Training of trainers – NFL and interactive methods in Youth work – ACHIEVE

Lesson 34 – Training aids: Storytelling – text

text lesson

Why encourage students to learn through stories?

Storytelling is a powerful and enduring means of communication that has widespread appeal. It crosses cultures and communities; in fact, many of our earliest learning experiences most likely involved stories, some told to us directly, others read and, still more, played out around us. Even before we had the ability to articulate what we knew, felt and thought, we learned to make sense of our world through stories. Although educators have always used storytelling, until recently these stories often occurred spontaneously and were not considered integral to learning and teaching activities. The perception in some quarters was that storytelling was lightweight, soft, not a real learning tool.

As a consequence, stories tended to have a narrow focus and were frequently used to:

  • convey information;
  • express views;
  • share experiences;
  • entertain;
  • connect with others.

In recent years, the reflective movement has done much to advance the notion that we each carry within us creative learning capabilities. Storytelling is one of these capabilities and when it is used in thoughtful, reflective and formalised ways, significant learning is possible (Clandinin and Connelly, 1998; McDrury and Alterio, 2002; McEwan and Egan, 1995; Pendlebury, 1995; and Witherell and Nodding, 1991).

When educators support learners to share and process their practice experiences in these ways, storytelling can:

  • encourage co-operative activity;
  • encompass holistic perspectives;
  • value emotional realities;
  • link theory to practice;
  • stimulate students’ critical thinking skills;
  • capture complexities of situations;
  • reveal multiple perspectives;
  • make sense of experience;
  • encourage self review;
  • construct new knowledge.

Storytelling is an ideal teaching and learning tool, for it takes seriously the need for students to make sense of experience, using their own culturally generated sense-making processes (Bishop and Glynn, 1999). Storytelling also has the capacity to support and enhance the relationship between students creating new knowledge and learning from others. In addition, sharing and reflectively processing stories provides students with opportunities to develop authentic relationships with their peers.

Acknowledgement of above article is made on an “await claim” basis. The copyright holder has not been traced. Any information enabling us to contact the copyright holder would be appreciated.

Why you need to use Storytelling for Learning

(by Connie Malamed)

  1. Stories are the emotional glue that connects the audience to the message

Much of what people remember from a learning experience are the feelings of the underlying message rather than a multitude of small facts (which are better reserved for job aids). Stories are an important way to tap into the heart of the audience, providing a channel for conveying a deeper message based on emotion.

  1. Information presentation should be constructed around a story

Any kind of presentation—whether it be online training or a live presentation—will benefit from a story construction. Organizing information into a format with a beginning (setting the stage), middle (the challenge) and ending (new reality) can work for many topics.

  1. People want to know about origins

When we watch or read about a superhero, we always remember the person’s origins. We know where they came from and the circumstances that created their super powers. People are defined by their origins and people are curious about where people (or fictional characters) come from, how they change and how they evolve. Include this type of information in your next story.

  1. Stories reshape knowledge into something meaningful

For centuries, people have used stories to pass on knowledge. When information is embedded in the context of a story, it is transferred to a listener or reader in a unique way. According to the presenter of this session, new research shows that 70% of what we learn is consumed through storytelling.

  1. Stories make people care

When you know your audience—their pains, frustrations and joys—your stories can reflect their emotions and experiences. As learners begin to see themselves in the story and begin to identify with it, they start to care. Nancy Duarte, author of Resonate, states that a story serves as a moment of emotional appeal.

  1. Stories transcend one’s current environment

Good storytelling can transport learners out of their stuffy meeting rooms and offices into an adventurous world away from the workplace. In this altered reality, the mind becomes more open to perceiving and thinking in new ways. This is an ideal position from which to learn.

  1. Stories are motivating

Stories can motivate an audience toward a learning goal. They are ideal for attitudinal training because when an audience is motivated, they no longer need to be persuaded. An encouraging story will inspire someone to take action.

  1. People take time for stories

Have you ever noticed that even the busiest of people will stop to listen to someone’s story or to tell one of their own? Stories are why people are drawn to novels and movies and gossip magazines. If you want to maintain an audience’s attention, you’re more likely to do it through storytelling.

  1. Stories are more likely to be shared

Because we are so attuned to stories, people love to share them. They are like hooks that draw people in as they are passed from one person to the next. If you have any doubts, check out the thousands of Facebook Stories. This is where people share how they use Facebook and the meaning it has in their life. Do you need to spread the word about something? Put it in a story and see if it gets shared.

  1. Stories give meaning to data

Many people perceive data as meaningless numbers. This happens when the data is disconnected to anything important in their experience. But when the data is placed in the context of a story, it comes alive. One of the most well-known examples of this is Hans Roling’s presentation ( ). If you haven’t seen it yet, take the four minutes to watch.


The training program “Training of Trainers” is an educational product that is currently missing in the partner countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania. Due to the early stage of development of the youth sector and youth work in these countries the educational materials aimed at non-formal learning are still limited and insufficient. The lack of adequate educational framework for training of youth workers in the field of formal education leads to inefficient use of the capacity of professionals.

This course fills a gap in the youth sector, namely the need of methodologies for the preparation of trainers, who are able to train youth workers. This course will set the basis for the preparation of teams of trainers of youth workers. The course will serve the goal of development of youth work in the participating countries and other interested parties. A large number of youth workers can be trained according to the methodology at national and international level to use and promote non-formal learning as a tool to enhance the realization of young people in the labor market and increase their social cohesion.

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