Stories have always been an effective means of teaching wellbeing skills, as Pulimeno et al (2020), succinctly explain:
‘Since ancient times, myths, legends, fables and fairytales have supported individuals to understand who they are as human beings and the world around them, allowing people to map the reality through the use of words and language.’
Stories provide children with a safe place to explore their experiences of growing up and to learn about others. Oatley (1999) refers to stories as a ‘laboratory space, that, relative to real life, is safe and can make the relations of emotions to goals and action easier to understand.’
Extending the metaphor of story as a laboratory space allows us to view children as the scientists carrying out their daily life experiments. Having stories to give examples and provide fertile research for their experiments, means that children are less likely to have the social equivalent of a bunsen burner explosion. Children have the chance to think social situations through in the ‘story laboratory’ before they have to manage them in real life. Children can place characters experiences under the microscope so they can keep a safe distance from difficult topics of discussion.
Gibbs et al (1994), clarify that:
‘stories – by reproducing fictional situations that match with children’s real problems – allow them to feel comfortable and safe in difficult circumstances, ensuring emotional security and providing healthier ways to deal with internal struggles, life adversities and stressors. Story-tales compensate what young people may lack, by presenting them positive patterns of behaviours and constructive models through the characters they could identify with.’
If you have ever experienced or witnessed bullying as a child, you will know the long-lasting effects it can…Read More
My name is Harriet and I am an English and PSHE teacher at a diverse school in South Hackney….Read More
Neuroscience and Behaviour: What Every Teacher Needs to Know By Jess Chalmers, Story Project Summer Project Intern Hello readers! I’m Jess,…Read More
My Story I am Sabaa, an English teacher in Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, training through the Teach First programme. In…Read More
After a busy academic year, I wanted to celebrate the end of term with a blog about books related…Read More
After what has felt like a very long winter, I am particularly excited for the start of Spring this…Read More
We’re grateful to the following organisations for their funding and support. With their help, we are building a community to inspire lifelong wellbeing.
We’re proud of what others have to say about us. Take a look at some of the media coverage we’ve attracted.
We believe in a future where all children have the tools, skills and knowledge they need to practise life-long wellbeing, making healthier choices for themselves and others.