Allan Foster

A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education, Department of Adult Education, Community Development & Counselling Psychology, Ontario lnstitute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

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Allan Foster, Doctor of Education. 2000 Department of Adult Education, Community Development & Counseliing Psychology University of Toronto


The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of binary structuring in storytelling when used as a teaching strategy for adult environmental education. This investigation builds on curriculum theory where binary structuring is used to design curriculum for young children (Egan, 1986). A field test provides an experience that people are invited to participate in and comment upon.

A number of major findings ernerged from the study:

- Participants recognize the change-event and associated binary opposites in an oral story - Adult and children groups identify the same scene as representing the change-event and binary opposites in an oral story - Curriculum for adult learning may be based on a story structured on binary opposites - Participants are able to express the meaning of a story in words, drama form and in artwork. Many of the findings frorn this study support the existing story/curriculum literature for young children. The findings may extend this theory into the realm of adult education. The research supports Egan's (1 986) work while offering suggestions for researching how people find meaning that has not previously been reported in the literature. For example, using tableau as a way of determining what a story means is a new technique. Some of the data has been collected using a quantitative method, a procedure not previously employed on this topic.

This study validates adult educators who use stories in their practice. It may encourage adult educators to research further uses of stories in adult education.

iii Acknowledgments

There are many people to thank:

Jack Quarter, thesis advisor, who patiently, kindly and quickly gave me feedback and direction.

David Booth and Susan Drake who shared so much about stories and story structure.

Tahani Gadalla who suggested how to design an expriment and count things in order to make sense.

Carole Carpenter, my external examiner, who gave me a magic rock for good luck.

My colleagues at the Kortright Centre who shared in the excitement of the research and helped me every way they could. My employer, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, for making it possible to do this study.

The 1000 children and adults who so readily joined me on a nature hike, Iistened to the stories, played the tableau game, answered my questions, created illustrations, gave suggestions and made this research project so much fun. Dedication

To Ken Strasser who was the greatest nature storyteller who ever lived and would have got the biggest kick from reading this thesis.

To Aunt Jean Elder who let me park my car in her drivewsy while I was at class - but only if I came in later and told her what I had learned.

To my parents, Jean and Russel Foster who filled my youth with nature lore - facts and fiction. I cannot walk past a wintergreen leaf without remembering the first time they encouraged me to taste one. They taught me that education can be an adventure.

To my wife, Leslie, who selflessly encourages me in everything I do. I get a hug when I get it right and when I get it wrong.

To our three children, Emily, Andrew and Kevin, who taught me how to explore the natural world through wonder and the multiple intelligences. They make me proud every day and have already begun making a difference. Table of Contents

Abstract Acknowledgments Dedication

Chapter 1 - Introduction Story and storytelling The research questions The importance of stories in our lives

Chapter 2 - Binary opposites in storytelling Binary opposites and change-event Binary opposites shape stories Premise Character Conflict Conclusion

Chapter 3 - The uses of storytelling in the classroom Storytelling to build community Storytelling teaches active listening Storytelling as entertainment Storytelling provides models for living Storytelling as art Storytelling as a framework for curriculum Egan's theory put into practice Conclusion

Chapter 4 - Adult education through storytelling Storytelling in business planning Storytelling in religious teaching Understanding yourself through your own story Storytelling as therapy Conclusion

Chapter 5 - Method Rationale Research approach Field experiment lnterviewing method Chapter 6 - The 5 key stories The loon, nspberry and bat Jack Frost and the magic paint pot The owl and the rabbits Circe and the enchanter's nightshade The cardinal Why I chose these stories Chapter 7 - Quantitative Results and Photo Data 159 Photo record - The loon, raspberry and bat 166 Photo record - Jack Frost and the rnagic paint pot 167 Photo record - The owl and the rabbits 1 68 Photo record - Circe and the enchanter's nightshade 169 Photo record - The cardinal 1 70 Chapter 8 - Interview Data and Analysis Story memory Participant learning Adult education and storytelling Retelling stories through tableau Retelling stories through artwork

Chapter 9 - Discussion Explanation Adult curriculum design model Application of the findings Limitations and future research Conclusion

Bibliography 253

Appendix 1 - The 1998 Ontario curriculum for grade 4 266 2 - Enrichment activities suggested to grade 4 teachen 273 3 - Learning expectations 275 4 - consent form for adult participants 276 5 - interview - guiding questions 277 6 - Nature storytelling workshop 281 Tables 1 Agreement between judges 2 The findings 3 Jack Frost story 4 Owl story 5 Cardinal story 6 Loon stofy 7 Circe story

Figures 1 Change-event - Loon story 2 Change-event - Groundhog story 3 Change-event - Owl story 4 Change-event - Circe story 5 Change-event - Cardinal story 6 Change-event - General rnodel 7 Change-event - example

Illustrations 1 Loon story 2 Loon story 3 Loon story 4 Groundhog story 5 Groundhog story 6 Owl story 7 Owl story 8 Circe story 9 Circestory 10 Circe story 11 Circe story 12 Circe story 13 Circe story 14 Cardinal story 15 Cardinal story 16 Cardinal story

viii Cha~ter1 Introduction

Research historians failed in their attempts to make bread from fifteenth century recipes until they realized that the key ingredient was never listed. This was because al1 the ancient bakers knew that the missing ingredient was so basic that everyone concemed would already know about it and consequently they never mentioned it. The unlisted ingredient was yeast (Robinson, 199 5).

The yeast, or essential ingredient in a story, is the change-event which moves a crucial hurnan issue for one or more of the characters from one binary opposite to the other. The change-event is the part missing when a joke falls Rat or a story about an experience leaves the Iistener wondering, "So what?" Sorne people who tell stories miss the key ingredient. This is because to someone who listens to or tells stories regularly, story structure seems obvious and intuitive. A new or beginning storyteller needs to be reminded that the change-event and related binary opposites are the key ingredients to a story. This is particularly important to anyone wishing to use a stoiy to frame educational content.

This study about story structure is the outcome of more than 25 years of working with children, teachers, storytellers, parents and educators in an outdoor setting. The study explored how adults and children are engaged by stories and how the change-event and its associated binary opposites, the main structuring elements of stories, can be used to present educational content to people of al1 ages. It is my ambition to use this information to enhance my work with pre- service and in-service environmental educators who do not consider themselves to be storytellen. I hope to help them learn how to increase their effectiveness as environmental educators through nature storytelling. By considering the importance of story structure, they will be able to craft and tell more meaningful stories.

During the process of this research, I had the privilege of working with two groups: - grade 4 students and their teachers, both at the Kortright Centre and in their classrooms; - adults, attending nature programs at the Kortright Ceitre. These participants generously Iistened to my stories, granted personal interviews, retold the stories in a drama or art form and permitted me to incorporate their photographs, artwork and thoughts into the study.

Story and Stor~tellinqDefined

A story is a factual or fictional description of an event in which one or more characters go through a change in some crucial human issue. It is an account of an incident or series of events (Oxford Dictionary). A story may be told in many ways: words (written or oral), music, drama or art.

Turner (1 996) defines a story as a complex of objects, events and actors, organized on the basis of our knowledge of story structure. We expect a story to have a beginning, a middle and end. We also expect a story to have one major event, the change-event, which brings about a cornplete reversal in a crucial human issue. Turner writes that the classic story which follows the basic structure produces one of our keenest mental processes for constructing meaning.

About 20 years ago, while working as an interpretive natunlist, I began to discover that fictional stories about birds, kes, flowers and trees were more interesting and compelling to my clients than the facts I had learned in my formai training as a biologist. Adults as well as children constantly told me how well they remembered nature legends that I had told them - even years later. Significantly, they also remembered some of the nature facts that were woven into the legend.

One particular incident brought this message home more than any other. My daughter's Girl Guide leader asked me to lead a group of 10 girl guides (1 0 years old) on a short, afternoon hike so that they could achieve their "Wildflower" badge by recognizing 10 local wildflowers.

I had worked long enough as an interpretive naturalist to know that I could point out the 10 wildflowers easily enough but the girls would have forgotten most of the things I told them by the day. I did some tesearch and found 10 wildfiowers which had associated folktales. So when I led the hike I was prepared with some stories to tell about the wildflowers we would be seeing.

It was a beautiful day in late June and chicory was in full bloorn. I gathered the girls and their leaders in a circle around a tall chicory plant and I explained that in Gennany chicory is called 'Road Watcher," and then I told the following story:

Once upon a time, a boy and a girl grew up together in a tiny village in Germany. When they were small, they were best friends and played together constantly in the meadow beside the village. Their favourite pastime was playing with al1 the flowen of the meadow. They wore dandelion chains in their hair. They tested whether or not they liked butter by holding a buttercup under each other's chin. They told their fortunes with clover. They hid and signaled each other with loud whistles they made from the grass.

As they grew up, the villagers al1 hoped that, eventually, they would fall in love, marry and settle down together in the village. And that's what happened. They did grow up and fall in love. They were inseparable. Finally he proposed and she accepted and the whole village jumped for joy. They set the date for the wedding and al1 the villagers were invited.

As the long-awaited day approached, the villagers painted their fences, decorated the church, and grew special flowers. Even the cattle in the fields wore garlands of daisies.

But the day before the wedding, something terrible happened and the King called al1 the men to the castle. The young man had to leave. The couple was heart-broken but there was nothing for them to do but postpone the wedding. They ~alkedthrough their favourite meadow to the path which led to the King's castle. They held hands as they walked slowty past the dandelions, the buttercups, the clover and the grasses. He promised her that he would come back as soon as he could. She promised him that she would come to this spot by the path every day as the Sun came up and stay there until noon. She promised to repeat this every day until he returned. They embraced one last time and she watched him disappear down the path.

The next morning. true to her word, she arrived al1 by herself at that spot by the path as the Sun came up. Then the next day. Then the next. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. Eventually she was a very old woman but she still hobbled to that spot by the path.

Finally, she had arrived at the path at daybreak to watch for him until noon and when she turned to leave her old heart gave out and she began to fall to the ground. But before her body hit the ground, the gods changed her into the beautiful Road Watcher plant as a reward for her loyalty. Now she can watch by the side of the road forever.

Three years after I told this story to the girl guides, I was invited to their graduation banquet. I stopped 6 girls as they arrived and I asked them if they could remember anything about the chicory plant growing in the parking lot. They al1 named it, "Road Watcher." But one of them said: 'Mr. Foster, that's my favourite plant and I've told that story to al1 my friends. And I still rernember why it flowers early in the morning and shrivels up by noon." I wondered if I had told those girls three years earlier that chicory is a member of the composite farnily, has a tap root and has been used as a coffee substitute, whether any of them would have remembered the name of the plant let alone told those fact to their friends.

Since that day, 1 have searched for a reason for why fictional tales about nature seem to be more compelling than true facts? And when facts are necessary, why are they more engaging and better remembered when they are presented in the form of a story?

This report follows my search for that answer.

The first step toward answering this question was a three year study of nature folklore at York University. The more I studied nature folklore the more I realized that stories and legends about the natural world abound. I learned that stories are a cultural universal (Brown, 1991) and have served as the educational medium to carry culture and beliefs since the beginning of time. At the end of my studies I had a much richer repertoire of nature stories. I had a better understanding of how important folklore is and how it works and why it exists. However, 1 was still unable to answer the question - why are the stories themselves so compelling? The next step in my journey occurred in a course about adult learning at OISE. One of my colleagues there challenged me to think about Kolb's learning cycle (Kolb, 1984), and to consider whether any real learning was happening when people listened to a nature story dong the trail. I began to consider adding other activities to a nature storytelling hike to ensure that learning occurred. The next step also occurred at OISE. In my search for learning activities related to nature storytelling, I stumbled ont0 Gardner's (1 986) theory of multiple intelligences as a way of integrating the curriculum. I was challenged by another colleague to develop a nature hike that not only engaged those who possess literal intelligence but honoured the other intelligences as well.

Consequently, I developed an activity for a nature hike where I asked the participants to retell the story in the form of a tableau - a mini-drama. I told the same few stories repeatedly to different groups of children and adults and noticed that the participants kept choosing the same image to perform in their tableau. I wondered why al1 the groups independently chose the same scene to perform. I later recognized that the scene they repeatedly performed was the change-event of the story - the part of the story that seemed to possess the most rneaning for the listeners.

Among other things, the present study will explore two questions: why are stories so compelling and why is the change-event the most meaningful part of the story. The answers to these two questions may help me find a way of enhancing the efforts of environrnental educators through nature storytelling.

I have found in my years of nature storytelling that young children and adults are similar in their enjoyrnent of nature stories. Although adults are generally thought to be beyond listening to stories, I find that they react to thern as positively as children. The meanings that they glean from the stories may be rîcher because of their experiences but theii enjoyment and understanding is the same.

There is much evidence to suggest that story structure shapes the way we think (Egan, 1986; Taylor, 1996). There are also suggestions that curriculum for children can be constructed on the basis of story structure. But if stories are also important to the way adults construct their knowledge, it may be that story structure could also be useful in designing curriculum for adults. Based on my own experience telling nature stories and a review of the literature there are two questions that I wish to investigate:

Question 1: Do listeners identify the change-event as the most meaningful component of a story?

Question 2: Are adults and children equally likely to identify the change-event as the most rneaningful component of a story? The inmortance of stories in our lives

As human beings, we spend much of our time listening to and telling stories. We listen to the news. We tell each other what we did today. We talk on the telephone or chat on the intemet for hours. And this use of stories starts early - by the time children enter school they have already heard hundreds of stories.

There is a pattern to a story that we recognize from a very early age. This pattern, or template, helps us to understand not only the stories we hear but also the world around us. It seems that we fit information into such a template to better understand it, comrnunicate it and remember it. This story pattern is a very powerful tool for organizing our thoughts and helping us find meaning (Livo and Rietz, 1986; Taylor, 1996).

Some educators believe that we should be using stories and story patterns in the lessons we teach in our schools and even as an aid to developing curriculum. This is because the patterns help us relate to and understand content. Egan (1 986) goes so far as to suggest that al1 content in the early schools years should be introduced by structuring the lessons to match the story pattern or story form, as he calls it. He suggests that one important element in story pattern, as recognized by young children, is the use of binary opposites.

Egan (1998) suggests that a binary opposite is a way of framing subjects in oppositional terms and is a universal consequence of thinking and using language. Humans express elementary differentiation in the form of contradictories (A and not-A) in order to distinguish concepts by association through contrast. Our predilection to use binary opposites Iike hot/cold or permitted/forbidden may arise from Our somatic experience of self/other and rightAeft. Binary sets can be more than simple opposites and can be concepts with differing associated values, such as goodlbad.

As soon as we begin looking for binary opposites we find them everywhere. We find them in how we make sense of the world, and as an outcome of this, in how children and adults structure the stories they tell and the stories they find engaging. Levi-Strauss (1 966) dernonstrated that binary opposites provide the basic underlying structure of the stories in traditional oral cultures. Egan (1 986) suggests that binary opposites are so important to how children make sense of things that they should form the basis for designing curriculum for children. He has designed a rnodel for curriculum design based on binary opposites and the structure of story. A group of curriculum designers have used his model to develop an integrated curriculum for young children (Armstrong et al., 1994). The first step in their system is to define the binary opposite that best illustrates the content of the curriculum. If binary opposites can be used as organizen of the lesson content for young children, why are they not equally useful when designing lessons for adults?

Drake (1 992) suggests using story form to develop curriculum. She is less specific than Egan about using story form exclusively for early-aged children and describes it being used with college-aged adults. She has developed a model of integrated curriculum planning, called the storv model, which also implicates binary opposites in the form of changing values in crucial human issues. Personal growth of students and social change is built into the model by developing the content through calling on personal stories about the topic under investigation.

For Drake the story is the organizing centre for an integrated curriculum. The story is the Uhook.w The mode1 can be used to design curriculum at any level and can originate in any subject area. It explores any topic through personal, cultural , global and universai lenses and focuses on past, present and future realms.

The advantage of this curriculum framework for a whole unit of study is that it helps students to uncover the embedded assumptions and beliefs of our society as they examine the progression of the topic from the old story (the historic perspective) the present story (the status quo) to a new story which may be a compromise between the ideal story and the realistic projected story.

Her curriculum model uses story form inasmuch as there is movernent from the past through the present and projections for the future. The stories involved in this model tend to be true stories such as the history of the develaprnent of the automobile.

My own experience has been with using storytelling as a teaching tool. I have used stories not so much as a ternplate for curriculum development but as a frame for introducing nature content. I have found that stories are a very cornpelling way to teach young children. In this I agree with Egan's .theory, but further 1 have found that adults ako respond to stories as a medium for nature content. Although Egan designed his model using binary opposites for young children and not adults, 1 have found that both groups respond equally well to the use of stories on a nature hike. This finding has been particularly useful to me because an interpretive naturalist often deals with family groups, representing a range of age and experience.

Because Egan is primarily interested in curriculum design rather than in the use of stories in lesson context, I think he is selling his theory short. This is because he bases his theory on written stories rather than on orally transmitted ones. There is a difference. The spoken story, such as the one told along a nature trail, is limited to a simple structure like that of a fable or fairy tale. This constraint is because, outside on the trail, there are two conditions that make telling a long, cornplex story impossible. The first constraint is the time limit of a nature hike. The second is environmental competition for attention - chipmunks running across the path, birds flying overhead, or just the excitement of being outside. These conditions are not conducive to the telling of long, descriptive tales. It is the oral context where the short binary structured story works best not only with children but also with adults.

Many of my arguments are drawn frorn the literature of play writing and film script writing. These art forms are similar to nature storytelling because they are al1 temporal arts. They are presented Vive-to-air" and must be attuned to the listening and memory skills of the listener. There is no time for long complicated dialogue, rich environmental descriptions or complicated character development. Perhaps these forms of storytelling depend to a greater degree on binary structure to engage the listeners than would novels.

McKee (1 997) warns that a scriptwriter's suMval in the real world of film, television. theatre and publishing begins with the recognition of this fact:

As story design moves away from the simple structured story such as the fairy tale or fable, to the more complex work found in novels with complex characten and complicated structures, the audience shrinks (McKee, 1997. p.62).

McKee discusses the importance of binary opposites in film stories - stories designed for adults. The binary opposite structure of the film script must be obvious. For instance, he warns against dwelling on inner conflict that might provide movement for a novel but not for a film. He says that art films focusing on inner conflict draw the interest of those with advanced degrees, because the inner world is where the highly educated spend a large amount of time (McKee, 1997). But for the majority of us, the simple story based on the binary opposite will be the most meaningful.

Egan's curriculum designing mode1 has been helpful to me in undentanding how stories might work as a teaching tool. However, I disagree with him when he says that although the structure of binary opposites is particularly important for the understanding of young children, it loses its importance as we develop into mature adults. This may be true of literature but is less true for orally transmitted stories.

I agree that as we mature we enjoy stories with more complex characters, richer descriptions, multi-leveled plots and even inner conflict. These story elements become more important than simple binary opposites found in fairy tales and fables especially in written stones set in novels. However, in leading nature hikes, there is very little opportunity to progress past simple stories. These fables and legends are based strongly on binary structuring and my experience shows that these stories are equally meaningful to young children and adults.

For this study, I designed a field experiment to determine whether binary opposite structuring is the most meaningful element in a nature story for both adults and children. My purpose for doing this study was to shed some light on why stories work as a teaching tool for introducing nature content to children and adults. I hoped to be able to provide support for environmental educators who wish to incorporate the use of nature stories into their practice. Not only could storytellers be better informed about how to choose a nature story, but they might also find sorne hints here on how to create a powerful, meaningful, mernorable story structured with binary opposites.

Binary opposites occur outside the context of story. In Chapter 2, 1 will discuss current theories related to their use in human thinking. Then, I will discuss their use within the context of story. The theories I will discuss are found not only in story structure theory but also in the fields of curriculum design, play writing and script writing.

In Chapter 3, 1 will discuss how and why stories are used in children's classrooms. In order to give this thesis an adult focus, in Chapter 4, 1 will explore ways that stories are being used as educational took in adult education: in religious teaching, business plan development, psychological therapy and teacher education.

In Chapter 5, 1 will describe a field experiment through which I will try to determine whether the binary opposite structure of a nature story is as meaningful to adults as to children. My expectation is that adults and children will use the binary opposite structuring of the story when they describe the story to others. If this is true then nature lessons for adults could be based on binary opposite structuring, just as they are for young children (as in Egan's theory).

In Chapter 6, 1 will introduce the 5 key stories.

In Chapter 7, 1 will describe the findings of the field experiment.

In Chapter 8, 1 will discuss the results of the field experirnent cornbined with the data collected from the participant observations, the tableaux, the artwork, the interviews and my field notes. I will also discuss some of the limitations of the study and areas for funher investigation. In Chagter 9, 1 will discuss and explain the findings. I will suggest a new curriculum design model which extends Egan's (1 986) model to include adult education. I will review the literature and relate it to the findings. I will discuss applications and describe limitations of the study and suggest areas for futuce research. I will conclude with comments about what this research has meant to me. In this chapter, I will discuss binary opposites and current theories about their use in human thinking. Then, I will discuss the use of binary opposites within the context of story. The theories I mention relate not only to story structure but also to the fields of curriculum design and writing for plays and film.

Stories are constructed around an event - a change-event - where a human value changes from one binary pole to the other. For instance, at the beginning of the story the hero will be in despair and by the end he will have hope (despair/hope).

Storytellers working with adult audiences know the importance of binary opposites. Egri (1946) and McKee (1 997) agree that it is the change between binary opposites that draws the audiences into the story. To be an attractive story for children and adults (whether a play, a film or a . spoken story), at least one of the characters must undergo a change from one pole of a binary opposite to the other.

One way we find meaning in the world is by organizing things into groups of binary pairs. As children, we are drawn to stories that illustrate binary pairs because we recognize ourselves at the minus side of such binary organizers as little/big and helpless/powerful. Children find themselves little and helpless in the world of adult giants. For this reason children are drawn intuitively to stories about small animals in similar plights (Beaty, 1994). The qost important characters in children's stories clearty represent opposites. Bosma (1987) notes how important binary opposites are to children:

Folktale characters are drawn very clearly and generally depicted as symbols of good or evil, wisdorn or foolishness, power or weakness. This polarization of characters fits into the children's expectations, which have been developing since age two, through both realistic and fanciful stories ...this stock characterization helps the child comprehend the differences between reality and fantasy more readily than is possible when figures are drawn true to life. (Bosma, 1987, p. 3)

Most stories follow the same pattern in structure. There is always a big change from one side of a binary opposite to the other and the more dramatic the change, the clearer the story. The change-event, the high dramatic point in the story where binary change occurs, is also called the "major incident," 'event," 'occurrence" or 'climax." I use the terrn "change-event" because it ernphasizes the two necessary components of "eventw and 'change." All the peripheral details of the setting, the characters and the conflict amplify the change-event.

It is this change in value in a critical human issue that makes the story a story. Without such a change, the tale becomes an 'unstory." My late colleague, George Moore, was studying psycho linguistics when he began his collections of "unstories." He was researching stories to illustrate how language works. Although an 'unstory" can have a character, a situation and even some conflict, there is no change in a critical human issue, and without such a change there is no interest. One such unstory that George related to me follows:

Last summer my friend and I went to Europe. -When we went to Rome we visited the Vatican and were standing in the vast square in front of St. Peter's Basilica. And do you know what? We didn't see anybody we knew. (George Moore, personal communication, 1969)

Egan (1 986) suggests that binary opposites incorporated into stories are the most powerful learning tool that children bring with them to school. He suggests that children use story form and stories to think through issues. Turner (1996) writes that story is the fundamental instrument of adutt thought as well. Rational capacities depend on it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, of predicting, of planning, and of explaining.

Egan's model uses the structure of a story as a carrier for content - any content. He argues that by the time they enter school, young children are already familiar with the form of the story and unconsciously recognize the pattern that stories present:

A rnodel for teaching that draws on the power of story ... will ensure that we set up a conflict or sense of dramatic tension at the beginning of our lessons and units. Thus we create some expectation that we will satisfy at the end (Egan, 1986, p.25). Egan's theory is based prirnarily on young children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. Much of his argument is based on recapitulation theory which suggests that children must go through various stages of mental development that parallel stages of human development (Egan, 1997). In other words, young children today understand the world as humankind did when we lived within an oral tradition.

Kegan (1 994) also studies transformations in meaning-making throughout the life span. He especially takes an interest in adulthood which he does not see as an end state, but rather as a vast evolutionary expanse encompassing a variety of capacities of mind. The ways we organize experience are not simply replaced as we grow older but subsumed into more complex systems. He agrees with Egan (1 997) that binary opposite organizers are not lost to adult thinking, they are only buried in more complex systerns. These more complex systems emerge in literature which is more involved than classic, oral nature stories.

At some point in childhood, usually by the age of seven or eight, children undergo a qualitative change in the way they organize their thinking, their feeling, and their social relating (Kegan, 1994). They move beyond a fantasy-filled construction of the world in which toy dinosaurs can plausibly transform themselves into the six-foot singing Barney, and instead corne to scrutinize Steven Spielberg's for the tiniest errors he may have allowed to creep into his depiction of Tvrannosaurus rex. In other words, they begin to construct a concrete world that conforms to the laws of nature, and they are interested in the limits and possibilities within that world. Children at this stage read The Guinness Book of World Records to learn about, for instance, the biggest cookie ever baked.

Kegan's theory is typical of developrnental tbeories arising from Piaget's work. In Kegan's view, these different developmental stages are intimately related to each other. They are not simply different ways of knowing but rather each successive state subsumes the prior state. Kegan (1 994) gives the following geometric analogy. The relation between these successive States might be that of the point, the line, and the plane: each subsequent geometric form contains the previous one. The line has point elements subordinated to the more complex organizational principle of the line. Similarly, the plane is an organizational principle containing line as an element.

Kegan puts this analogy to work for the rnovie Star Wars. Very young children using the first stage have no sense of a logical connection between one part of the story and another. Instead, they talk about a single point in time in the movie, or they talk about a favourite character with no indication that they understand his importance to the story. For example, "1 loved Chewbaka; he was so big and hairy."

Children using the second stage can string the events together at a concrete level to create a linear narrative of the story, but they do not organize an abstract theme. If these children are asked what the movie is about their answer will be a linear sequence of events. ("First there is a big explosion and then the Storm troopers run down the spaceship shooting and ...,) Much to the exasperation of parents, the child recounts the entire story.

Between 12 and 20 years of age there is a gradua1 transfmnation of mind from the second stage- to the third. Children in the third stage of mind understand that the film might be about a battle between good and evil or some such abstraction.

A story's use of binary opposites is of utmost importance during Kegan's second stage of understanding - typical of 10 year olds. This stage reached by young children is what Egan (1 997) refers to as Mythic Understanding. Egan (1 986) elaborates that there are three additional characteristics of story that help to explain its power in the mental life of young children.

These are:

1 ) Absolute accounts of things. Children like precise, fixed meaning. They need to know how to feel about some thing in order for it to be clear and meaningful. In addition, children have to establish a personal and affective relationship with a thing in order to understand it.

2) Children lack a sense of otherness, perhaps because of their lack of experience. They also do not yet fully understand historical time, causality and geography. 3) The world is not an impersonal entity, but rather is full of characters that are charged with what the child knows best - love, hate, joy, fear, good and bad. The world seems to be absorbed into the child's mental life.

The most important quality of a stocy at this mental stage of developrnent is the establishment of a binary opposite. Fairy tales, fables, legends, and nature stories are full of binary opposites such as raw/cooked, nature/culture, and lifeldeath.

Why are children's stories based on binary opposition? It may be because the total mental life of children is also filled with opposition (Egan, 1997). They rnake sense of things in binary terms using only two concepts at a tirne. As the child matures and develops, binary opposites are elaborated by the process of mediation between the poles. The example that Egan uses is the mediation of the understanding of temperature. When a child first learns the concept of "hot," he or she fint understands this to be "hotter than my body." Likewise, 'cold" is understood to mean "colder than my body." Later, the child understands the binary relationship between hot and cold. And with further development of consciousness, the child mediates between hot and cold with an understanding of cool or warm. According to Egan. if something is to be clearly meaningful to children, it should be built on and eiaborated from clear binarj opposites:

Young children have the conceptual tools to learn the most profound things about our past; man's-struggle for freedom agaimt arbitrary violence, for security against fear. for knowledge against ignorance, and sa on. They do not learn those concepts; they already have them when they arrive at school. They use those concepts to leam about the wotld and experience (Egan, 1986, 14).

So the intellectual tools children have to make sense of the world are the things they aiready know: binary organizers. Thus, learning for a young child is a matter of conneaing these known categories to the outside world. Or in Egan's words: 'The child uses the world to think with" (1 986, p.33). Bettelheim (1 989) writes that children bring order to their lives by dividing everything into opposites.

Binary ormosites and chanue-event

Several theories comment on the importance of binary opposites in adult understanding. There is evidence that the use of binary opposites are found in every culture (Brown, 1991 ; Goody, 1977; Hallpike, 1979; Levi- Strauss, 1 966; Propp, 1968).

Binary thinking may be basic to al1 human thought and reflect the structure of the human mind (Levi-Strauss, 1966). Binomial thinking orders traditional oral communication by providing conceptual organization. 'Primitive" cultures were enrneshed in what must have seemed like a binomial natural world revoiving around oppositions such as dayhight, live/dead, self/other (Levi-Strauss, 1966).

These primitive oral people extended fundamental environmental oppositions to illuminate otherwise arbitrarily opposed elements such as man/woman. In the natural world, opposites seem ubiquitous and grouping things into pairs seems to be the simplest form of differentiation or cornparison (Levi-Strauss, 1966).

Our binary thinking may have given rise to some of our magic and much of this affects our worldview today. Finding meaning-through-difference is common in folk beliefs and stories. When our ancestors categorized living things, natural objects which did not easily fit into the system of binary opposites became mediaton between the poles and were often granted special magic significance. For example the bat in western cultures was placed in a category between birds and mammals. There are many folktales with the motif of a bat which can not decide whether to join the birds or the animals (Thompson, 1932).

