Pedagogical use of the storytelling in a contemporary educational environment

The folktale narration goes back to art and the tradition of oral speech, (Ong 1984: 1-12) in a period of time when there was no written speech. (Levy- Bruh 1985) Its context is the imaginary narration of events and actions with a natural/real or extra-terrestrial/supernatural character, which represented the initial source of knowledge and learning for the primitive man (Levi- Strauss 1966). Later, by becoming more sophisticated, it was turned into a special cultural expression of the people and was monopolized almost by a children’s audience and the literature for children (Biakolo 1999: 42-65).In our days within the frame of postmodernism and the rejection of every kind of authority on behalf of the writer, when speech gains its individuality and corporality returns to the spotlight, as a major code of communication, the orality of the narrative gains again its value and returns to the centre of debate and interest (Makuchi Nfah & Abbenkyi 2011: 1-6). However, even if the orality of speech continues to keep its importance, it belongs to a broader system of communication and contact between the transmitter and the receivers, which fulfills absolutely the contemporary data of the performance.
The aim of our paper is to analyze the pedagogical role of the modern storytelling in the contemporary educational environment.
Narration as a pedagogical tool has been recognized and exploited long ago variously, as much as a teaching method and learning (Abrahamson 1998: 440-451), as a way of socializing and communicating, as a means of psycho-spiritual expression and developing of the personality of the students, as a device in the improvement of the verbal communication and literacy (Deniston-Trochta 2003:103-108 · Rossiter 2002· Coulter- Charles Polynor 2002:103-122). It can be combined with every kind of learning and teaching but also of every field of knowledge, such as language and literature, history and civilization, art and science and to be a privileged method that can variously utilize the educator at school (Chesin 1966:214· Ong 1982).
With a developed imagination and a rich emotional world, with intense curiosity and spontaneity, the juveniles to whom a narrating story is addressed, are involved easily in the story, they are identified with the characters and the situations that have been recounted, and as a result the story that is developed via the verbal speech, is transformed into experiential reality, in the conscience of the juveniles listeners, and to influence not only pedagogically, fulfilling in the best way the aims of learning and teaching (Amato, Emans, Ziegler 1973: 161-181).
In this way the narration is a fabulous chance for the children to develop the ability on their concentration, so as to listen and receive the messages that are addressed to them. Alongside they cultivate their own ability to narrate their own story, to create narrations that will include their own experiences and as a result to externalize their thoughts and emotions, their psychic world and their imagination.
The gradual acquisition of a vocabulary and their familiarization (especially in the low classes of the primary school and kindergarten) with a linguistic expression and communication, long before they obtain the ability of writing and comprehending, the written speech, leads to a quicker acquisition of abilities and experiences, which are valuable for their post learning development (Tucker 2006: 54-58).
The narration at school can be done on behalf of the educator, as a narrator and on behalf of the students as listeners, developing the abilities that correspond to these two categories (Peck 1989:138). The narration of tales, initially, is included in the same frame as the other arts of speech (recitation, lectern) that are used at school and are the field of developing the verbal speech. Its content is the tale, that is the primary source of knowledge and education for the primitive man, which is changing (subsequently) in the main filed of literature for children. Via its oral proliferation, the tale has been the mediator in the development of the judgment and the speech, with which later, in a more sophisticated form the man faced the challenges of the world and gave convincing answers to the questions that had occupied him.
Today, in an era of rationality and scientific speech, the tale with its traditional, but also modern form, although it has been marginalized, it continues to play a significant role in the cultivation and making of the personality of its juveniles listeners (Roney 1989: 520-523).
Because of its context, the modern folktale narrative is addressed mainly to an audience of juveniles and can take place with simple means, in the classrooms for pedagogical and entertaining purposes, whereas with its complex form as an artistic spectacle, can wonderfully frame a school cultural event with an audience juveniles and adults (Robin 2008: 220-228). Via this kind of an activity, not only is being created a rich, spectacular stage spectacle, which can be performed either on behalf of the educator or on behalf of some students that have been appropriately prepared for the role of the “teller”, but also is displayed in the best way the folk tradition and the civilization in a national and a global level, since the folk tradition has mutual origins and common elements in other nations. That’s why the folktale narration is basically the best choice for an event of multicultural context.
It’s not only the folktale narration, which can be and function in the education for teaching purposes. Every form of narrative, real, historical, scientific cases and events, can wonderfully find its place in the classroom and can be integrated in the aid of approaching knowledge. In this way dramatized stories that derive from the lives of some scientists and historical figures, from emblematic personalities to the events of the human civilization, they can be the topics of transformative narratives and performance for teaching purposes (Leitch 1986).
For the successful evaluation of this project, it must be made clear, that the narrative (in this essence) stops having the previous traditional characteristics and is transformed in the field of art and education. That’s why it is obliged to get its characteristics: liveliness, performance, spectacularity, which only the educator-narrator as a modern performer can guarantee and fulfill. For this reason the students in modern school are familiarized with the picture and the visualized uptake of the world, a fact that must be taken into consideration, in a way so as the traditional narrative is transformed in a digital narrative, with all that this implies (Kuan Chung Sheng 2007:17-22).
