A Journey Paved with Stories

My posts about writing (#whyiwrite and Sharing the Love of Writing) have lead me to think about storytelling. I realize more and more the role of storytelling in building connections. Fostering global citizenship has become a passion for me and I place it at the heart of much of the project work I do in my Master’s courses. Lately I have been exploring how storytelling fits into global citizenship by creating context, unity and hope. Wade Davis’ TED Talk “Cultures at the Far Edge of the World” inspired me to look more closely at this topic. Davis underscores the need for us to hear the stories of people from all around the world as a means of understanding different ways of knowing and different realities. The hope is that we may then come to treasure a “pluralistic, multicultural world” and truly value its diversity. A multitude of voices sharing their stories enables us to reach a new level of awareness, discovery and connectedness.

The world in which we live does not exist in one absolute sense but is only one model of reality. ~Wade Davis

In Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” she stresses the importance of knowing many stories. The consequences of only knowing one story or different versions of the same story is that it creates only one image in our mind about someone or somewhere. Within the limited framework of one image we then define others, make assumptions and broad generalizations. In doing so we are unable to see the possibilities for connections and similarities.

Many stories matter…they empower, humanize and repair broken dignity. ~Chimamanda Adichie

Storytelling can change the world. ~Wade Davis

I love this quote. It captures so beautifully the connections we can form when we listen and when we share. A year ago the Grade 3’s at our school heard their first stories about Q’enqo, a small indigenous community in Peru. These initial stories led us on an amazing journey of inquiry, connectedness and global citizenship that continues today. My colleague was traveling the world with his family and through video conferencing he connected with our 125 students in Calgary to share his experiences in Peru but more importantly the stories of the people he met. The power of those stories lit our students on fire. The days following were bubbling with questions, wonder and the strong desire to know more. His stories fueled a passion for discovery and understanding, and so began our own story.  Our story that is woven together with the stories of children living over 7000 km away. One that is rich with authentic learning, engagement in the curriculum, compassion for others and above all a desire to contribute to a positive change in the world. It is a journey paved with stories.

I have come to realize that Global Citizenship is a way of thinking and behaving. It is an outlook on life, and most importantly a belief that you can make a difference in this world. ~ Angela Maiers

I am calling for your stories. I have created a Google Doc to collect stories of global citizenship happening in your classrooms with your students. I would love to be able to post your stories on the Global Citizenship Wiki I am creating to showcase the power of connecting our students with the world. I also have a Google Form in which I am looking for online tools that support the development of global citizenship. These will also be added to my wiki. I will roll out my wiki in its early stages next week, again eager for suggestions, ideas and contributions. Thank you for taking part in the storytelling and the journey.


9 thoughts on “A Journey Paved with Stories

  1. I will send your link to my LA Department Head and perhaps some stories can be shared from within the classroom.

    Stories and traditions are rich, necessary, disappearing around the world, but powerful when put out there.

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