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An analysis of the effectiveness of storytelling with adult learners in supervisory management

by Eck, Jill.

Abstract (Summary)
As a result of the constant and unceasing change in demands across nearly every field of employment, adults who are employed in or who are preparing for specific fields of study are finding that they need to be capable of learning new information at increasingly rapid paces just to keep up with minimum industry standards. Organizational trainers and other adult educators are responding to this information demand by employing training strategies and identifying less traditional teaching methods to more effectively convey the information needed within decreased timefrarnes. Storytelling has emerged as one such teaching method that has proven to be an effective teaching pedagogy and learning process. There is consensus in literature that storytelling offers a highly natural and powerful means to convey, learn, and retain information. A variety of educational researchers offer learning theories that support storytelling from a number of perspectives including brain-based An Analysis of Storytelling 3 learning theories, experiential learning theories, reflective learning theories and transformational learning theories. Several studies are available that underscore the ability of learners to learn, retain and retrieve information when presented in a story format. Furthermore, neuroscience research reports that the human brain is naturally wired to receive and remember every human experience within a structure of a story. The purpose of this study is to research and document how storytelling as a teaching and learning method has an impact on the learning and information retention of adult students who are enrolled in the Supervisory Management Program at Western Wisconsin Technical College (WWTC). To further examine the effectiveness of storytelling as a teaching pedagogy and learning method, a study was conducted with 17 adult learners who are enrolled in the Supervisory Training program at a Wisconsin technical college. Within this study, learners are exposed to a lesson that utilizes storytelling as the primary means for conveying the course content. Prior to the course lesson, learners participate in a short pre-test to measure any prior knowledge on course content. Subsequent this lesson, an opinionlreaction survey is administered to measure the learners experience with the storytelling activity. Items included on the survey include attention fixation, visualization, personal identification, and information transferability among others. In addition, a post-test on the course content is administered a week later to measure the amount of information retained from the storytelling lesson. The conclusions of this study are highly congruent with the learning theories of storytelling as an effective learning tool and teaching method. The findings of the study indicate that storytelling has a powerful impact on learning, especially as it relates to theories that espouse the experiential characteristics of storytelling and learner information retention. An Analysis of Storytelling 4 The Graduate School University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie, WI
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

School Location:USA - Wisconsin

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:learning strategies storytelling adult

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