The psychosocial benefits of oral storytelling in school : developing identity and empathy through narrative

Hibbin, Rebecca Alison (2016) The psychosocial benefits of oral storytelling in school : developing identity and empathy through narrative. Pastoral Care in Education, 34 (4). pp. 218-231. ISSN 1468-0122

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The oral re-telling of traditional tales, modelled by a storyteller and taught to children in school, can be understood as ‘non-instrumental’ practice in speaking and listening that emphasises oral language over the reading and writing of stories. While oral storytelling has significant benefits to children’s education and development, it is under-utilised within Primary Education in the UK. This interview and library-based study explores participant perceptions of oral storytelling in relation to its psychosocial effects and benefits. In addition, observation of an oral storytelling initiative provides a research context through which such perceptions are understood. The findings highlight the benefits of oral storytelling to children in relation to a complex of processes tied to the opportunities afforded by oral storytelling for self-expression, identification with story characters, empathic understanding of self and others and bi-directional communication. It is suggested that the oral retelling of pre-existing stories offers children a parsimonious yet psycho-socially complex form of Speaking and Listening practice which is as rare within the classroom as it is native to human thought and interaction. It is upon the basis of the importance of talk to learning and development that its use within education needs to be viewed, to allow more opportunities for oral language practice that supports the psychosocial development of young people in school to be encouraged and actively pursued.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Pastoral Care in Education
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Pastoral Care in Education on 12/09/2016, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? oral storytellingspeaking and listeningexpressive languagepsychosocialsocioemotionaldevelopmental and educational psychologyeducation ??
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Deposited On:
25 Nov 2016 11:38
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 16:36