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Using the Storytelling/Story Acting Process for Teacher Development

by Judi Pack
July/August 2007
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/using-the-storytelling-story-acting-process-for-teacher-development/5017650/

In recent years reflective practice has become an integral part of most professional development activities. But as Vivian Paley has said, “Reflect about what?” There must be a focus to this reflection and a reason to do it. In addition, teachers need to have time to practice what they do, to discuss it with others, to read, and to write. Unfortunately, many teachers use scripted lesson plans and rarely have the opportunity to offer or receive feedback or encouragement from their colleagues. Reflecting on practice and participating in action research in the classroom are practices unknown to many teachers.

The storytelling/story acting process

Vivian Gussin Paley, a MacArthur Award-winning author and former kindergarten teacher, has written 12 books that chronicle her work in promoting the fantasy play of young children. A major focus of her books is a process that she developed called “Doing Stories” or “Storytelling/Story Acting” (ST/SA). In storytelling/
story acting . . .

• Children tell the teacher a story " their own made-up story " as the teacher writes it down in her notebook.
• The teacher writes as many stories as there are children willing to tell them, or as time allows.
• At some point ...

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