Monday, October 15, 2007

Critical Theory is for the Birds (Although They Wouldn't Be Interested Either)

Continuing from the last post . . .

No listener, especially if he or she is a child, needs to be told the lesson of the stories of Red Riding Hood (either the traditional one or the one written about 15 minutes ago on this blog).

That's the beauty of a good story -- they make us feel, think, and draw conclusions without the work of theoretical analysis. The choices a storyteller makes place the listener in a position where he or she is persuaded of either justice or injustice of a situation or action, depending on how the characters a listener likes act and the consequences of that action.

No discussion necessary to draw conclusions. But if you don't know why you think what you do, how can you take responsibility for your choices?

Telling Our Own Stories: Taking Ownership of Our Place in Them

So -- what if we look at the choices while telling a story? What if we change the choices and explore the differences in what we feel, think, and assume?

The CAGSE storytelling program begins by asking the children to create a story as a group. They use theatre games, writing exercises, and performance, and they choose the setting, events, characters, and outcomes.

Throughout the year, each child adds to the community story by creating new pieces from local environment or imagination. At the end of the year, we see the variety of choices and the implications of those choices on the way we think and feel about the story.

More explanation of the kinds of work we do -- and why -- in the next post.

No comments: