Orality used in training staff

17 10 2013

My first exposure to Bible Orality or Bible Storytelling was at an International Orality Network conference in Orlando, Florida, in September, 2007. But my story starts before that:

As a Nurse, I was involved in training Home Health Aides for an Assisted Living community.  Many of the trainees were immigrants to the US.  In fact, I believe at one training session, I believe as many as 5 different countries were represented.  These employees were excellent health care workers and had a desire to learn as much as possible.

I would choose a topic to cover each session from Mental Health to Heart Disease.  I prepared notes for them of the most important information. These notes had area where they had to write answers, etc.

But what I noticed happening concern me.  During the training sessions, they preferred not to take notes; in fact, they often placed their papers on the floor and sat ready to learn from me.  After I finished a topic and asked questions to evaluate if they understood the information, I noted that they were not learning the subject material like I wanted them too.  I knew they were good students with keen minds, I knew the information was interesting and accurate, but learning was not taking place.

Years before, I had studied a book about teaching and in that book it stated that the teacher must change as needed to promote learning with the student.  So I did an experiment.  I told stories about our clients that related to the topics that were to be studied.  I found other stories of people that gave the same information to the students.  What happened?  The students learned the information quickly and effectively!  The difference: They wanted the information to be given in story form.

Two thirds of the world wants their information given to them in story form!


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