Since the bat fit neither with the birds nor the animals it became a mediator between them and developed a magical importance. This has not been a good thing for the bat. Bats became a source of magic and they consequently have been unjustly persecuted to this day. In the Middle Ages in Europe, bats were hung over the barn door to keep away evil spirits. Bat hearts, tongues and blood were reputed to play a part in witches' rnagic potions (Fenton, 1983; 1992). Like the bat, plants which did not easily fit into categories at either pole of a classification system were imbued with magical reputations. Plant classification systems were based on binary logic and some plants which were difficult to classi@ became magic. Some examples are: enchanter's nightshade which is one of the few plants having two petals; toadflax which has an unique dragon mouth-like flower with two colours; trilliums and other Mies which have uncornmon sets of three leaves or six; and mandrake with its strange human-shaped root. Enchanter's nightshade, toadfiax, trilliurns and mandrake al1 developed rnagical reputations in the Middle Ages in Europe (Barber, 1980; Blunt & Raphael, 1979; Erichsen- Brown, 1984; Lucas, 1969). For example, enchanter's nightshade was used in transformational witchcraft; walking around a toadflax three times could undo evil spelts; powdered trillium roots added to soup made a powerful aphrodisiac; and mandrake roots were so popular a love potion and so rare that during the Middle Ages there was an international trade in counterfeit roots as described in Canterbury Tales (Chausser, 1958).

But plants and anirnals are not the only elements in the natural world that are classified in a binary fashion. Because it helped us make sense of the world, we have classified geographical phenornenon. For example, many stories begin at a crossroads - neither one road or the other. The crossroads is the mediator between two towns. Because a crossroads is a geographical mediator between two binary opposites it has gained special magical meaning. In folk belief, crossroads became the place to start a journey, for a trial or for an execution. Presumably the restless sou1 of the executed would be confused by the crossroads and stay there rather than return to the village (Thompson, 1946; Time-Life).

By reading or listening to folktales we discover other geographical examples of mediation-between two binary opposites such as: caves and wells, which mediate between the air and the earth; dew, which mediates between the sky and the earth; midnight, which is the boundary between day and night; and Halloween which is the ritualistic boundary betwean summer and winter. Some scholars propose that the date for celebrating Christmas was chosen by the early Christian church because it is a boundary time of year falling between the two seasons, summerlwinter (Bella, 1992; Flynn, 1993).

The concept of binary opposites spans from the folklore of the Middle Ages to modern environmental thought. There is a body of environmental philosophy that discusses the humanhature duality and how this duality has evolved and caused the environmental problems we are experiencing today (Evernden, 1993; Livingston, 1988). At one time in Our history, we felt that we were part of nature. But during the period of time known as the Scientific Revolution, we separated ourselves from the natural world.

The dominant western worldview of technocratic-industrial societies regards humans as separate from the rest of nature (Clover et al., 1998). In this view, humans are not only separate from, but superior to and in charge of the rest of nature (DevaII & Session, 1985). Deep ecologists, on the other hand, see humans as an inseparable aspect of the whole system wherein there are no sharp breaks between self and other. Deep ecologists critique western culture's obsession with dominance - for example, humans over non-humans, men over women. wealthy over poor, and the West over the non-West (DevaIl & Sessions. 1985; Leopdd, 1949). For deep ecology, the study of our place on the Earth includes the study of ourselves as part of the organic whole. Deep ecdogists argue that there is no bifurcation in reality between the human and the non- human realms (DevaII & Sessions. 1985). They also argue for biocentric equality where al1 things in the biosphere have an equal right to live, blossom and to reach their own self-realization.

Devall and Sessions (1 985) use binomial opposites to compare the position of deep ecologists to the dominant western worldview:

Dominant Worldview Deep Ecoloav

Dominance over nature Harmony with nature

Natural resources as resources All nature has intrinsic worth for humans with biocentric equality

MateriaVeconomic growth for Elegantly simple material needs a growing human population

Ample resources Limited supply of resources

High technological progress Appropriate technology and solutions

Consumerism Doing with enough/recycling

NationaVcentralized community Minority traditiodbioregionalism One literary illustration which is a popular story for deep ecologists because it symbolizes the manhature duality is Melville's Mobv Dick (1 929). The story can be interpreted as an allegory of the West's self- destructive attempt to conquer Nature. Ahab, as the captain of industry becomes increasingly insane in his efforts to outsmart and destroy Nature, represented by the great white whale.- But the hunter becomes the hunted and the whale âestroys its tomentor. Deep ecologists champion this story with its potent change-event as a cautionary tale about our western worldview.

Leopold (1949) also stressed the contrast between the two worldviews juxtaposed as binary opposites. The first view is that of the anthropocentric West and the second is the deep ecologist:

Anthropocentric Western Thouaht Dee~Ecolony human as conqueror human as biotic citizen; science the sharpener of his swoid science the searchlight of the universe; land as slave and servant land as collective organism.

(cf. Devall and Sessions, 1985, p. 87)

Finally, Livingston (1 981 ), was active in exposing some of the basic assumptions of the dominant worldview. He called for political action to protect wilderness and also blamed the humadnature duality for environmental degradation. He argued that without a major change in consciousness, that is, a profound and intimate sense of inter-relatedness with the non-human world, there is no hope for turning the situation around and protecting wildlife from human destruction. Although deep ecologists do not agree with the deconstructive approach of ecologists, they do credit the science of ecology with rediscovering within the modern scientific community that everything is connected to everything else. Thus, ecology provides a view of nature that was lacking in the discrete, reductionist approach practiced by the other sciences thus helping to reduce the perception that there is a humanhature duality.

There has been much said about a major binary opposite within the scientific community itself, namely indoor/outdoor studies. Wordsworth's poern, The Tables Turned, could be considered an adrnonishment to =bench biologists:"

Up! up! rny friend, and quit your books, ..... Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.

One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and of good, Than al1 the sages can.

Enough of Science and of Art; Close up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with you a heart That watches and receives. (Wordsworth, 1 798)

Why has our world becorne divided into human and non-human? Levi- Strauss (1 966) argues that we have an inherent mental structure that imposes binary opposites on the natural world. He uses the term, 'hard wired," which suggests that there is a structure in our brains that finds binary, opposites in the world. He suggests that we inherit this mental structure ~(/)1our DNA.

Hallpike (1 979) agrees with Levi-Strauss that we have imposed binary structure on the natural world but he believes that we have done it for different reasons. Hallpike suggests that we have imposed binary structures on the world because there is an environmental dualistic reality. He writes that the most basic binary opposite is differentiation or awareness of discontinuity (A/ not A), and we see this everywhere. For example, the reason for the prevalence of binary classification in primitive thought is due to the fact that pairs of various types are commonplace in the physical world. These are generated through perception, for example, every time we distinguish something from something else. Hallpike argues that relationships generate pairs because any relationship requires at least two elements. So although everything is connected to everything else, the elements in that continuum can be differentiated and the most basic way of differentiation is by defining binary opposites.

He suggests that we have to look no further than our own bodies to find examples of binary opposites. Our right/left and head/feet are examples. Hallpike argues that we are not hard wired to find dualism, nor did we create dualism, we only found it because it was there already in the natural world. As we notice things, we differentiate them, and that is the beginning of thinking in binary sets. Goody (1 977) disagrees with Hallpike and Levi-Strauss. He argues that binary opposites are not basic to human thought but basic to western thought and generalized to other cultures. He argues that we invented binary thinking as a way of organizing and categorizing things. Once we had invented it, binary thinking became so powerful that we began using it as a tool to find meaning. We use binary thinking to organize our own lives and then, when we look at other cultures, we use binary filters. The danger of such an assumption is we think that al1 cultures organite their world on binaries. Goody (1 977) believes that once we get used to binary opposites as an organizational tool, we reduce al1 complex situations to binary relations where we can draw comparisons, two elements at a time.

Goody warns about using binary opposites as a starting place for anthropology. Primitive/advanced, simple/complex are binary terms applied to cultures. He warns that this way of thinking distorts the perception of the anthropologist observer and consequently how the rest of us see the other culture.

Our world is so complex, there may be some advantages to binary thinking. There are computer programs which help sort complex situations by taking advantage of our preference to see binary relations. Consultant, for example, is a computer program designed to assist consultants ask and answer questions to aid their clients. The prograrn helps decision makers by prioritizing items on a list. The publishers Say that this is a commonly used and very helpful aid for many types of decision making. It can be used to develop sequences of steps in a plan, or merely to identify the relative values of several items. For example, a manager has ten items that she needs to deal with, but she is unclear about the order of priority. She inputs the ten items into the cornputer in any order and these are then presented back, two at a time. She is prompted to prioritire them, in reduced lists of two. The resulting list is the ten prioritized items even though the manager has only compared two items at a tirne. Consultant has reduced the complexity of the problem by presenting binaries rather than the whole list. Egan (1986) writes that this is how children think, putting all problems into binary pairs so that they can consider just two elements at once.

Goody (1 977) cautions anthropologists about the dangers of this kind of thinking because he says that binary cornparisons are clouded by values. In anthropology, any resort to comparative work necessarily raises an evolutionary issue and implies a value element. For example, does a black/white binary opposite have the same value in western thought as it might have in African cultures?

Goody argues that no tables of equivalencies or opposites can be universally applicable. Although his argument was directed at anthropologists, it could also serve as a warning to storytellers. Opposites which lead to the conflict in stories are culturally defined. The values in the binary opposite in a story may seem obvious to the storyteller but the listener might understand the opposites another way, particularly if storyteller and listener are frorn different cultures.

I can illustrate this with a personal exarnple. In 1968, 1 went with a small group of North Arnerican colleagues to see a movie in Tanzania. There were eight of us who visited the theatre, three Canadians and five Ameriçans. Six of our group were white and two were black. and the rest of the audience were black Tantanians.

The reason for attending was simply to see a film about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the context of an African movie theatre. The story featured a conflict between the early police and Canadian natives. In one battle scene, we found that the Afncans in the theatre were cheering for the natives. The Afncans had defined the opposites (good guy/bad guy) differently from those of us from North America and from the creators of the film.

In rny own experience of nature storytelling, I have noticed cultural differences in meaning. There is a native Canadian story about how the cardinal became red. The story hinges on the following binary opposites: the black bird is unhappykhe red bird becornes happy. At one point in the story, the Iittle songbird no longer wants to be black. I have become conscious that some listeners might be offended by the thought that a character in the story is not happy about being black. So I have added to rny story a qualiwing element where the cardinal wants to be different from his friends because there are already so many beautiful black birds like the crow, the grackle, and the red-winged black bird.

Not only is a binary opposite culturally related but it is also often arbitrary. Goody (1 977) suggests that humans began thinking in binary opposites when we started to write. It began when we moved away from oral communication and took up sorting words into lists with columns and rows. He suggests that in an oral discourse it is perfectly possible to treat ydew" as a thing of the earth in one context and a thing of the sky in another. But in a written discourse, when forced to assign 'dew" to a specific sub-grouping in a list or a particular colurnn in a table, one has to make a binary choice about where it should be assigned.

Particularly in the West, Goody says, we have rnodeled our world on the basis of binary opposites. Once we made written tables and lists we started to see binary opposites everywhere. Examples may be seen today in many of the models we have created to communicate to each other about the world. The positive and negative terminals in an electrical current; acids and bases in chemical reactions; and poisons and antidotes. Even our most powerful tool, the cornputer, is based arbitrarily on binary logic - charge or no charge.

Biologists, confronted by millions of facts about species of plants and animals, have developed binary keys to help sort and manipulate the data. Consequently, living things have been organized into binary structured lists to reduce the complexity. Botanists are familiar with dichotomous keys (Conquist & Gleason, 1963) which are intended to facilitate the identification of plants. These keys are based on the most easily observed characteristics of the plants. The first dichotomous step in the key is to determine whether or not the plant has flowers (A or not-A).

Because decisions can be arbitrary, taxonomists often disagree about where things fit within their system of classification. Poison ivy, for example, has been removed from one group and put into another. More recently, taxonornists have been able to use much more sophisticated techniques to discriminate between plants. Organic chemistry can discover new divisions between some plants which were once considered to be in the same family. This explains the problem with such Ahot A distinctions.

When non-scientists are confronted with the task of organizing living material, they might choose a different, less systematic form of classification. I once gave a seminar to non-science graduate students about classification and characteristics of living things. To demonstrate how living things rnay be classified in a number of different ways to reduce complexity, I organized the following activity. I distributed a collection of plastic insect models and asked the students to classi@ them into groups according to characteristics. A group of trained biology students would have probably organized the plastic insects into groups such as winged and non-winged or worm-like and not-worm-Me. But these non-science students organized the insects into groups such as scary and non-scary. This example further dernonstrates how the classifications we use are culturally based and context related.

For another example, take the binary set, ruler/subject. At first glance, these are opposites but in a broader context where the overriding binary opposites might be orderldisorder, the set ruler/subject would both be subsumed under "order." But generally speaking, binary opposites help organize our thoughts by reducing complexity even though, according to Goody (1 977), that reduction of complexity can colour Our rneanings. The feminist scholar, Fox-Keller (1 986). agrees with Goody (1977) that binary opposites can influence the way we see the world. She argues that the framing of the world in binary opposites has led to troublesome gender issues particularly in the realm of wornen in the sciences. She says that "modern science is constituted around a set of exclusionary oppositionsw (1 986, p. 172) and that our scientific cultural tradition equates rational, objective and transcendent characteristics to male white equating irrational, subjective, and participatory characteristics to female.

This kind of thinking, she argues, can be traced to Darwinian theory and the survival of the fittest which is a model based on cornpetition (win/lose). Evolutionary theory is rife with concepts that frame the world in zero-sum, binary terms. This reduces the complexity of biology to win/lose terms. In Darwin's model altruism is impossible. Behaviour that benefits the fitness of another at the cost of one's own fitness has caused endless problerns for evolutionary biologists. Fox-Keller also finds that the language of science is riddled with terms based on binary thinking: scientifidnon-scientific, qualitative/quantitative.

Warren (1 990) agrees with Fox-Keller (1 986) and Goody (1 977) that there are oppressive conceptual framework shaped by how we see the world in binary sets. She divides these conceptual frameworks into three significant features:

1 ) value-hierarchical thinking as in up/down which places a higher value on what is up, or what is new, or advanced.

2) value dualism where the disjunctive pairs in a binary set are seen as oppositional rather than complementary. 3) logic of domination which uses hierarchical thinking to justify subordination of one of a binary pair (Warren, 1990. p. 128).

Warren argues that the problem arises not because we think in terms of binary opposites but that we use them to establish inferiority and justify subordination. She calls for an environmental movement which celebrates differences among elements of the world.

In summary, for whatever reason, for good or for bad, we see binary opposites everywhere. It is no wonder then that binary opposites play such an important role in how we communicate and specifically in forming the poles and direction of the change-event in the stories we create.

Binary o~positesshape stories

Binary opposites and stories are both culturally universal (Brown, 1991; Livo & Rietz, 1986; Warren, 1990). Because of the emphasis in our culture on binary opposites, they become important structural features of our stories. Every story has a change-event, an event that causes the transition from one binary opposite to the other. The change-event of the story is a type of language superstructure into which specific content is embedded. This story pattern orden, organizes, interrelates and brings interna1 coherence to groups of ideas. It is this structure which brings logic to the ideas presented in a story (Livo & Rietz, 1986). Binary opposites are embedded in the change-event of the story and embodied by the characters and situation. Consequently, the binary opposites serve as criteria for the selection and organization for the rest of the .content of the story and establish the main structuring lines along which the story moves forward.

Egan (1 986) describes how content is affected by the binary opposites underlying the fairy taie, Cinderella. This tale about a wicked stepmother and a good girl begins with the conflict between good and eMI. Within Cindere!la, the selection of incidents and further characters is determined by the need to show the goodness of Cinderella and the evil of the stepmother. The incidents in which the stepmother is cruel to Cinderella or favours her own unkind daughters al1 elaborate the one binary pole, evil.

On the other hand, the unfailing kindness and self-sacrificing modesty of Cinderella place her as embodiment of the opposite pole, good. In this way, the binary opposites that underlie the story serve as criteria for the selection of the "contentn - the characters and incidents - which form the story. They also set up the conflict and the tension. The change-event is the resolution of the conflict between the binary opposites.

The binary opposites provide the main structural lines along which the story moves forward. Having gathered the conflict at the beginning, the listeners monitor the development of the story through the incidents showing the evil of the stepmother. She tries to frustrate Cinderella's wishes and to destroy her modest hope of attending the ball. The listener's expectation is to see contrasting developments of Cinderella's goodness. Once these are vividly clear the conflict can then go forward through the actions of the good helpers, the attempts to frustrate these action by the bad opposition, and so on to the final satisfying resolution in favour ,of the good. The effect of binary structuring is equally present in the many variations to the Cinderella cycle (Dundes, 1982; Philip, 1989).

Gardner (1984) writes that the most common technique for plotting a story is to set up basic philosophical oppositions and then disguise them, translating ideas into appropriate characters and generating events where each event expresses in mysterious but concrete terms the active relationship between the opposing central ideas.

Stories like Cinderellq which are aligned to the structural pattern of binary opposites, provide expected shapes into which, by mutual agreement, people organize information. Therefore the structures are adhered to by the teller and expected by the listeners. The content does not change the structure. The overriding pattern of story may be represented in our memory and any new content or detail must be slotted into that pattern in order that we rnay recognize the information as a story (Livo and Rietz, 1986). The more a story conforms to an ideal structure, the better it will be recalled (Downing & Leong, 1982; Funk, 1966). Egan (1 997) suggests that stories may have evolved as a communication device to aid memory.

We deny story status to random bits of information and facts which are not organized with a clear-cut and cause/effect-related beginning, middle and end. Unorganized information is difficult to recall (Lorayne, 1985). Text that fails to present a setting plus a change-event is not considered a story. Treatments of information that are recognized as stories utilize special memory programs already present in the minds of storytellers and listene- developed as a result of repeated exposures to stories. We are not formally taught these in-memory conventions; we leam them by listening to and telling stories (Livo & Rietz, 1986; Turner. 1996).

The nature tale stresses how things happen or might happen in the world. The natural world might be the focus of the story or sirnply provide the background, characters or situation. In al1 cases, the nature content is slotted into the story structure. The nature stories I tell are of the classical design that have a beginning, a middle and an ending with strong change-event that moves a crucial human issue from one pole of a binary opposite to the other.

The literary terms "protagonist" and 'antagonist" represent a binary pair. An active protagonist struggles against external forces of antagonism to pursue his or her desire through a change-event to a closed ending of absolute, irreversible change (McKee, 1997).

Aithough the classical design is recognised as the best form for designing curriculum for young children (Egan, 1986; Walker, 1gis), the sarne design is the most successful pattern for creating screenplays for adults (McKee, 1 997). The classical design is also the shape chosen by television news broadcasters (and tabloid journalists) because it presents the story structure most easily understood by adults (Devos, 1996).

The underlying binary structure is not the only story convention. Additional rules that exist for the structure of a story are culturally dependent. In stories from western culture, events and objects tend to happeq in threes; for example, three wishes, three friends, and three attempts. Propp (1968) refers to the three part pattern as "treblingn (p. 74). In contrast, Chippewayan stories have events which usually happen in sets of four (Livo & Rietz, 1986). Another western convention is the importance of tirne, that is, a race against time in the story causes tension and conflict. These cultural patterns and rules must be obeyed by the storyteller so that the story satisfies the expectations of the tisteners.

The story pattern that satisfies the listener's expectation (sets of two, three or four) is understood to be correct and sensible. Story coherence is a function of story structure, which in turn is a reconstruction of a worldview. Storytelling is a communication activity through which we can learn and express our worldview and consequently story structure is useful for the teller as well as the listener.

When a practiced storyteller tells a story, rather than memorizing it word for word, she learns particular structural patterns and then rebuilds the story while telling it by slotting content into its over-riding structure. The storyteller establishes a setting and sets the problem. The listener then anticipates a change-event that will cause a change in the value of the binary opposite set up in the beginning. The teller learns the event arrangement, character activity, interna1 cause/effect relationships and then reconstructs the body of the story by fitting in the appropriate story detail such as specific character talk, ritual language or particular setting. The change-event, anticipated throughout by the listener, usually solves the problem and resolves the conflict (Livo & Rietz, 1986). The tqller is already aware of the binary opposite underiying the story and knows what sequence of events will lead to the opposite pole at the end. The structural memory which involves the binary opposite, the event sequence, number patterns and refrains fmsthe foundation and the slotting in of special additions invented by the teller makes the story come alive.

Pattern awareness is the mark of a culturally sensitive and honest storyteller. Pattern violation disrupts the listener's ability to predict, interferes with expectations and leads to confusion. In Moore's 'unstory" (mentioned earlier) there is an expectation for the story which is not satisfied because there is no change-event. Similarly, a 'shaggy dog story" (a type of joke-story which never results in change-event), breaks the rules of storytelling. In such a story, an expectation is established and not met. The rules are broken in an attempt to make a joke. The joke is on the listeners who wait patiently through long lists of character descriptions and elaborate situations but who never hear the ending because there is none. Fooled once, listeners will not sit readily through a second shaggy dog story.

Aristotle was aware of story structure and defined three necessary components to a story: premise, character and confiict (Egri, 1946). Although Aristotle was concerned about theatrical plays, these three components apply equally to al1 types of stories. Egri also mentions more recent writers who have suggested many other elements to a story: theme, plot, incidents, conflict, complications, obligatory scene, atmosphere, dialogue, and climax. There are books written which explain and analyze each of these story components but Egri insists that al1 story components can be reduced to premise,1 character and conflict (Egd, 1946). The change-event resolves the conflict established in the premise.

In every story, there must be some underlying and unstated principle to generate tension and to create complexity. This is what moves a story along and helps create and intensify rneaning. Gardner (1 984) calls this forward movement generated by binary structuring, 'profluence." There must be a force which will unify al1 parts of the story, a force out of which the story will grow. Egri (1946) daims the force is not the change-event but character. However, he does admits that it is conflict and the change-event which reveal character and bring meaning to the story.

Other writers have also analyzed stories and agree with Egri that they have 3 components - premise, character and conflict (Cassady, 1990; Egri, 1 946; McKee, 1997). The following sections will explore these 3 cornponents and discuss how they relate to the binary opposites and change-event of the story. Premise

The premise provides the controlling idea of the story and suggests the character, the conflict and the end state of the binary opposite, al1 to be summarized in one sentence. It predicts the change-event.

Everything in life has a purpose or premise (Egri, 1946) whether as simple as taking a breath or as complex as an emotional decision. Because a story reflects life, every story must also have a prernise. An example of a premise given by Egri for Shakespeare's play, Kina Lear. is the statement "blind trust leads to destruction." The premise dictates the end state of the binary opposite. The premise of Kina Lear suggests that the king will be destroyed at the end of the play - some change-event will lead the king through a transition frorn al1 powerful to pitifully weak.

The premise presents the underlying, unstated force which gives the story direction and meaning. The movement of the story can involve small steps called "transitions" which are small movements from pole to pole across a binary opposite. Although each srnall movement must have its own premise, it rernains the task of the main premise to provide the movement for the whole story (Livo & Rietz, 1986). Many nature stories are short enough - based on one change-event - that they do not have transitions. Teller recognition of this story pattern is an immeasurable aid in developrnent and delivery (Livo & Rietz, 1986). A storyteller is a problem solver. The premise establishes the problem and the storyteller must get the action of the story to move across the binary opposite hinge - the change-event. Whether a play, a film script or a nature tale, every good story must have a well-formulated premise. This will act as a guide for the telling. Consequently, Egri (1 946) suggests that the storyteller should define the premise as quickly as possible.

There are several ways to consider the prernise. Livo and Rietz (1 986) use the term 'bones." McKee calls it, 'the controlling idea." A controlling idea is a theme written as a sentence - it cannot be written as a single word. Cassidy (1990) uses the term 'theme" but also insists that it should be written in one sentence. His definition of "theme" conforrns to McKee's term 'controlling idea." He suggests that general themes such as poverty, war or love do not express enough to be the premise of a story.

The premise must be one clear, coherent sentence that expresses a story's irreducible meaning. The premise not only names the story's root or central idea but also implies function. The premise shapes the storyteller's strategic choices for characters, situations and conflict. According to Egri (1946):

You can arrive at your premise in any one of a great many ways. You may start with an idea which you at once convert to a premise, or you may develop a situation first and see that it has potentialities which need only the right premise to give them meaning and suggest an end (Egri, 1 946, p. 23).

Here is an example of a premise taken from Egri (1 946). 'Frugality leads to waste." It has three parts: the first, "frugality," suggests a character; the second 'leads tomsuggests movement, struggle, conflict or change; and the third, "waste," suggests the end state of the character's binary opposite. Once the end state has been dictated by the premise, the beginning state is easy - it will be the opposite.

For McKee (1 997), the premise has two components: value plus cause. It identifies the positive or negative charge of the story's critical value at the end, and it identifies the chief reason that this value has changed to its final state. The sentence composed from these two elements, 'value plus cause," expresses the premise of the story.

Although they use different words, the two definitions of premise credit the idea with the same elements. Egri's definition expands the meaning of the word "cause" to include "character and conflict." It is the combination of the character and the conflict which result in the cause. Both definitions refer to the change which takes place in the story - the change-event.

Before creating or retelling a story, does the storyteller really have to decide on a premise? A storyteller might mull an idea for weeks before coming up with the premise. But once the premise is clear-cut, the final story will automatically unroll itself. If the storyteller is aware of the premise and the end state of the binary opposite, al1 the details of character and conflict will fall into place (McKee, 1997).

It is not necessary for the listener to know the premise which should lay hidden under the surface of the story. A struggle to find a premise should never stand in the way of the listener's enjoyment. An exception is Aesop's fables which are often presented with a moral at the end. Morals such as "familiarity breeds contempt," 'absence makes the heart grow fonder" or "necessity is the mother of inventionw are simply a statement of the premise, but sta~edat the end of the story for effect. Because Aesop's fables are teaching tales, the editors of many versions of these tales ernphasize the meaning of the stories by stating the moral.


The characters in a story, human or otherwise, must undergo significant change from one pole of a binary opposite to the other. The sad character must become happy or the lost character must become found. Character is revealed in the choices he or she makes under pressure - the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice of action is to the character's essential nature (McKee, 1997).

The function of character is to bring to the story the qualities necessary to convincingly act out choices and cause events leading to changes in the state of the underlying binary opposite. A character must be credible, young enough or old enough, strong or weak, worldly or naive, educated or ignorant, generous or selfish, witty or dull, in the right proportions. Each character must bring to the story the combination of qualities that allows the listeners to believe that the character could and would do what he does (McKee, 1997). Not only must the character know what he wants but he must have intemal and external pressure applied to achieve this desire immediately. There rnust be something at stake - something pressingly important. The character will know what he wants but will not know if he will get it. Only the storyteller knows what the end state of the character's binary opposite will be and this state is dictated by the prernise.

As discussed by Egri (1946). Aristotle wrote that of the three ingredients to a story (premise, character and confiict), character is the least important. "The plot is the first consideration, and as it were, the sou1 of the tragedy. Character holds the second place" (p. 92). Aristotle denied the importance of character and started a debate that continues to this day.

Egri disagrees with Aristotle and suggests that the character is the most important element in the story because the characters cause the action. Egri suggests that the situations are inherent in the character and that characters create plot - not vice versa. If Aristotle was wrong, he can be forgiven because, in his day, the characters in plays took al1 their directions from the gods. Since they had no minds of their own and were only playing out the situations established by the gods, characters would be secondary to the action of the plot (McKee, 1997).

But this debate started by Aristotle about which is more important, character or plot, is irrelevant. In a story, plot and character are one phenornenon seen hmtwo points of view (McKee, 1997). The two elements of story are interlocked. In respect to the binary opposite of the story, it is the character who undergoes the change-event from one pole to the other but it is the conflict that directs the move. So without the character in the stoiy, the binary opposite wwld not make any sense and without the plot and the change-event, the move from pole to pole would be impossible.

In nature tales which are stories reduced to their bare bones, the relative cornplexity of character is diminished because unnecessary complications would distract us from the high action of the plot. In a nature tale, for example, "once there was a hungry bear" might be al1 the description of the character that is necessary. Similarly, the setting of a nature story which describes place and time is also much reduced. 'A long time ago, in a far away land" is often the only description necessary for the environment.

The terms "protagonist" and 'antagonist" reflect the importance played by binary opposites in defining the characters - the terms themselves are binary opposites. The pivotal character, the protagonist, takes the lead in any rnovement or cause and anyone who opposes the protagonist is the antagonist who creates confiict and causes the story to move forward.

The antagonist must be as strong as the protagonist so that the will of conflicting personalities will clash. Orchestration is how the protagonist and antagonist are placed into a suitable situation to rnaximize the clash. Orchestration demands well-defined and uncompromising characters in opposition, moving from pole to pole through conflict (Egri, 1946). The opposing forces might not be single characters; they can be groups of characters lined up or orchestrated in opposition.

In a nature story of classical design, although the protagonist and antagonist are well-defined and uncompromising, they are very simple and uncomplicated. For example, the protagonist could be a rabbit and the antagonist could be a coyote. The rabbit needs to get across the meadow without being eaten by the coyote. The characters are simple and implied but the movement from safety to danger and from life to death is powerful and uncompromising and makes a compelling story.


Conflict occurs everywhere and always rises from human traits such as arrogance, envy or honesty (Egri, 1946). Through the literary device of personification, storytellers can attribute these human traits to anirnals, plants or non-biological elements such as wind or waves. Let a rabbit face a hungry coyote and there is conflict. Confiict creates movement by establishing the inevitable change-event.

Aristotle knew the important rote of binary opposites in a story. He divided drama into categories depending on whether the end state of the binary opposite is positive or negative. He called these two categories "fortunate" or "tragicn (McKee, 1997). Regardless of the type of story, comedy of tragedy, there must be movement from one binary pole to the other and it is conflict that causes the move. A plot jnvolves the meeting of two opposing forces. Stories are interesting because they deal with characters who encounter problems or situations that fascinate the listener. Our interest as listeners is maintained because we want to know the end state of the characters and how the story ends. The plot keeps us in suspense (Cassady, 1990). The concept of binary opposites is not only involved in the change that occurs to the main character in the story but is also helpful in defining characters who will be in opposition to the protagonist and go through an equal change in the opposite direction. This concept is called the "unity of opposites." During the change-event, the protagonist will undergo a change in one direction and the antagonist will undergo a change in the opposite direction.

Funk (1966) refers to the unity of opposites as the 'law of stage duality" (p. 190) which is universal in folklore. The law stipulates that only two characters may speak or act at one time. Funk analyzed parables in the Bible and found that they not only adhere to the unity of opposites but have a further simplification where only two relationships are developed in any one story. This limitation ensures the clarity of the meaning which is essential because parables were originally transmitted orally and the meaning had to be clear.

