October 31, 2011
Stories engage, inspire and help make meaning of events and ideas. Over the last few months I have been reading and hearing more about the way a story can support the way we learn and teach, and how it can help to create an identity or an image. Much of my thinking and learning lately has come about through two areas of my professional life. One is through my studies, my Masters in School Leadership, and the other is through starting at a new school in a new role. One has given me the research and theory, whilst the other has given me a window into histories and cultures of the school community. Together, they have helped me to see the power of story.
Last weekend I had my 30 year high school reunion. I think back to this time, the people, events and beliefs that shaped me. I reflect on who I was then and who I am now. Have I changed in the eyes of my school peers? Do they still hold onto memories of me from 30+ years ago? I wonder this because as I began to talk with my fellow students I realised just how much of the memories and early stories led the conversations. What perceptions did people have of me? What perceptions did I have of them? Did I really say I wanted to illustrate children’s books as a career?
Recently I watched the 2005 Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford University. I was moved by his three stories, particularly his first. Again, it made me think about the events and people that help to shape our lives, and how the stories we share help to build the bigger picture of who we are.
My interest in stories is growing. The narratives that shape a culture, a school, a community. They can be powerful vehicles for developing perceptions and values. Of growing identities, pride and connectedness to something, someone, somewhere.
Chimamanda Adichie, a novelist, “tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.” It resonates well with me and deepens my curiosity in the meaning we make of such stories.
Entry Filed under: 21st Century Skills,leadership,learning,literacy,Peer Coaching. Posted in 21st Century Skills ,leadership ,learning ,literacy ,Peer Coaching Tags: Apple, Chimamanda Adichie, single story, Steve Jobs, stories, story.