We tell ourselves stories all the time. We tell ourselves stories in an attempt to make sense of our world. We tell stories about our life and what we deserve. We tell stories to explain our actions. Yet how often do we consciously examine those stories?
Years of teaching have taught me that the most useful aspect of stories is not necessarily their literary merit, but rather the opportunity they provide to teach us.
Stories may be seen as life’s metaphors.
The study of English therefore, can be the study of experiences. Through stories it is possible to enter a new world and participate from a protected position so that, when a character learns, we learn.
Certainly it is important to live and be aware in our present. However, as we analyse the characters in a story and critically evaluate the strategies they employ to overcome complications, we gain a fresh perspective of our own situation.
If we are mindful of language we may also begin to perceive some innovative solutions.
In this case, readers become critical literate individuals who recognise choices have consequences and we are responsible for our behaviour. In other words the study of other peoples stories, offers an opportunity to practise the evaluative skills that can help us understand the stories we tell our self.
The stories we tell have the power to limit or enrich our life. However, critically evaluating those stories encourages us to propose questions and discover answers. I like to call this process the Critical Literacy Rite.
Welcome to a World of Expression