For example, when a rabbit forages for food and is attacked by a hungry coyote, there is conflict. Since the rabbit and the coyote both throw their lives into the balance, a unity of opposites results because there can be no compromise. The fight is to the death because either the rabbit will die or the.coyote will starve. In this example, the binary pair live/die is the unity of opposites.

Unity of opposites (Egri, 1946) does not refer- to the opposing forces in a clash. The rabbit and the coyote can not simply make faces at each other and go their separate ways. That would be an 'unstory." Unity of opposites is conflict in which compromise is impossible. Unity of opposites describes the unbreakable bond between the protagonist and antagonist that will ensure rising conflict and a resolution. As Egri States:

Can anyone imagine a compromise between a deadly disease germ and the white corpuscles in a human body? It will be a fight to the finish, because the opposites are so constituted that they must destroy each other to live. There is no choice. A gerrn cannot Say: "Oh, well, this white corpuscle is too tough for me. l'II find another place to live." Nor can the corpuscle let the germ alone, without sacrificing itself. They are. opposites, united to destroy each other (Egri, 1946, 1 1 9).

The characters in an engaging story have to be driven to go to the limit. The storyteller will amplify the characteristics to generate the most conflict possible; the rabbit must run aster than she has ever run; and the coyote must be hungrier than she's ever been. The storyteller can describe the environment to favour the rabbit or make her plight even more dangerous. The stronger the unity, the more cornpelling the story. The unity between opposites must be so strong that the deadlock can be broken only when one of the adversaries or both are exhausted, beaten or annihilated completely at the end (Egri, 1946; Stein, 1992).

Conflict is greatest when the protagonist and antagonist are evenly rnatched. There is no-thrill in watching a strong, skillful man fighting a sickly, awkward one. When two characters are evenly matched each is forced to utilize everything he has. Each will reveal how much he knows; how his rnind works in an emergency; what kind of defense he is capable of; how strong he really is; and whether he has any reserve energy left. The intensity of the conflict is determined by the strength of will of the protagonist and antagonist locked in the unity of opposites.

On the surface, a healthy conflict consists of two forces in opposition. At bottom, each of these forces is the product of many complicated circumstances woven into a chronological sequence, creating tension so terrific that it must culminate in an explosion. In a novel or screenplay these forces have to be established clearly so that the audience undentands the conflict. In a nature story, the forces may be implied by the choice of characters or situation. For example, in the above story where the rabbit must outmaneuver the coyote, the listeners already know and understand the opposing forces at play - coyotes kill rabbits.

Shea (1983) says that in any story, the change always costs something. Examining stories, a reader can usually find who is paying the cost. In simple stories it is usually the antagonist who pays. In the above story, where the rabbit arrives in a safe refuge, it costs the coyote who continues to starve. Campbell (1 988) considers the mythological importance of thinking about who pays the cost. One of the on-going rnysteries of human life is that in order for humans to live, something else must die. We are the protagonist of our own story and move from hunger to satisfaction while sorne other living thing must move -frorn life to death when we eat. The environmental law for this fundamental rule of ecology is that 'everything is connected to everything else." In a story it is seen as conflict but in a bigger picture it could be seen as ecological balance or survival of the fittest.

Plots Unlimited is a computer program designed to help writers develop plots (Sawyer 8 Weingarten, 1992). The program generates thousands of conflict situations cross-indexed to yield an estirnated 200,000 unique plots. The user of the program simply chooses from a list the 3 essential components: conflict, characters and construction.

By mixing and matching these cornponents, the storyteller can develop a well structured story. The basic design of the program is: 'objective + obstacle = conflict." The authors of the program disagree with Egri (1 946), who considers character to be the most important element in story, and agree with Aristotle who favours plot. In the plots provided by the computer program, the objective is always related to the achievement of happiness which is obstructed by an obstacle. Whether the objective is attained or not dictates the end state of the binary opposite.

Scripts for film and some serialized novels are such specialized forrns of storytelling that each genre has its own signature binary opposite. For exarnple, good/evil is always the binary opposite represented in a western, whereas hateAove is always represented in a Harlequin romance. Once the binary oppasite has been choun, and the premise set, it is up to the storyteller to furnish the details of the characters and events that move the story through the change-event to .its final conclusion.


In surnmary, a story must have a premise. characters and conflict. The prernise suggests the characters and the conflict, and dictates the change in the end state value of the binary opposite. At the point where conflict begins, the characters are given a chance to expose themselves and the premise. If the protagonist and the antagonist are locked in a unity of opposites, good orchestration will ensure a confiict which will cause at least the protagonist to undergo a change of state in the binary opposite. And further, that change will cost sornething.

Because the listeners know story strocture, they anticipate the conflict and resolution. The clearer the definition of the characters the stronger the conflict and thé more obvious the'meaning of the story. If storytellers are aware of this essential structure. They will be able to create characters, situations and conflict which ampli@ the clarity of the binary opposites and bring stronger rneaning to the story.

The next chapter will explore the uses of stories in the classroom. Cha~ter3 The Uses of Storvtellina in the Classroom

In the previous chapter, I outlined how binary opposites and change-event shape stories. In this chapter I will discuss how storytelling is used as a tool for learning in the classroom. I will discuss literature from this field which provides references to the structure of story, including the use of the binary opposite and change-event.

The following is a traditional Iroquois tale that suggests that people tell stories to teach.

A young man hunting alone in the forest hears a strange voice coming from a rock. The voice offers to exchange food that the hunter has caught in return for a story.

"What is a story," the man asks?

"l'II answer that by giving you an example," says the strange voice. And the rock tells the young man a story.

The young man learns so much through the story that he returns again and again to the rock and trades his food for more stories. When the stories are finally done, the young man returns to his village becomes a teacher and retells the stories. And that was the first story (Stott, 1994).

In this Iroquois legend the giver of the tales is a Stone, which in Iroquois tradition is respected as being of great antiquity, as being elemental, and as possessing spirit power. To the Iroquois, it was natural that a stone should have given the people such a valuable gift - stories. It was appropriate that so important an element of their lives should have corne from so ancient, significant, and powerful an entity as a stone (Stott, 1994).

There are other versions about how stories began. For example, an African legend explains how the trickster spider, Anansi, brings the gift of story to the people. In order to win the treasure, he deals with the leopard-of- the-terrible-teeth, the hornet-who-stings-like-fire and the fairy-whom- men-never-see. Through his wits and facility with words, Anansi wins the gift of story. And, most important, he does not hoard this divine gift but shares it by teaching his people (Courlander, 1957).

Not al1 stories praise the storyteller. One such tale is the familiar Aesop fable about a grasshopper and ants (Aesop, 1912). The grasshopper wastes his time storytelling with his fiddling and singing while the productive ants scurry around collecting food for the approaching winter. The fable is a cautionary tale warning about wasting time. A premise for the story might be, "wasting time leads to self-destruction." In this story the underlying binary opposite would be work/play or even life/death.

However, Lionni (1 967) wrote a new version of the tale by changing the premise in defense of storytellers. His new premise became, 'creativity leads to happiness" and the underlying binary opposite might be food for the body/food for the soul. Lionni's version is about field mice who are busy gathering food for winter - al1 except Frederick who is busy writing stories He says he is creating images to keep them al1 warm in the winter. Later on, when their food is used up, the mice turn to Frederick whose stories provide happiness and inspiration. In Lionni's version, the storyteller-mouse, unlike the grasshopper, beêomes a hero (Lionni, 1967).

These three tales from three different cultures are imaginative explanations about how stories are used to teach. The fact that there are many accounts about the first story attests to how important stodes are in the lives of hurnans. These tales explain that stories are a divine gift, but they are not given freely; they must be earned by wit and skill. They rnust not be hoarded, but shared. And people, as well as mice, do not live by grain alone - stories and learning are important too. Frye (1 990) noted that: "Whenever a society is reduced to the barest primary requirernents... the arts, including poetry [and I might add storytelling] stand out sharply in relief as ranking with these primary requirernents" (p. 250).

Storying is the process of creating a story (as teller) and recreating the story (as listener). It appears to be a uniquely human activity. Yolen (1 986) believes that, "stories distinguish us from the animals more than any opposable thumb." Hardy (1 975) expressed the same idea:

Nature, not art, makes us al! story-tellers. Daily and nightly we devise fictions and chronicles, calling some of them daydreams or drearns, some of them nightmares, some of them truths, records, reports, and plans. Some of them we call, or refuse to call, lies. Narrative imagination is a common human possession, differentiating us ...from the animals. (Hardy,, 1975, p. 7)

Stories are so common that they form the basis for other activities, a jumping off place for ideas. The storytelling event is the dynamic core of creativity waiting to euolve into other re-enactments such as lessons, songs, dances, drama, games, crafts, art and film making (Beaty, 1994).

Several authors explore the uses of stories which help thern in their professional practice as teachers. The following is a discussion of how these professionals use stories (Armstrong et al., 1994; Barton & Booth, 1 990; Egan, 1986; Livo & Rietz, 1986; Walker, 197 5).

Storytellinq to build communitv

Stories are useful for building a community in the classroom. When a story is told before a live audience the circumstances of the telling will influence the shaping and building of the story because the audience becomes an important part of the telling. Because of the interaction between the teller, the listeners and the story, a storytelling event becomes a negotiation (Livo & Rietz, 1986) or an experienced collaboration (Coles, 1989). The story is dynamic and never happens the same way twice (Baker & Greene, 1977). The words of the story can be recorded by the written word but the dynamics of the storytelling event can not. The teller and listeners form a unique community Iinked by the story and the act of storytelling. Because the stories are based on binary opposites which are culturally defined, the stories told and understood by that cornmunity bind the listeners into a group. The native American writer, Silko (1 980). emphasizes the importance of stories in helping individuals become members of a larger community. "lt's stories that make us into a community. There has to be stories. That's how you know; that's how you belong; that's how you know you belong" (Silko, 1980, p. 190).

This cornmunity-building represents a benefit of storytelling but also a risk. Stories told and recognized by the members of a cultural group help the mernbers of that group to identify that culture (Brunvand, 1986). Stories carry a heritage of thought (Barton & Booth, 1990; Silko, 1980). The shared stories of a community represent that community's intangible heritage (A Strateqv for Conservina Ontario's Heritaae, 1990). However, as strongly as two people in one culture are connected by a story. someone from another culture may be excluded by that sarne story because "He just doesn't get it." A storyteller has to keep this in mind when he or she chooses stories to tell. Some listeners rnay be excluded from understanding the story because they do not comprehend the underlying binary opposite. In the example I gave earlier of the Africans watching the Canadian film, their understanding of the good guy/bad guy was quite different from the intention of the film's producers.

There may be other reasons why the outsider is excluded from the community. Campbell (1 988) describes culturally-defined understanding when he defines the hero. Napoleon was a French hero but his ravaging of Europe was horrific. "Whether you cal1 someone a hero or a monster is al1 relative to where the focus of your consciousness may bew (Campbell, 1988, p. 127).

Another reason a storyteller should be careful when selecting stories is the knowledge base of -the audience. If the story is made up of characten or situations unfarniliar to some memben of the audience, they will feel excluded. For example, in a nature tale about a cardinal, not everyone will be familiar with the fact that a cardinal is red. If the storyteller wants to include everyone in the community listening to the story, he must present enough background information so that everyone will understand the story.

There are universal stories known to every culture (Thompson, 1933. Campbell, 1988). For example, the myth where a flood destroys a society which later rebuilds itself is understood globally (Dundes, 1988). Furthermore, the act of telling stories is universal. So telling carefully selected stories can bridge the barriers between cultures. As a matter of fact, we enjoy stories from a different culture which have a familiar ring to them because they represent a new version of a familiar tale. We also enjoy stories from another time or place or stories that are developed from other familiar tales.

There are many examples of new versions of old stories. A very popular publication retells famous fairy tales in a politically correct style (Garner, 1995). The amusing example which follows is Garner's introduction to Aesop's ant and grasshopper fable: In the world of the ancient Greeks, agriculture was still in o state of advanced rudimentariness. The farm ecosystems were diverse and healthy, with indigenoos free-range plants and thdving insect colonies sharing space with the domesticated crops. As a result, the fields of wheat and grapes were filled with a vafiety of vigorous, forward-looking and well spoken insects (Garner, 1995, p. 1 5).

Because stories are a way of bridging the barrien between people of different cultures, storytelling is recognised as a tool for Global Education (Pike & Selby, 1993). The stories must have a binary opposite that is understood universally and not misunderstood like the good guy/bad guy interpretation by the Tanzanians at the Canadian movie.

At the Kortright Centre the staff are collecting bee stories from multicultural classes. These are personal famiiy stories from visiting children. The children are asked before there visit to Kortright to collect bee stories from their relatives which they then tell to the class. Not oniy do the children have the opportunity to tearn about bees, but they also learn about their classrnates and the stories they tell. Unfortunately, the element: of personal bee stories that is universally understood is a negative image, narnely the sting. One of the advantages of the Kortright program is that it helps to overcome this aspect of the bee's reputation.

Storytellina teaches active listenina One criticism leveled at storytelling as a teaching tool is that listening to a story is too passive an activity in an age of active learning. Nothing could be further from the truth. Listening to a story is not a passive act (Barton 4% Booth, 1990). The listener's respomibility is to form mental pictures from the words and actions of the storyteller. In rny own experience, when I am telling a story and hesitate too long for a word, one of the listeners will anticipate where the story is headed and inevitably shout a guess for that word. When the underlying binary opposite is clear, the story sets up an expectation and the listeners constantly race ahead of the storyteller and try to predict the change-event and what will happen next.

Because of the importance of listening skills, storytelling is used by teachers and adult educators to encourage active listening. Lipman (1 995) - a storyteller and storytelling coach - recommends storytelling as a way of teaching active listening. When people are listening to the words of a story they are also listening for dues frorn the storyteller's tone of voice. They are listening to the silences and learning how to translate the meaning of a silence, be it expectant, teasing, or restful.

Active listeners also coordinate their obseMng and listening as they watch the storyteller's face, gestures, position in the room, and posture. They watch the storyteller's eyes to notice when their gazes meet, when the storyteller's eyes grow hazy while focusing on an imagined object, or when the gaze shifts from side to side as the storyteller recalls a memory or formulates a thought. They join in with their own muscles and posture as they relax and unconsciously match the storyteller's body language. When they become deeply engrossed in a story some listeners may even match the breathing rate of the storyteller (Lipman, 199 5). Occasionally their lips move along with the story. . Active listeners try to match the emotional state of the storyteller. They also try to follow the storyteller's train of thought not only for the story itself but also during breaks in the story such as stumbles, nervous jokes and digressions. They nod their heads to encourage the storyteller to go on; they atternpt to see things from the point of view of the storyteller; and they listen to understand because they want to know what happens next. The active part of listening is so natural and unconscious that it appeafs to some to be non-existent, an assumption that led to the misconception that listening is a passive act.

Storytellinri is entertainment

Unfortunately, many educators consider a story to have entertainment value and nothing more. Stories are much more than entertainment. However, the entertainment aspect remains very important. There is pleasure in listening to a well told story just as there is pleasure in telling a good joke. Stories are a form of amusement for both teller and Iistener (Barton 61 Booth, 1990).

As a form of entertainment, storytelling can be a game played by teachers or leaders wherever there is a need for an easy, quick activity without a need for much equipment. After all, storytelling itself is a game we play with events and reality (Livo & Rietz, 1986). The game releases us from the obligations of the moment and transports us into another place where we can play without consequence to ourselves. Like any game, storytelling has rules and structure but sometimes the game can be to break the rules.

Storytellina provides models for livinq

Humans have probably always told their children stories. By imaginatively structuring and restructuring experience, we make it personally and culturally meaningful (Howarth, 1989). Hearing stories gives people practice in visualization. As they listen they recreate in their minds the settings, the conflict, and the characters of the story. The ability to visualize, to fantasize, is the basis of creative imagination.

But the listeners get to see more than the sights - they examine behaviours as well. They observe in their rninds a variety of characters displaying different behaviours and demonstrating a variety of values. "Storytelling gives people insight into the motives and patterns of human behaviours" (Bettelheim, 1989). The listeners can actually try on some of the behaviours to see if they fit (Gold, 1990). Since storytelling exposes us to the world without exposing us to the consequences (Zemke, t990), we can learn from the mistakes that characters make within the story.

A child needs to understand what is going on within his conscious self so that he can cope with his unconscious. He can not achieve this understanding and ability to cope through rational comprehension of the unconscious but rather by becoming familiar with it through daydreams and fantasy (Baker & Greene, 1 977). Fairy tales and stories have unequaled value because they offer new material for the child's imagination, material which would be impossible for him to discover on his own.

A good aspect of fairy tales is that the change-event always ends at the positive pole of the binary opposite. Listening to fairy tales, children have a chance to consider the big problems of growing up - universal problems like separation from parents, taking care of oneself in the outside world, controlling impulses and learning that strangers rnay be untrustwonhy. Bettelheim (1 986) suggests:

The fairy tale ... leaves al1 decisions up to us, including whether we wish to make any at all. It is up to us whether we wish to rnake any application to our life from a fairy tale, or simply enjoy the fantastic events it tells about. Our enjoyment is what induces us to respond in our own good time to the hidden meanings, as they rnay relate to our life experience and present state of personal development (Bettelheim, 1986, p.43).

Fairy tales are used in Waldorf schools to aid in the child's development. Waldorf schools are based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. Since the turn of the century, students at these special schools have retold fairy tales through drama activities. The teacher tells the same story many times in a month. Then the children take turns enacting the story until each child has performed every role and explored every character (King, 1 993).

Not only do they always provide a happy ending but fairy tales also provide patterns within which the listeners know that virtue will be rewarded and evil pupished. The binary opposite underîying the story must be clear for the meaning to be comprehended by the children.

Storytelling is art

There is a sub-group of storytellers who are theatrical performers. The rnembers of this group pride themselves in their carefully rehearsed oration. These performers rnay be seen at Toronto's Storytelling Theatre.

Barton and Booth (1 990) state:

Storytelling may be the oldest of al1 the arts. The mother told the story to her child, the hunter to his peers, the survivor to his rescuers, the priestess to her followers, the seer to his petitioners. The better that tale was told, the more it was believed and rernernbered (Barton & Booth, 1990, p. 41 ).

Booth believes that children should be encouraged to tell their own personal stories and he warns that there is a danger when a performing artist-storyteller visits a classroorn. The listeners undoubtedly enjoy the skillful performance but may be discouraged from telling their own stories which might not live up to the high standards of the performing storyteller. Booth suggests that storytellers who are more relaxed and natural might better encourage children to try to tell their own stories (Booth, personal communication, 1996). My own storytelling style is relaxed and informal. 1 do not consider myself an artist-performer because I do not mernorize the words but learn the sequence of images presented by the story. Because I do not worry about memorized lines, 1 can concentrate on interacting with the listeners. Even though- I have not established myself as a model storyteller, some listeners are reluctant to tell their own stories. Some activities described in Appendix 6 encourage adults to tell their own stories - particularly people who do not consider themselves to be storytellers.

Stories as a framework for curriculum.

Several educators have developed methods for using stories to frame curriculum (Armstrong, Connolly & Saville, 1994; Drake, 1992; Egan, 1976; Lauritzen & Jaeger, 1996; Walker, 1975). Walker (1 975), an English elementary teacher, developed a technique that integrated the components of the curriculum through storytelling.

Walker started a unit by gently guiding the children to create a story based on a title she provided. This prirnary session took only 15 minutes where she recorded the discussion on the blackboard. Everyone in the class had an equal chance to input some detail into the story.

In an example, she outlines how one such story developed by students was expanded into a month-long integrated curriculum. The story that the class produced was fiction. The students brainstormed around the main ideas of their story to assemble ideas for further investigation. The students discussed al1 the characters of their story. Because children use binary opposites to structure their stories, they decided unconsciously that the underlying binary for their story would be that the professor is bad and the fairy queen is good.

After the initial story-creating discussion, Walker transcribed the story on to paper so that the class could review and refine it. The story then became a frame for a number of related curriculum activities. Walker's curriculum integrated storytelling, drama, math, science and music activities. Throughout the activities, the students were aware that alf the activities were related to the story that they helped to create.

The students developed drama skills by playing the role of each of the characters in the story. They roie played characten who danced ta music or played an outdoor chase game developed from the story. The children performed tableaux singly or al1 together and played a games evolved from the events of the story. They presented skits or group improvisations; participated in small discussion groups; and cornpleted home research where they were encouraged to bring their favourite toys to school. Not only did these exercises develop their sense of the story but also helped develop drama skills necessary to present the whole story in play form. In addition, this skill had an effect on learning across the curriculum. King (1993) concurs about the importance of skill development in tableaux and mini-skits before the students perform the whole story as a play. The development of the final play required many discussions and work projects: props, costumes, casting and set design, backdrqps and choosing the background music. The children also decided what music would be suitable background for each character.

For the language component of the curriculum, the children kept a journal describing the work they were doing each day. As an assignment they also made a board game patterned after 'snakes and ladderswwhere each square contained directions for playing the game which follows the adventure of their story. They shared and played each others' board games. They each worked with the written text of the story itself and told their parents the story.

Using tape recorders, students simulated interviews with the story characters or added sound effects to the interview. The interviews probed information either about the story itself or about sornething related to the period of the story.

A Iibrary search by the students resulted in other stories related to the characters in their story. The students freely added material gleaned from this research to enrich their original story.

For the music component of the curriculum, the class developed and recorded rhythm-band sound effects for the story. Each student could borrow the resulting audio tape to take home for his parents. The teacher also taught the class some related songs.

For the math component, the children were introduced to a number of activities which taught concepts of time, the calendar and distances. The students puzzled with math to create their 'snakes and ladden" board games based on the story. Walker found that the story framed curricular activities for a whole month and digressed naturally into other class projects.

Eaan's theory put into practice.

A group of teachers in Australia has developed a lesson guide for young children which integrates social studies topics in a curriculum for young children rnodeled on Egan's theories (Armstrong et al., 1994).

Like Walker (1975) they based each unit on a story because they Say that by comprehending a story we rnake sense of life (Armstrong et al., 1994). But unlike Walker who encouraged her students to create their own story, Armstrong et al. carefully select a story which complernents the topic by demonstrating the binary opposites that best express the importance of the topic.

They use Egan's rnodel to draw out from the story the engaging parts of the lesson (Egan, 1986). They cal1 for a strong story with a beginning, a middle and an ending. The beginning creates an expectation or problern that needs to be resolved. The middle elaborates the story and complicates the plot. The ending follows a change-event where everything is resolved.

When Egan (1 986) speaks of teaching as storytelling, he does not rnean that teachers should simply tell stories in the classroorn, although that is also wgrthwhile (Barton & Booth, 1990). He does not encourage teachen to use stories for lessons in the classroom simply because children respond well to stories. Rather, he suggests that teacheo should shape their lessons to reflect the basic pattern (or form) of the story. In this way, lessons become more meaningful to children rather than just a collection of seemingly unrelated facts. By using story form in this way teachers cm take advantage of a powerful means to create whole topics for study.

Armstrong et al. (1 994) have designed lesson units based on Egan's theory and suggested framework. Their observations in the classroom support Egan's theory in that they found that children are affectively engaged and motivated to learn through the opportunity to become characters in a story. It is children's innate understanding of stories that makes the content accessible to them.

Armstrong et al. Say that Egan's theoreticai daims are cornpiernentary to their long-standing belief in meaningful education through integrated curriculum and cooperative learning environments. There is nothing that children are more familiar with or understand better than play. Armstrong et al. saw the drarnatizing of stories as play when they created their unit topics. They agree with Egan that the power of imagination engages and stimulates children's learning and Say that by using Egan's planning frarnework they are able to harness the power of children's imagination. Childreo becorne captivated when they have feelings about something and that is why imagination is vital. If we accept that children are imaginatively engaged by stones and that relating to narratives is part of an oral specie's response to life, then using story form as a basis of planning educational material is not only logical but essential (Armstrong, et al., 1994).

Egan's model (1986), upon which the Armstrong et al. lesson units are based, provides the following planning frarnework in which a series of questions, when answered, not only limits the selection of content for a given lesson or topic but also helps to shape that content into the form of a story:

1) identifying the importance of the topic. What is most important about this topic? Why does it matter? What is affectively engaging about it?

2) Finding and defining the binary opposites What binary opposites best express and articulate the importance of the topic? Armstrong et al. (1 994) define binary opposites as juxtaposed paired opposites which are fundamental to the structure of the story form model. At the planning stage these binary opposites serve to limit content and thereby contribute to the clarity of the story. Their textbook outlines 5 units, each of which is based on one of the following binary opposites: despair/hope, past/present, success/failure, su~ivaî/destruction, and simple/cornplex or primitivekophisticated.

3) Organizing content into story form What content most dramatically articulates the binary opposites in order to provide access to the topic? What content best articulate the topic into a developing story form?

4) Conclusion What is the best way of resolving the dramatic conflict inherent in the binary opposites? What degree of mediation of those opposites is it appropriate to seek? The resolution may take the form of a mediation or a confirmation of a particular perspective.

5) How can one know whether the topic has been understood, its importance grasped, and the content learned?

Armstrong et al. (1 994) suggest that successful evaluation of a topic will occur through analysis of children's -engagement, enthusiasrn, and cornmitment to the role they have assumed -cornpetence and confidence in written and oral presentation -ability to set and achieve goals, both individually and as a group -willingness to take risks -ability to employ a range of critical thinking and analytical skills (Armstrong et al., 1994, p. 2). . Armstrong et al. (1 994) used this framework to develop each of the 5 units of study. The whole integrated unit is more than just the story presented at the beginning because the unit itself becomes a story. For example, their unit on the environment is expressed through the binary opposite despair/hope. They chose to begin the unit by telling the story The Man Who Planted Trees (Giono, 1989) which is the true account of a man in France and the positive impact he had upon the environment. The whole unit story, extrapolated from The Man Who Planted Trees. is about an environmental change-event - rejuvenating a tract of degenerated land in rnuch the sarne way as Giono's hero makes positive changes to his environment. The story created by the unit becomes one of helping children to decide upon appropriate affirmative action and of making a plan for the regeneration their school yard.

The scene for the unit is set when the teacher tells the students the environmental story orally or by presenting the video, a felt board, Puppet play dramatization or role play. Armstrong et al. (1 994) then provide a Iist of other books with an environmental focus. The enrichment resources they recommend throughout the unit continue to emphasize the binary opposites despair/hope.

The teacher then organizes other activities which highlight the feelings of the characters and how they change as the story develops. The students consider the society featured in the story, predict its future and design a new society based on their growing knowledge. They develop plot lines which reflect the amount of despair or hope at particular points in the story. , Armstrong et al. suggest a series of follow-up activities related to loneliness and leadership which relate to binary opposites underlying the story.

To gain an understanding of the fundamentals of plant growth and seed germination, children conduct a series of experiments to determine the suitability of different kinds of plants for regenerating their school yard. This leads to discussions and activities about classifying, growing conditions, seed dispersal, growth and nurturing of seeds.

Once the teacher has set the stage with the aforernentioned beginning, the students progress to the middle part of the unit story. Here, they read or watch the story again focusing on the hero's diminishing sense of despair and growing sense of hope. The children prepare for their rehabilitation project with activities including mapping and rneasuring, planning, writing letters to get permission, special workshops on gardening skills. Finally the students participate in the action project and begin the rehabilitation of the degenerated area.

During this part of the unit, the students write an environmental story for their age group where they create their own characters who trace the transition from despair to hope. They take this opportunity to discuss the publication of The Man Who Planted Trees focusing on the illustrations and illustration techniques.

The end, the last part of the unit story, is introduced by a rereading of the story when the focus shifts from despair to hope. Students write stories or poe(ns about hope and explore music that sounds and 'feek' like the binary opposites, despair/hope. The students discuss the future life-style choices and how these will dictate a possible future for the planet They are challenged to think of ways to improve this outcome by modifying their proposed life-styles. A major value of this exercise lies in the discussions that evolve as a result of the students' decision. The binary pair despaidhope becomes the explicit theme throughout the exercise. Students will begin to be aware of one or the other feeling, based on the decisions they have made.

The students complete library research about the environment with a focus on issues for which there is hope of improvement, repair and regeneration. Throughout their research the underlying theme continues to be the movement from despair to hope.

Using the sarne story modef, the authors outline four other units for young children (Armstrong et al., 1994). The basis for these additional units remains the binary pair which best expresses the importance of the topics. The binary pair dictate the underlying choice for not only the story forrning the root of the unit, but also all the activities arising from that story.


Stories are useful in the classroom for a multitude of purposes: as entertainment; to build a feeling of community; to teach listening skills; to carry curriculum content; to encourage children to tell their own stories. They ako serve as jumping off places for many other leaming activities such as drama, visual art, music and games.

Some educators have developed cunicula which are based on stories and story form, particularly by using binary opposites as organizers. Walker (1 975) uses simple stories that children create themselves. Because children have created the story there will be a strong underlying binary opposite. Armstrong et al. (1 994) carefully select particular stories in which the binary opposites strongly express the importance of the topic. They Say that selecting the optimum binary pair is the most important and difficult step in Egan's curriculum planning rnodel but once mastered, the model provides a powerful leaming tool for any content.

The next chapter explores the uses of stories and storytelling in adult education. Chamer 4 Adult Education throuah Storvtelling

In chapter 2, I argued that binary opposites are the compelling force that draws us to stories. In chapter 3, 1 described-how stories are used to teach children. In particular, I described Egan's theory which suggests that to be most meaningful to children, al1 lesson content should be embedded in the form of a story. But Egan's theory stops short of suggesting that binary opposites can be an organizer for adult learning. In this chapter, I shall review evidence from business, religious teaching, and psychotherapy suggesting that stories structured around binary opposites and change-event are also important to adults.

When I introduce myself as a storyteller, rnost people assume that I deal with children. This is likely because in the last 100 years storytelling has played such an important role in the children's library system and our education system (Sawyer, 1977; Baker & Greene, 1977).

Storytelling is indeed important to children but increasing numbers of adult educators are discovering or admitting that stories are also important to adults. In the course of an average week, adults are exposed to nearly 100 stories - we are completely surrounded (Cassady, 1992). Television stories range fkom 30-second commercials which are mini- dramas based on the binary set unhappy/happy in which conflicts are resolved and the protagonist rnoves to the happy pole through the change- event by purchasing the advertised products. At the other end of the television continuum, a mini-series presents conflicts which take several programs to be resolved. In between, there are cartoons, news stories, and situation cornedies. More people are attending movie theatres every year and daily newspapers offer us stories in the form of human interest and cartoons (Cassady, 1992).

