Synopses & Reviews
Storytelling empowers children to engage in discussions; explore ideas about power, respect, community, fairness, equality, and justice; and help frame their understanding of complex ethical issues within a society. In Life Lessons through Storytelling, Donna Eder interviews elementary students and presents their responses to stories from different cultures. Using Aesop's fables and Kenyan and Navajo storytelling traditions as models for classroom use, Eder demonstrates the value of a cross-cultural approach to teaching through storytelling, while providing deep insights into the social psychology of learning.
Eder (sociology, Indiana Univ., Bloomington), author of 'School Talk: Gender and Adolescent Culture' (CH, Apr'96, 33-4640), devoted a sabbatical to a study of the role of storytelling in the ethical development of children. Based on an examination of two groups of fourth and fifth graders, one in a rural environment and one in an urban environment, Eder and her colleagues examined how stories from the Navaho, Kenyan, and European oral traditions affected the learning of social responsibility and community obligations. There is a chapter that discusses the relevance of oral tradition for contemporary storytelling, authored by Regina Holyan of the Navaho Nation Department of Justice. Another chapter about Kenyan oral tradition, 'Rabbit Tales (Tails)', is coauthored with Tiffani Saunders, and 'Lessons from the Hyena' is coauthored with Oluwatope Fashola.... it is a clear argument for the benefits of multicultural study... -- ChoiceA. W. Petersen, emeritus, Buena Vista University, April 2011
"Educatiors, scholars, and non-scholars alike will highly appreciate Donna Eder's study... In this book, she not only reclaims the significance of storytelling within Western culture but also reintroduces the act of storytelling into the school curriculum." --Journal of Folklore Research, March 30, 2011 Indiana University Press
"[T]his book offers a cross culture, indterdisciplinary study of breadth and depth together with [Eder's] acknowledgements, analysis and advocacy." --B.C. Folklore
About the Author
Donna Eder is Professor of Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington. She is author of School Talk: Gender and Adolescent Culture.
Regina Holyan is currently a senior staff attorney with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice and was Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Indiana University Bloomington.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Gregory Cajete
2. Strengthening Community through Storytelling
3. Drawing on Oral Traditions for a Contemporary Storytelling Event (with Regina Holyan)
4. Of Fables and Children
5. "The Wolf Really Wasn't Wicked": Ethical Complexities and "Troubled" Students
6. Rabbit Tales (Tails): Kenyan Stories with Multiple Meanings (with Tiffani Saunders)
7. "It's Hard to Admit, But Sometimes You Get Jealous": Lessons from the Hyena (with Oluwatope Fashola)
8. The Next Stage: Putting It into Practice
9. Coming Full Circle: Cross-Cultural Lessons
Appendix A: A Multimethod Approach to Storytelling
Appendix B: Examples of Focus Group Interview Questions
Appendix C: Editions of Aesop's Fables