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willbrawn's avatar

In school why are we not taught how to tell stories?

Asked by willbrawn (6606points) June 6th, 2008 from iPhone

I am reading the boom “the horse and his boy” and a character made a good point. In her land people are taught to tell stories. In our society we are taught to write essay’s. And I must say personally that I love reading a story rather than an essay. Why dosent our school systems change. Outside of school where do you read essay’s? I want to apply what I learn

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9 Answers

playthebanjo's avatar

A good essay can be as well written as a good story- the two are not mutually exclusive. There are no rules against using style in essay writing. Good storytelling is a skill…there are many storytelling festivals around the country…search google or contact your library. I know that the John Campbell Folk School offers classes on storytelling as well.

Harp's avatar

Schools have become test preparation mills, designed to satisfy government standards. Everything has to be quantifiable now. You can establish “objective” measures for essays, but not (thank God) for stories.

buster's avatar

i took a short story class. we were graded on our presentations of the stories. it was a lot different than the typical english class essay type crap.

jballou's avatar

I don’t know where you’re from or what kind of school you went to, but plenty of schools teach students how to tell stories, in a variety of ways.

At the very least most high schools have an English program with a short story class.

And you can most definitely establish objective measures for a story. Beginning, middle, end. Change, growth. Conflict. These are all essential elements of a story that must be there (although the interpretation of those terms is obviously varied)

Harp's avatar

@jballou
I hear what you’re saying. I agree that when you’re learning to appreciate stories, it’s helpful to look for the kinds of structural elements you describe. But, as in any art form, stories that are generated according to formulas are rarely the most interesting, I don’t think there’s really all that much that can, or should, be said about what “has” to be in a story.

Melonking's avatar

its a secret, don’t ask hisssss. I DONT KNOW ANYTHING, and don’t think its because they do it so no one enjoys school BECOUSE THATS NOT IT

Harp's avatar

This is Hemingway’s famous six word story:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

It’s said that he considered it his finest work.

gimmedat's avatar

First point: if schools are not held accountable for students learning information that is measured by authentic assessments, how do we guage success?

Second point: good English/language arts teachers teach the art of story telling, not how to write stories. Good, gripping, engaging story writers have an innate ability that may be fostered through instruction and guidance, but I don’t believe one can be taught to tell/write stories. That’s not to say children can’t be taught to write, but the art of story telling is something different.

gambleAway's avatar

I guess it’s the same reason why we are not taught how to think for ourselves.

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