Further, we find stories in the jokes we hear at the office; stories in the music we listen to; and finally stories in the books and magazines we buy. When we are not listening to (or reading) stories we are telling thern to others. We tell stories about ounelves, what we did, and what we are going to do. We also tell stories about other people.

Consider how we make sense of what we hear on the broadcast news. Binary organizers seem to be the first stage in our making sense of new information. When we first hear news about some environmental catastrophe, we search with our binary organizers to orient ourselves to the event. Who is the bad guy? Is there a good guy? We search for events or facts that allow us to fit the information into our already formed mental binary structure. Further, if we can not fit the facts clearly into such a structure the event may remain meaningless (Egan, t 997).

The importance of binary opposites is also reflected in tabloid journalisrn. The Project for Excellence in Journalism (McQueen, 1998) analyzed stories on television, newsmagazines and front pages and concluded that stories of celebrity, gossip and scanda1 took up 43% of the total space - three times more than 20 years ago. Stories about Princess Diana, Bill Clinton and O.J. Simpson are ohen reduced to simple binary sets (McQueen, 1998). The attraction of tabloid journalism is the fact that most of it has the pure and elemental force of story. It presents a narrative of a change- event with characters, conflict and binary opposites - in short, a story. Storytelling is simply the most powerful form of human communication because we are wired to absorb and comprehend the world through constructing, telling and hearing stories (McQueen, 1998).

There are dangers in tabloid journalism: sometimes the facts will not fit into a neat binary structure; important bits have to be crammed in or left out. Because the news media is eager to engage us, tabloid journalism tends to present information already ernbedded in binary opposite structuring. Egan (1 986) argues that this structure helps to make sense of the news story, but also tends to restrict our understanding of the complex issues.

People love to retell and construct stories. Readers use the news as something to tell stories about. One of the appeals of tabloid journalism is that it gives people a simple and effective opportunity to explore and discuss morals and ethics and to test their own standard and principles. Perhaps when we gather in the lunchroom to discuss the latest charges against President Bill Clinton, we are really discussing ourselves and our moral options.

McQueen (1 998) suggests that the traditional press should take advantage of our preference for story form and binary structuring to give us the information we need. She resonates with Egan (1 986) when he suggests that teachers should take their students' preference for story form as a carrier of content. She suggests that the traditional press aiming to educate adult readers should carefully craft stories with strong binary struct~ringto carry the content. McQueen predicts that unless joumalists are willing to study the craft of storytelling and apply it to subjects that are difficult, they will fight a losing battle against the natural story and the serious press will be entirely overwhelmed by tabloid journalism.

Storvtellincr in Business Planninq

The ancient art of storytelling with its implicit use of change-event is rnaking its way into the world of business. The executive director of planning at 3M in Minnesota has recently revolutionized his company's strategic planning process by designing a planning systern based on story form. Researchers from the business school at the University of Minnesota audited the results and CO-authoreda report (Shaw, Brown, & Bromiley, 1998).

For some time now, personnel at 3M have been trained to tell stories for business reasons. Sales representatives tell binary stories to illustrate how their products will help a custorner change to succeed (unsuccessful/successful). Executives tell stories about innovative programs to illustrate what changed and why it is significant (problem is an obstacle/problem overcome). Although storytelling seems to be central to 3M's culture - 'stories are habit of mind at 3Mn (p. 44) - it seemed rernarkable to Shaw that the Company typically overlooked storytelling when it came to their strategic planning.

Business people in other corporations do their strategic plan using lists, outlines and bullet points. Shaw was disappointed that 3M's business plans with lists, outlines and bullets failed to reflect deep planning thought or to inspire cornmitment amongst the audience. The plans were comprised of lists of 'good things to dowthat made the Company functionally stronger but failed to explain the logic or rationale of winning in the marketplace. Shaw started to look for more coherent. cornpelling ways to present strategic plans. He started to work with "strategic narratives."

He found that in the planning process. strategic narratives not only clarified the thinking behind the plan but also captured the imagination and the excitement of the people listening to the presentation. Planning a strategic business narrative is very similar to traditional storytelling. The planner must first define the beginning state of a binary pair by setting the stage and explaining the tensions.

He defines the setting by describing the current situation in an insightful, coherent rnanner. That usually involves analyzing the industry's economics, its key success factors and the forces that drive change. Then the planner must define the basic tensions and relationships (characters and confiict). Which capabilities and objectives does our Company have and which do the competition have? What do we suspect the competition will do next? How does our key success factors compare with those of the competition?

Next the planner must introduce the dramatic conflict. What critical issues stand as obstacles to success? Are there new technologies to exploit or high costs to decrease? Although Shaw never specifically uses the term 'binary opposites" his description of business competition is filled with binary language and the unity of opposites. He uses implied binary phrases such as 'competition," "lay out how we are going to win," 'increase market share frorn 40% to 50%" and 'regain market leadership."

Finally, the planning story must reach resolution in a satisfying, convincing manner. The plan must indicate how the Company can change by overcoming obstacles to win. The conclusion requires a logical, concise argument that is specific to the situation and leads to the desired outcornes. The binary set in his plan is lose/win and the end state following the strategic change-event is "win."

The act of narratizing the plan encourages clear thinking, brings out the subtlety and complexity of ideas, and makes explicit the planner's assumptions about cause and effect. Because the listeners are made aware of the planner's thought processes and they are already familiar with story pattern, they end up knowing much more than if they had just heard the list of objectives in the bullet point form common to most business plans.

For this approach to work, the planning story must follow conventional story structure. It will not work if it is simply a list of bullets connected by 'and then... and then... and then..." The plan must be a recasting and rethinking of its parts and their relationship with one another embedded in the form of a story. Shaw et al. (1 998) suggest:

[The plan] must tell a story of a struggle between opponents in which the good guy triumphs by doing a series of smamthings in the right order (Shaw et al. 1998, p. 47).

There is a computer program that helps planners develop their planning story. Consultant offers a series of steps presented as questions that lead the user to bnng about change in business. In binary terms, the computer shows the change-event that takes the business from a situation which is undesirable to one that is desirable. The move from pole to opposite pole is what makes the story a compelling planning and presentation tool.

In addition to their use in business planning, stories can provide information to employees about company policy. David Armstrong manages a very successful multinational company and has developed his own unique management style that he calls 'rnanaging by storying around" (Armstrong, 1992). Tom Peters (Peters & Waterman, 1994) writes that managers who use storytelling techniques can become more effective:

Storytelling's power is tirneless ... The marketplace is demanding that we burn the policy manuals and knock off the incessant memo writing; there's just no time. [The marketplace] also demands we empower everyone to constantly take initiatives. It turns out stories are a - if not the - leadership answer to both issues." (Peters in Armstrong, 1992, p. xvi) Peters.praises Armstrong for taking one of the oldest forms of communication - storytelling - and tuming it imo a powerful management tool. Armstrong writes that stories are the best way to communicate simple matters, like the rules in the policy manual. He States that the best thing about his technique is that we do not need an MBA college degree or even a high school diploma either to tell or undentand stories. We afready know how stories work.

The stories that Armstrong has collected in his book are mini hero-tales that highlight how some business obstacle has been overcome. For example, in one case a secretary goes out of his way and spends his own money for postage to Save a customer time and effort. The stories are short, stick to one thought or idea and are about people who work for the Company. After each story, Armstrong writes a number of morals which reiterate the premise of the story.

The binary opposite underlying each story is always related to the workplace. Examples are: honesty/dishonesty, machine is working/machine is broken, good service/bad service, top-down managementkelf-management, fairhnfair.

Armstrong presents an Aesop-like moral at the end of each story to emphasize business practices such as self-management, core values, and quality and service. Although storytelling as a corporate-training technique has yet to acquire the status of a full-fledged learning technology, it is often used to great advantage (Zemke, 1990). Armstrong (1 992) says: Management fads corne and go, but stotytelling has been around forever. If telling stories has lasted this long, there is probably something in it" (Armstrong, 1992, p. 17).

Armstrong's moral at the end of one story is 'honesty is the best policy." 2600 years earlier Aesop used the rame moral in the fable about Mercury and the woodsman (Aesop, 19 1 2). More recently than Aesop, researchers have analyzed business stories and found seven thernes (Zemke, 1990). These represent examples similar to the stories collected by Armstrong (1 992) and Peters (Peters and Waterman, 1994). Business stories are usually based on one of three binary opposites; equality/inequality, security/insecurity and control/lack of control. The types, organized by Zemke, are:

1) The rule-breaking story. Employees learn what happens when they break the rules. 2) Is the boss human? WiII the high-level person discard his lofty status to perform a status-equalizing act? 3) The little person rises to the top. This type of story addresses the relationship between ability and advancement. 4) The employee gets fired. These stories usually reflect layoff3 and structural changes and involve either the worker who is fired or the manager who must decide who gets fired. 5) Relocation stories. These stories characteristically dwell on personal inconvenience suffered by the employee who has to move. 6) Stories about rnistakes. Usually there are two characters: the employee who makes the mistake and the boss who deals with the outcome. 7) Obstacle or dilemma stories. These are the most comrnonly told stories in the corporate world. Any employee can be a character. (adapted from Zemke, 1990, p. 45).

At the Kortright Centre, the education staff collect stories about leading visitors on nature hikes. New staff at the centre can read the stories to be entertained but also to acheive a better idea about the workings of the centre. These stories are more popular reading than the policy manual. Zemke (1 990) calls this 'training through the grapevinen (p. 46).

Such work-place stories serve as training tools for adults, indeed, they may be the original training medium (Zemke, 1990). Because stories are so weli loved, they can be powerful tools leading to growth and learning. They cm reach resistant learners in ways that even well-delivered lectures may not. Unlike conventional lectures, stories have a way of circumventing the mind's logic to capture the imagination. In this roundabout way, they lead to learning. Stories are a powerful tool for passing on learning because they are like maps that help people know how things are done in a particular group (Zemke, 1990).

Trainers following Zernke and Bell's advice use stories to entertain, inspire, instruct, or al1 three. They first decide if a story is the best way to accomplish the objective for that panicular group. However, once they have decided to use stories, they can craft new ones or tailor old ones to suit not only the participants but also the learning objectives. The trainers must then decide on what key learning point they hope to convey with the story. For this, it would be constructive to write a premise which would define the end point value of the binary opposites which best express the topic (Bell. 1992; Zemke, 1990).

The trainer might choose a story about providing good customer service. Once she has the premise, then she decides on the binary opposites which will be elaborated by the other structural elements - character, setting, conflict and the change-event that brings about the resolution. The conflict in business trainer's language is referred to as dissonance, obstacle, dilemma or opportunity. No matter what it is called, it must be a conflict with which the listeners can identify.

In order to pick the most meaningful and useful dilemma the trainer should ask herself what she wants the trainees to feel; how she can build a sense of concern, tension or suspense; whether the dilemma will have the same meaning for the participants as it does for her; and whether the dilemma will create enough conflict that the listeners will desire and expect a resolution?

The climax to the training story must be more than just an ending. It must be tailored to become a resolution that can be highlighted and used as a tool for helping participants to learn. The storyteller instructs through resolution and the listeners allow their need and expectation for a change-event to lead them into learning (Bell, 1992). For learning to take place, the climax must be tnily inviting, realistic and relevant. If the training story were rnapped out, the climax would reside on the other side of a gap created by the challenge. The protagonist must get across this gap by solving the challenge and moving across the change- event. Eliminating the-challenge leads to insight and learning. McKee (1 997) advises film makers to be awace and take advantage of the gap created by the conflict. This gap (Bell, 1992; McKee, 1997) refers to the transition from one pole of the guiding binary opposite to the other. It is resolved by the change-event. Egri (1 946) would Say that for learning to take place, the bigger the gap, the better.

When the trainer is tailoring the climax of the story, she should make sure that the story's ending will result in learning. The final ending must surprise, amuse, challenge, or amaze the Iisteners. As active participants, the trainees should be able to anticipate several possible endings before the climax is revealed. But once the story is done, the trainees should gain insight and develop new attitudes, understandings or skills frorn the resolution. They should be saying, ''1 wouldn't have thought of that!", but at the same time they should feel that the story makes perfect sense (Bell, 1992).

Trainers who can find, refine, create, and effectively use stories in their work have an edge. To use stories effectively to carry their training message or content, they should be familiar with the binary structuring of stories (Livo & Rietz, 1986). Their trainees will then walk away not only with content knowledge about some issue but with understanding, confidence and occasionally a little bit of wisdom that derives from story (Zemke, 1990). Storytelling structured on binary opposites has a power of involvernent and appieciation that the mere noting of patterns or talking about experiences analytically does not have (Shea, 1983).

Stowtellina in Reliaious Teachinq

Religious teaching is often accomplished through storytelling. Shea (1 980). a Catholic theologian, discusses storytelling in the Christian tradition and describes the fundamental experience of Christian churchgoers as a process of storytelling (Shea, 1980; 1983).

Jesus lived about 2000 years ago. What we know about hirn and the stories he told have been passed down to Christians living today. The question Shea considers is how have these stories survived? His answer is oral tradition. Thus present-day contact with Jesus is through a chain of people stretching over 2000 years. "The tradition is a premeditated act of fragile people not wanting to lose what they lovew (Shea, 1983, p. 20).

According to Metzger and Coogan (1993), there are four kinds of stories important in Christian religious teaching: the 50 parables that Jesus told himself; the stories told about him by his disciples; the folktales in which Jesus is a character; and the personal experience stories told to illuminate the teaching of Jesus. Shea's thesis is that the modern personal experience stories merging with the gospel stories keep the Christian tradition alive. There iç a teaching device that Christian religious teachers practice that they share with al1 storytellers. They tell personal experience stories and reach for the language that link these with the stories of Jesus. Within a Christian culture this alluding to a gospel story signals to the listeners that something about the personal experience story is sacred. An ordinary tale then becomes infused with sacred significance. The teacher shifts the story to a new level, one with religious content. The introduction of the larger Christian story irnmediately contextualizes the personal experience story.

When commonly shared phrases, images, and stories from the life of Jesus are interwoven with contemporary narratives, the religious significance of the story is highlighted. The listener is being invited to consider a deeper level of interpretation. This deeper level often cornes only after sufficient "chewing time," Shea's term for reflection (Shea, 1980).

The stories that Jesus told are often in the form of a parable structured by binary opposites. %y analyzing the original Aramaic text of the stories and comparing the versions in the different books of the Bible, scholars can attribute several parables to Jesus himself.

One such story is the parable known as The Prodiaal Son. This is considered the best loved parable (Forrest, 1979) and a masterpiece of storytelling. Funk (1 966) analyses its plot and describes the binary opposite structure. This story would have been upsetting to the people Jesus originally told it to. By telling the story, Jesus was turning commonly held values, upside down. The central figure, the younger of two brothers, rejects everything of lasting value and decides to leave home. He asks his father for his inheritance in advance. The father rejects traditional values and gives him one third of al1 that he owned. The son goes to a far-off land where he quickly wastes al1 the money by riotous living and eventually falls to the point of starvation. The change- event occurs when the prodigaf decides to swallow his pride and return home.

The father, again breaking with the common sense tradition of the times, welcomes the prodigal back, showers him with gifts and, killing the fatted calf, throws a big Party.

The binary opposite of the story is leavetaking/homecoming. Upon the prodigal's return, his father celebrates that the son whom he believed was dead has now corne back to Iife (alive/dead). To make sure the audience understands the point, he reiterates by adding that the boy was lost but now he is found (lost/found). This latter binary set, common in the parables of Jesus, finds its way into the words of the popular Christian hymn, Amazina Grace. (Hvmns for the Fsmilv of God, 1976, p. 107).

All of the details in the prodigal story are fashioned to illustrate the underlying binary opposite of leavetaking/homecoming. Before the son leaves he is wealthy with a secure home life and community responsibilities. He violates al1 the traditions of a strict moral code where the family is the unit of social life, age is venerated and family possessions are the only social security. A society based on tradition does not welcome or forgive radical departure from the inherited custom (Forresr, 1979). When he retums, he is a slave - penniless and in disgrace. The father then violates traditional wisdom by restoring hirn to his former position and showering him with gifts.

This parable can be viewed against the background of a tradition rich in stories about leavetaking and hornecoming. Abram, who became Abraham, is instructed to quit his country, leave his relatives and his family, and go to a far off land. Upon arrivai, he would found the Jewish nation. The Israelites, when slaves in Egypt, were commanded to depart, to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, so that eventually they would possess a homeland. John the Baptist forsook his cornmunity and went out into the desert. In all of these stories, a leavetaking was followed by a promised homecoming.

These are powerful symbolic stories. They are stronger and more durable than stories that consist only of arrivals. There can be no homecoming without a leavetaking which is painful, traumatic, and risky. The road to maturity leads through trials in a strange land and true arrivals are preceded by true depanures (Funk, 1966).

The plots of the narrative parables exhibit some constant features. The destiny of one character turns downward while the destiny of the other participant turns upward. The two destinies move in opposite directions. So as one character shifts from one pole to the other of his binary opposite, the other character rnoves the opposite way. Funk calls this movement "a reversal of destiny" and says that it is the basic plot structure of al1 the authentic narrative parables of Jesus. Those who expect.things to turn out well are disappointed and those who cannot expect good fortune are pleasantly surprised. The parable seems to reinforce the clean, sharp dictum: "The first will be last and the last first" (Funk, 1966, p. 1 9 1). In The Prodiaal Son, the older brother who stays at home and works on the fam is the character who provides the unity of opposites.

Because Jesus was a rnaster storyteller, he used the definitive binary opposite forrn in the stories he told. Biblical scholars are so certain of this fact that several stories that were formerly attributed to Jesus are now considered of doubtful origin because they lack the binary opposite structure. Many of the parables of Jesus were based on the duality insiderhutsider. He told the story, drawing in his audience so that they identified with one of the characters, usually the insider, and then he surprised them by showing the outsider winning the reward. In the story about the prodigal son, Jesus' listenen would have identified with the oider brother who followed the dictates of tradition and did his duty faithfully. But then Jesus surprised his listeners by rewarding the younger son who had sinned against the father.

There is one thing we should be reminded about when we examine the parables of Jesus. Today, when we sit down and read a parable; we think, study, probe, and analyze it to bring out its inner message. We enjoy its interest, and sheer beauty of form. But we forget that every one of Jesus' parables was produced on the spur of the moment. They were produced on the move and in the rnidst of a heated argument with detractors. Chances are thgt it was only heard once and was designed to be remembered in an oral tradition (Barclay, 1962).

This is not to Say that the stories themselves were entirely original. For exarnple, the story of the prodigal son echoes an older Jewish parable which tells of a king's son who had fallen into evil behaviour. The Wng sent his servant to him with the message, 'Corne to thyself, my son." But the son sent back the answer to his father: "With what face can I return? I am ashamed to corne into thy presence." His father sent him a return message saying, 'My son, should a son be ashamed to return to his father? (Barclay, 1962, p. 10).

Like al1 rnaster storytellers, Jesus built on the older story for his own purposes and added to it a life of its own. The story design is clear, powerful, meaningful and memorable. His parables are founded solidly on binary opposites throughout. The characters and events are carefutly crafted to describe the clearest articulation from one pole to the other resulting in stories that are still being retold today. Binary. opposite structuring became an important format for Christian teaching materials. Saint Francis of Assisi, a Christian educator in the 13th century, wrote a lesson based entirely on binary opposites:

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred. let me bring love. Where there is injury, let me bring your healing. Where there is doubt, true faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.

50 1 may never seek to be consoled as be consoling; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love. lt is in pardoning that we are pardoned; In giving that we receive; And in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Understandinci vourself throuslh your own story

Narrative inquiry is a technique used in teacher training (both pre-service and in-service) to enable professionals to reflect on their own practice. The technique is built on the premise that experience is the primary agency of education and uses storytelling procedures as its tools. Teacher educators Connelly and Clandinin (1 988) see teachers as the ultimate curriculum plannen. They argue that the more teachers understand themselves and can articulate reasons why they do what they do, the more meaningful their curriculum will. be. 'There is no better way to study the curriculum than to study ourselvesw (p. 3 1 ).

Narrative inquiry encourages teachers to look at what they do and to learn to understand what they are doing. Connelly and Clandinin Say, 'The metaphors by which teachers live, the way they construe their work, and the stories they recount, tell us more profoundly about what is going on in their lives as professionals than any measured behavior is likely to reveal" (Connelly & Clandinin, 1988, p. x).

They encourage teachers to engage in a reflective process to determine their own personal practical knowledge. They do this by reflecting on their own narratives of experience which are composed of event stories. By reflecting on their own experiences, teachers can draw out new ideas and transforrn these into powerful curriculum programs. The event stories that Connelly and Clandinin provide as examples are stories that move the teacher from one state to another in a binary pair - unsatisfied/satisfied, sad/happy, and unrewardingkewarding.

The stories are a way of exarnining change-event in their own lives and finding meaning in those events. Understanding their past helps teachers to work out new ways of acting in the future. The technique also encourages them to listen to the stories of their students. Connelly and Clandinin (1 988) imagine a classroom as a place where students and teachers tell stories to one another in order to make sense of where they have been and to help them grow and develop in the future.

Their central view is that al1 curriculum matters be studied from the point of view of the involved persons. Curriculum development and planning are fundamentally questions of teacher thinking and teacher doing. They see the whole curriculum as a story: the characters being the people in the classroom; the setting being the equiprnent, surroundings and situation; and the directional movernent from one pole to the other - being the change that takes place or the experience of everyone in the classroom. The curriculum is something experienced in situations and the situations are directional, that is, pointed into the future towards certain ends. A situation does not merely move into the future because time passes, but is pulled into the future by the ends we al1 hold out before us. This resonates with the description of story form by Livo and Rietz (1 986) where they write that the characters and events are pulled ahead into the future of the story by the underlying tension established by the binary opposites.

In order for teachers to corne to understand themselves, Connelly and Clandinin (1 988) designed an elaborate and extensive process of reflection which is based on teachers telling their own stories. Teachers are encouraged to use a number of storytelling techniques to explore their own personal practical knowledge from inside and outside classroorns. Teachers tell stories about themselves which are historical, explanatory and foretelling of the future. They blend these stories into a broader narrative which is a kind of story, larger and more sweeping than the short event stories that compose it. Then by reflecting on the whole story of their experience, they extract threads, unities, continuities, images, patterns, themes or rhythms that help tnem find meaning of experience in their professional lives.

Connelly and Clandinin (1 988) outline their suggested tools for reflection: biographic narrative, journal writing, picturing (called imaging by Hunt, 1992). and the analysis of documents (e.g., former course outlines). If teachers have a learning partner, there are further tools for reflection: storytelling where they share stories they have written about themselves, letter writing, a dialogue between two professionals, teacher interviews, and participant observation.

Having done one or several of these reflective exercises, the teachers theo strive to understand their own personal practical knowledge. They do their narrative inquiry by trying to corne up with an image of themselves in their classroom, (Hunt, 1992), to list a set of rules or maxims, practical principles, or metaphors, and then blending these into an understanding of their own personal teaching philosophy.

In summary, narrative inquiry uses the features of storytelling to form the basis of an inquiry into one's own personal practical knowledge. The events teachers tell are based on changes that take place in their lives, events that helped to shape the way they teach. These events are changes that can be defined as movements from one pole to the other of a binary opposite (unconfident/confident, bad practices/good practices). Although Connelly and Clandinin do not specify "binary opposite" in their writing, the concept is implied in the stories of conflict and change that they provide as examples of the pivotal events in teachers' lives.

Storvtellinq as therap~

Coles (1 985) calls novels "resewoirs of wisdomw (p. xii) which he uses in his therapy and in his teaching. As a psychologist and Harvard medical professor, he introduced a number of inventive courses: 'Literature and Medicinew to medical students; 'Dickens and the Lawn to law students; and specially tailored literature courses for graduate education, business, political science and divinity students.

He found that literature added something new to the curricula of the students. It transcended the lists of facts and dates to which students were normally subjected. He found that students referred to the books again and again after they left school.and they subsequently tofd him that when rereading a certain favoured book, they brought to it different responses because of their new intellectual agenda and experience.

In addition to using literature in his teaching, Coles uses stories in his therapy sessions. He explains:

The people who corne to see us bring us their stories. They hope they tell them well enough so that we understand the truth of their lives. They hope we know how to interpret their stories correctly. We have to remernber that what we hear is their story (Coles. 1988, p. 8). He intoduces the notion that a story is an abstraction of real life - an abstract of reality. He explains to his patients that we ail have accumulated stories in our lives; that each of us has had a history of such stories, that each person's stories are distinct, and that we can, after a fashion, become our own appreciative and comprehending critics by learning to pull together the various incidents in our lives in such a way that they become an old-fashioned story. Connelly and Clandinin (1 988) would consider this process a narrative inquiry.

The abstraction emerges from concrete events. We approach the narrative of our lives with preconceived notions of what really matters, what does not matter, what should be stressed and what should be overlooked, and we shape our accounts accordingly.

Gold (1 990) developed a systern of therapy which he refers to as Bibliotherapy. Just as Coles (1 985) combines listening to patients' stories and teaching with literature, Gold listens to stories and then treats with literature. In other words, he prescribes specific readings to patients in the form of carefully selected novels judged to respond to the needs of the patient.


In summary, storytelling is not just for children. There is an increasing body of evidence that storytelling can be used to facilitate adult learning. 60th adults and children use binary opposites as organizers to find meaning. Both adults and children are drawn to stories because of the binary opposites underlying them.

In the next chapter, I will describe a field experiment where I investigate how adults find meaning in a story. The purpose is to probe how adults retell a story they have heard in order to discover the meaning that the story has for them. There are three main components to a story - the characters, the setting, and the conflict (Egri, 1946). In a simple nature tale it is the change-event which carries the story forward (Funk, 1966; Livo & Rietz, 1986). The conflict precipitates a change undergone by at least one character in some binary opposite, usually a crucial human issue. The character's reversal of destiny (Funk, 1966) is what drives the story forward. It is this movement from one pole of a binary opposite to the other that is the most important component of the story for children (Egan, 1976). My field experiment explores whether this concept also holds true for adults.

Because the movement between binary opposites is the main driving force of the story, Egan (1 986) uses binaries to develop curriculum materials for young children. If the same driving force is the most important story component for adults, it may be possible to use change-event and binary opposite constructs to design stories that facilitate adult learning. This chapter describes a field experiment and ensuing interviews designed to explore whether people find the change-event and related binary opposites the most meaningful component of a story and whether adults and children are equally likely to choose the change-event. The focus of the field experiment is nature storytelling used as a teaching tool for adults and children.

In order to answer the research questions, I designed a field experiment, the rationale for which follows frorn Kegan (1980) who suggests that our rneanings are not so much something we have, as sornething we are. He suggests that researchers can learn more about a person's meaning- making system by obse~ingthe way the system actually works rather than asking the person to explain what something means. In researching the meaning that a story has for sorneone, a researcher can observe the person retelling the story; So I asked participants to retell a story in such a way that I could obsewe what the story means to them.

My assumption was that listeners would retell the story in such a way that they would depict the most important component of the story - the essence of what the story means. Briggs and Wagner (1970) state that storytelling is a communication process in which both verbal and non- verbal symbols and meanings are exchanged between the speaker and the listener. Therefore, stories can be told and retold in non-verbal ways. Once listenen have heard a story, there are many ways for them to retell it. They might retell it through dramatic play, role playing, pantomime, puppetry, choral speaking, dnmatization, improvisation, artwork, or verbally (King, 1993). Because of the different telling media, there could be a slight adjustment to details of the story but the essence, that is, the meaning or most important component of the story, should remain unchanged.

A tableau is a single image that a group of people form with their bodies. I chose tableau as the method for the participants to retell the story and I limited each group to showing one tableau. For the field experiment, a tableau has several advantages: it is easy to observe and record by photography sa that a number of tableaux may be compared. It is collaborative, quick and requires the participants to think on their feet A group of 5 people needed only 5 minutes to prepare and present their tableau to an audience which then attempted to guess which story was being enacted.

Their tableaux would show characters, gestures, features of the setting, small details from the story or events. Propp (1 968) refers to these elernents as functions of the story. They had to sort these elements and present a meaningful picture of the story so that the audience could guess it correctly. Each tableau would be a reflection on how the story was told so I attempted to tell the story the same way to each group. This was not easy to do. Storytellers know that they tell a different story to every audience with each retelling. This is one of the strengths of storytelling - the story is a collaboration between the teller and the listeners. I had to make a conscious effort to tell the story the same way to each group, in spite of differences among the groups and the places where I told the stories. I also had to refrain from any action or emphasis while telling the story that would have signaled to the group that the change- event was the most rneaningful element. Movies signal the change-event with claps of thunder or clashes of cymbals in the soundtrack. A storyteller can emphasize the change-event by creating a dramatic pause, emphasizing the words, by asking a rhetorical question, "and do you know what happened then," or by some non-verbal technique such as clapping her hands. I am conscious of these techniques and I cornmonly use them but during the process of this field experiment I made every attempt to let the change-event speak for itself. A number of groups did not choose the change-event as the most important component of the story. This somewhat validates my efforts.


This study utilized a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Data were obtained in three ways: an empirical field experiment which involved observing participants performing a tableau based on a story I told them; interviews of a number of participants; and field notes. Data from the empirical field experiment were analyzed following the method described in Babbie (1 995) and data frorn the interviews were analyzed following the procedures described by Lincoln and Guba (1 985). Research Approach

The quantitative portion was designed to follow of a number of research traditions:

1) random selection 2) limiting the variables 3) the statement of a hypothesis (Babbie, 1 995).

Reliability in a quantitative experiment is related to sampling technique. a measured sarnple is employed to represent a larger population. Sampling has to be Iimited for practical reasons. 1 could not measure the total population and norrnally it is unnecessary to do so. Yet we usually wish to generalize beyond our sample. in this case to al1 adults attending the Kortright Centre or. as a matter of fact. to ail adults.

We have to make some sort of measure of the risk of being wrong. At best we can only get an estirnate from which to make decisions and draw conclusions, never with complete conviction but with various degrees of assurance. In spite of this frank confession as to the Iimits of sampling statistics, I should assert that without them, I could hardly draw any generalized conclusions with any sort of practical value.

