The Power of Storytelling in Education
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The Power of Storytelling in Education

Why is literature and storytelling so important for children and adolescents? This is the topic we explore in this latest episode of Teachers’ Voices with our special guest, Evelyn Arizpe, an expert in children’s literature and literacy. Evelyn pioneered research into children’s responses to picturebooks and visual literacy and, in the last decade, her research has focused on migration and displacement, building on this to develop a programme for migrant readers.

“When you have nothing, when you have lost your home, when you have lost your material possessions, when there are no resources, maybe even when you have lost the power to express yourself in the language of a new place, one of the things that you still have is your own language, your own voice and the potential to tell your own story.” – Evelyn

With Evelyn’s ideas in mind, we hear from educators around the world with a passion for books and storytelling: Susan in Hong Kong, Lina in Athens, and Trini in Santiago.

Susan works in a library in an international primary school in Hong Kong. She says:

“Reading is such a wonderful outlet and I think in times like these, children like to identify themselves in books and picture books as a way of helping [them] to identify feelings that maybe they can’t put into words themselves.” – Susan

Next we meet Lina who specialises in teaching language and literature in Athens:

“Using wordless picture books as a starting point, teachers can promote their students’ critical thinking and initiate thought provoking conversations… I think the most rewarding outcome as an educator is listening to children’s views, giving them space to express their ideas and making their voices heard.” – Lina

Finally, we hear from Trini, a head teacher with limited resources at a state primary school in Santiago. While she doesn’t have access to many materials, she’s moving heaven and earth to provide books to read and talk about with her students.

“I believe that reading and enjoying a book in whichever form can have a healing aspect. It can have a concept of reflecting on your own life but also learning about other people’s experiences, other realities, other fantasies.” – Trini

On today’s podcast:

  • What visual image is in literature and storytelling
  • How to best support children’s reading of picture books
  • Why picture books make you engage with stories differently
  • Give children books that are mirrors of themselves and others
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