In this way the modern performance, that is the mixture of different codes of genre that come from the theatre and the dance, the animations and video art, the modern narrative expands its limits and through the sound making of speech of the traditional narrator, he proceeds to the somatization of the speech of the modern performer (Egan 1988). In this new frame of reference, which corresponds to the expectations and the interests of the modern student, the narrative re signaled and modernized, is integrated absolutely in the frames of the needs and searches of the school of the 21st century, serving in the best way the textuality in knowledge, in group cooperation and student centered teaching and generally all the data of modern pedagogics (Holistic learning, Experiental knowledge. Cooperative teaching, Project Method). But where does the narrative own its pedagogical dynamic and diachronic value, which either in a traditional or modern environment affects so decisively the education of the adults (Kerby 1991)?
This dynamic is founded equally in the way that the narrative and dramatic material of the narrative (Kohler Riessman 1993), in its representational display, in the communicative relationship which is being developed between the narrator and the listeners/audience in the following way:
i. Immediacy/ Experience
The theatrical reality, though it is illusive, it appears as a real live spectacle, which follows with all its senses the student-listener/audience. The information that is being given from the narrator from the stage and the messages, are neither abstract meanings nor theoretical patterns, that are being approached via the verbal contact between the reader and the text, but real, live situations, which formulate the narrator with his body.
Simultaneously, the students-audience receive directly and individually, creating a personal impression for them that has the element of truth. This fact, is able to convince the consciousness for the reality of the suggested and presented ideas and therefore the spectacle to function in a convincing and successful way in transmitting and receiving the information, so the persuasion of the audience that attends the specific narrative (Olsan 1988: 27-36).
In this way, the immediacy of the contact, the experience of the communication and the developing identification between the narrator-audience (specifically in the case of juveniles), recommend the basic factor of persuasion and transmission form the transmitter to the receiver, with great success.
ii. Inclusivity/ Interactivity
The fact of this emotional and personal involvement on behalf of the reader/audience is the motive on which the educational and pedagogical function of the narrative is based on (Olson 1988: 27-36). Because as it is already known in the pedagogical science, the transmission and receipt of the knowledge and the exercise of education and pedagogy mainly among the juveniles, but also to the adults equally, takes place better, when there are some specific reasons, which promote and support the procedure of learning.
Among them, the participation of the subject and subordination of the treatment in the educational procedure, the emotional and spiritual involvement in it, the experiential learning, are the main conditions for success. The result is more completed, when there is the meaning of the action, that is the correspondence in the projected/suggested message and the creative feedback of the communicative relationship between the transmitter and the receiver of pedagogy.
This meaning of interactivity, which characterizes more the spectacle that is addressed to an audience of juveniles, makes the spectator an energetic participant in the play, judge and co-creator of the meaning, in relation always with the image that is suggested for the performance by the director (Schaffer 1980:167-193 ·Pfister3 1993:40-102).
The spectator not only «the state of the hero» experiences playing it safe his role, answering not only in dilemmas and challenges that he faces, participating in his thoughts and wishes and expressing directly their acceptance or rejection, but with his active reaction on stage impulses becomes mainly and through experience functional receiver in the emanating messages, hence existing their active pedagogical effect.
iii. Representation/ supervision
It takes place because of the complex contact, the clarity and the supervision that offers the spectator with the spectacle. Because, the message, is not only the speech that is read by the narrator- actor, but a complex «post-text» that is simultaneously the speech, but also the way with which is read (hence his acting), along with the general audiovisual frame which means the artistic and music code that function equally with the acting code. As a result the development of the three-dimensional display of space and time and the transformation of the dramatic on stage space-time, gives the impression of a live reality, which although is virtual, it is perceived as a real existence. Therefore, the adult student has through experience and directly the sense of personal participation in the narrative acts and hence he accepts as irrefutable the illusionary reality.
iv. Exemplification/ prototyping
It starts by the way it is constructed and develops the dramatic text, the dialogue and conflicts with their immediacy and plausibility, the support the emergence of the characters, which in their turn become prototypes and points of reference for the consciousness that communicates with them either as a reading, or as a spectacle.
The ideas, the values, the high meanings, the general messages that includes an independent form the specific kind in which it belongs every time, the dramatic text or dramatized text gain longer range and ability, because their emergence is fulfilled through the art of drama, which by nature includes the elements that motivate the attention, cause the interest, increase the inclusivity and enforce the persuasion, hence they perform in the best way the pedagogy.
The value and the context of all the above is maximized, when from the text we switch to the performance, where as a spectator and not as a reader the subject will come into a direct and experiential relationship with the characters of the narrative text and their action. He will comprehend the motives of their behavior and their intentions, not only according to what the story mentions, but also everything the narrator as a performer suggests for this specific role. As a result the objective reality, the message of the narrative story will be perceived updated and adjusted into specific pedagogical scientific and social data of the period that the student-spectator lives of the performance. The existing exemplification and the prototyping of the heroes, the relationships and their behavior that they are going to experience in this way the necessary dialectic procedure which is going to create a dialogue between the modern cultural present with the past. They are going to be reviewed or accepted, they will be rejected or confirmed the suggested values, hence it will be created a fruitful discussion, a basic knowledge and finally an integrated education for the participants.

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