For this field experiment, I defined the population as children and adults attending the Kortright Centre. I specified the adults as visitors to the Kortright Centre, male or female and adults over 20 years of age. The childrqn I defined as attending the Kortright Centre with their class, male or female and in grade 4.

The use of sampling statistics and generalized conclusions rests on the assumption that the sampling has been random. Babbie's (1 995) definition of random sampling is that it is a selection of cases from the population in such a manner that every individual in the population has an equal chance of being chosen. The selection of any one individual is also in no way tied to the selection of any other.

A random sample should be fairly representative of a population. A small sarnple such as in this field experiment, may not be as representative as I would have liked. Certain types of cases may have had an advantage over others in being selected. For example, rny sample of adults were already predisposed to listening about nature. That is why people corne to the Kortright Centre and why these particular adults chose to attend the nature storytelling hike. So although they might not be representative of the total population of adults in the Greater Toronto Area they are at least representative of adults who attend nature programs.

Another example of potential bias is that rny sample of children attended in classes that signed up for a storytelling nature hike. The program appealed to teachers who are already predisposed to telling stories in the classroorn. Perhaps if they told more or fewer stories than other teachers they might be providing me with a biased sample of students. A systematic control of experimental conditions is designed to prevent biased sampling. Where there is less than customary experimental control of the observations, every effort should be made to indicate the conditions under which the data are obtained. As in the qualitative component, I have attempted to control as many of the variables as I could, and have made conditions for the experiment explicit and subject to a public review to ensure that I do not draw conclusions beyond the reliability of the data.

My sample was purposeful and arbitrarily selected because I believe that the visitors to the Kortright Centre are representative of the total population of visitors to nature centres.

The Use of the Chi-s~uaretest

From my previous experience I suspect that a certain relationship exists between how adults and children find meaning in a story. However, it requires a crucial test to enable me to accept or reject the answers to the research questions.

In very general terms, answering this kind of research question assumes that nothing but the laws of chance are operating in a free and unrestricted manner. For exarnple, there are several scenes, elements, or details in the story that the participants might choose to represent in their tableau. If there is no relationship between how the adults and the children choose the part of the story to depict, they should choose the part by chance alone. The chi-square statistical test is a genetal purpose statistic which is commonly used in connection with data in the form of frequencies or data that can be reduced to frequencies.

Part of the investigation fell within the qualitative patadigm and was designed to include a number of research traditions:

1 ) the study of naturally occurring events, action and interactions in context. 2) an attempt to understand the meaning of these events from the point of view of the participants. 3) a search for universal principles by an intensive examination of a small number of cases. 4) concern with the holistic understanding of the nature storytelling phenornena.

Within the qualitative portion, the research was designed to stress discovery and theory development rather than testing prior theoretical frameworks (Charmaz, 1988; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Marshall & Rossman, 1 989). Qualitative studies typically use a variety of sources of data collection, such as intewiewing, participant observation and research field notes. Trustworthiness of the findings is increased by the use of multiple sources (Moon et al., 1990). The tyo main research question are:

Research question 1: Do participants in the field experiment choose the change-event with its associated binary opposites as the most meaningful element of the story when they retell it as a tableau?

Research question 2: Are adults and children equally likely to choose the change-event with its associated binary opposites as the most meaningful element of the story when they retell it as a tableau?

The field experiment was designed to answer these questions and explore whether it might be generalized to the field of nature storytelling. Participants were chosen randomly and the field experiment was managed to limit variables.

In keeping with the qualitative emphasis on discovery, I followed the field experiment by interviewing 40 participants to verib and enrich the findings but also to discover new ideas. For the qualitative component, the field experiment became the event under observation and investigation. The interviews were semi-structured to relate to the field experiment but also open-ended and exploratory.

The event under observation was not naturally occurring. While most qualitative research starts with a situation and allows it to speak for itself (an emergent focus), Eisner (1 990) States that qualitative research may also have a specific obse~ationaftarget (a prefigured focus). The present research has a prefigured focus - I created the story/tableau activity to provide information rather than search for a similar situation occurring naturally. The research need not be limited to the prefigured focus. I expected new-surprises to emerge from the interview and observational data. As Eisner (1990) puts it, 'When there is a prefigured focus, the emergence of the unanticipated can command special attention (Eisner, 1 991, p. 1 76).

The Field Exoeriment

Altogether, there were 503 participants in 20 groups (10 adult and 10 children's groups). Each of these groups was independent and they were not coached in any way about the importance of binary opposites in stories.

Welcoming each group to the centre, 1 explained the activity, informing them that at the end of the hike I would be dividing them into 5 teams and each team would retell one of the stories in the form of a tableau. I also explained that for each tableau presentation, the other 20 members of a group would serve as the audience. In other words, in a group of 25 people, each member would participate within a group of 5 to prepare and present a tableau, and then participate as a member of the audience while the other four teams present their tableaux. I emphasized that the activity would be fun - like a party garne. My experience is that grade 4 students have had some previous experience forming tableaux as part of their curriculum. However, there are different kinds of tableau activities and I wanted the students to recognize the specific type used for this field experiment. - Consequently, I explained the mechanics of perfonning a tableau.

Unlike the children, many of the adults would never have performed a tableau before. Furehermore, the adults in the groups did not know each other. In order to raise their comfort level, I quickly taught them the tableau skills they needed with some warm-up exercises. In this way, the introduction to tableaux become an ice-breaker and helped to relax the adults (Warren, 1983).

Then I led each group of 25 people on a storytelling nature hike. Along the hike I stopped and told 5 nature stories. These included:

1 ) The loon , raspberry and bat 2) Jack Frost and the rnagic paint pot. 3) The owl and the rabbits. 4) Circe and the enchanter's nightshade 5) The cardinal

These are 5 favourite stories told at the Kortright Centre by myself and by other interpretive staff. They are short and lively, and the characters represent animals and plants found at the centre. I have adapted these stories from a variety of sources. The Cardinal is based on an aboriginal tale. Circe and Enchanter's Nicrhtshade is a Greek folktale found in the Odvssev cycle of tales. The Ras~benv.Loon and Bat is adapted from the Aesop fable usually entitled The Diver. Bramble and Bat (Aesop, 1912). Jack Frost and the Maaic Paint Pot and The Owl and the Rabbits are stories I created in the style of European folktales. The complete text for these stories is found in Chapter 6.

In addition to these 5 key stories. I also provided nature information to answer questions posed by the participants. For example, when we heard chickadees singing, I described the Song and provided some information about chickadees. Each hike provided different information, but the 5 key stories remained constant. I changed the order of the 5 stories so that the results would not be influenced by the order of presentation.

At the end of the hike, I asked the participants to forrn 5 teams of 5 people. With the school children, the classroom teacher facilitated the organization into teams. I assigned one of the 5 stories to each of the five tearns. Then I gave 5 minutes for the teams to prepare their tableau. They negotiated the scene. chose parts, and rehearsed their tableau - al1 in 5 minutes. With the assistance of the teacher, I circulated to make sure that everyone understood the mechanics of the tableau and to observe the dynarnics of groups during the tableau creation.

After the 5-minute preparation time, each team took its turn to perform their tableau. The remaining members of the group became the audience and their task was to guess what story was being depicted while the presenting team remained "frozen" in its tableau. I recorded each tableau in a photograph. Once the audience had correctly guessed the story, I asked .each actor to explain his or her role and recorded their responses. I numbered each photograph so that it could be attributed back to the specific team and related to the comments of the participants.

When al1 100 photographs were available, and annotated with participant comments, they were examined by two independent judges who were familiar with the concept of binary opposites in stories. The judges independently scored each photograph as either depicting the change-event or not. Each photograph then received a 'yesn or 'no" score.


I was able to observe directly the participant actions as they negotiated the tableau. I could not observe everything, since there were 5 groups working at the same time. However, I did observe their actions in a general way. I also was assisted in this respect by the classroom teachers who helped me observe group dynamics and processes within their group. With the adult groups, I observed the participants by myself but the adults were very helpful in reporting the group dynamics and processes after the event. They could report on activities within their group and also on other groups rehearsing nearby. Field Notes

I recorded field notes throughout the research process, beginning with the pilot tests and including the analysis stage and final write-up stage of the research. These field notes express rny reactions, reflections and hunches. I used these in conjunction with the other data to develop the analysis.

I also included in the field notes data that I collected informally. For example, I told stories to 7 additional grade 4 classes and then asked the students to illustrate the story. This activity was peripheral to the study; however, the artwork provided some insightful information.


I interviewed two participants from each of the 20 hikes - 40 people in total. The purpose was to explore why and how the participants chose the element of the story that was used to structure their tableau. I also probed for their awareness of story structure and their storytelling experience. I asked them to retell the story in their own words: 1 ) to determine if they recalled the story structure 2) at the second interview, to test their rnemory of the story structure and other details after Livo and Rietz (1 986).

The interviews followed a semi-structured format and ranged from 15 minutes to one hour in length. I divided the interview into two parts. The first part followed immediately after the storytelling event. The second part was 8 weeks later; for adults by phone and for schd children at their school under the supervision of their teacher. My role during this pan of the research was to ask guiding questions in a conversational style. I asked additional questions to probe for clarity and for ideas going off in another direction. In the second intemiew I was able to ask about related experiences or impressions occurring in the intervening period.

In practice, I found that the inte~ewscould not be neatly divided into two parts. Participants in the first interview often touched on the questions to be asked in the second interview. Rather than duplicating these questions, I followed the participants' lead to explore the information offered. If, at the end of the interview, participants had not dealt with questions frorn the investigative framework, I raised these questions directly. At the conclusion of both interviews, I asked each participant to reflect upon our conversation, and add anything that they thought might help me.

All interviews were tape recorded. Participants were inforrned that their responses were confidential, and any reference to thern in the thesis would use a pseudonym. 60th adults and parents gave me permission to use the photographs and confidential comments in this report.

Data Analysis

Analysis occurred throughout the data collection phase of the research. Data were coded and placed in categories as they were collected, and these codes and categories were then revised as more data became available. The goal of the analysis of the interviews was not primarily to support a hypothesis but to generate rich descriptions of phenomena. The field experirnent was designed to show me what happens when the participants perform their tableau, but the interviews would tell me what the participants "thought" was happening and how they felt about it.

After collecting and transcribing the data, I began the formal analysis in July 1999. 1 was assisted in this task by the free-form data base computer program, FACTFINDER. I subjected the program to the suitability checklist Richards and Richards (1994) provide and found that it was suitable. Naturalistic lnauirv by Lincoln and Guba (1985) was key to my understanding about textual data processing. With computer assistance, coding and searching for similar threads within the data transcribed from 80 interviews was considerably simplified.

Site Selection

Personal interest led to the choice of the site for the field experiment. 1 wanted a park with nature trails and programs, where there could be adult and children's groups sarnpled. There are several suitable sites in the Toronto area. During the planning stages of the research I discussed my ideas with a number of staff and visitors to the Kortright Centre. Their willingness to participate in the research resulted in my decision to select Kortright. As it turned out, my job subsequently changed and I was moved to the site and this made the research even more convenient. The Kprtright Centre for Conservation is an environmental interpretive centre located 7 5 km. north of Toronto. It is operated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to demonstrate watershed management. The TRCA is responsible for the management of the natural renewable resources related to the river valleys flowing through the Toronto area and the Toronto waterfront. The TRCA is dedicated to the concept of creating and maintaining a sustainable community.

The Centre hosts 140,000 visitors a year - half are students from kindergarten to college and half are family groups and adults. Kortright has a visitor building which features a 150-seat theatre, exhibit halls and 8 small classrooms. This building is the central hub for 17 km of trails radiating throughout 800 acres of varied landscape. The centre, operating since 1977, has established a solid reputation for imaginative programming that entertains and engages the visitors. Adult visitors drop in expecting worthwhile and educational programs. Classes of school children book ahead for curriculum-related environmental programming.

The Kortright Centre provides ready access to a wide variety of participants of the ages I wished to explore. The centre deals with 9 local school boards, consequently the student visitors represent a cross- section of school children. The staff at Kortright were excited about the project and kindly offered to help by providing space, cooperating on scheduling and helping to advertise to attract participants. Selection of participants.

To attract school classes, I advertised the program through the normal channels and selected the first ten classes to apply. The nature storytelling hike and tableau activity correspond to several of the learning expectations mandated in the grade 4 curriculum as outlined in Appendix 1. Those invited were from a list of classes whose teacher had visited the Kortright Centre previously. The policy of the Centre is to promote new programs to past clients, thus I met classes whose teachers were already interested in environmental education. To attract adult participants, I advertised the program at the information booth at the Centre and formed ad hoc groups from those who applied. All of the adults had shown they were interested in environmental programming by attending the Kortright Centre.

For the interview component of the research, I used criterion-based selection techniques. I asked the teachers to provide me with 2 students from each group. I told the teachers the questions that I planned to ask and said that I wanted a range of students, not just their "best." The teachers selected students who could communicate effectively and were able to further the study objectives. I chose 2 interview participants at random from each adult group. All participants were informed that they were free to withdraw at any time. (The consent forms are in Appendix 4).

In order to ensure that the program was educationally sound and to encourage teachers to apply, t developed a number of enrichment activities and background information connecting the activities with the learning expectations and also suggested tools for assessment. (This material is included in Appendix 3).

Validity and Reliabilitv of Interview Data -

What I gained from the qualitative part of this research was 'people's constructions of reality" (Merriam, 1998, p. 11 7). The internal validity of such a study depends upon the researcher being able to show that 'the interpretations ...are credible to the constructors of the ... realitiesn (Lincoln 8 Guba, 1985, p. 296). While the primary data for this study have been participant observation recorded by photograph, I kept field notes and recorded and transcribed interviews. For instance, it was very helpful while examining the photographs of the tableaux to have records of what the participants told me they were trying to represent.

For example, frorn examining one particular photograph, one might guess that the actor is representing a loon diving into the water. But the participant reported that he was portraying the sinking boat. Small details like this can shed light ont0 the research. That particular photograph taken on face value does not help to answer the research question whereas taken together with the field notes, it does. I found many cases where the one type of data supported or expanded another type of data leading to internal validity.

While reliability is essential to establish the certainty of causal relationships, it is not a goal of qualitative research (Marshall di Rossman, 1 989). Instead, qualitative research emphasizes "dependabilityn or 'consistency" (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 288). Merriam suggesa that this means that "the results make sensew (1 988, p. 172). The fact that two independent judges examined the photographs and arrived at interpretations similar to my own provides some assurance of u~~n~i~ten~y.H

While the strength of the qualitative approach lies in providing depth of understanding, its weakness lies in the lack of generalizability to other situations. However, Lincoln and Guba (1985) suggest that a detailed description of the study's context might permit a certain type of generalizability, which they refer to as transferability. The transferability of qualitative research depends upon the judgment of the person making the transfer. They write that, as the researcher, I cannot predict how useful my findings will be. At best, I can only supply al1 the contextual information about the study site, my biases and the participants so that someone else can make an informed judgrnent as to the transferability of the conclusions.

There are several ways in which the interview portion of this study is subject to error. In qualitative research the researcher is the primary data collection instrument, so researcher bias has the potential to impact upon study findings. To minimize this fiaw, I have tried to identify persona1 motivations and views about the study. In spite of this safeguard, I recognize that I rnay not be able to identiw and disclose al1 relevant biases. In addition, participants' accounts in the interviews may be limited due to their own lack of awareness of their interna1 processes, as well as by their reluctance to discuss certain things with the researcher. Chapter 6 - The 5 Kev Stories

In this chapter I present the 5 key stories. I have underlined the part of the story that the participants defined as the change-event.

Because of the importance of the change-event to this study, following each story I provide a diagrammatic representation to illustrate that structural component of each story. The change-event and binary opposites are illustrated as defined by myself and the participants. The change-event for each story is encapsulated in the central rectangle of the diagram. The beginning state of the binary opposite is included inside the circle on the left and the end state is included inside the circle on the right. The diagram illustrates the transition which occurs through the change-event from one pole to the other of the binary opposite.

I also provide representative illustrations of the stories which were generously provided by grade 4 students.

The Five Key Stories

Loon, Ras~berryand Bat

Once upon a time there were three friends; a raspberry bush, a loon and a bat. They grew up together on a small island. When they were old enough to leave their families, they decided to go on a voyage to seek their fortune. They wanted to become merchants and rnake a lot of money selling things. But they had a problem. They didn't have any money. But the bat knew al1 the rich people on the island. He said he would go to thern and borrow the money they needed for their expedition. The loon knew the crafts people so her task was to buy the treasure, such as necklaces, rings, silver platters and gold goblets. The raspberry's job was to gather up al1 the clothing and equipment they would need for the long voyage, things like rain boots, warm sweaters, scarves and Tilley hats.

When the tasks were done and the materials collected, they finally set off in their small boat. It was a beautiful day when they started - blue sky, light refreshing breezes and very small waves. Everything went well for a few days but as luck would have it, they ran into a terrible storm which blew them off course. The little boat tipped and tottered in the big waves and their treasure began to spill out over the sides. The three friends were terrified and hung on to the boat for dear life. The storm gtew worse and worse until finallv a huqe wave came out of the north and smashed their boat into two pieces and it sunk to the bottom of the sea [change-event]. Because they were wearing their life preservets they were able to make it back safe and sound to their island but they lost everything; their money, their clothing and al1 their precious treasure.

So to this day, when a loon lands on a lake it swims back and forth with its head under water, searching for its sunken treasure. To this day, whenever you walk by a raspberry patch, the raspberry reaches out and grabs you to see if you're wearing the clothing it lost. And, to this day, the bat flies only at night to avoid meeting the people who loaned hirn the money. The Loon, Ras~berwand Bat

P-3 friends - Wave smashes 1 borrow b boat and 3 money for friends lose al1 I J \ behaviour /

Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites Figure 1 Illustration 1

The change-event is depicted in this pencil crayon illustration. The great wave has just broken the boat into two pieces. The treasure has sunk and the loon has already started to search for it. The bat is escaping and the raspberry is sticking with the boat. The Iightening in the sky is an addition. -. ne aat?Loon ana

Illustration 2

This pencil, pencil crayon, and marker illustration does not depict the change-event. Rather it presents a catalogue of characters. There is no indicate of the plot. 0 - - I he Bat. Loon Zn: \+ - Raspberry

Illustration 3

The loon, bat and raspberry, illustrated in marker, are involved in money transactions. These events al1 happen before the change-event. This artist has enjoyed drawing the people in spite of the fact they never actually appear in the story but spring from the artist's imagination. Jack Frost and the Maclic Paint Pot.

Jack Frost is the magic elf who magically paints the trees every Fall. He is about 50 cm tall, with long pointy fingers and long pointy ean and long pointy beard. He can fly anywhere he wants. And he is made of ice. There is always a long icicle beard hanging from his chin. He is very serious about his work.

Jack spends the summer near the North Pole working very hard mixing his magic paint until it is just perfect. He blends the colours that he squeezes out of sunsets with the colours that he squeezes out of rainbows with the coiours that he squeezes out of wild berries. Every year his paint is gorgeous and he is always very proud of it.

In the Fall, when his magic paint is finally ready, he Ries down to our area and he dips his pointed finger into the magic paint pot and touches the leaves of trees with the magic paint. Then he stands back and watches the colour develop. He never knows how the colours will work. Some years the colours change quickly. Other yean the paint acts slowly and the colours cascade down slowly from the top of the trees. Sometimes he spills a Iittle extra paint here and there the limbs of trees and the leaves on those lirnbs are brighter than the rest.

Once, a long time ago. Jack Frost was particularly excited about his paint because he had squeezed the coloun from the most beautiful sunsets, and from the most spectacular rainbows and from the richest, ripest wild berries. He was anxious to test the paint. So in September, he flew to a big hil!, near here, that was covered with trees. His pot was heavy with magic paint so he put it down in the middle of a clearing. He looked left and he looked right but nobody was around - the clearing was empty.

He dipped his finger into the rnagic paint pot and then flew to the other side of the hill to test his rnagic paint. What he didn't know was that in the middle of the clearing, not far away from where he left his paint pot, there lived a groundhog. Groundhog was in his den underground but when he smelled al1 those beautiful berries in that magic paint pot he came out of his hole to investigate.

Groundhog was excited by what he discovered beside his den. He smelled the rnagic paint pot steaming in the morning Sun. His mouth began to water. He looked around for whoever had left the pot beside his house but there was no one to be seen.

"Someone has brought me a pot of scrumptious soup," he thought out loud. "1 wonder which of my friends did that?"

So Groundhog grabbed that heavy pot of rnagic paint and dragged it back down his hole. When he got to the far end of the den, way underground, @ touched the maaic ain nt ~otto his lips and si~peda few draps of the maaic ain nt [change-event]. Suddenly, his eyes clamped shut and he fell to the floor of his den, sound asleep. Not an ordinary sleep but a deep, deep sleep. So Groundhog was fast asleep in the bottom of his hole when Jack returned to the clearing, looking for his magic paint pot. Jack looked and looked but, of course, his magic paint pot was nowhere to be found. Jack was really mad because he figured that someone had stolen it.

Right beside the groundhog hole, there happened to be a big rock where the groundhog liked to lie in the Sun. Jack was so mad that he smashed that big rock into a million pieces. On the other side of the groundhog hole there were several big trees where the groundhog liked to lie in the shade. Jack was so mad that he tore those trees from the ground and smashed them into a pile of toothpicks. There was also a srnall stream near the groundhog hole where the groundhog liked to drink fresh cool water. Jack was so mad that he ripped up that little stream and threw it across to the other side of the valley. Then Jack flew away mad - al1 the way to the North Pole. And he could not paint any trees that year.

About 6 months later, the effects of that magic paint began to Wear off and Groundhog began to wake up. When he poked his head out of the hole, he rubbed his eyes because he couldn't believe what he saw. His favourite rock had been broken into a million pieces, his favourite trees were smashed into toothpicks and his stream was on the wrong side of the valley.

"What's going on?" he asked out loud. It just so happened that Blue Jay was fiying overhead and heard him. Blue Jay is the biggest gossip in the forest. "Where have you been, Groundhog?" said Blue Jay. 'Where were you when Jack Frost was so mad that he smashed that big rock into a million pieces, smashed those trees into toothpicks and threw the Stream to the other side of the valley?".

"What made him mad enough to do that?" asked Groundhog. "Someone stole his rnagic paint pot," said Blue Jay. "Oh no!" thought Groundhog. '1 stole Jack Frost's magic paint pot!"

Groundhog never confessed what he had done, but to this day as soon as he sees any red or yellow colour in the trees showing that Jack Frost is in the neighbourhood, he runs to his den and hides underground for 6 months until February 2, Groundhog Day when he knows that it's safe to come out.

Jack Frost and the Macric Paint Pot

Groundhog is Groundhog sips Groundhog happy with the magic paint nterrifed of special Jack Frost and hides

Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites Figure 2 -. i ne Groundhog and the Magic Paint Pot

Illustration 4

This pend and marker illustration shows the change-event. The groundhog is in his den sipping the magic paint. That act begins the change-event. Jack Frost is angry and the blue jay is standing by. Often, illustrations for this story indicate the underground passage to the groundhog's secret den. Illustration 5

This crayon illustration depicts a scene which takes place moments after the change-event. The groundhog's eyes show how he is already sound asleep. Jack Frost appears angry and he has already broken one tree. The squirrel is an appropriate addition to the story. The Owl and the Rabbits

Once upon a tirne, owk and rabbits were friends and Iived together in the forest. There was a Barred Owl who looked after a flock of rabbits. He loved those rabbits with al1 his heart and watched over them day and night. And the rabbits loved that owl. Every night, he led them to a rich grassy meadow at the edge of the forest. He would send them out to collect sweet grasses. While they were collecting the grass, he would tend the fire under his cooking pot because grass needs to be cooked before you eat it. The rabbits would bring back the sweet grasses and fiIl the big black pot and he would cook the grass. When the grass was done they would have a feast right there at the edge of the forest.

Because it was dark and he couldn't see the rabbits while they collected the grass, he would cal1 out from time to tirne, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?"

The rabbits would stop whatever they were doing and cal1 back, "You do. You do. You cook for us." ihey continued like this for years until one night when Barred Owl took his flock to a new place at the edge of the forest. He sent the rabbits out into the meadow to collect the sweet grasses but this time the rabbits found a new plant they had never eaten before. It was the best food thev had ever eaten. It was wild carrots and it was delicious [change-event] and the best thing about wild carrots is that it doesn't need to be cooked. The rabbits could eat it raw. The mgre they ate, the more they wanted. They ate and ate and ate al1 night. The owl, thinking that they were collecting grasses started the fire under his big black cooking pot, just like he always did. Then he called out to the rabbits, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?"

None of the rabbits answered. They were too busy eating carrots. They ignored the owl.

Barred Owl wondered what was happening so he fiew up into a tree and tried again. "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?" Not one rabbit answered.

So the owl flew up to the very top of the tree and shouted, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?" And still there was no answer. So the owl flew down to his fire, dumped out the boiling water and flew with his pot into the forest. As he flew away, he snarled over his shoulder at the rabbits, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you, noooow?"

The Barred Owl sings that sneering Song to this day. And rabbits continue to eat carrots. And although they still corne to the edge of the forest at night, rabbits and owls are no longer friends. The 0wl and the Rabbits

discover wild longer friends. Owl sings new

Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites

Figure 3 This pencil crayon illustration shows the change-event occurring at night. The binary opposites are shown in their beginning state. The owl rnay be hooting from his perch while tending the cooking pot. The rabbits have rnoved some distance away where they have found carrots in a domestic garden patch. The binary opposites are about to change. Illustration 7

This pencil and crayon illustration depicts a scene just after the change- event. The rabbits al1 show their disdain for the owl by turning their backs to him - the end state of the binary opposites. The owl continues to hoot. He is depicted in a hole in the tree above his cooking pot. Circe and the Enchanter's Niahtshade

Once upon a time there were 40 sailors rowing a big boat. Their captain's name was Odysseus. Because, they had been lost on the sea for a long time, they were discouraged, hungry and thirsty. The men were grumpy and at the point of mutiny. Suddenly, in the distance, an island appeared out of the mist.

They rowed the boat to the island as quickly as they could because they could see that it was covered with green forests and fresh water streams. The trees were covered with fruit to eat and they could quench their thirst with the fresh water in the streams. But when they got close enough to land on the island they saw a big sign that said, "No Trespassing."

Odysseus told the 40 men to turn the boat around and leave the island. He wanted to avoid trouble because he suspected that the island was magic. But the men were so discouraged, thirsty and hungry that they refused to obey. They landed the boat and hopped over the side ont0 the beach and eagerly filled their boat with pears, apples, and fruit and fresh water from the Stream. They were finished collecting food and water and were about to leave when they heard from deep within the forest a magnificent voice singing an enchanting Song.

Odysseus warned them to get off the island as quickly as possible but the men told him he was just being silly. They hopped onto the island again and followed the sound of the singing into the forest. Odysseus shook his head and refused to go.

In the middle of a clearing, deep in the forest the men found a long table set with a magnificent-feast set for exactly 40 people. Just as they sat down and started feasting, a beautiful woman in long flowing gowns emerged from the forest. She was still singing her magical song. The men did not know she was Circe, perhaps the most powerful witch of al1 tirne. Circe sang a beautiful Song and carried in her hand a small plant, called enchanter's nightshade. She waved he enchanter's niahtshade above each man around the table and suddenlv, thev al1 turned into uias [change- event].

The men were so unhappy being pigs that they squealed and oinked miserably. lnstead of eating the feast at the table they now had to snuffie through the mud and dirt looking for Worms, grubs and roots to eat.

They made such a loud, unhappy noise that Odysseus heard them alf the way back on the boat. He knew right away that his men were in trouble and he decided to go and see what had happened to them.

Along the path, Odysseus found enchanter's nightshade and he recognized it as a magic plant so he picked a srnall piece of it and carried it in his hand. When he found the clearing, he discovered the 40 pigs and he recognized them right away as his men. Circe aas no longer around, so Odysseus quickly twched each of the pigs with the rnagic enchanter's nightshade and said the words from Circe's Song backwards. The pigs immediately turned back into men. They were so excited to see Odysseus and be men again -that they al1 hugged each other and Odysseus. They ran back through the forest to the boat and rowed away from the island as fast as they could.

As the island disappeared back into the mist, the 40 men promised Odysseus that no rnatter how discouraged, hungry or thirsty they became, they would never disobey him again.

Circe and Enchanter's Niahtshade

Men are men Circe transforms men into pigs

Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites Figure 4 This pencil and marker illustration depicts the change-event. Circe, clothed in black, is singing the charm and holding enchanter's nightshade in her hand. The men are eating their feast in the background. One has just been transformed into a pig and seems to be scampering away. The tree is laden with fruit. This artist depicts a close-up view of the enchanter's nightshade. Illustration 9

The change-event is depicted in this pencil and pencil crayon illustration. Circe is caught in the act of transforming one of the men into pigs. She holds the magic enchanter's nightshade over his head. Although he has pig's ears and tail, he is still shaped like a man and is wearing a shirt. Four newly transformed pigs are standing by. Odysseus appears confused or upset on his boat and wears a pirate's hat. This pencil and pend crayon illustration depicts a beautiful Circe. She has finished changing the men into pigs [change-event] and now Odysseus is about to change them back into men. He holds the rnagic plant in his hand. The tattoo on the pig is an addition to the story. Many of the pigs seem to be weeping tears. The trees are laden with fruit and Odysseus' ship is looming in the near background. Illustration 11

This pencil drawing is interesting because it has caught the essence of the change-event so clearly. An angry Circe is changing men into pigs and this artist shows, from right to left, men transforming into pigs. The drawing also shows the magic enchanter's nightshade at her feet, the table set with a feast and Odysseus with a pirate's hat and eye patch watching from a distance. The artist shows another enchanter's nightshade at Odysseus' feet. The palm trees indicate that the artist has reset this story in the tropics. Illustration 12

This pencil crayon illustration displays the scene of the feast set as a trap by Circe. The scene takes place just before the change-event. Exactly 40 men sit around a huge table. Each plate illustrates a different kind of food. Circe is singing her charm nearby while holding the green enchanter's nightshade in her hand. This illustration demonstrates the child's ability to plan. She had to squeeze the last few men in around the table. Illustration 13

This drawing does not show the change-event. The artist has meticulously used a ruler, pencil, pencil crayon and markers to produce this illustration. He has transformed Odysseus' row boat into a modern naval ship complete with smoke, horn and fiags. The illustration also features the "no trespassing" signs on the beach. How the Cardinal turned Red

Once upon a tirne, the Cardinal was a beautiful black bird. Although he was beautiful, he was unhappy because he was jealous of his three best friends. One of his friends, Grackle was a beautiful blue-black bird. Cardinal was jealous of him because Grackle was the only bird in the forest who could twist his tail sideways to steer when he flew through the trees.

