How stories make our brains work better for learning...
From Deborah Bond-Upson, chief education officer at AwesomeStories:
I wonder, have you ever taken a memory course?
When I was in high school a teacher offered a short memory course. I was intrigued, so during study hall when my friends were having fun passing notes, I sat with 3 other students and a quirky teacher. Our mission: to learn new memory techniques. The "trick" was to make unrelated items into a story--no matter how ridiculous, in fact, better if ridiculous. Making story connections between items enabled us to remember and recite the whole story of strung together unrelated items quickly and perfectly. "Story" made the connections and the connections enabled us to remember the substance.
Researching the way the brain works, we learn that our brains are "wired" more for stories than for data. In "Why Do We Tell Stories?" author Laura Moss brings together the conclusions of other experts in brain function and stories:
Psychologist Pamela Rutledge in The Psychological Power of Storytelling lists varied ways stories outperform other modes of communication:
"In fact, reading a story causes heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex. The neurons in this region are associated with tricking the mind into thinking the body is doing something it’s not, a phenomenon known as grounded cognition.
AwesomeStories was created, and has garnered the support of our team of educators, developers and a worldwide audience because we love stories. We love how we feel when we hear or read a story, how it can transport us and enrich our lives. We notice that when we learn something from a story, as humans have throughout history, that lesson is memorable and retrievable permanently, unlike lectures or articles missing the dynamics and emotional connection of story.
We have found that stories are further buttressed and deepened when they are accompanied by primary sources-- images, videos, audio recordings and authentic documents-- as these media elements further our voyage into the world of the story. With primary sources, we feel we are there, and we actually can verify, refute or extend the story. We become actively engaged in the story.
So it was no surprise to us in 2012 when author Annie Murphy Powell wrote "Your Brain on Fiction" in The New York Times. She begins with these words:
"The Science of Storytelling" is explored in the next chapter, written by Leo Wildrich the founder of Buffer. This article is provided with his permission.
1) Rutledge, Pamela, PhD., The Psychological Power of Storytelling , Psychology Today, Dec/31/1969, Aug/15/2016, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/positively-media/201101/the-psychological-power-storytelling
2) Moss, Laura, Why Do We Tell Stories?, Mother Nature Network, Dec/31/1969, Aug/16/2016, http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/why-do-we-tell-stories
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