The current explosion of scientific information available to science educators puts increasing pressure on conventional educational approaches. One educational technique that (a) facilitates the communication of essential knowledge, (b) is supported by cognitive science theory, and (c) is easily implemented in the atmospheric science classroom is the reformulating of lectures into stories. Storytelling here is understood to describe the oral or written communication of a connected narrative of important events. Stories differ from other pedagogical approaches, such as the traditional fact-laden lecture, through the network of multiple linkages between different characters, events, and facts in a story. Facts in a lecture may simply follow one after another; events in a story, by contrast, must follow from previous facts and the logic in the story itself.An account is given of the lead author's use of storytelling in an atmospheric dynamics course at the University of WisconsinMadison. In the 2-hour-per-week laboratory, the course material was cast in the form of storiesstories that framed the basic knowledge, conveyed key concepts, and related key topics to one another. Stories were delivered orally in class and through an informal laboratory workbook. The rationale for this approach, the stories told, and the students' reactions are described. An example of storytelling in a global climate change course is also provided to illustrate the usefulness of storytelling in a wide range of meteorology courses.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: May 28, 1997
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