Stealth Storytelling in the Clasroom: UPDATE

This blog sadly has not been updated since I’ve been working
on my dissertation (to be finished soon), and comments are
strangely disabled (to be fixed soon), so with permission,
I’m posting a response to last year’s
Storytelling for College Students: Stealth or no Stealth:

I came upon your blog “A Storied Career” while researching for my workshop proposal aimed for storytellers to connect with college-aged audiences.

I am especially interested in your entry Storytelling for College Students: Stealth or no Stealth that was submitted July 3, 2005.

I started my own storytelling blog called “Voice – A Storyteller’s Lifestyle.” You can get there directly through“or you can go to my website and then click on “My Blog” in the upper right corner.

As for whether to use stealth or not for college students, here is my opinion –
When you teach what you normally teach, which uses storytelling, then the college students will gain an appreciation. They may not know what you are doing that is drawing them into your class. After about a couple weeks of storytelling, then you can share the importance of story. It’s easier for college students – or anyone for that matter–to understand storytelling and its importance after the experience of storytelling.

With the college scene based primarily on lectures, students are not exposed to storytelling. Let’s think about when someone learns to ride a bike. Before getting on the bike, a child had to perceive riding a bike as fun. Perhaps a neighbor kid or a sibling already knows how to ride a bike. A kid usually doesn’t walk up to a bike, a strange assortment of metal and rubber, and want to ride the bike. Only when that bike is pedalled by others will the child now have a desire to ride a bike.

Another thing to consider is that, for many people, “storytelling” has people think of children, bedtime stories and library tellings. At first, college students believe storytelling is for children. By choosing stories that fascinate this age group, the students will realize that anyone can enjoy a good story.

One way to put storytelling in their vocabulary is to show examples of “storytelling” and “storyteller” used in other settings. For example, college students respect other types of media such as movies and music. Many times critiques say that there was amazing storytelling in such-and-such a film or that this director is a fine storyteller.

Show that storytelling is something that everyone strives to have.

I look forward to hearing your comments and more of your insight on college students and storytelling.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance
(801) 870-5799