Teachers trekking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa stop to pose for the camera in a scene from the documentary Inspire Me: Africa.
On May 31, 2011, Brad McLain and Mike Marlow of the University of Colorado, Denver delivered the first Astrobiology Education and Training (AbET) Seminar, entitled StoryTeaching: An Exploration of the Importance of Story & Narrative in Science Learning.
Humans are natural storytellers. We describe our experiences in terms of story. We recount our history in terms of story. We learn new things and construct new understanding through the reframing of old stories and the forging of new ones. We even describe who we are--to ourselves and others--in terms of story. When applied to science learning and science communication, the concept of "story" represents a powerful framework for making STEM relevant, meaningful, and exciting. This talk will explore StoryTeaching as the intersection of two fields of study: (1) Science Identity Construction through Experiential Learning, and (2) the Narrative Study of Lives. We will discuss the formation, maintenance, and maturing of positive science identities in the face of an often science-hostile youth culture, and the significance of personal ownership and integration of STEM into an individual's sense of self though the processes of interpretation and meaning making inherent in story. StoryTeaching is currently a research topic and methodology used at the University of Colorado, Denver.
Resources from the seminar can be downloaded here: http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/articles/nai-storyteaching-seminar/
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