Kieran Egan on Narrative as Compelling Pedagogy

“A model for teaching that draws on the power of the story, then, will ensure that we set up a conflict or sense of dramatic tension at the beginning of our lessons and unit. Thus, we create some expectation that we will satisfy at the end. It is this rhythm of expectation and satisfaction that will give us a principle for precisely selecting content…. We need, then, to be more conscious of the importance of beginning with a conflict or problem whose resolution at the end can set such a rhythm in motion.”

Kieran Egan

Teaching as Story-Telling: An Alternative Approach to Teaching and Curriculum in the Elementary School

Excerpted from: Wiggins, Grant, and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 1998.

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