Fictionalization for Education


A comprehensive overview of story elements, narrative, and fictionalization for program designers and mentors.

Stories are a basic form of human communication. We record our history in stories. We remember our lives in stories. And we imagine our future in stories. In education, storytelling is the most powerful tool that we have to develop a deeper understanding of subjective knowledge.
Designers will learn to communicate lessons through the narrative use of stories, using storytelling as a compelling education strategy.
Key learnings: Applied skills in teaching through storytelling; Values-based communications and education skills; A comprehensive understanding of fictionalization, worldbuilding, character casting, exploring values, ethics, and morality within a fictional universe.

Learning Objectives

To gain the ability to use stories as a tool in crafting more salient, relevant, and powerful lessons for students of all ages.
To improve and expand the professional capacities of teachers and professors of all disciplines, schools, and practices.
To improve technical writing skills and narrative form.
To compose an original short story piece showcasing what we have learned by the end of the class.
Module Overview

Module 1: Objectives and Methods: An examination of the core theory, objectives, and methods for teaching with stories. Teachers will gain an understanding of what stories can offer us, what separates educational storytelling from other storytelling, and how we can use storytelling to confront difficult, complex, or controversial issues.

Module 2: Case Studies: Applying the theories and thinking of Module 1, Module 2 branches out to examine a set of stories across different eras and locations that tackle a wide range of subjects. Teachers are asked to reflect on how these stories shaped or are still shaping our society. Teachers use their findings to create a lesson outline for Module 3.

Module 3: Lesson Workshop: Teachers will shortlist a range of lessons or subjects relevant to their current work or their anticipated classes. The class will run through these ideas to determine which stories are best suited for a rubric of different criteria.

Module 4: Story Writing: Teachers will draw on their lesson workshop products to craft an original short story. Each story should be relevant for the subjects, students, or themes that the teacher works with. Teachers will peer-edit and peer-review with their colleagues to deliver a final product worthy of publishing. As with all classes in this series, writers retain all rights to their own stories.


Total student time commitment: 4-6 hrs / week

Video Meetings: TBD

Mentor: Matthew R. Bishop

Designers: Michael Freedman and Matthew R. Bishop

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