Storytelling helps us create a cohesive whole out of fragmentary information.  A well-crafted narrative allows teachers to present facts and ideas in a connected flow that helps students both understand and retain knowledge. Students from diverse backgrounds sometimes feel disconnected from each other as well as their faculty.

Storytelling provides one tool to bridge those gaps, creates empathy in the classroom, and allows students to reach universal understanding through the personal experiences of other members of their learning community.

As faculty, we are all urged to understand and accommodate the needs and concerns of all our students often without being given direct instruction as to how to do so.  Storytelling provides a means to address that imperative. While it isn’t a complete answer, storytelling creates a connection that forces us to acknowledge fully the experiences and physical presence of another human being.


The Moth: A Workshop Integrating Storytelling into Pedagogy

October 26, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

The Moth, internationally renowned for bringing more than 18,000 true stories “told live and without notes” to standing-room-only audiences worldwide, comes to Penn State to conduct this workshop for faculty on how to weave personal narrative into classroom practice. A collaboration between the College of Communications and the College of Arts and Architecture, made possible with funding from the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. Space is limited, and registration is required.

Click here to register:

Contact workshop facilitators for more info:

Pamela Monk:

Sandi Carroll:

Spring 2017 Faculty Story Slam

Details TBD

This event will help participants to:

  • Further their teaching objectives through strategic use of personal narrative.
  • Identify the characteristics of effective listening and how to teach these to their students.
  • Model effective communication skills.

This experience will provide the foundation for supporting faculty community that will cross academic boundaries.