Another one of Cardinal's friends was Crow, who was also a beautiful black bird. Cardinal was jealous of Crow because Crow was a big bird - much bigger and more powerful than Cardinal. And then there was Red- Wing, another beautiful black bird. Cardinal was really jealous of him because Red-Wing had a fantastic red and yellow patch on each wing. So Cardinal wanted to be different.

One day, Cardinal was flying through the forest when he discovered a pool of bright red paint. He looked left and he looked right but no one was around so he jumped right into the paint. Cardinal splashed around but kept his head up so he could breathe. He swam and solashed around in that paint [change-event] until he was completely red except for a black patch around his face.

Cardinal jumped out of the pond and when the paint dried he looked down at his new bright red colour and he was so happy and proud that he started to sing a new Song, 'Great! Great! Great! I'm red! I'm red! I'rn red!" So to ,this day cardinak still sing that happy Song and have a black patch on their face.

The Cardinal Story

Cardinal is Cardinal swims Cardinal is (r jealous and b in the red paint happy and kJsings a new

Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites Figure 5 Why Cardinals are Red

Illustration 14

This pencil and pencil crayon illustration depicts the change-event as the cardinal splashes around in the red paint. He stiil has the black patch on his face. Three other birds from the story are ais0 shown and identifiable: the big bird is the crow, the bird flying over head with the red patches is the red-winged black bird and the non-descript biack bird in the tree is probably the most unfamiliar bird - the grackle. Why Cardinals are Rea

Illustration 15

This cheerful pend crayon and marker illustration shows the cardinal painting himseif in the magic pool. It captures the change-event of the story. The cardinal lifts his face up out of the paint whiie he swims and this is why he is left with a permanent biack face patch. Why- - Cardinals are Red

.- ____ -,-PT, -.-.' ," illustration 16

This pencil crayon illustration shows the cardinal just at the end of the change-event. Although he has finished painting himself in the pool, he is still dripping and not yet singing his happy new Song. Illustrations of trees often depict holes. This may be transferred from the owl story where owls are often shown in or near tree cavities. Why I chose and how I chancled these stories.

1 chose these 5 stories for the field experiment simply because I love them. Storytellers are advised to tell stories they like (Barton & Booth, 1990). 1 know the stories so well that while I tell them, I can concentrate on the listeners' reaction rather than on the words. Although I have not memorized them word-for-word, I retain key phrases and components so I can slot the details into the structure held in rny story memory (Livo & Rietz, 1986). 1 have told each story to hundreds of people and they have generated much positive feedback. Over time, I have developed an attachment to the stories and made thern rny own (Barton & Booth, 1990).

1 also chose these stories because I knew they would be enjoyed by both subject age groups. After previous storytelling events I have recorded cornments in my storytelling journal that indicate that these would be good story choices. They al1 have likable, fairly flat characters. The storylines move quickly - a feature which is important on a nature hike. The story should not be too long or complicated because storytellers depend on the memory of their listeners (Livo & Rietz, 1987).

The stories are nature stories - loosely associated because they feature animals, plants or habitat situations that occur at Kortright. I wanted the stories to relate to nature-at-hand, in keeping with the principles of nature interpretation (Sharpe, 1976).

For example, cardinals and blue jays are commonly seen and heard at Kortright. I added the blue jay to the groundhog story when some listenen in thetpilot stage suggested that blue jays, the gossips of the forest, should appear at the end of the story to enjoy the groundhog's embarrassment.

Although I originally changed the cardinal story to render it more culturally sensitive, the new version gave me the opportunity to introduce three local birds - grackle, red-winged black bird and crow - and the biological fact that grackles twist their tail. Most of the participants already recognized two of the added birds but the grackle, although commonly seen at Kortright, was unfamiliar.

In the case of the cardinal and owl, my stories introduce new ways to think about their songs. Many people recognize the Song of the cardinal without knowing that the cardinal produces it. The owl story features the Barred Owl, not the most cornmon owl in the area, but one that actually produces a hoot rather than a squeal or shriek. The sound caused by participants hooting to the words, "Who cooks for you?" is. what they expect an owl to sound like. It is easy and enjoyable for rnost to simulate. Although owls can not usually be seen during the day, there are ample signs of owl activity such as droppings in trees and owl pellets.

Two characters which visitors will never see during a daytime visit to Kortright are the bat and the loon. I felt that most visitors would be familiar with both of these anirnals. I always tell the Loon, Rasisberw Bush and Bat beside a raspberry plant. Likewise, most of the plants in the stories are local and farniliar - wild carrots, grass and raspberries. The Circe story introduces the plant, enchanter's nightshade. Both Walker (1 975) and Lauritzen and Jaeger (1 996) suggest that telling a story is a ideal-way to introduce new things. I simplified the Circe story from the original version by eliminating the completely fantastic plant, moly. In the original, Odysseus used moly to change the pigs back into men. This omission emphasizes enchanter's nightshade.

The original version of the owl story had rabbits eating clover, their preferred food. But when I ask listeners what is a rabbits favourite food, they invariably answered, "carrots." This misconception doubtless cornes from Peter Rabbit stories by Beatrice Potter or from Bugs Bunny cartoons. I changed rny story to fit the expectations of the listeners. This change is convenient because wild carrots, common along the trail, are more easily recognized than clover.

The habitats featured in the stories can be found everywhere. For example, I always tell the owl story in a forest margin where the forest and meadow meet. I tell the Jack Frost story in a setting where there is either a groundhog hole or a well-treed hill. The only tandscape from the stories missing at Kortright is the seascape. Participants have experienced the sea either first hand, in books or in movies. To accommodate the younger participants, I changed the setting of the Jack Frost story from the Arctic to the North pole (Foster, 1996). Many authors advise storytellers to adapt stories to their listeners (Baker & Green, 1 977; Barton & Booth, 1990; Breneman & Brenernan, 1983). Chapter 7 - Ouantitative Results and Photo Data

I led 20 hikes, 10 with adults and 10 with grade 4 students. The total number of participants involved in the field experiment was 503. (The experimental design called for 500 participants but because of a slight variation in class and adult group sire, the actual total nurnber of participants was 503). The 260 students were 9 and 10 years old - 129 boys and 13 1 girls. There were 243 adults - 87 men and 156 women. The mean age of the adults was 38 and the rnedian age was 36.

The Quantitative Data

Research Question 1: Do participants in the field experiment choose the change-event and associated binary opposites as the most meaningful elernent of the story when they retell it as a tableau?

Research Question 2: Are adults and children equally likely to choose the change-event and associated binary opposites as the most meaningful element of the story when they retell it a$ a tableau?

The Aqreement between the Judcies

I photographed a total of 100 tableaux - 50 of children and 50 of adults. Two judges independently rated the 100 photographs - scoring each as either a "yes" or "no" depending on whether or not they felt the tableau represented the change-event. The two judges rated the photographs very similarly. Table 1 presents their scores. They agreed in 96Oh of the cases. Judge #t t Yes No Total 1 Judge #Z Yes 89 1 - 90 a No 3 7 1 O 1 Total 92 8 100 L Table 1

As indicated in Table 1, Judge 1 and 2 rated 89 of the photographs as positive (yes). In other words, they both felt that 89% of the photographs depicted the change-event. They also agreed that 7% of the photographs did not depict the change-event.

The 4 cases where the judges disagreed do not provide reliable data. Consequently, I did not consider those 4 cases when I analyzed the findings. The Findinas

Children % yes Adults % yes Combined % yes Loon 100 1O0 1O0 Jack Frost 80 - 77 79 Owl 80 1O0 90

Circe 100 1O0 1 O0 I Cardinal 1 O0 80 90 l

Total 9296 91Oh 91% Table 2 - Percent choosing the change-event

Table 2 presents the data for research question 1, which investigates whether participants in the field experiment chose the change-event as the most meaningful element of the story when they retold it as a tableau.

In order to compile the table, I selected the photographs where the two judges agreed, and totaled the scores for the two judges. Then I cornputed the percentage of 'yes" and 'non scores. In total there were 192 scores, 98 for children and 94 for adults.

In total, 91 % of the groups chose to depict the change-event, thereby providing an answer to research question 1. Partici~antsin the field experiment do chose the chanae-event as the most meaninqful element of the story when thev retell it as a tableau. Although there was some variation among the stories from a high of 100% for the Loon and Circe stories to a low of 79% for the Jack Frost story, the level of preference for the change-event when totaled for al1 the stories was 91% - well above what might be expected by chance alone.

To answer the second research question, I subjected the data to chi- square test. Research question 2 asked if adults and children were equally likely to choose the change-event as the most meaningful element of the story when they retold it as a tableau. When subjected to a Xztest, this difference proved insignificant. The following is a description of the Wtests carried out for each story. The nuIl hypothesis in each case is that there is no significant difference between how adults and children's groups show the change-event in their tableau. The number in each cell of the table is the observed data and the number in brackets is the expected number.

Jack Frost and the Maaic Paint Pot

Yes No Total Adults 7 (7.1 ) 2 (1.9) 9 Children 8 (7.9) 2 (2.1) 10 Total 15 4 19 Table 3

%z(df =1) is 0.01 2 which is not significant at the 0.05 level, therefore there is no difference between the groups of children and adults. In other words, adults and children are equally likely to choose the change-event as the most meaningful element of the Jack Frost story when they retold it as a tableau. The Owl and the Rabbits

Yes No Total Adults 9 (8.1 ) O 9 Children 8 (8.9) Z(1.1) 10 a Total 17 2 19 rn Table 4

(df = 1 ) is 1.79 which is not significant at the 0.05 level, therefore there is no difference between the groups of children and adults. In other words, adults and children were equally likely to choose the change-event as the most meaningful element of the owl story when they retold it as a tableau. The Cardinal

Yes No Total Adults 8 (8.5) 1 (0.5) 9 Children 10 (9.5) O (0.5) 10

Total 18 1 - 19 Table 5

V(df =1) is 1 .O6 which is not significant at the 0.05 level, therefore there is no difference between the groups of children and adults. In other words, adults and children were equally likely to chose the change-event as the most meaningful element of the cardinal story when they retold it as a tableau.

The Loon, Raspberry bush and Bat.

Yes No Total Adults 10 Children 10 Total 20 Table 6

No calculation is possible because of the lack of variability in the data. Circe and Enchanter's Niahtshade

Yes No Total Adults 10 O 10 Children 9 - O 9 Total 19 O 19 Table 7

No calculation is possible because of the lack of variability in the data.

In the last two cases (the loon story and cardinal story), where there was a lack of variability. there was also complete agreement between adults and children. Therefore, there is no evidence that adults are less fikely than children to choose the change-event as the most meaningful event in the story. In other words, Adults and children are eauallv likelv to choose the chancle event and associated binarv opposites as the rnost meaninahil element of the story when thev retell it as a tableau. Photo.Record of the Tableaux

The following section is the annotated photo record of the tableaux. The 100 photographs are separated into the 5 stories, 20 photographs each. Representative comments are recorded from adults and children.

The Loon. Ras~berrvBush and the Bat

The chanae-event:

When the friends went off to sea and the big Storm came and broke their boat. Before that they were rich and after that they were poor and had to look for everything they lost (Alex [child], Interview 2).

The bat promised to pay back al1 the money he borrowed but the bis wave broke the boat and they lost everything so now the bat has to hide in the night (Andrea [child], Interview 2).

When the boat broke in two. The loon was like an ordinary bird before that and after that he started swimming around with his head under water (Cory [child], Interview 2). Photo 1 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes l was the loon looking for- sunken treasure 1 was the bar holding on t:O the mast of the st 1 was the boat We were the bramble bus;hes hanging on to each other and the boat

Phoio 2 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was the bat I was the raspberry bush I was the loon lookrng for the gold 1 was the rich man waving good-bye

Photo 3 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was tne raspberry bush waiting to grab somebody 1 was the !oon looking rn t he bottorn of the !ab I was the bat paying back the money I was the raspberry I was another man looking for rny money

Photo 4 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

We were two rich people potnting at the hidin bat WP were two loo~slookin g for Our lost treasure I was a person being graL lbed DY a raspberry bush 1 was the raspberry bush i was the bât Photo 5 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2

I was the faspberry bush grabbing at a passerby. I was the innocent passerby i was Che bat l was the ioon

Photo 6 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2

I was The raspberry grabbing rhe perron 1 was the person 1 was the braken boat I wâç the bat I was the sunken money 1 was the loon

Photo 7 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2

i was tne rich friends looking for rhe bat 1 was being grabbed by a raspberry buSI i was the bat ; was the raspberry grabbing the person We were ioons look~ngfor the treasure

Photo 8 Score - Judge 1 Iyes) Judge 2

! ws the sinking boat l was the bat l was the loon I was the person being grabbed by the raspberry I was the iaspberry I was the sunken treasure Photo 9 Score - Judge 1 {jes) Judge 2

We were raspberry bushes I was the loon looking under the water l was the sunken boat l was the bat

Photo 10 Score -Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2:yes) i wes berng grabbea by rhe raspberry i was the raspberry i was tne loon looking for gold i was the bat 1 was the rich man pointing at the bat demanding rny money back

Photo 1 1 Score -Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

was Che iocn looking under the water ; was the rich friena trying to get back my noney ' was the bat trying to get away frorn rny rich friend 1 was one of the raspberries 1 was a man having my coat pulled off by two raspoerries 1 was the otier raspberry

ohoco i2 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (YS: l was the rich friend - see the money in my hand i was tne raspberry checking the ciothes on the girl I wâs the girl walking by the raspberry I was the loon 1 was the bat - I still have a iittle money in my mouth. Photo 13 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (Y~s) l was the raspberry I was the loon 1 was one of the bats 1 was the other bat.

Photo 14 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was a person being grabbed by the bush i was the raspberry bush I was another person being grabbed by the raspberry bush I was the ioon 1 was the bat

Photo 1 5 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes) i was the loon with my head under water I was a person berno grabbed ! was a raspberry bush 1 was the bat diving through the trees

Photo 1 6 Score - Judge 1 (yes)

I was the bat I was the person I was the raspberry bush I was the loon Photo 18 Score - Judge 1 (y-) Judge 2

1 was the wave 1 was the boat 1 was the raspberry bush - I'm hanging on to the mast 1 was the bat 1 was the loon

Photo 17 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was the nuge wave about to break the boat I was the boat. My prop 1s the mast 1 was the ioon hanging on to the rnast i was the raspberry bush hanging on to the mast 1 was the Dat.

Pho:o 19 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was the rich friend looking in my pocket for the money I loaned I was the loon ! was an innocent person minding rny own Dusmess 1 was the raspberry bush grabbing the man i was the bat looking for sornewhere to hide.

Photo 20 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (Y~s)

We are two bats We are two raspberry bushes looking for some clothes to grab We are two loons Jack ~rostand the Maaic Paint Pot

The change event:

When the aroundhoa stole Jack Frost's ~aint. Before he drank the paint he was awake and afterward he was asleep (Monica [child], Interview 2).

The groundhog is happy at first but then he sbs the ain nt and after that he is afraid and has to hide from Jack Frost for 6 months every year (Laura [adult], Interview 2.

The proundhoa drinkina the maaic ain nt is the main scene. Before that Jack Frost is excited and happy and after that he is miserable and angry and mean (Kevin [child], Interview 2). Photo 2 1 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (y&

I was a tree being torn by Jack Frost t was a very angry Jack Frost 1 was pan of the groundhog hole 1 was another part of zhe groundhog hole 1 was the groundhog drinking the magic paint l was the blue jay i was the groundhog sleeping for 6 months

Photo 22 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was Jack Frost srnashing rhe rock 1 wds the rock i was the groundhog hole 1 was the groundhog drinking the paint I was the blue jay

Photo 23 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was the rock 1 was Jack Frost turning the rock into dust I was the groundhog sound asleep in the den 1 was a tree I was the blue jay telling everything that happens

Photo 24 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

We are al1 the groundhog den 1 was the groundhog asleep in the bottom of rny den 1 was the biue jay waiting for the groundhog to wake up so 1 can tell him what happened. Photo 25 Score - Judge 1 (yes)

(off camera) I was the Stream thrown to the other side of the valley 1 was the groundhog sound asleep in my den I was Jack Frost smashing the groundhog's rock I was the blue jay

Photo 26 Score - Judge 7 (no1 Judge 2 (no) i was the blue jay i was the groundhog's tree I was the groundhog looking out the hole I was the rock 1 was the blue jay watching everything that happens I was Jack Frost kicking the rock into a million pieces

Photo 27 Score - Judge 1 (no) Judge 2 (no)

I was a tree I was the groundhog hole I was the groundhog in the den i was Jack Frost gening some paint from the rnagrc pot I was the magic paint pot

Photo 28 Score - Judge 1 (yesi Judge

I was a broken tree Two of us are the groundhog holi2 I was the groundhog steaiing the magie Pot I was the sleeping groundhog Photo 29 Score - Judge 1 (no) Judge 2 (yes)

I was Jack Frost painting the trees I was a tree I was the groundhog hole I was the groundhog hiding from Jack Frost for 6 rnonths

Photo 30 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was a tree I was Jack Frost drinking the magic paint I was Jack Frost looking for something to break (off camera) 1 was a rock running from Jack Frost

Photo 3 1 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (YS) 1 I was a tree I was a tree 1 I was the groundhog drinking the magic paint l was the groundhog hole I was a tree

Photo 32 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was the blue jay i was the sleeping groundhog i was Jack Frost smashing trees I was a tree I was a tree Score - Judge Judge

I was a tree I was the groundhog 1 was a tree I was Jack Frost adminng my paint job on the irees

'hoto 34 Score - judge 1 (no) Judge 2 (no)

was Jack Frost was a rock was the groundhog running into my den was the groundhog house was the blue jay

Photo 35 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (YS) i was the sleeping groundhog I was Jack Frost painting the trees (used an actuaI rree) l was a tree about to be smashed i was the rock I was the blue jay

Photo 36 Score - Judge 1 (no) Judge 2 (no)

Two of us made the groundhog hoie I was the groundhog peeking out of the hole and hiding from Jack Frost I was a tree 1 was jack Frost painting a tree (holding his cup as the magic paint pot) Photo 37 Score - Judge 1 iyes) Judge 2 (yes

1 was the groundhog hole I was the groundhog drinking tne rnagic paint I was a tree 1 was a tree 1 was Jack Frost looking for my magic paint pot

Photo 38 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

I was the groundhog drinking the paint 1 was a tree 1 was Jack Frost painting some trees We are two trees 1 was a rock

Photo 39 Score - Judge i (yes) Judge 2 (yes

We 4 are a circle making the groundhog hole i was the groundhog falling to sleep 1 was Jack Frost flying away mad

Photo 40 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes:

l was a tree 1 was Jack Frost painting a tree 1 was a tree I was the groundhog hoie 1 was the groundhog drinking the paint The Owl and the Rabbits

The change-event:

The change-event in the owl story would be the rabbits discoverinci the carrots and no longer responding to the owl. The owl before was perhaps a Iittle over-confident, cocky, friendly but enjoying his position as a leader, the respect that is provided to him because of the service he provides. After the change-event he learned how quickly you can fall (lan [adult], Interview 2).

I could define the big change-event in the owl story as the discovew of carrots. That changed the relationship between the rabbits and the owl. Before that event, the owl was happy and content cooking for the rabbits and after that the owl was no longer happy and becarne lonely (Sara [adult], lnterview 2).

The change-event occurred at the end of the story when the rabbits found carrots and were too busy eating to pay attention to the owl. At the beginning of the story the owl and rabbits are friends and at the end of the story they aren't friends anymore (Andrea [child], Interview 2). Photo 41 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (PSI

l was a rabbit I was the owl stirring the sweet grasses I was a rabbit i was a rabbit and I wanted to point at the OW~ I was a rabbit pulling up some wild carrots

Photo 42 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was the owl calling out to the rabbits We were al1 rabbits eating carrots - not paying attent~onto the owl

Photo 43 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was the owl i was a rabbit I was a carrot I was a rabbit going to eat a carrot We were rabbits

Photo 44 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

Four of us were rabbits eating carrots I was the owl with rny cooking pot Photo 45 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was a carrot i was a rabbit eating a carrot 1 was the owl ! was the pot 1 was a carrot i was a rabbit eating a carrot

Photo 46 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was a rabbit I was a rabbit showing my paws I was a rabbit 1 was a rabbit picking carrots 1 was the owl preparing the meal.

Photo 47 Score - Judge 1 (no) Judge 2 (no)

I was the owl We were rabbits pointing back to the owl when he called to us

Photo 48 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes: 1 was a rabbit 1 was a raboit eating carrots I was the owl flying away because nobody ânswered me 1 was a rabbit picking carrots Photo 49 Score - Judqe 1 (yes) Judge I was the owl The four of us were rabbits ignoning the

Photo 50 Score - Judge 1 (no) Juage

I was rabbtt I was the owl stirring the meal in t he pot We were rabbits answering the ow tI sayin do, you do!"

Photo 5'1 Score - Juage 1 (yes) Judge

I was a rabbit I was a rabbit I was a rabbit I was the owl. calling out to the rai bbits I was a rabbit srirnng the pot I was the pot 1 was a rabbit

Photo 52 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge i was a carrot 1 was a rabbit eating the carrot I was a rabbit eating carrots I was the ow!'s pot I was a rabbit eating the carrot I was the owl, flying away into the forest

168 c Photo 53 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (ye

1 was a rabbit eating a carrot I was a carrot wearing an orange coat l was a rabbit eating the carrot 1 was a rabbit I was the pot I was the owl about to fly away

Photo 54 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (nc

I was the pot i was a rabbit finding carrots i was the owl stirring the pot l was a râbbit looking for grass I was a rabbit eating grass

Photo 55 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (ye

1 was the owl ! was the pot We were rabbits happy because we have discovered carrots

Photo 56 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes i was a rabbit I was a rabbit I was a rabbit 1 was the owl and nobody is answering me I was a rabbit [the rabbits are holding cotton fluff to resemble tails] Photo 57 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

1 was the owl We were rabbits ignoring the owl and making her mad

Photo 58 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes:

! was the owl calling out to the rabbits We were the rabbits not paying attention to the owl because of the carrots

Photo 59 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

We were the rabbits ignoring the owl I was the owl and the rabbits were ignoring me.

Phcto 60 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was the owl calling to the rabbits We were the rabbits not listening to the owl Circe and Enchanter's Niahtshade

The change-event:

It was the point where the witch is chanqina the men into oirrs - not the undoing of the charm. The first change is the mast important one. That's where the men learned their lesson. Before that point they were free and after that they were trapped in the body of a pig (Dwayne [adult], lnterview 2).

When the witch was singing and she tapped everybody on the head and thev turned into bas. They were men before the change-event and pigs after (Helen [adult], Interview 2).

We actually showed two changes. I was the witch and turned the men into piqs. Aaron was Odysseus and he turned the pigs back into men (Hany [child], Interview 2). Photo 61 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (ye5

Four of us were pigs (we pushed Our noses up to look like pigs) i was Circe casting the spell on the pigs

Photo 62 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes l was Odysseus waiting on the boat three of us were pigs i was Circe casting the spell on the men and turning them into pigs.

Photo 63 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

1 was a sailor eating the feast l was Circe casting my spell ! was another sailor eating the food : was another sailor eating the food Vie were men that had been turned into pigs

Photo 64 Score - Jüdge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

Three of us were pigs looking for grubs to eat i was a grub about to be eaten by the pigs ! was Circe casting a magic spell Photo 65 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was Circe turning the men into pigs 1 was a p~g I was Odysseus watching from the ship l was the no trespassing sign We were two sailors rowing the boat away

Photo 66 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

1 was a pig 1 was a pi9 1 was a man being tumed into a pig while t was eating the feast 1 was Circe turning the men into pigs with Enchanter's nightshade 1 was a pig l was a pig eating grubs

Photo 67 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (no)

Four of us were men rowrng the boat l was Circe waving my magic plant to tum the sailorç into prgs

Photo 68 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was a man being turned into a pig 1 was a pig I vas Circe turning the man into a pig I was a pig I was Odysseus staying on the boat Photo 69 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (y&

I was Circe turning the men into pigs I was a pig I was a pig I was Odysseus turning the pigs back into men

Photo 70 Score - Judge 1 (y#) Judge 2 (yes)

Three of us were pigs looking for roots to eat I was Circe turning the men into pigs

Photo 71 Score - Juage 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was Circe waving my magic plant over the pigs Three of us were pigs i was Odysseus back in the boat trying to see the men

Photo 72 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was Circe singing into a microphone We were pigs, squealing I was Odysseus wondering what was happening to the men Photo 73 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (y&

l was the witch casting my magic spd We were pigs

Photo 74 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was a pig I was Odysseus waiting I vvas a pig I was a pig i was a pig i was Circe turning the men into pigs

Photo 75 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was Circe We were piçs l was Odysseus looking for my men

Photo 76 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes) l was a sailor eating the feast I was Circe turning the sailors into pigs l was a sailor drinking fine wine I was a sailor eating grapes Photo 77 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

Four of us were pigs I was Circe casting the spell tuming the men into pigs

Photo 78 Score - Judge 1 (ye5) Judge 2 (yes

I was a p~g 1 was a pig with a wrinkled nose I was a man 1 was Circe I was Odysseus

Photo 79 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (Y~S

l was Circe with the magic plant changing the men into pigs We were the men just turned into pigs rooting in the rnud for food

Photo 80 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

i was a pig looking for food 1 was a pig looking for food I was Circe. I have just turned the men into pigs We were two pigs t was Odysseus watcning for my men to corne back to the boat The Cardinal

The change-event:

When the cardinal went into the rnagic forest and painted himself red. Before that he was unhappy and dissatisfied and after that he was happy and sang a new Song (Alex [child], InteMew 2).

In the cardinal story the change-event is where the cardinal turns red. Before that event the cardinal is unhappy and afterwards he finds happiness (Melissa [adult], Interview 2). Photo 81 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

Four of us were holding hands to be the pond I was the cardinal swimrning in the red paint

Photo 82 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

I was one of the black birds Two of us made the pond I was the cardinal in the pond We were two of the other bird friends watchinc the cardinal

Photo 83 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

I was the cardinal I was the red-winged black bird I was the crow I was the other black bird (grackle) i was an eagle

Photo 84 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes Four of us made the pond I was the cardinal (covers his head with a red coat) Photo 85 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2(yes)

1 was the cardinal when he was black Three of us made the pond 1 was the cardinal in the red paint 1 was a tree in the background

Photo 86 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge Z(yes)

1 was the grackle 1 was another black bird (crow) I was the cardinal diving into the pond I was the pond I was the red-winged black bird

Photo 87 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (YS)

f rve of LIS made the rnagic pool I was the cardinal

Photo 88 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was the cardinal in the pond I was the pond We were the other birds - just watching Photo 89 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

Three of us were the pond I was the cardinsl in the pond I was another bird

Photo 90 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

All four of us were the cardinal swimming in the rnagic pool

Pnoto 9: Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 ()es)

1 was a grackle twisting rny tail I was the cardinal swimming in the pool 1 was one of the other birds

Phoro 92 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

I was a tree Four of us with our arms up were the pond I was the cardinal turning red in the pond (girl wearing a white hat) Photo 93 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (y&:

I was one of the birds I was the cardinal in the pond I was a friend sitting beside the pond I was another bird I was the red-winged black bird

Photo 94 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (no)

i was the cardinal dipping my finger into the paint I was the pond We were friends of the cardinal

Photo 95 Score - Judge 1 (no) Judge 2 (no)

I was the grackle I was the red-winoea black bird I was the cardinal I was a tree I was the crow

Photo 96 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes)

Three of us made the pond I was the cardinal holding rny head up out of the paint Photo 97 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (y=

I was a tree i was the cardinal I was Che pond I was another tree

Photo 98 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

I was a crow I was a cardinal swimming in the pond I was the red-winged black bird

Photo 99 Score - Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2 (yes

I was the cardinal before he was red I was the cardinal swimming in the red paint I was the pool of red paint We were the three other birds

Photo 100 Score -Judge 1 (yes) Judge 2(yes)

I was a tree We three were the pond l was the cardinal painting myself red in the magic pond I was another tree Cha~ter8 - Interview Data and Analvsis

In this chapter, I synthesize the analysis of the data collected from the field experiment; the observation of the participants as they performed their tableaux as recorded in my field notes; and the data collected from participant interviews.

The participants dernonstrated in two ways that they were able to identifjt the change-event of the story: fint when 91% of thern chose it as the most meaningful part of the story during the tableau activity; and second when they retold and analyzed the story verbally.

The participants identified the change-event and binary opposites verbally when I asked thern to during the second interview. Although only one participant was familiar with the term, 'binary opposite," once i explained the concept of 'change-event," participants were able to define that etement and further, they were able to work backwards from that concept and define the binary opposites underlying the story. I explained to them the term. "binary opposites" as foflows: 4

I have heard a great many stories and in every one there seems to be a point where a special event takes place that changes everything. I cal1 this the 'change-event." This event brings about some major change to one or all of the characters in the story.

What is the change-event in the owl story? And describe how the owl and rabbits are different before and after that event. Given only the above explanation and in spite of the 8-week interval since they had initially heard the story, al1 the participants could easily describe the change-event for each story. I determined that the participants picked the -same scene for the change-event as I did. This confirmed that my analysis of the story was correct not only for adults but for children as well. Merriam (1 988) considers this step to be important for the reliability of the data. Representative definitions of the change-events for the various stories are included in the previous chapter with the photographic record of the tableaux.

Although they al1 chose the same event as the change-event, they indicate different binary opposites depending upon the character they consider the most significant. Although each story has an underlying binary opposite pair, it manifests itself differently for each character. This could be a partial explanation for the difficulty that educators have had using Egan's (1 986) model based on identifying binary opposites.

In order to explore whether the significance for the participants of the change-event diminished over an 8 week period, I asked them to retell the story on two occasions - immediately following the tableau activity and again in the second interview, 8 weeks later. In general, there was no change in how they expressed the change-event even though they made changes to other components of the story. This supports the notion that they find the change-event the most meaningful part of the story. It was the change-event that they used to illustrate the story in their tableau and it was the change-event that seems to be the last component of the story to be changed when the story is retold.

