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Digital Storytelling and the Nature of Knowledge

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Education and Information Technologies Volume 19, Number 3, ISSN 1360-2357


While storytelling pedagogy presents novel perspectives and affordances to educators, a fundamental question that bears attention is the match between storytelling pedagogy and the nature of knowledge. Quite simply, the problem may be posed thus: is storytelling the optimum means for teaching all forms of knowledge? While rather obvious matches occur for knowledge in the social science, humanities, languages and literacy education, would storytelling pedagogy "work" for the natural sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics classrooms? If so, what may be optimum means to integrate storytelling instruction in these latter kinds of classrooms? In this study, we report on the results of an implementation of digital storytelling in a grade five science classroom. Using what we termed the "edu-tainment" approach, we asked students to design a digital story that communicated a scientific concept embedded within the narrative structure--characters within the narrative would experience the effects of the concept, the quality of the story being proxy indicators of students' understanding of the scientific concept. We propose that this pedagogical strategy presents a strong challenge to discern students' understanding, and we also discuss the effect of knowledge forms on the success of this pedagogy.


Tan, M., Lee, S.S. & Hung, D.W. (2014). Digital Storytelling and the Nature of Knowledge. Education and Information Technologies, 19(3), 623-635. Retrieved March 2, 2021 from .

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