Professional Storyteller

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Can we build an online archive of proof about how beneficial storytelling is? Please weigh in your opinions!

educational, entertainment, medically...any possible way!

Dearest Storytellers

At a recent conference in Scotland one of the things we hit upon is the
lack of gathered evidence that storytelling is incredibly beneficial to
communities, individuals, education systems etc. We all know that it is a
valuable tool for emotional literacy, literacy, development and
community building, but all our knowledge is based on experience, on
seeing it happen.

But who has measured it? I would like to create an online archive of
links, published papers, academic journals and anything else we can say
quantifiably proves that what we are doing works!

This archive needs to be full of material that we have permission to
use. It would mean that when applying for funding, or trying to convince
governmental bodies we would all of us have a place, a source to go to
to say "See it does work! HONEST!"

So if you have published something, if you have run a project, if you
have data or information that would be helpful and you are willing to
share it please post it on here. Once i collect it all I will find a way
to host it all online somewhere, or on here somewhere.

So far I have one link, and possibly a Masters Thesis to add to this!

Thanks for your time in this!
in word and deed
Clare Muireann Murphy

Views: 112

Replies to This Discussion

Hey Melanie

Happy to get the ball rolling. If you look on my blog or on the discussion I started on my page there are some more replies there. I will post all the replies once I collate them, but look there for a start on the responses. I posted it in so many places to try to catch the attention of as many storytellers as possible. There is so much going on on this website that it is hard to follow all of it!

I will post in all three places once I get more data. Or create a whole special forum just for this.
I, too, am interested in this: It's part of my Master's thesis. Specifically, I'm working on the neuroscience of storytelling and how it effects, or is integrated with, cognitive development. It will take me at least a year to flesh things out, but I'm working on it. We need less inspirational or opinionated data and more tested data. And speaking of this, with a world-wide network such as we have, this is the perfect opportunity to develop testing situations together and try them out. Many of us have classrooms. Imagine trying out a concept in classrooms or senior centers in the Netherlands, Scotland, and the U.S.! We shouldn't be just a library, we should be moving toward possibilities.
Kim Hoag (USA)
Hello Kim

Yes this is an excellent testing ground to find test subjects or push forward a project if you can find collaborators.
Your Masters Thesis sounds spot on! just what I was thinking about. We have so much anecdotal evidence but what we need for the funding world, the world of government and international philanthropy are hard data and facts to show that this really works. I look forward to reading your Masters.
More to follow. I have posted this on my page and in my blog int he hopes that as many people as possible will find this discussion and post their thoughts on it.
so spread the word!!

in word and deed
Hi, Kim. What you are doing sounds really great.
I am writing a Mater Thesis on the Importance of Storytelling in Children's growth and the more I do my researches, the more I become interested on the subject of mirror neurons...
I don't know how it works in US, but in my University in Rome, what my professors want the most is what Claire calls "hard data and facts".
It would be really great for me if we could exchange some ideas, if you want to...
Hey Clare,

Iif you haven't already you shuold contact the Village Storytelling Centre in Glasgow - they've got lots of stuff they've published and reports that you can look at about the beneficial effects of their projects on the local community, one I remember was a specific project working in several schools with the same groups of children over a long period to see what the benefits were to them.
Here's the link: if you go to the projects page you'll see all their work (the one above I refer to was Storytelling in Schools) - many of these have reports linked to them. They're really nice, I've met them a couple of times and I'm pretty sure the Scottish Storytelling Centre works with them, so they might be able to put you in touch. Bbt if you like I'm happy to talk to them for you.
Hhope you're well and see you soon xx
Hi Clare and other Seekers of Proof
The blessing and curse of storytelling is that it is an extremely multidimensional and flexible animal. Beasts like Sphinxes and winged horses comes to my mind. So evaluating storytelling processes and results is very very difficult. But what I have seen in schools when you add questioning to storytelling is so amazingly powerful that I think it should be a good place to hunt for evidence. So far, there is no good proof that any art form is helpful for success in schools. Storytelling (in a broader sense) could very well be the first. Perhaps storytellers around the globe could help with some international networking here, teaming up with researchers and teachers?
Hello Ulf

Thanks for weighing in. A lot of research, quantitative research on litearcy and storytelling has been done. It's a matter of finding it. More is needed of course and if storytellers took time when doing long projects to measure the kids before during and after then of course that would provide more data.

Yes ideally it would be great to work on an international network here. Perhaps this is something we could put forward for FEST next year? As some archive that they keep tabs on.

Apparently the NSN in the states has quite an online archive but I am guessing that that is US based.

We haev our work cut out for us. But I can't help to think that if we create this it creates more work, and better funding opportunities for storytellers now and in the future.

beir bua
Hi Clare,

Glad to see that you know about Kendall Haven's book Story Proof, and that you're aware of the NSN sites

The NSN sites do have occasional references to non-U.S. studies and articles and, I'm sure, would welcome more. I believe there's information on each site for those who wish to list research, articles, and the like.

Mary-Eileen (Canada)
Hi, I am actually writing an Essay (thesis) for my Master Degree on Applied Theatre and Dramtherapy and it is about how beneficial Storytelling is in children's growth... And the think is, it is so difficult, indeed, to "prove" it academically even though it is so evident whenever you find yourself working with children.
And, of course, this is not only true for children but for adults, as well...
WOW!! How interesting what you do..I do many things with Storytelling and with dranma Techniques..Wonderful results specially with SEN children! I can also share a paper written 6 years ago and shared at Buenos Aires Book fair, at an International Encounter of Storytellers..It is in Spanish..I have also worked on Storytelling in the EFl it is called The impact of Storytelling! I teach English so I can see results as regards language...any help! happy to share my experience both as teacher and storyteller in English in Argentina!!

When I was going to Dominican Republic to work with some teachers there & also find resources for their parents, I found relatively little available in Spanish.  By all means post this.  Be sure to give yourself credit for creating it, but you might want to put it as a PDF or give Creative Commons permission to safeguard it staying linked to you.


You could post it on your Blog here, but since you have a website, it would probably be a good addition there.

Saw an article on Brother Wolf Storytelling website - a position statement on storytelling written in 1997. Check it out.!




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