For example, the following are representative transcripts of stories retold verbally by participants during the two interviews. Although both Heather and Shirley change some of the details of the story, the change- event remains unchanged from how they heard it. In each case I have underfined the part of the story defined by the participants as the change- event.

Interview 1 - The Loon. Raspberry, the Bat - Heather [adult]

To know about the story you need to know that bats fiy at night, raspberry canes are the kind of canes that reach out and grab you when you walk by and that loons bob their heads underneath the surface of the water while the rest of their body is on top.

There were these three friends and they wanted to get away and they decided they would go on a trip. To make things work for the trip the bat wanted to raise some money and asked his various friends and family for money so he was able to gather together the finances for the trip. The loon gathered together jewels and lots of different valuable items for the trip and the raspberry's responsibility was to get clothes and other items that they would need for their journey. They managed to get this al1 together and built a lovely big ship to travel and see the world and have some great adventures. On the, trip they encountered a storm and the boat was rockina back and

forth UD and down on these severe waves and eventually it cracked in two and al1 the iewels sunk to the bottom of the sea. They lost al1 their money and their clothes and everything floated away-and was never seen again.

To this day, you'll see loons swimming on the surface of the water with their heads down searching underneath the water for their jewels. Whenever you waik through a nspberry bush the raspberries will reach out and try to check and see if you are wearing their clothes that they lost or to see if they can grab at some of the other material that they lost. And that's why bats fly at night- to avoid the rich people who loaned them the money.

Interview 2 - The Loon, Raspberry, the Bat - Heather [adult]

The raspberry, loon and the bat were friends. And wanted to take a trip together. They got together and wanted to build a boat. The bat was responsible for getting the worldly goods together like the jewels, the money and the gold to take with them on their trip. The raspberry was responsible for gathering up the clothes they were going to need. And the loon got together the materials for building the ship.

So those were al1 their different tasks. And they set out, after al1 this was completed. They set out on their journey and thev came across a vicious storrn with hicrh waves and high winds and their boat ended un at the bottom of the lake. And so they lost al1 their clothes, alt their jewelry and their boat - al1 at the bottom of the fake. And that's why to this day, the raspberry, if you're walking through an area, the raspberry is grabbing at your clothes to see if those are the ones they lost on their journey. The loon is always on the surface of the water but bobbing its head down to see if they can find the remnants of the boat. And that's why the bat flies at night to avoid, all the people who loaned them the money and the gold and the jewels.

The major change in the way Heather told the story in the second interview involved which task was done by which character. In this second retelling, she has the bat responsible for collecting the money and the jewels. So when Heather came to the loon's part, there was nothing left for the loon to do. Therefore, she made up the part about the loon building the ship. This is an ingenious change because it does not affect the change-event or the binary opposites from the original. The change- event is still the smashing and sinking of the ship. The end state for the ioon is still swimming on the surface with her head under water searching for something. But in Heather's second version, rather than searching for the lost treasure as in the original, Heather has made an adjustment so that the loon is now searching for the sunken ship. The change-event and the end state of the binary opposites remain unchanged even after an inteavenhg period of 8 weeks.

Even though the change-event is clear enough to rernain unchanged in Heather's mind during the 8-week interval, when her group performed the tableau, it was the end state of the story and not the change-event that was performed. Her group felt that it was the end state of the binary opposites and not the precise change-event itself that was the most meaningful part of the story.

lnterview 1 - The Cardinal - Shirley [adult] .

* Cardinals were always black. And they were the same as the crows and the grackles. They were beautiful birds but they wanted to be different. They just didn't want to be the same as everybody else. So the cardinal flew into the enchanted forest and happened to find a big pond and the colour in the pond was red. So he said this is really great. This is a lovely colour maybe l'II try that. But he didn't want to get his face wet so he jumped into the pond fla~wdhis winas around and sort of did a little dance in there however he ke~this head iust above the water because he didn't want to get his face and his beak wet So when he came out he was a beautiful red colour except for his black mask around his beak. (Do you remember what he said.)

"Great, great, great. I'rn red, I'm red, I'm red."

Interview 2 - The Cardinal - Shirley [adult]

A long time ago, cardinals used to be al1 black (1 think they were al1 black anyway) and he got really tired because a lot of the other birds in the forest were brightly coloured and he didn't like the colour he was. He decided that he wanted to change the colour he was and he saw a maaic pond and he took a bath in it. He went riaht down to where his eves were and he came out and was al1 red except for the black mask around his face. And while he was in there he was waving around to get al1 of his feathers covered with the red paint - he splashed around and was playing in the water. And when he came out he was al1 red except for that black mask around his face. And he went, "lt's great, it's. great. I'rn red. I'm red."

Again, in Shirley's case, she has changed the details slightly after a period of 8 weeks. For example, she chooses to leave out the detail about the grackle and the crow. However the change-event and binary opposites rernain unchanged. It is interesting to note that I had to prompt Shirley on the first retelling to discover whether she recalled what the cardinal says. On the second occasion, the story had consolidated in her mind enough that she recalled the Song herself. In addition, she told me that she had recognised the Song when she heard a cardinal singing. This must have crystallized for her the song's importance to the story.

Participants reported that the reason for choosing the change-event was because it was the element of the story with the most meaning for them and also most likely to be the most meaningful to the audience. It appears that during their preparations for the tableau, the group quickly and intuitively identified the change-event. Although the children were not as explicit about why they made the choice, they were equally likely to choose the change-event.

The following are representative explanations of how the participants chose the most meaningful part of the story - 91 % of the time it was the change-event that they chose: We prqsented the scene of the cardinal in the pool changing colour [the change-event]. There were no other scenes we considered - we went straight to that one - to the hean of the story (Barb [adult], lnte~ew1).

There was no discussion. We just did it. It was automatically that scene. That was the pan of the story that stuck out in our minds (Michelle [adult], Interview 2).

We chose the last scene. I don't know why. It just seemed like fun (Stephanie [child], Interview 1 ).

We could have shown the cardinal being jealous at the first. That would have been good. The cardinal would just stand in the middle and admire the other birds. He would have to look jealous. But we did the scene we thought of first [the change-event] (Chris [child], Interview 1)

We did the scene where the boat was sinking. [the change-event] We didn't want to do any other scene (Maggie [child], Interview 2).

We showed the part in the story where the rabbits were eating the grass and bringing it back to the cauldron [not the change-event]. There was no other scene we considered doing (Andrea [child], lnte~iew1 ).

We picked the scene where Circe was turning the men into pigs [the change-event]. We chose that scene because it was fun. Everybody liked the scene that we did (Samantha [child], Interview 1). Thus, participants chose the scene that was most meaningful to them. But another consideration was how meaningful their tableau would be to the audience. Consequently, they reported that they chose the scene that would provide the best due and give the audience the greatest chance of guessing correctly. The following are representative expressions of their concern for the audience:

If you didn't pick the right scene then the audience wouldn't guess the right answer (Anna [adult], Interview 1).

We decided that that scene was the easiest to demonstrate. We wanted the audience to guess it properly. I dont remember considering any other scene (Helen [adult], Interview 2).

There was some discussion that we wanted the audience to be successful so we didn't want the image to be too complicated. We wanted to make it relatively obvious. (Dwayne [adult], Interview 1 )

We talked about what part of the story popped out the most. Because we couldn't use language, we wanted to pick a visual which would be very clear. Having the bird flapping with his head above water and reaching up with his neck outstretched [the change-event] - that seemed to be the clearest visual graphic in the whole story (Shirley [adult], Interview 2).

Ours was one of the hardest to guess because we didn't have anybody dressed in red. And we didn't do a pond. That would have been better for the audience if we had shown a pond (Kevin [child], Interview 1). The best due was when I pretended to jump in the pool. As soon as they saw that they knew the story (Cory [child], Interview 1). We picked it [the change-event] because it was the easiest and the people would understand that scene the best (Carl [adult], Interview 1).

We showed the part where Jack Frost was crushing the rock because he was so mad. The groundhog was sound asleep at the bottom of the hole. [the final state of the binary opposite]. The group thought that would be an interesting part to show. And the audience would understand and like it (Jamal [child], Interview 2).

If we had mixed things up and had two characters playing one role I think we would have confused the audience and at first it looked like we had two groundhogs (Steve [adult], Interview 2).

When they discussed why they had chosen a particular scene, the participants did not use the term "binary oppositesn or "change-event" but they did define the scene as an important moment in the story. This confirms the theory of Kegan (1980) who writes that participants may not be able to tell a researcher what sornething means to them - it is advantageous to have the participants show the researcher what something means. I was able to observe what cornponent of the story held the most meaning for the participants by observing their tableaux and comparing that with how they changed the way they told the story over time. The pocess of how they chose the rnost meaningful component of the story remained clear, even after a period of 8 weeks. For example, Michelle remembers that her group decided on the scene first and then what roles to play.

First, we decided what scene to do. Then we decided who would play what (Michelle [adult], Interview 1 ).

We decided on the scene first and then the characten came next (Michael, Interview 2).

Other factors involved in their choice

Participants chose the change-event consistently. However, there could be factors other than their ability to find the change-event that influenced their decision. For example, the role of a leader in the group might have influenced their choice. They might also have been influenced by factors such as: the time constraint of the exercise; distribution of roles for participants; desirability and comfort level with the roles; previous storytelling experience; or familiarity with the 5 key stories. Consequently, during the interviews I probed for information which might eliminate these factors as variables affecting their choice of change- event.

For example, when I probed the effect of having a group leader, the results for children and adults were mixed. Some respondents reported that everyone participated in the decision to perform the change-event while others .had leaders who suggested what scene to perform. One participant reported having an obnoxious leader but the group did what he wanted rather than arguing. The participant said, it was "no big deal - just a game."

We had one guy who wanted to be the leader. The rest of us just went along with him. I learned a lot about hirn in 3 1/2 minutes. He was a pain in the ass. He was the instigator. He got the notion of showing the whole story [not the change-event] and there was no persuading him out of it. We were on a time line so the rest of us just went along with him. There was a lot of discussion but in the end we just pitched in a did it (Dennis [adult], interview 1 ).

It was a group decision to do it that way. We decided that the final scene was the easiest to demonstrate [the final state of the binary opposites]. We wanted the audience to guess it properly (Helen [adult], Interview 2).

There was no boss. We just chose what we wanted to do [the change- event] (Alicia [child], Interview 1 ).

Timothy was going to be the director and just tell us what to do and not do anything himself. But we told him to be the sailboat and he said, "OK* (Maggie [child], Interview 1).

Having a group leader did not appear to affect the group's choice. The participants reported that with or without a group leader, the choice was very much a group effort. Another factor was the amount of time taken to rnake the scene choice. The arnount of time varied. In most cases one person suggested the scene and after a brief discussion, the group decided. In other cases, they reviewed the story together before they decided on the scene. One informant reported she observed another group creating a visual storyboard in order to review the story. She regretted that her group had not thought of doing that. She did add, however, that her group would probably have chosen the same scene anyway.

The time element was an important parameter to the tableau activity. After testing the activity during the pilot phase, I found that 5 minutes was enough time for both age groups. My rationale for limiting the time was that I wanted their tableau to be the first element of the story that occurred to them - spontaneous and intuitive. Cornments by the informants generally supported my feeling. Neelands (1 990) devised a similar drama activity called, "Moment of Truth," where spontaneity in the activity simulates observing a real-life event. He writes that this is an effective way to explore the meaning in a drama.

Participants reported both positive and negative influences of the time constraint. While some of them said that, with more time, they might have developed their tableau into something more complicated, others said that even with more tirne they would probably have corne up with the same result. If we had had more time then there probably would have been more debate about which scene to show and how to arrange it. For example, you might get a bunch of creative people who start discussing what this story really means - the-deep down meaning - like movie critics. Then who knows what they'd do. They might plan something that means sornething to them but doesn't mean anything to the audience (Sandra [adult], Interview 1).

We decided right away what scene to show but if we'd had more time we might have corne up with sornething more elaborate (Barb [adult], lnterview 2).

If we'd had more time we probably would have done it the same scene anyway (Dennis [adult], Interview 2).

I think if we had had more tirne we probably would have done the same visual. It was just so clear to us what scene needed to be done. We rnay have corne up with more elements, like more trees, but it would have been very much the same (Helen [adult], Interview 2).

Another factor, besides the time constraint was the participants' concern for fairness. It was important to the participants that everyone be included in the tableau. Consequently, the scene they chose must include enough roles for everyone. It is possible they might have chosen the change-event because it was the only scene to inclode sufficient parts. But when I examined the stories, I found that other scenes provided at least as many parts for the actors - and in some cases even more. Therefgre, the participants had not chosen the change-event based on the number of rofes it included.

Further, participants modified the story to adapt to the nurnbers, desires and comfort level of their group. Although the performers wanted the audience to guess the scene correctly, they made small changes to the story in order that al1 the playen had roles they were cornfortable playing. This suggests that they chose the change-event first and then rnodified the story slightly to give everyone a part. Neither did the size of the group seem to matter. Under-sized and over-sized groups were equally likely to choose the change-event to represent in their tableau.

Another factor which might have influenced their choice of scene was the desirability of the character they wished to portray. Most of the groups chose the same scene to perform but they al1 depicted the characters differently. I explored with the participants why they had chosen their particular roles. .

In several cases the participants chose characters according to the colours they were wearing or prop they were holding. Their role was sometirnes suggested by their relative size. The participants generally chose characters or situations they were familiar with. Although they used many different criteria for selecting their role, their choice of character was secondary to the choice of scene. This supports the notion that it was the change-event that held the most meaning for thern. A nurnber of participants said that they chose the character they would be most comfortable playing. They reported that their cornfort level was related to their knowledge about the character and how they would perforrn it; whether their character was a focal point in the tableau; whether their choice of character was satisfactory to the group; and how cornfortable they were generally acting a role in front of a group. Again, these considerations were secondary to the choice of scene. The group already had the image of the tableau in mind and then the actors picked characters from that scene they would be comfortable playing.

Because the participants seemed intuitively familiar with story structure, particularly the change-event, I asked them about their previous storytelling experience. The participants had a wide variety of experience with stories. The adults reported that they daily share personal experience stories with other adults and children. The adults are not as likely as children to share folktales or nature stories. Children daily listen to, tell or use stories in their play and learning activities. Although al1 the participants were familiar with stories, they did not analyze them and only one had heard the term, "binary opposite." Although the adults had much more experience with stories than children, the groups were equally Iikely to select the change-event when they were asked to choose the most meaningful component. The degree to which they had story experience did not appear to influence their choice of most rneaningful scene - the change-event.

Because most participants chose the same scene to show, I wanted to eliminate prior knowledge of these particular stories as a factor in their decisiop. The 5 stories were new to most of the participants, but 2 students were familiar with a computer game version of Circe and the Enchanter's Niahtshade and expressed concem that I had changed it. Because only two of the participants were familiar with the one story, I felt 1 could elirninate prior story knowledge as a factor in choosing the scene.

In summary, I considered factors which might have influenced how the group chose the most meaningful component of the story. 1 considered the role of a leader; the time constraint; the fair distribution of roles; the desirability and comfort level of the roles; previous storytelling experience; and, finally, familiarity with the 5 key stories. None of these factors seemed to make a difference to how the group decided on the most meaningful component of the story.

Story memory

Many participants were surprised about the effectiveness of their own memory. All the participants I interviewed could tell the story that they had performed, almost word for word, even after a period of 8 weeks. Not only did they remember the story, they were able to analyze it by defining the change-event and the binary opposites. They were able to remernber the story structure, specifically the change-event, slotting in the details (Livo & Rietz, 1986). Some of the participants, in addition, suggested that performing the tableau had helped them remember the story. But if you gave me a hint I could retell the stories from scratch - make them up while I go. All I need is the essential ingredients (lan [adult], lnterview 2).

I guess I remember the stories in spite of myself. I rernember more than I thought I would. When you called, I thought, "Oh no, he's going to ask me to tell him one of those stories and I won't be able to." I remember the loon story because I was part of the tableau so I can still see it and that helps me remernber the story (Helen [adult], lnterview 2).

I didn't think l could tell that story. I think maybe the tableau helped me tell the story a little bit - because I could kind of see the people doing the different things and I was actually doing the actions myself too (Samantha [child], Interview 2).

I really responded to those stories and I was surprised how well I retained them. I remember them more than I thought I would. One of the people in our group and I were tàlking atong the path and commiserating about how hard it is to remember stories. Like jokes. I'm the world's worst joke teller because I can't remember them, yet I remembered your stories (Sara [adult] lnterview 2). I remember these because I remember the people doing the tableau. I just think of al1 my classmates and try to remember which tableau they were in and then 1 get the story. It was easy (Vanessa [child], lnterview 1).

The tableau was a twist for me. But it was good because it reinforced the story and was fun (Shirley [adult], lnterview 1). I remember the story because I remember my part and what I did (Chris [child], Interview 2).

I sort of think the tableau helped me remember the story (Graham [child], Interview 2).

As I have mentioned before, the storytelling/tableau activity was a learning experience for the participants, and it is important to note how the activity was perceived to be fun not only by the participants but also by the judges of the photographs. This confirmed what I had observed. Participants reported that they had enjoyed listening to the stories. The tableau activity had al1 the appearances of a party garne, enjoyed by the performers and the audiences alike. Activities that are fun cm have educational potential and likely contribute to the learning experienced by the participants (Cohen & Walker, 1993). Apparently their enjoyment of the activity contributed, in this instance, to their learning. Partici~antlearning

Performing the change-event as a tableau appeared to help the participants remember the story but I was anxious to discover if any content learning had occurred. After all, I tell stories at a nature centre to enhance environmental education, not simply as entertainment. Did my stories help people leam something about nature?

Many participants felt that they had learned or been reminded about sornething new and important about their relationship with the natural world. The stories had reinforced how they felt about some animal; helped explain some natural phenomenon; modeled how they should act in the outdoors; and suggested their place in the natural world or their neighbourhood.

My favourite story was the Jack Frost story. I liked it because it taught me more about native studies and why the groundhog sleeps for 6 months (Kevin [child], Interview 2).

I learned a little about the raspberry, loon and bat and I remember better with the stories. Younger children would learn the colour of cardinals and what their cal1 actually is through your story (Barb [adult], Interview 1).

The cardinal singing was real. And the owl's singing was true. So I learned, "Who cooks for you?" (Stephanie [child], Interview 1 ). I've never even heard of a barred owl. And now I know what they sound like and 1 think I might have heard one singing in our back yard. I hear owls and coyotes in my back yard. I know I've heard, 'Hoot, hoot. hootw (Graham [child], Interview 1).

I think it al1 reinforces how I feel about owls. I'm an owl nut. I admire and feel connected to owls. They're arnazing creatures (lan [adult], interview 2).

You know when you told us how the birds sing? I already knew that and I tried to do the sound but I can't whistle. And now I'm starting to know how to whistle [whistles a cardinal] (Ryan [child], Interview 2).

There were different levels of learning revealed during the interviews. The participants showed that not only were they able to retell the story (comprehension) but they were able to evaluate the activity and suggest how they could integrate storytelling into other learning situations (Bloom, 1956). They had synthesized the leaming by making suggestions for improvements and demonstrating how the stories could be developed into further activities.

Had the participants acted on their new awareness? What had they done as a follow-up to the activity to demonstrate that real learning had taken place? Most participants had told the story to others. As a result of the nature storytelling, many had subsequently searched for or seen an animal or plant; practiced a bird call; or recorded the stories as artwork or in a journal. I've heard an owl - not a barred owl but I've heard an owl. And I thought about your story when I heard it. And I've seen rabbits and cardinals. I've even seen enchanter's nightshade again. I knew it already but I enjoyed seeing it again in the winter. I've seen raspberries (Dwayne [adult], lnterview 2)

I havent seen nightshade again - I've even looked for it. I made a drawing of it and I want to see it again to relate it too the drawing (Anna [adult], Interview 2)

I've told the story to my kids and to my father. So, I've told it twice. The first tirne I told it just because my kids love animal stories and I told my father because he and I were going for a walk and heard a cardinal singing. So I told him the story (Barb [adult]. Interview 2).

Yes, I've thought about the stories. I've seen cardinals. I know where there's a nesting pair of great horned owls. And I've seen lots of rabbit tracks in the snow but I don? think I've seen a rabbit. And I've caught my pants on raspberries in a thicket near here (lan [adult], Interview 2). Adult éducation and storvtellinçi

Aithough many consider storytelling to be a tool for the education of young people, there are good examples of how adult educators also take advantage of storytelling. Many of the adult participants said that they would consider retelling these stories to children, but only a few told the stories to other adults, even though they had said in the first interview that they would. One adult expressed surprise when adult colleagues had actuaily enjoyed one of the stories.

I told the cardinal story in my office. Imagine a bunch of hard core jock- types standing around listening to a story about a cardinal. Anyway, I told them it would be a great thing to know if they ever had to baby sit or something. But they al1 liked it. I could hardly believe it! (Dana [adult], Interview 2)

One challenge for storytellers wishing to work with adults is to overcome this prejudice against stories as a valid educational tool. There is prejudice against the use of story form in the press. When binary story structure appears too predominately in a newspaper story, mernbers of the traditional press cal1 it, 'tabloid journalism" (McQueen, 1998).

However, story structure has recently been used as a template to structure business planning (Shaw, Brown & Bromiley, 1998). The advantage to the new technique is two-fold. First, the people writing the business plan are encouraged to better understand the cause/effect relationship of their proposals. And second, the audience better understands the presentation of the plan because the presentation follows the formula recognizable as a story. Similarly with this research, adults reported that they understood the story better because they had explored it through the tableau-making process. They also reported that the audience remembered the story better because they had seen it performed as a tableau.

Case studies are stories used in business. Armstrong (1 992) writes that stories provide the best means to communicate and model Company policy and culture. Business trainers according to Bell (1 992) and Zemke (1 990) use stories to entertain, inspire and instruct during business training session. One participant in this study reflected that she would use stories in her presentations to adults:

I would tell stories but 1 would not do a whole program based on stories. I would just interject stories into a presentation I was doing. I have a slide presentation and I'd like to incorporate stories into that to make it more interesting and more mernorable (Heather [adult], Interview 1 ).

Stories and related activities can also be used as a tool by adults learning about themselves. Many participants in this study described their own personal learning through the process of telling a story.

I learned that I'm a great actor (Laughs). I had the starring role. And I didn't mind doing it either. And I didn't think I'd enjoy it (Dwayne [adult], Interview 1. I also learned that I could participate in something like a tableau and not have any resewations about it. Just jumping in. I've learned sornething about myself there. When I was younger I was definitely a very shy person and would have resisted that exercise - especially when I was 9 or 10. 1 would have been quite resistant. You would have had to persuade me. But now that's not a problem (Heather [adult], Interview 2).

Recording and reflecting on personal stories is the basis of narrative inquiry (Connelly and Clandinin, 1988). Narrative inquiry uses features of storytelling to inquire into one's own personal practical knowledge. The positive effect of telling stories to others was one of the main discussion points that emerged from the participant interviews in my study.

Several participants told me that the stories I told opened up the channels of communication between me and the participants. One specified that because I had shared a story, even a fictional one, I had overcome a barrier to communication and that is why most participants so willingly shared personal information with me. Not only did they open up to me during the interview phase, but also they were anxious to please me during the tableau and artwork phase.

I think that you are very easy to talk to and I suspect it is because of the storytelling experience. What I mean is, when you told us those stories it's as if you are revealing secrets about yourself. I know you aren't really, but it feels like you are. It feels like you are confiding in me. So I Say to myself - here's a person who will listen to my stories. So I feel comfoaable revealing some of my secrets. I think that's neat. See, when we were listening to your stories we were saying to ourselves, we found a person who will listen (Heather [adult], Interview 2).

This removal of barriers to communication by storytelling was an important aspect of this research. Carter refers to this phenornenon as "storyteller's confidingnessw - the feeling of sharing a secret (Carter, 1993, p. xii).

During the early stages of this project, my proposal underwent an ethical review. I admit that I wondered why so much effort was expended not only by me but by my advisor and the ethical review committee. At that point, I did not fully understand how my project might compromise the privacy of the participants. After all, I was only going to tell some nature stories and ask participants to tell them back to me with some comments. I soon learned that by telling a story, I was opening up the flood gates to al1 kinds of personal information and that the participants felt cornfortable confiding in me. Who knows where a conversation will turn, once the barriers have been torn down during a storytelling event? Retellina the stories throucih tableau

Why did I choose tableau as the form in which the story would be retold in the field experiment? Presumably, I could have asked the participants to retell the story as artwork, music, a skit, or in words. My first experience with the activity was an attempt to engage participants on a "multiple intelligencew nature hike by honouring those listenen who possessed visual/spatial intelligence (Gardner, 1983, 1999).

Gardner wrote his original work on multiple intelligence for psychologists but educaton have embraced the strategies around the world. The theory has spawned a number of books with practical advice for how teachers can apply the theory in their practice. There is an Ontario based multiple intelligence (MI) newsletter for teachers. Non- forrnal educators also embrace the strategy. For example, 10 Canadian and American churches have created a new Sunday School curriculum called "Bible Quest" which is based on the stories of the Bible integrated through multiple intelligence theory.

Gardner's original intent was to broaden the definition of "intelligencew from the widely accepted logical and linguistic IQ test. He suggested a more pluralistic viewpoint for measuring mental functioning - a variety of intelligent way to thinking. His 7 original intelligences were linguistic, logical -mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical , interpersonal and Intrapersonal. In 1996 he added the naturalist intelligence to his original list (Roth, 1998; Gardner 1999). I consider the theory to be a gift to anyone who has stniggled in a classroom where the only teaching strategy is lecture format. The students who succeed here have what Armstrong refen to as 'schoolhouse giftedness (Armstrong, 1993). Gardner's theory challenges our old beliefs about what it means to be smart. An educator integrating his or her lessons by applying the theory of MI desigm lessons to engage al1 8 Intelligences thus giving every learner in their group a chance to learn something in their best thinking mode.; If teachers incorporate the other intelligences or ways of knowing , students can learn more fully (Drake, 1998).

It is limiting for students when al1 of the multiple intelligences are not considered . although we each have the capacity for al1 intelligences, we do not have equal capability in each, nor do we have the same combination of intelligences (Drake, 1998). The multiple intelligence classroom is a child-centred classroom. In Appendix 6, 1 present a workshop combining nature storytelling with Multiple Intelligence theory.

However, I learned that the drama activity was much more than a retelling of the story. The tableau was a reflection about what the participants had heard - a way of exploring the story (Kolb, 1984) and thus contributed to the learning by the group. As I watched the pilot groups preparing and performing their tableaux, I couîd observe them exercising several of their multiple intelligences (literal, logical, visuaVspatial, kinesthetic and interpenonal) as well as cycling through Kolb's experiential learning process (Gardner, 1986; Kolb, 1984). Neelands (1990) writes that dnma. such as tableau. is direct experience shared when people imagine and behave as if they were other than themselves and in sorne other place and time. He suggests that a tableau is a way of making meaning which helps the participants investigate the meaning of a story and their relationship with it. Thus, creating a tableau is an activity that helps people learn. Many of the participants said that they felt the drarna activity had helped them increase their understanding of the story as well as helping them rernember it and the lesson it brought.

I remember the loon story because I was part of the tableau so I can still see it and that helps me remember the story (Helen [adult], Interview 2). lt showed me just how easy it is to convey an idea in a beautiful way which is different from just telling sornebody something. It reinforced that dramatically. It reminded me that there are other ways to get across messages besides the standard listening to sorneone talk. 1 guess that was probably your whole point. wasn't it? (lan [adult], Interview 2). t think maybe the tableau helped me tell the story a little bit. Because I could kind of see the people doing the different things and I was actually doing the actions myself too (Sarnantha [child], Interview 2).

Tanner (1 972) encourages work in drama to stimulate the creative abilities of the actor and audience alike. He writes that the tableau provides a means of looking beyond the irnmediate story through the symbols, ambiguities, characters and imagery which are capable of crystallizing and holding the essence of the story experience. When the participants listen to the story, each one forms in their mind a unique image. When they work in a small group to recreate the story, they negotiate and develop a new image that rnerges their individual images. In this way, the tableau K a collaboration and produces a different image than each participant had in mind. The participants are creating knowledge.

Drake ( 1998) reports an American example of a grade 1 1 class that integrated science with drama. Students researched the life of a chemist and generated a play for an audience. Subsequently, the students reported more self-confidence, increased cooperation, mutual respect and having more fun. All the students preferred this style of delivery over the traditional lecture format. They believed that they had greater recall and understanding of the material and could transfer skills to other subject areas.

The basis of drarna, and in this study, tableau is make-believe - it requires the ability to pretend. Many of the adult said that they had to "let themselves go" and "just do it" in order to enjoy the activity. They admitted that doing the tableau taught them sornething about thernselves as well as the about the content of the story. This added to their enjoyment of the activity.

Well I really enjoyed it. I guess I like to have fun with adults. It wasn't so bad playing this game with strangers. When you first suggested it, I didn't think I'd like it. So if I learned anything about myself, it is that I should do things that I don? want ta (Bad [adult], Interview 2).

I also learned that I could participate in something like a tableau and not have any rese~ationsabout it. Just jumping in. I've leamed something about rnyself there (Heather [aduit], InteMew 2).

During the tableau activity, the participants become actoo (Tanner, 1972) and suspend disbelief. For example, as they present the cardinal tableau, they know they are not really cardinals but they must act as if they were in order to comrnunicate that meaning to the audience. The more realistic their performance, the more likely the audience will guess correctly. At the same tirne, the memben of the audience must ako imagine that what they are seeing is a cardinal.

As the small group works towards the creative goal of producing the tableau, they require imagination, teamwork, interpersonal skills, cooperation, and dependability. Their understanding of the story grows as they synthesize what they heard and what they know into a rneaningful image. Each participant, whether actor or audience, rnust have a huge store of ideas and impressions that they can reassernble to create sornething new when they perform or view the tableau. Being able to draw confidently from inner resources and to accomplish something that is uniquely thein gave participants a great sense of satisfaction. Many referred to their feeling of accomplishment. lnformants also express their satisfaction as a member of the audience and successfutly guessing the story. I was pleasantly surprised and rewarded by the outcome of the activity. Each group did sornething totally unique and imaginative. And everyone was into it. It was great to see a group of strangers having so much fun under pressure. And it was great watching everybody succeed like they did. It is such a simple thing to do but the reward was amazing. We all had such a good feeling afterwards. It was fun! There was laughter. There was a release when it was finished. It was just a good feeling. We were given a job and we did it successfully. Funny how you can create such a simple little activity to bring out those kinds of feelings in adults (lan [adult], lntewiew 2).

