It is well-documented that learning is divided in inter-disciplinary learning, diversity of backgrounds, a focus on group-work and collaboration, and experiential learning, which benefits the “pedagogy of adventure”. However, the last finding —pointing to the key role of language and storytelling in developing creative rationality— is something that often goes unnoticed in the discourse on educational reform.
Storytelling transcends culture and time, all the way back to our cavemen days. Over time we turned to fairy tales and myths to transfer the wisdom and knowledge necessary for survival —for many indigenous communities, this is still the case today. Human beings remember knowledge when poured into the narrative of a story. Faucheux and Forest add that “most of our experience, knowledge, and thinking is organized as stories —it is a basic principle of our mind.” Knowledge transmission is but one of the benefits of storytelling. Storytelling encourages personal development in the form of reflection, improved communication skills, and social connection. Stories ignite personal reflection and establish relationships with others and with the unknown; it forces people to delve deeper within themselves to break cultural barriers, defy social differences, and unearth new experiences.
Above all, storytelling sparks imagination. It inspires us to go beyond mere data, reason, and logic, and helps us to “contextualize problems and relativize it on meta-level, thereby stimulating radically different logics and solutions,” the study concludes. This way, using metaphors and narration, language plays a vital role in shaping new ideas. It opens up new worlds, and invites to abandon comfort zones and delve into the unknown.