Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Can you explain the “Fiscal Cliff Crisis” to an Eight-year old?

The title of this article is a challenge to educators, designers, and developers on how to turn complex financial subjects into simple understandable lessons. Finance matters are very important in current real life situations as America continues to thread the tightrope of its economic problems. So, what learning modality could be more effective in teaching lessons on finance and money matters?

Try storytelling.

I’ve always advocated using the power of a story in teaching lessons. View an   introduction to our Story-based eLearning Workshop.

Synthesis. In the research paper Using Storytelling to Increase Interest and Recollection in Finance Concepts, the authors Lonnie Bryant and Renard Harris discussed the use of storytelling as an effective means to engage students in teaching finance and economic matters. The study examines the effectiveness of storytelling as a way to heighten  student recollection. Results of their study shows that story telling increases the interest and recollection capabilities of the students who were part of the study.

Elements of  Storytelling. The authors of the paper give significant reference to Hidler who wrote that

Storytellers also have the responsibility of respecting and protecting the audience as they travel together through the story (Harris (2007). Storytelling has the power to foster inclusivity because it engages the imagination and emotions (Hilder (2005)). Hilder (2005) writes that the mission of a story is to widen awareness and awaken possibilities. Stories should have a definite beginning, middle, and end, and a call to adventure that initiates a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey for the main character (Bishop and Kimball, 2006; Ohler, 2006). Merry and New (2008)
Reasons Why Storytelling is Effective. Here are summary points that justify storytelling as an effective teaching modality:

• Storytelling requires listeners to suspend their disbelief
• Storytelling induce the use imagination and metaphors
• Storytelling compels students to focus and to exert effort to listen
• Storytelling challenges people to respond and offer feedback

Conclusion of the Study. The authors Lonnie Bryant and Renard Harris in their paper Using Storytelling to Increase Interest and Recollection in Finance Concepts reached this conclusion:

This study has shown that the introduction of storytelling that links student interest and financial theory has led to an improvement in student performance. This is attributed to the fact that the use of storytelling was a successful active-learning tool that involved student recognition of some of the elements of the story. By incorporating a storytelling presentation, results from student performance reveal that a significant proportion of students have an increased recollection of  the material covered. It was also found that this positive outcome was not related to the type of class but rather the increased interest in the lecture. These results support arguments that students that have a greater interest in the presentation have a perceived benefit between studying financial theory and its practical applications by personalizing the problem, storytelling can change the minds, motives and capacities of students. The art of storytelling can provide students with knowledge, skills, and the moral convictions that are needed to establish a productive and financially stable community. Thus, the goal of a lecturer should not be to teach from the text book, but to understand the text-book theory and incorporate that theory into a storytelling presentation. That requires understanding of institutional details that are applicable and integrating them into a storytelling presentation.

Read also my related blog:

Avoid a Fatal Error: Lack of Specificity in eLearning Interactive Stories


Bryant, L. and Harris, R. (NA). Using Storytelling to Increase Interest and Recollection in Finance Concepts.


Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

1 comment:

Welcome! Sharing your comments is very valuable learning experience for me and others. Thanks!