that’s cool because you can learn one step at a time, and let’s be honest, the longer the story the smaller the chance that we’ll actually read it (and learn from it).
You can check it out – her first post of the Learning Through Stories series is about stories of how you learned to ride a bicycle. And it teaches valuable lessons about how learning can best be encouraged.