Tell Me A Story

On teach42, Steve Dembo provides a detailed description of watching and listening to Marco Torres, the keynote speaker at BLC06. (BLC is Building Learning Communities, the conference organized by Alan November that takes place in Boston each summer.) Marco Torres is an Apple Distinguished Educator who teaches social studies and has a passion for digital story telling that he uses to help his students make sense of their world.

Why I Want To Be A Teacher is a movie made under Marco’s guidance when he worked with a group of teachers at the Lesley University Apple Teacher Institute in 2001.

The thing about digital story telling, indeed about any form of story telling, is that a well told story taps into our emotions, and emotional memory is one of the brain’s strongest memory pathways.

The amygdala is responsible for monitoring our emotions; I’ve written in previous posts that it is a small nugget that handles a very large job. In fact, the job is so large it required two posts about the amygdala plus a slew of supporting posts about feedback and motivation, neurohormones, and other parts of the brain. That shouldn’t really be a surprise, because as Eric Jensen states on page 71:

All emotional events receive preferential processing in the brain (Christianson, 1992), and the brain is typically overstimulated when strong emotions are present. Because emotions give us a more activated and chemically stimulated brain, they help us recall things better and form more explicit memories. The more intense the arousal of the amygdala, the stronger the memory imprint (Cahill et al., 1994).

Good learning does not avoid emotions; it embraces them, recognizing emotional states as fast-changing, specific neural networks that incorporate multiple areas of the brain. (page 72)

So what is the point of this second screen? A little humor, a little laughter, an ice-breaker… Go watch the movie and see what you think!

This is the second of about twenty or fewer posts and for further information about this series, please read Closings and Openings. As you follow the development of this activity, please feel free to chime in with suggestions or questions!

Click to see a full size version of the Why I Want To Be A Teacher! screen.

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