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February 27, 2024

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Recently, a dear colleague/friend of many years called me spontaneously and asked if I had anything she could use about story. We had a 15 minute conversation about the value of story telling, and I shared some links with her. I thought some of you might find this information about storytelling useful also.

“Joan, why do we use stories?,” she started.

I responded: I more and more think that stories are simply a part of our DNA. We all create our own identity with stories, and others find themselves in our stories and create their own identity. We all make meaning with stories. As time marches on, we hopefully each become a story in another’s life.  For example, when I am gone, I hope I become a story in my family’s and friends’ and former students’ lives.

Stories are our way of making sense of the world. If we can’t make up a story about something we encounter or experience, we can’t make sense of it. . . E = MC2 makes no sense to me. I have no idea what a C is, let alone a square one.

(Frank Smith, The Power of Story, p. 55)

“Why stories, Joan?”  she asked next.

Next my friend asked about theory. I responded the theory can be embedded in story and history.

My friend continued and asked about how she should get her recipients reflecting. I responded with the following story.

I almost always use the reflective cycle or socratic circle. Here is one way to visualize it.  (Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real  World, 4th edition,  p. 173)

I have lots of reflective cycle materials posted on my webpages. Use the search bar on the left of first page of to see more examples.

Reflective Cycle

Some of my favorite stories which I mentioned with my colleague/friend.

Storytelling is not something we do. Storytelling is who we are.

(Carmine Gallo, 2016, in The Power of Story, p. 43)

Credit:  All stories and images are in The Power of Story (2018) originally published by Libraries Unlimited, which morphed into ABC-CLIO. Presently, Bloomsbury Publishing has purchased ABC-CLIO.

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