Julia Scherba de Valenzuela, Ph.D.
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Food for Thought -- The Importance of Story
"...stories are important to people, politics, and education. Stories are how people make sense of themselves and their worlds. In young children's spontaneous stories that they act out as they play, we can see how they believe people relate to one another, who they hope to become, and how they will behave. We can see adolescents play roles in their own and other people's stories in order to figure out where they fit into their ever-expanding worlds. As adults, the true and imaginary stories we wish to tell and believe suggest what we value most in this world. In a real sense, stories make people.
For this reason, stories are political. Whose stories get told? What can those stories mean? Who benefits from their telling? These are political questions because they address the ways in which people's identities -- their beliefs, attitudes, and values -- are created and maintained. These identities determine how we live together in and out of schools as much as school rules or governmental laws." (Shannon, 1995, p. xi)
 

From:  Shannon, P. (1995). Text, lies, and videotape: Stories about life, literacy, and learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


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Last updated: July 30, 2002