Stories are what we live for, we tell them, we share them, we listen to them, and we dream them. Man is hardwired for stories. Stories help us build and make meaning of what is going on around us. As educators doesn't it make sense that we should be telling stories in our classroom?
Not sold on the idea yet? Let’s see what the Harvard Business Review says about storytelling.
“In our information-saturated age, business leaders “won’t be heard unless they’re telling stories,” says Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues and president and founder of Public Words, a communications consulting firm. “Facts and figures and all the rational things that we think are important in the business world actually don’t stick in our minds at all,” he says. But stories create “sticky” memories by attaching emotions to things that happen. That means leaders who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others. And fortunately, everyone has the ability to become a better storyteller. “We are programmed through our evolutionary biology to be both consumers and creators of story,” says Jonah Sachs, CEO of Free Range Studios and author of Winning the Story Wars
Good marketers know this. They have only a minute or so (and often less) to tell a story that we can emotionally connect to so we will buy their product. Just look at the commotion the Super bowl commercials cause: Who couldn’t connect to the little boy dressed as Darth Vader and his obliging dad who helps him use his powers, or the puppy that has that special relationship with a horse?
So how can we apply this to the math class? Well for a start, we could tell some “hi-stories” of the mathematicians who developed the calculations we use today. Or how some of the great problems of the world have been solved using mathematics. Here is a great link from Math Forum called “The history of mathematics through solving some of the greatest problems that have inspired mathematicians through the ages.” http://mathforum.org/isaac/mathhist.html