THE STORY WORKSHOP METHOD OF TEACHING WRITING AND READING, INTEGRATING WRITING, READING, SPEAKING, LISTENING, THINKING, GROUP GAMES, VERBAL-WRITTEN AND VISUALIZATION INCORPORATING THE THREE MAJOR WAYS OF LEARNING/TECHNOLOGICAL PROBLEM-SOLVING
Columbia College Chicago (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The Story Workshop method, originated by John Schultz, works from grad school to grade school, from American affluent to poverty areas, from the South Side of Chicago to Fudan/Shanghai, engaging the participation and advancement of skills for the many voices and cultural and linguistic origins, as well as encouraging people to use their different ways of apprehending things—face to face, face to self, face to group, face to teacher, face to computer screen. It enhances problem solving abilities at the computer and online. Grade school assessment scores for students in Story Workshop classes, meeting for 2 hours once a week, rise significantly. This includes math and science where reading comprehension and narrative/visualized problem solving can be crucial. We work with 400-500 grade school children each year. The presentation includes DVD showing of actual classes. See below.
Introduction to the story experience in the classroom:
The Story Workshop method, its activities and formats used by teachers with reasonable training, integrates reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking and incorporates the three major ways of learning in every phase—the visual, the auditory, and the kinesthetic.* These “ways of learning” are not so distinct, but interpenetrate in all of the Story Workshop activities. The methodology is designed to be flexible, enabling the teacher to engage the diversity of students.
It has been used in countries other than the United States, such as England and China. At Fudan University in Shanghai, the author chose to work without a translator with students who possessed some English competency. It proved to be a successful English immersion class, with large advances in fluency and sense as well as a marked development of fiction writing skills. Authors John Schultz and Betty Shiflett were brought to Fudan to help start what was called “the first master’s in creative writing in China.”
With the acceptance of voice and content and awareness of audience, the teacher is able to engage the diversity of demographic groups and levels of ability that come into our classrooms.
Today there is the issue of using computer and online technology to develop reading and writing skills. There is also research that shows that, up to age 12, computer and computer technology actually get in the way of children developing their problem-solving capacities. After age 12, working on the computer helps develop problem-solving. What concerns the author is the development of a vigorous relationship between verbal imaginative problem-solving and all areas of the curriculum as well as the computer/online engagement of children’s and teacher’s attention. We see this in a classroom with computers ringing the walls.
“The Story Workshop approach is one of the best examples of a high-quality curriculum and instructional method that fully integrates four critical areas in literacy: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.” —Cynthia Way, Senior Editor, The Education Alliance at Brown University. Portions of film of Story Workshop methods in the classroom have been displayed on Brown University’s KnowledgeLoom website. Portions of filmed Story Workshop classroom practice are included along on the DVD that can accompany this presentation.
*See work of Howard Gardner, Project Zero, Harvard University, emphasizing the importance of the integration of reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking.
Keywords: Schultz, Story Workshop, integration reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, technological ability.