Chennai Storytelling Festival 2015 (4-15 Feb) was themed, "Storytelling for Teaching and Training". This essay presents some of the ideas generated in relation to this Festival.
"Ways Storytelling can be used for Teaching-and-Learning"
The culture of India features a strong awareness of the educational value of storytelling. The frame-story within which the animal fables of the Panchatantra are related communicates this awareness clearly:
Once there was a king who had three sons. These princes seemed dull. They were unable to learn by conventional educational methods. Their father, the king, was very anxious about their futures, and thus also about the future of the kingdom. Finally, an aged scholar named Vishnu Sharma was called upon. He promised to help the princes become intelligent and bright within six months. His method: he would tell stories to the princes, and draw them into discussions about the stories. Sure enough, after six months, his plan succeeded.
The Panchatantra is one of the most popular collections of animal fables in the world. These stories, along with the Jataka Tales (which illustrate principles of Buddhism), episodes from epics, and folktales in general --also known as Grandmother Stories-- help to make India one of the richest story and storytelling centres in the world.
This is a resource the rest of the world calls upon.
Among the objectives laid down in the AEDA statutes there are various references to providing visibility, dissemination and outreach for the activity of storytelling. For that reason, and in order to achieve those objectives, this web page was created and various social media accounts are managed; Facebook, Twitter, Storytellers' List and the monthly Bulletin. Even so, we believe that there are virtual environments in which news of the spoken word still lacks sufficient presence. We are referring specifically to mobile devices.
For that reason for the last six months AEDA has been working to set up an APP which is compatible with Andriod and iOS, which will allow access to information regarding storytelling from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL DELIVERY OF A STORYTELLING SESSION
The intention of this document is to provide recommendations in order that storytellers can successfully develop their work while dealing with those external factors surrounding the act of telling.
It points out the ideal,or optimum conditions in which to perform oral narration sessions, both indoors and outdoors, by creating a suitable atmosphere for the spoken word.
DECALOGUE. STORYTELLING CONDITIONS
1 Storytelling requires peaceful, serene spaces.
The delivery of a storytelling session must take place in a room dedicated exclusively to the activity. That way noise and other activities which may distract the attention of the public are avoided.
It is important that the temperature in the room is pleasant; neither too high nor too low, so that both the public and the storyteller feel comfortable.
It is essential for the successful execution of a storytelling show that it is not located in a transit area (lobby, entrance hall, corridor, common area, etc.) as the continuous interruptions and possible noise will prevent the creation of a good listening atmosphere.
It would be useful to have the space in which the session is to take place for sufficient time in order to carry out the necessary preparation (set up, preparation of the audience and the storyteller, etc.).