Storytelling: A key to adult learning

by Yackley, Luke E., Ed.D., UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE, 2007, 88 pages; 3247568


This Executive Position Paper examines how storytelling contributes to adult learning and learning as transformation. A problem for facilitators of adult learning classes is there is very little time to create a learning environment. The time allocated for classes is too short and participants often do not remember much from the programs. I had experienced first-hand the power of storytelling, but wanted to find out why its impact was so powerful. I wanted to determine what it is about storytelling that facilitates learning.

Qualitative Methodology was used to explore the effect of storytelling on adult learning. This project included exploration of the ways storytelling as a medium helped adults negotiate curriculum content in the Supervisory Development Program that was intended to facilitate their development of supervisory skills.

Brookfield (1995) recommended listening to adult learners to find out what they wanted. After listening to these twenty-two participants, clearly the message is storytelling situates learners in a transformative learning experience. Using stories to improve learning costs nothing, yet it returns bountiful benefits. Adult learners remember more and what they learn becomes a part of them as they become a part of the lesson. Stories engage the mind of the learner.

AdviserJames A. Whitson
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsAdult education
Publication Number3247568

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