storytelling

Keeping students engaged and learning through the “human hook”


Maya JasanoffMaya Jasanoff, X. D. and Nancy Yang Professor of Arts and Sciences and Coolidge Professor of History, uses narratives to engage students and deepen their understanding of course content. From her Gen Ed course Ancestry to her upper-level seminar Narrative History: Art and Argument, Jasanoff demonstrates that “stories do not necessarily mean fiction; rather, stories are simply arguments based on the evidence. The former cannot exist without the latter.”

The benefits: Using storytelling in the classroom can enhance both understanding and enthusiasm with the material itself. Humanizing the material helps to engage students in class discussion, allows them to better link concepts in real-time, and strengthens the connections they make after class.... Read more about Keeping students engaged and learning through the “human hook”

Learning Lab (Bok Center)

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning’s Learning Lab routinely partners with faculty to develop assignments that foster students’ science communication and presentation skills.

Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas

Instructors can point students to resources for improving presentation skills available across the University including the Graduate School of Arts and Science’s Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas.resources. 

Research: Using Personal Narratives as a Pedagogical Tool: Empowering Students through Stories.

The use of first- and second-hand storytelling within higher education was found to improve engagement, promote critical thinking, and assist internalization of technical and theoretical concepts in a relatable manner. Additional research suggests that storytelling is invaluable in endearing... Read more about Research: Using Personal Narratives as a Pedagogical Tool: Empowering Students through Stories.

Research: The Power of Story To Personalize, Enrich, and Humanize Communication Education: My Own Story about Having Fun Spinning Tales, and Illustrating Key Points in the Classroom.

The use of first- and second-hand storytelling within higher education was found to improve engagement, promote critical thinking, and assist internalization of technical and theoretical concepts in a relatable manner. Additional research suggests that storytelling is invaluable in endearing... Read more about Research: The Power of Story To Personalize, Enrich, and Humanize Communication Education: My Own Story about Having Fun Spinning Tales, and Illustrating Key Points in the Classroom.

One person’s story as entry to complex historical issues


Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Into Practice Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Professor of the History of Science, illustrates how combining nineteenth century documents with oral histories can help unpack complex current issues and disrupt certain assumptions on topics such as undocumented border crossings, addiction, and disease along our southern border. All topics are covered in HISTSCI 140 - The Border: Race, Politics, and Health in Modern Mexico, in which she challenges students to expand their own perspectives on these current themes through a variety of assignments including an oral history of an individual.

The benefits: Focusing on individual experiences ... Read more about One person’s story as entry to complex historical issues