Stories play an essential part of our belonging. For children, stories help to underpin their identity as young citizens, giving them a sense of place in their families and communities.
Dr Kumara Ward, an Early Childhood Education academic at the University of Western Sydney, believes within the education space, story-telling helps educators and children convey meaning and connect to place.
“It is one of the key ways in which we interpret and share our understandings of the world,” Kumara said.
She said stories can contain morals, customs, cultural information and specific educational content. They can also be used explicitly as a tool for enhancing the social dynamics in a classroom setting.
“Stories allow children to conceptualise content of any kind. They convey information in a uniquely contextual and engaging manner.”
They can also be used daily to generate emerging key curriculum content and provide numerous avenues for children to identify with and express their interest in particular characters or plot lines.
The role of story and the creative arts experiences that arise from them will be presented through a workshop run by Kumara on September 7 in Sydney.
The first session of this workshop will explore the key elements of creating and telling culturally relevant and inclusive stories with young children.
Part two will explore the ways in which the stories give rise to creative arts experiences that help to consolidate knowledge and create new structures for understanding, being and becoming in the world.
“Stories are particularly powerful when they are created for and with children. They provide opportunities for exploring concepts, interpreting phenomena, connecting with place and understanding each other,” Kumara said.
This workshop will provide educators with tools for developing stories for and with children. “Identifying content for stories from the environment, from the community and from the children themselves will be highlighted and tools for developing this content into an ongoing reflexive and responsive curriculum will be a focus,” Kumara said.
This workshop will be held on Wednesday, September 7 running from 9am-1pm. It will be held at the Salvation Army Training Centre, Stanmore House in Sydney.