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This conference paper was originally published as:

McDonald, E. (1998). Have I got a story for you: The narrative factor in Christian education. In H. Rasi (Ed.),Christ in the classroom. Paper presented at the International Faith and Learning Seminar, Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen, Austria (pp. 185-203). Silver Spring, MD: Institute for Christian Teaching.




The story form is a cultural universal. Every culture perpetuates its identify in the stories it tells. Similarly individuals in the process of meaning making, are all writing their own living stories as they experience their world. Storytelling then is a living context for meaning making. We cannot live without stories. They raise profound questions and shape the landscape of our minds for the whole of our lives. This essay argues that Christians have the greatest story that can be told. As teachers we have the potential to tell well. If we do, our students will not only be encultured in developing their Christian faith but they will also become skilled story tellers whose lives bear witness to the gospel. It is important that Christian educators understand the centrality of narrative in education and faith development. In the past we have overly emphasized systematic theology, which engages the intellect, and have neglected storytelling, which engages the heart and indeed the whole person. This essay explores ways that teachers can use narrative to help children develop a personal Christian worldview to transform the quality of their lives. It also examines the history purposes, challenges and techniques that affect the successful use of narrative in Christian schools.


Used by permission: Institute for Christian Teaching

Staff and Students of Avondale College may access the full text of this paper from Avondale College Library (268 R18 Vol.21)

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