Some Fundamentals of Engaging Stories
ABSTRACT This paper discusses a form of information transfer referred to as story. It is suggested that stories serve as a singularly effective replacement for direct experience, a useful but sometimes difficult environmental education technique. The effectiveness of stories is argued to derive from their ability to engage the attention of the reader. The paper concludes with a list of elements that can be used to create cognitively engaging stories.
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ABSTRACT: We may soon face biophysical limits to perpetual growth. Energy supplies may tighten and then begin a long slow descent while defensive expenditures rise to address problems caused by past resource consumption. The outcome may be significant changes in daily routines at the individual and community level. It is difficult to know when this scenario might begin to unfold but it clearly would constitute a new behavioral context, one that the behavioral sciences least attends to. Even if one posits a less dramatic scenario, people may still need to make many urgent and perhaps unsettling transitions. And while a robust response would be needed, it is not at all clear what should be the details of that response. Since it is likely that no single response will fix things everywhere, for all people or for all time, it would be useful to conduct many social experiments. Indeed, a culture of small experiments should be fostered which, at the individual and small group level, can be described as behavioral entrepreneurship. This may have begun, hidden in plain sight, but more social experiments are needed. To be of help, it may be useful to both package behavioral insights in a way that is practitioner-oriented and grounded in biophysical trends and to propose a few key questions that need attention. This paper begins the process of developing a biophysical psychology, incomplete as it is at this early stage.Frontiers in Psychology 11/2014; 5(1255). · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper reports on a study undertaken with the primary aim of investigating the effect of the storytelling teaching approach on kindergarten children's retention of ideas about the importance of trees. The study also assessed the effect of storytelling on children's intention to participate in a tree planting activity that they had to select from a list of activities. The story that was created included such elements as binary opposites, mental images, mystery, and wonder, according to Kieran Egan's theory. The study utilized a two‐group design, was conducted in three phases (pre‐test, intervention, and post‐test), lasted 11 weeks, and its results provide evidence of the effectiveness of the storytelling approach when compared with the traditional method of expository teaching complemented with visual images (pictures) of trees and their importance to human beings. The pedagogical appropriateness of the story, which was based upon the binary pair of opposites ‘security–insecurity’, is also discussed in the paper.Environmental Education Research 08/2011; 17(4):519-536. · 0.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to discuss and apply the notion of romantic understanding by outlining its features and its potential role in science education, to identify its features in the story of Nikola Tesla, and to describe an empirical study conducted to determine the effect of telling such a story to Grade 9 students. Elaborated features of the story are the humanization of meaning, an association with heroes and heroic qualities, the limits of reality and extremes of experience, a sense of wonder, and a contesting of conventions and conventional ideas. The study demonstrates the learning benefits of encouraging a romantic understanding through a story that is structured explicitly around the identified features, in this instance in the context of the production and transmission of alternating current electricity. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of journal entries showed that the group of students who were encouraged to understand the concept of alternating current romantically (the experimental group) became more involved with both the content and the context of the story than a comparison group of students who were taught the concept explicitly, without a context (the control group). The students in the experimental group also performed statistically better on a science-content test taken 1 week and again 8 weeks after the indicated teaching intervention. This finding, along with the content analyses of students’ journals, provided evidence of romantic understanding of the science content for those students who listened to the Tesla story.Science & Education 08/2011; 21(8). · 0.72 Impact Factor