Narrative Institute

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Narrative Institute

Published on July 14 2011

Special Teaching Event

The Use of Narrative in Teaching and Learning: Exploring Tools for Effectiveness

Tuesday, August 23 and Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. TH253

This institute is designed for post-secondary instructors and/or those who support them.

Facilitated by Glynis Wilson Boultbee, Catalyst Consulting, Alberta


(We understand that this is a busy time of year, but please note that participants are expected to attend the entire institute.)

Stories that support learning are often told by instructors. They may also be generated by students or discovered and shared in other ways. Recent research in education, learning, and the brain supports the belief that stories can provide dynamic opportunities for teaching and learning. There is growing recognition of the power of narrative to enhance motivation, memory, inclusion, and community. And yet there is also evidence that we aren’t using narrative as effectively as we could. In this institute, participants will examine why narrative is so powerful, how to get the most from narrative activities and storytelling in learning situations, and how to deepen and enhance the learning from these activities.

By the end of these two days, participants will be able to:

  • Explain why the use of narrative enhances learning and retention;
  • Identify types of narratives and the uses of narrative in the learning process;
  • Use a model for planning narrative learning activities;
  • Tell stories with more confidence;
  • Identify strategies that prompt learners to create and/or share their own stories;
  • Fit narrative activities within general instructional planning;
  • Identify new strategies for using narrative in their own practice;
  • Identify and reflect upon their own responses as learners to narrative activities.

An application journal is used to enhance learning.

Instructional Strategies:
This institute will be highly interactive and experiential. Short lectures provide basic content, but the majority of the time participants will be working hard (and having fun!)

Previous Workshop Responses:

“Reinforced the power of group work, the power of stories (affective domain which is less emphasized), the power of planning learning events.”

“Really met my goals of how to do this in a more intentional way and how to encourage learners to tell their own stories.”

“Wonderful worthwhile workshop!”

“A huge thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this important work.”

“High skills, interesting, evocative activities and obvious deep love and knowledge about storytelling/narrative.”

“It honours us and who we are and the stories we have to share. We have also been given the confidence to take this information to others.”

For more information, contact Jill Grose ( at the CTLET, ext 4392.

Trees winding indicative of a narrative path
Explore how you can use narrative in your teaching to enhance learning.

Photo by Alan Levine