Story Building: A Practical Guide for Bringing the Power of Stories into Classrooms (Paperback)

Story Building: A Practical Guide for Bringing the Power of Stories into Classrooms By Drew Kahn Cover Image
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Contemporary education research suggests that experiential learning is a primary component of academic success. School campuses around the globe (elementary- university) are abuzz with terms like collaborative development, project-based learning and kinesthetic processes. The common denominators:
• A universal desire to place students into Actively Doing vs. Passively Knowing learning environments
• A universal frustration as to how to implement structured programming
Today's students are from a different world than the knowledge-based education systems of yesterday. With multiple sources of information at their fingertips (literally), today's students are craving lessons in the application of their knowledge. This marks a crucially important moment in the history of western education: Educators are now required to be facilitators of learning in addition to distributors of knowledge. The dissemination of knowledge remains important—but not nearly as important as collaborating with students to apply their knowledge to their lives, their worlds, their communities, their families and their future vocations.
Traditional methods of fact memorization must be replaced with strategies for conflict resolution; passive in-class listening must be replaced with innovations in community building; independent study preferences must be replaced with multi- cultural identity exploration. We must prepare the next generation for the world they are entering rather than the world we lived in decades ago. We must not merely work "outside the box," we must break the box! We must provide tools for moving the knowledge from the head to the heart. We must provide students with the vocabulary to tell their stories for this is what will be required of them at every personal and professional crossroad of their lives. They must learn to tell their
stories well if they are to positively impact their lives and the worlds they live in. The best way to learn how to do this is from the source: Stories.
The educational power of storytelling through performance can address crucial areas of learning. From the shaman of Mesopotamia 7,000 years ago using chanted stories to communicate survival strategies to their tribes, to the masked chorus of Greek tragedies in 6th century B.C. who translated the complexities of the gods to eager Athenians, to the soul stirring Intore dance of Rwanda where Ignoma drums bring century old rituals to us today—Storytelling remains at the heart of who we are, how we communicate and what moves us forward. Storytelling through performance helps us to process huge events into tangible entities--the indescribable becomes understood and the overwhelming becomes manageable. Storytelling is the universal processing vocabulary of the human race.
The skillset used to create original stories is identical to those necessary for conflict management, community building and identity exploration. While current education trends may provide knowledge of how systems operate, they rarely provide tangible tools for students to navigate the complexities of their lives--Research, compromise, collaboration, discipline, creativity, compassion, innovation and critical thinking are the core skills students develop. We would never ask students to build a house without a hammer; we should never ask students to build their stories without the tools of story building.

Story Building: A Practical Guide for Bringing the Power of Stories into Classrooms and Communities represents over 30 years of teaching-through-story experiences of Professor Kahn, his students and colleagues from around the globe. Originating in educational and professional theater, Professor Kahn brings valuable lessons out from rehearsal studios and into school classrooms, businesses and community organizations. Story Building assumes everyone matters, their stories matter that each of us has the responsibility to surface, develop and share our stories. This is how we improve our world.

About the Author

Drew Kahn is a Distinguished Service Professor at SUNY Buffalo State where he has taught acting, devised theater (President's Award for Excellence in Teaching/SUNY) and directed productions (Kennedy Center Award) for 26 years. He taught K-12 populations for 10 years previous to his work in higher education. He is the Founding Director of The Anne Frank Project, a multi-layered social justice initiative at SUNY Buffalo State that utilizes the wisdom of Anne Frank as a springboard for the examination of genocide and conflict through the lens of story and performance. He presents and teaches internationally on the universal language of stories and the intersection of story, conflict resolution, community building and identity—most recently in Rwanda, Kenya, Switzerland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma, Viet Nam, New Zealand, Greece and Turkey (Toby Ticktin Back Award for Holocaust Education, Community Leader Award, National Federation for Just Communities). Professor Kahn's book Story Building: A Practical Guide for Bringing the Power of Stories into the Classroom is used by teachers and community leaders all over the world. Professor Kahn has extensive acting experience in professional theater (Andre' DeShields' original cast of Saint Tous), feature film (Paramount Pictures' Necessary Roughness) as well as several television and commercial credits. In Buffalo, New York, he was the host of WKBW-TV's (ABC) AM Buffalo for six years and hosted the WNED (PBS) documentary Saving a Landmark: The Darwin Martin House (National Telly Award). He received an MFA from Southern Methodist University and a BA from San Diego State University. His favorite roles are husband to his wife Maria and dad to his children Sam and Nate.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781667845777
ISBN-10: 1667845772
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication Date: August 11th, 2022
Pages: 342
Language: English