The Power of Storytelling in Education: Engaging Minds and Enhancing Learning



03 May, 2024

The Power of Storytelling in Education: Engaging Minds and Enhancing Learning

Think back to the first chapter of a book you read. Can you recall it?

Probably not. But what about a movie you watched years ago, like ‘Avengers’? Chances are, you remember it vividly. The reason? Storytelling.

We have to learn things from our textbooks, and usually, we watch movies for entertainment purposes. So why do movies stay in our minds for a longer time, but a textbook doesn’t?

The answer is ‘STORY.’

So, if we have this immense, powerful tool to remember anything, then what if we use it in education? Sounds great, right? Here, we’ll delve into storytelling in education and its impact. Let’s dive in!

Engaging Minds Through Storytelling!

An individual can easily understand the message and facts through storytelling; it multiplies the retention in videos, and story and voice are the core of audio. So, it is utilised everywhere you see, from ancient times to today’s modern world.

These three parameters will show how stories significantly impact our minds.

  • Improve Knowledge Retention: A genius might fail to teach you an important lesson, but a storyteller will play with your mind

  • Develop critical thinking skills: A good storyteller will force your mind to think critically about any situation, including some thriller movies like Oppenheimer.

  • Enhance Communication and Creativity: Have you ever felt like you’re the one while watching a thriller or detective movie, and your mind started thinking like that?

Storytelling in Education

Every teacher is a storyteller. Does ‘Storytelling’ seem like a new fancy word in today’s world? Let me clarify. Teachers have facilitated storytelling since ancient times.

In ancient times, storytelling was the core to teach the students about events and historical things engagingly and interactively. Even today, storytelling is known as the best method to teach complex things engagingly and memorably to the student.

One primary example that serves as an eye-opener and grabs the concentration of the student at its peak is ‘The Hero’s Journey.’

It’s a popular 12-stage learning framework by Joseph Cambell with multiple myths and stories moving across it.

The ‘Hero’ is referred to here as the main character. The story begins with his introduction, as he faces new challenges, talks with a mentor, accepts the biggest challenge, faces fear, and returns to his ordinary world.

Some teachers will structure their lessons according to the hero’s journey and convey the insightful knowledge playfully. Sir Ken Robinson and Carol S. Dweck, education experts, emphasise the importance of storytelling in education.

How does Storytelling work in Education?

Since childhood, we have loved to listen to stories as they convey words, emotions, anger, and feelings to others. As a result, it reduces the complexity of the topic.

Story = Emotions + Anger + Words

  • History feels like time travelling in the past.

  • Mathematics goes beyond the textbook as students solve actual questions regarding birthday parties and events instead of solving ‘x’.

Teachers start challenging the students’ minds to connect the dots and solve actual questions that look beyond the textbook. As a result, students learn things for life-long.

Why to Educate with Stories?

Education via storytelling has numerous benefits.

  • It increases the students’ imagination and creativity as they start to predict the next move of the character in the story.

  • Stories are connected through emotions, as they reduce the language barrier and help people learn and explore new languages.

  • Stories are full of curiosity and twists and turns that accelerate a student’s emotional intelligence.

  • Storytelling doesn’t mean telling only the words but also a process to create interest among the listeners and give them a chance to convey their thoughts. It can also improve critical thinking skills.

The story connects the learners mutually, regardless of their professions. Have you ever noticed why brands share too many painful stories of themselves?

Take the example of any great self-made celebrity like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or any of the other examples. The common thing between them is that everyone has a harrowing story.

No, I’m not saying these people got everything quickly and are now creating fictional stories. NOO, These people work like hell, but why does everyone have almost the same painful story, like they are from a middle-class background, sleep in an office, etc, to share with?

The answer is support. People know these celebrities because of their products, but when they start telling stories, people start connecting their emotions with them.

As a result, their goodwill accelerates and gets them public support when they are in trouble.

How to Become a Storyteller?

You might be shocked here, but we can all be storytellers. Have you ever shared an incident with your friends? You have! That’s also a storytelling.

Storytelling is not measured in monetary value; it comes with daily practice, and once you master this skill, numerous doors will open to take you to new heights.

  • Use some attention-grabbing phrases while telling the stories, like – ‘Wait, guys, let me tell you a secret jackpot.’, or  ‘You might be shocked here because…’

  • Replicate a movie dialogue in your style in front of a mirror or camera.

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