The creation and performance of a tableau looks deceivingly simple but there are several theatrical conventions that the participants are using. They use these conventions in most cases with no formal training in drama. First, they must suspend disbelief. They also must be aware of stage conventions such as the front and back of the stage area; distance between characters; the orders, '3,2,1, freezew; and applause. These stage conventions help the acton and the audience to maintain a proper aesthetic balance and control. Imagination and past experiences are important components of this activity. They combine to bring to the actor's mind detailed pictures from which he or she can create a unique, yet recognizable character to the stage. The pictures they visualite in their minds, which direct their bodies, spring from their past life experiences. If their imagination is vivid, the pictures will stimulate them into acting, believing and feeling the part. To guess the story correctly, the audience must also deal with imagination and their past experience, particularly their immediate rnemory. While they are watching the tableaux, the participants are reviewing the 5 nature.stories in their minds and searching for dues to find a 'fit" with the tableau they are obsewing. It K possible that their knowledge of story structure helps them find the fit. Their ability to identify the change-event in a story rnay help them reduce the arnount of information they are looking for in the presented tableaux. They rnight be searching for the change-event. Certainly, recognizing the change-evecrt was one of the clues they reported that helped them make their guess.

Tanner (1 972) suggests that children exercise their imagination more than adults who have grown lazy about using it. That may be one of the reasons several adults confessed during the interviews that they were uncornfortable participating in the tableau. Not only were they uncertain of their imagination to create the scene but they were doubly uncornfortable about displaying their creations in front of others.

I think kids have probably done tableau before but I don't think adults will know what you're talking about. You'd have to teach them how (Demis [adult], Interview 2).

However, any discornfort the adults may have felt was not evident in their performance nor in their ability to analyze the structure of the story. They were as likely as the children to identify and reproduce the change- event. They seemed no less enthusiastic about their performance than the children and their final product, the tableau, was of equal quality to those produced by the children.

Another drarna convention that the participants demonstrated in the tableau activity is their understanding of gestures and expressions (Neelands, 1990; Tanner, 1972). Gestures are dramatic symbols or expressive actions such as lifting an eyebrow, shrugging the shoulders, pointing, or kicking. To be undentood by the audience, gestures must be definite, clear and part of a symbolic language. The participants in the tableau intuitively used gestures as a means of shaping, crafting and conveying their ideas to the audience. For example, in their retelling of Circe and the Enchanter's Niahtshade, many participants used the gesture of a pushed-up nose to syrnbolize pigs. Most participants formed a circle with their hands to symbolize the pool in the Cardinal Stow. Another common gesture was the raised fist as the Jack Frost character smashed the rock. Photo 1 0 1

Photo 101 represents Enchanter's nightshade and illustrates how the actors representing pigs, gesture with their noses to convey the "essence of pigness." Photo 102

Photo 102 shows how the actor representing Jack Frost gestures with his whole body to convey his anger.

Another theatrical convention that all the participants understood was the convention of space (Neelands, 1990). When I explained the mechanics of tableau, I gave them an idea of the dimensions of the stage but they defined their own space. Generally, they used their imagination also to incorporate their surroundings. For exarnple, different groups used a table to represent a groundhog hole, a fence as a ship, or a tree branch as an owl perch. Within the defined space of the stage, they set the position of the characters that best represented the dynamics of the story. They were representing meanings spatially. A good example of the use of this convention is evident in the photograph of The Owl and the Rabbits. The owl stands at the back of the stage while the rabbits demonstrate their disdain for the owl by placing themselves at the front of the stage with their backs turned to the owl.

Photo 103

Photo 103 shows the rabbits distancing thernselves from the owl in The Owl and the Rabbits. This demonstrates how the participants use the convention of theatrical distance to convey the binary poles of the story. The actors have selected the scene where the rabbits discover carrots - the change-event - and begin to ignore the owl.

Although they may not have had formal drama training, many participants had skills or past experience relevant to performing in a tableau. For example, many of the participants had played "charades," in which two sides team up against each other in guessing pantomimed titles. Participants give clues through moment and gesture without words. The more information players can convey with their body, the greater their chance of winning. In addition, most participants had experienced for fun some forrn of imitative behaviour in other similar games such as 'Pictionary.

Neelands (1990) writes that perfoming a tableau has a cultural connection. In this respect, a tableau is similar to many familiar art forms such as photography, painting, or sculpture. The photograph connection, in this case, was reinforced when I recorded a snapshot of each group. Because of these cultural connections, everyone understood that the tableau was a still-image where time is arrested so that a single moment of the story can be explored.

Most participants said they had enjoyed the tableau activity. This may be because theatre (live and cinematic) has a traditional role as a form of entertainment. As soan as I suggested and explained 'tableaun to participants, they understood the activity was to be fun like a party garne, even though some of €hem confessed later - that at fint they were resistant to trying it. :

I tried to reduce their stress by making the activity fun - a spontaneous use of theatre rather than a performance. The participants understood that the point of the tableau was not theatrical excellence but a rough- hewn chance for the participants to use what they already knew about drama to explore and convey the rneaning of the story. I also chose tableau as a method for pnctical reasom - it has a direct curriculum connection for Ontario schaol children. The Lanauaae Arts Curriculum (1999) requires that al1 grade 4 students perforrn a tableau based on a story. The rationale stated by the cumculum is that the tableau exercise is a structured activity which begins an active exploration of the story. I needed to make this curriculum connection to encourage teachers to enroll in the program.

There are several variations for how tableaux may be performed. I designed the field experiment as a small group activity where al1 rnembers are actively involved. A variation might have been for each group to choose a leader as a sculptor, to direct the production. This could serve as an additional exploration of the story, but for my study. I wanted the activity to be fully participatory with as many acton as possible having input into the final image. Most participants told me that they created their tableaux as a team, with or without group leaders.

Another variation on the tableau activity could have been for each group to form more than one image. in fact, several of the informants suggested that they wouid have preferred doing more images from a story. When I crafted the field experiment, I considered asking each group to perforrn a series of three tableaux showing their favourite parts of the story. However, I felt that this option would bias them into choosing the change- event - with one scene immediately preceding and one scene immediately following. By limiting their choice to one, I hoped that they would focus on whichever scene held the most meaning. A drama convention implicit in the tableau is sornething Neclands (1 990) calls 'what-happens-next." This convention implies that a tableau must create an interest in what will happen next in the story. Drama is defined as a narrative form. like a story or film in which curiosity and a sense of imminent action engage those participating as actors or spectators (Egri. 1946; McKee, 1997). Since there is only one change-event in my stories, there should be only one tabkau. This is what my study shows. Most of the participants (91%) chose to show the change-event so the audience could predict "what-happens-next." In the case of the loon story, the participant tableaux were related to the final state of the binary opposites. To paraphrase Neelands - the loon story tableaux showed "what-happened-then."

When the groups performed their tableau of The Loon. Ras~berrvand Bat. they did not chwse the change-event. 18 of the 20 groups chose the scene which portrays the loon with its head under water. the raspberry grabbing at clothing and the bat flying at night. This scene represents the end state of the binary opposites - what-happens-then - rather than the change-event itself. The participants identified verbally the change- event during the inteMews but they chose to show the end state because they felt that that scene would be more rneaningful to the audience. The loon story is a closely adapted Aesop Fable (Aesop, 1912) and the whole point of the story is in its ending. The story is an explanation for why loons swim with their heads under water. why raspberries have prickles and why bats fly at night. Therefore, the end state is the main focus of the story. Of the.5 key stories, it was the Loon. Rasdnm and Bat that received the most laughs. The way I tel story, it is similar to a joke in its style where the ending is the most imponant element of the story. I purposefully order the telling so that the image of the bat flying at night to escape from his crediton cornes last. It is the funniest scene and listeners enjoy that image most. Consequently, the participants remernber the ending as the punch-line of the story with the greatest meaning and consequently 18 of the 20 tableaux contained that image. It is interesting to note that, with this story, adults and children were equally likely to choose the final state of the binary opposite instead of the change-event as the most meaningful part of the story.

The tableau performance is a learning activity. It provides a way of exploring a story as the participants recall, decide who will play which role and discuss which scene is rnost important. Kolb (1984) calls these experiential stages the observation/reflection and analysis stage. The tableau also provides the participants with the opportunity to take action and communicate to the audience the results of their investigation of the story. One aspect of the tableau experience actually interfered with participant learning. Not everyone enjoyed performing the tableau. Several adults and a few children told me during the interviews that they felt uncornfortable planning and acting in the tableau. This interference however did not seem to impair the groups ability to choose the change-event and binary opposites. The tableau did not help me remember the story. In fact it got in the way of me remembering the story - I was so uptight about the performance. It impeded my memory of the story. The experience reconfimied for me that I don? like to be put in the position of having to perform especially in front of strangen. l'm. going to put it in a more positive wsy for you. I appreciate the power of drama and I need to develop the skills and self confidence that will allow me to perforrn in front of others. I still have a step or two to go in terms of doing it. I think I'd like to try the activity again. Having done it once, I'd be more confident next time. I aspire to be able to tell a story as well as you did. 1 practiced with my kids and I think I'm getting better (Marj [adult], lnte~iew2).

The participants need to feel cornfortable and protected ertough to risk themselves in the activity (Cohen & Walker, 1993). 1 tried to create the comfort level by inspiring the group to have fun. I valued everyone's participation by giving no marks or negative cornrnents while encouraging the spectators to applaud. Even so, tao many participants felt uncomfonable with the activity. In spite of their discornfort, every group seerned to perform the tableau willingly. There was often a contest to decide which group would be first to present. Only afterwards, during the interviews did I learn of any discornfort or resistance. This reaffirms the importance of collecting data in several different ways (Merriam, 1988). Had I collected data frorn participant observations alone, 1 would not have detected participant resistance. By adding the inteMew component. I was able to explore the tableau experience to a greater depth. I belieye that most participants were eager to perform even if they were uncornfortable because they saw the tableau as a natural extension of the story. They had enjoyed the story so the tableau exercise was an extension of that feeling. They enjoyed the small group work and gained a sense of ownership of the story as they planned their performance. Although the story was mine, the tableau was their own. Some groups changed the story to fit the demands of their group characteristics or numbers. They were interested and motivated to see how the content of the story would evolve into the tableau, not only with their effort but in the efforts of the other groups as well. Retellinci the Stories as Artwork

Unfortunately. I was unable to persuade adults to explore the stories by producing artwork. Booth reports that adults will always refuse to produce artwork (Booth, personal communication). There would have been an advantage in seeing their artwork and cornparhg it to their tableau. However, 1 did work with a number of student groups who willingly produced artwork based on the stories.

This activity helped me see the research possibilities of using artwork to explore the rneaning of a story. Kegan (1980) suggested that a researcher can learn the meaning that a story has for someone by obseMng the person retelling the story. Consequently, in addition to asking the students what they thought the story means to them, I asked them to retell the story in artwork so that I could observe and interpret what the story means to them.

In addition, the activity honours the multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1 986). It provided students who had worked on the tableau in small groups the opportunity to work individually. The small group work honoured the interpersonal whereas the individual work honoured the intrapersonal intelligences. Also the artwork honours those learners with visual/spatial intelligence. The inclusion of the artwork assignment is also consistent with Kolb (1 984) and his theory of experiential learning by applying an action component to listening to, reflecting on and analyzing a story. In addition to the 10 classes that participated in the field experiment at Kortright, i visited 7 grade 4 classes. I fdlowed the same procedures as in the field experiment, except I told the 5 stories in their classrooms. Following their tableaux, I asked the students to illustrate the story they had performed on a titled, 10 inch x 17 imh sheet of paper. Teachers told me that I needed to title the piece of paper, otherwise students would stray from the task at hand. Teachers also suggested a time Iimit of 30 minutes. The illustrations created on paper became a concrete reference for ideas exploted in the tableau and gave form to the imagined places, characters, and events featured in the story.

After I had asked for an illustration of the story - several students asked me if they should represent the tableau or the story. Others wondered if they should illustrate the story as I told it or how they pictured it in their minds. They appeared to undentand that the picture of the story in their minds and the tableau they presented were already new evolved versions of the story.

Their illustrations reveal visual ideas and thought processes. Each s a spontaneous and personal recording of ideas. For example, several illustrations of the Circe story show Odysseus and his men as sailors with tattoos. These new ideas sprang from the imagination of the children. .

Fifty percent of the children chose to illustrate the change-event. Because this artwork followed and was undoubtedly infiuenced by the high proportion of change-events portrayed in their tableaux, it is impossible to compare these results with the field experiment. However, it could indicate another direction for more research on how people retell stories.

Illustration 18 of Enchanter's Niahtshade dernonstrates new ideas springing from the mind of the artist. The tattoo of the scull and cross- bones on the pig suggests that the sailors in the original story have become pirates. Their illustrations contain ideas not expressed in their tableaux or during their verbal retelling. The students may have been expressing things in their art that they could not express in drarna form or in words. Robinson (1 995) suggests that young children who produce amivork often express ideas that they cannot yet put into words. It could also mean that as individuals they expressed ideas which had not emerged in the collaborative effort of the tableau. However,.it could also rnean that the exercise gave them more time to think about and express ideas from the stofy.

Robertson (1995) suggests examining artwork to consider a number of learning expectations which might be achieved through art. According to Robinson the operative words for what grade 4 students are doing when they produce artwork based on a story are the following: choosing appropriate materials, communicating ideas and feelings, developing ideas, experirnenting, applying knowledge. planning and making, adapting and modifying, comparing, and looking for purposes. I exarnined the artwork with Robertson's expectations in rnind, especially those that might provide insight to the children's undentanding of story structure.

Their illustrations certainly communicated ideas and 50% depicted the idea of the change-event. Some artwork subsumes the change-event into a complete storyboard. But in some cases, other ideas seemed to be more important than the change-event. For example some illustrations simply provide a catalogue of characters or at least the student's favourite character. Sometimes they illustrate a thing rnentioned in the story which led them to draw something they were interested in. For instance, some artists developed elaborate clothing worn by the characters. . -'. . j .- a'..: _A ... . - - . -a.. ., . - >'- -_ h 1 ' .r -

Illustration 19

Illustration 19 is a montage of art which shows a representative sample of the variety of costumes worn by the witch in Enchanter's Niahtshade.

Not only did the illustrations comrnunicate the ideas in the story, they also conveyed a feeling through their use of energy, colour and scale. For example, the wave that crushes the boat in the Loon, Raspberrv and Bat is huge in cornparison to the boat. In this way, they emphasized the change- event by exaggerating the scale of things.

Many students demonstrated their ability to develop new ideas from the story and some illustrations demonstrate how students merged an idea frorn me story with images from another. For example, rainbows originating in the Jack Frost story appear in illustrations of other stories.

Students used their imaginations to develop ideas from the limited details in the original story. For example, one student humorously placed a television set beside the bed in the groundhog's den. Another student collected al1 the treasure in the Loon, Rasaberw and Bat and illustrated it in a sunken treasure chest.

Many students were experimenting with ideas in their art. Students drew pigs, rabbits, and boats several times in pencil before committing to them to paint or markers. Many students show that they can adapt the story in their art. The ship in the Circe story occasionally becomes a modern battleship with canons; the raspberry bush becomes a character with arms who can exchange money.

Although the students experimented with the ideas in the story and modified some of the details, the central idea of the story remained unchanged. For example, in their illustrations, the boat in the loon story is always wrecked by a wave - the change-event of the story. Although there could be many other causes for a boat to sink, the change-event seemed to be fixed in the children's minds. Perhaps they felt that if they altered the change-event, they would no longer be itlustrating the story they had been asked to illustrate. This 'change-event loyalty" is true in their depiction of the other stories as well. The a+work shows the students' ability to plan. Sevenl students divided the page into a number of sections and illustrate a different scene in each section. They are not only analyzing the story into its scenes but sequence the scenes properly and layout the.illustration accordingly. In al1 the storyboard illustrations, one of the scenes depicted is the change- event. In spite of the presence of other scenes, the change-event is considered important and never omitted.

Just as with the tableau activity, students demonstrated in their artwork that they were aware of and could use artistic conventions such as space, colour, and shapes to convey their rneaning. I wish I could have persuaded the adults to produce a similar illustration so that I could have included an art camponent in the field experirnent. When I asked several pilot groups of adults to draw an illustration for me, they simply refused. I considered myself fortunate that adults did the tableau exercise.

I have asked adults in other contexts to illustrate a storyboard with stick figures. I presented this exercise as an aid to recall and through their effort of recalling, analyzing, planning and retelling the story in an art form, they can retell a story without a written text. Adults will illustrate the story this way for their own use but are reluctant to share their efforts. Illustration 20

Illustration 20, a representative storyboard of the Cardinal Storv, was produced by an adult in 4 minutes. She indicated that the middle bottom square is the 'defining moment" of the story [the changcevent], where the cardinal splashes about in the red paint.


It is possible to have adults, who do not consider themselves ta be artists, produce artwork based on a story, but this takes more time. In a residential storytelling workshop that lasts several days, I have encouraging sorne adults to produce artwork in small groups activities. Although, I presented these activities to increase participant learning by involving multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983) and experiential learning (Kolb, 1984), a researcher could develop this into a further method of exploring the irnponance of the changeevent and binary opposites in a story. Cha~ter9 - Discussion

This study explores how adults find rneaning in the binary opposite structures of stories. To be consistent with-the literature, I Iink the terms 'change-event" and 'binary opposites" by defining the change-event as the event in the story that changes the binary opposites from the beginning state to the opposite state. Although the study explores nature storytelling, these findings may have broader application to adult educators in other fields. The field experiment, my observations and the subsequent participant interviews al1 support the hypotheses:

Research question 1: Do participants choose the change-event and associated binary opposites as the most meaningful element of a story when they retell it as a tableau?

Research question 2: Are adults and children equally likely to choose the change-event and associated binary opposites as the most meaningful element of a story when they reteil it as a tableau?

There are several indications of the importance that the change-event hold for the participants. First, participants are likely to choose the change-event intuitively, even though they have no prior experience analyzing story structure. This is true for adults as well as children. As argued by Livo and Rietz (1986), we seem to have an implicit knowledge of story structure. Participants recognize that the change-event is the most meaningful due that they can provide the audience. When they were challenged to communicate the meaning of the story in one image. they chose the change-event for that image. Turner (1 996) writes that narrative image is the fundamental instrument of thought. He calls the change-event a particular type of image schema, which he describes as 'leading ton - a pattern basic to a story. The 'path" of the story moves from one point to another and the points on the path correspond to the stages of the story - beginning state and ending state of the binary opposites. It is the image of this change that participants recognize and communicate to the audience.

Participants also demonstrate change-event loyalty. Once they identified the image, they stuck to it. Although they changed many elements in their tableaux, their artwork, and their retelling of the story, the change-event itself remained constant in their minds. It was the image of the change- event which was the last element of the story to erode from their memory. When they were asked to retell the story 8 weeks later, a nurnber of participants reported that they rernembered the image of the change-event and rebuilt the details of the story from that picture.

Because the participating children chose the change-event as the most meaningful component of the story, this study is an empirical confirmation of Egan's (1 986) theory that binary opposites are meaningful to children. Egan is not aware of any previous empirical support of his theory (Egan, personal communication, 1998). He argues that binary opposites are the reason young children are engaged by a story. Further, because this study found that adults are equally likely to choose the change-event, it suggests that adults also organize their thinking on binary terms and this may be why adults are engaged by a story. Consequently, adult curriculum may be designed on the binary structure found in stories, and adult educators can design curriculum by adapting Egan's (1 986) theory. This proposal not only expands Egan's theory but confirms the broader suggestion by adult trainen (Bell, 1992; Zemke, 1990) that stories should be used in adult education.

Stories help people learn. After an 8-week period, participants could not only retell stories verbally, but they could analyze the story structure and indicate the change-event with the associated binary opposites. The use of stories led to changes in learner behaviour, indicating that content learning had taken place. For example, participants demonstrated their learning by retelling the stories to me and to others; they reflected on how they would use the stories elsewhere; they had modified stories to match a new location or situation; they had transcribed the stories into words or artwork in personal journals; they had interacted with nature by recognizing new bird calls or searching for natural elements highlighted in the stories.

The adult educator must decide the best use for stories. Nature storytelling is not meant to replace other forms of curriculum design but may be used in conjunction with them. At times, for instance, a nature story might serve only to break the ice in a new learning relationship. Or a story could be used to entertain. However, nature storytelling also is a powerful tool for introducing new content ta adult leamers. For example, listening to a good nature story is a learning experience consistent with experiential learning theory (Boud & Miller, 1992; Kolb, 1984).

Participants in this study explored and demonstrated the meaning of a story by retelling it in words, drama or artwork. These activities gave the participants additional opportunities to reflect on the meaning and explore new possibilities for the story. During the tableau activity, not only were the actors involved in experiential learning but those participating as an audience were engaged as well. They reported that these experiential activities in conjunction with their memory of the location where the story was told, aided their recall of the story and its nature content. In addition, a story, like any learning experience, must be followed by a time for reflection - 'chewing timew (Funk, 1966).

As with any experiential learning, it is possible for participants to discover something about themselves through the storytelling activity. They can be guided to reflect on their relationship with the story: what they liked about it and why; other stories that came to mind when they heard it; how they would change the story if they were to retell it. For exarnple, in this study, the participants spoke about stories in their lives and reported that they had learned about stories at home. They reflected on their comfort level when asked to retell the story verbally or in tableau. Many participants confirmed that adults need to feel comfortable in a group before being challenged with a public learning task such as performing a tableau. Although, many participants were originally reluctant to retell the story, they surprised themselves when they could recall the story as well as they did. They reported that they had learned something about the workings of their own memory.

Nature storytelling is also consistent with the theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983). Although, listening to a story is engaging for someone who possesses literal intelligence, stories can be a source of activities which engage the other intelligences. For example, puzzle stories rnay be found or created that appeal to learners who have logical/mathematical intelligence. Stories that introduce rhythm or music can appeal to those with musical intelligence. The concept presented in the Nature Storvtellina Workshor, (outlined in Appendix 6) is that a storyteller should attempt to present a mix of stories and story activities that honour the multiple intelligences (Roth, 1999).

Aside frorn the content learning and the self-learning that takes place by telling a story, fictional or otherwise, a storying situation can be relationship building. For example, a communication barrier between two people can be broken. Thus, telling a story is an effective way to open lines of communication between the storyteller and the listeners or between the facilitator and the adult learners. Participants reported that they wanted to share personal experience stories with me simply because I had told thern a story. This is consistent with the concept of a storying tribe (Barton & Booth, 1990). Exdanation and Amlication

As an interpretive naturalist, it has been my experience that fictional stories about nature can be more compelling than a presentation of biological facts, particularly for people having their first introduction to environmental education. Further, biological facts can be more engaging if they are woven into a story. 1 have found this to be true with groups of children, adults or family groups of mixed ages. The results from this study support my personal experience and suggest that binary opposites rnay be used to organize content in adult environmental education.

Egan's (1 986) theory states that, for young children, binary opposites are the most meaningful element of a story. Egan (1 986, 1997), Walker (1 975) and Lauritzen and Jaeger(1996) cal1 for the use of story in developing curriculum for children. Because adults seem to be equally engaged by binary opposites and the compelling change-event in a story, I propose that curriculum may also be created for adults using story structure and Egan's model (1 986).

I have adapted Egan's model in two fundamental ways. Fint, as a consequence of the present study, I am suggesting the expanded use of his model to include developing curriculum for adults. Second, I propose shifting the emphasis in his model from binary opposites to change-event. This is a shift in degree rather than absolute.

The binary opposites are part of the change-event. The change-event describes how the binary opposites change their states from the beginning to the .end of the story. The binary opposites without the change-event are simply details in the story. On the other hand, a change-event without binary opposites is simply a meaningless event. It takes the union of binary opposites with change-event to bring meaning to a story and to engage the audience. Turner says the change-event and the binary opposites are the story (Turner, 1998).

Egan developed his theory based on the importance that binary opposites have in our thinking and language (Egan, 1 986; 1997). He argues that since we use binary opposites to organize our thoughts, we have developed stories based on binary organization to cornrnunicate. He then takes the next step and asks why do we not use the power of stories when developing curriculum?

However, there are difficulties in realizing this objective in practice. I agree with Armstrong et al. (1994) that educators have difficulty proposing the binary opposites for a lesson when working through the steps in Egan's model. Although Egan's model was first published in 1986, and there have been many subsequent publications promoting the theory, only one book has been published to give teachers a blueprint for developing curriculum with the model (Armstrong et al., 1994). In cornparison, Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence, which originated around the sarne time, has spawned almost 100 books of practical applications and an active web site. Although Egan's is a good theory, there seems to be a problem applying it in the classroom. Armstrong et al. (1994) suggest that the use of binary opposites to develop curriculum remains an enigma. In Egan's curriculum template, he asks the curriculum planner to identify the binary opposites that will contribute the most meaning to the topic. Only one of the 40 participants in this study were familiar with the term, 'binary opposite." However, the participants could intuitively identify and communicate the binary opposites in their tableau and in their artwork. They seem to be able to identify the binary opposite once they have an image of the story. That image seerns to consist of the change-event. And further, when they had the concept of change-event explained to them, they could verbalize the change-event and were able to work backwards to identify the binary opposites.

Participants widely demonstrated their intuitive knowledge of change- event. Once they had chosen the image of the change-event to depict in their tableau, they referred to it as the 'crux," 'the central theme," ' the main scene," 'the turning point," 'the climax," 'the most mernorable part of the story," "the point of the story," or "the most obvious part of the story."

Because Armstrong et al. (1994) suggest that defining the binary opposite is the most difficult challenge in story analysis and because of the findings in this study, perhaps Egan would be better to shift the emphasis of his curriculum template from binary opposite to 'change-eventn - a concept which is quickly understood by adults and children alike. Once they have defined the change-event, adults have no difficuky working backwarâs to define the binary opposites underlying a story. Even though the concept of change-event seems to be a better starting place than binary opposites. adult educators hoping. to we this model should gain some experience analyzing story structure. One reason for this is that for any change-event in a story. there rnay be several binary opposites involved. For example, depending on which characters the analysis focuses on, the binary opposites for the owl story could be happy/sad (for the owl) or obedient/disobedient (for the rabbits). The transformation for the rabbits is frorn a state where they are obedient to a state where they are disobedient. On the other hand, the transformation for the owl is frorn a state where he is happy to a state where he is miserable. The binary opposites and the crucial human issue they reflect are relative to one of the charaeten in the story. Thus. although the change-event for this story is fixed, the definition of the binary opposites may Vary.

Using the following model (adapted from Egan, 1986 and Armstrong et al., 1994) may help adult educators select their teaching stories and plan their lessons. For example, once the topic is determined to be rneaningful, the adult educator can work through the steps of the model and generate a lesson based on story form as defined. The lesson might be as simple as teaching that a cardinal is a red bird with a black face patch and a distinctive Song or it might be more complicated such as a whole unit about tree planting and environmental rehabilitation (Armstrong et al., 1994). In either case, it is the story that organizes and presents the content. Adult Curriculum Desian Model. Aâapted from Egan (1 986, p. 41)

This model is useful whether the adult educator is choosing a meaningful nature story. creating a lesson from an existing story. or creating a new story for the purposes of teaching.

1) ldentify the importance of the topic: What is most important about this topic? Why should it matter to adults? What is affectively engaging about it? 2) Find a related change-event: What powerful change-event would catch the importance of the topic? (This step may suggest a number of stories.) 3) Organize the content into story form: What powerful binary opposites are suited to the change-event? What characteo, situations and content best articulates the topic into a story? (This step will help strengthen existing teaching stories or help create new ones.) 4) Evaluation How can the adult educator know whether the topic has been understood, its importance grasped and the content learned? Does this learning activity lead to a cornmitment to action?

The foliowing diagram rnay be useful as a way of conceptualizing the change-event structure underlying the curriculum design model. This illustration is an adaptation of a story game, "Sets in Conflict" (Lipman, 1995). The diagram illustrates the mechanics of a change-event. The left circle [abeled '0" represents the beginning state of the binary opposite; the circle on the right, labeled '+" represents the final state. The rectangle between them represents the change-event. Thus the following diagram is a merging of the story form theories of Livo and Rietz (1984), Egan (1 986) and Lipman (1 995).


Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites Figure 6

The arrows illustrate the forward rnovement of the story or to what Gardner (1 984) refers to as 'proffuence." Turner (1 996) refers to this as the 'directed path" of the story. Several authors suggest that it is this forward motion resolving the tension created by the beginning state of the binary opposite that engages us to listen to a story. This diagrarn may be used to illustrate the analysis of any story, as was shown in Chapter 6. For example, in the story The Owl and the Rabbits, the diagram would be filled in as below from the point of view of the owl. + Change-event n 0Owl is no longer content happy and bldiscover wild C) and begins to 1 carrots sing and angry

Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites Figure 7

In Figure 7, the information for the owl story has been inserted into the blank change-event diagram illustrated by Figure 6. The change-event for the story takes place when the rabbits discover wild carrots. The owl is happy before this event and unhappy afterwards. The binary opposites for the owl are happyhad. The arrows in the diagram illustrate the rnovement (directed path) in the story as the owl goes from a happy state to a sad state, thus a movement from a '+' to a '-."

Because a story may be used to comrnunicate content to adults, the model may also be used to illustrate a lesson or linked with other similar models to outline a unit of study. There is evidence from the realms of adult education and entertainment that further suggest it is the change- event between the binary opposites which adults find the most meaningful part of the story (Bell, 1992; Zemke, 1990). It is this change, giving stories their movement and direction and anticipated by the teller and the audience, which makes stofies so compelling. Many writers analyze storytelling for adults in film and pbys and describe the importance of change-event (Egri, 1946; McKee, 1997). They argue that classic stories based on the strong change between binary opposites are the most meaningful. They agree that it is the change~eventbetween binary opposites that draws the audience into the story, as at least one character in the story undergoes a change in some crucial human issue.

In the literature review, I discussed the concept of binary opposites in Western thought processes. Many authors (Egan, 1997; Goody, 1977; Hallpike, 1979; Levi-Strauss, 1977; Warren, 1990) present arguments about why binary thinking has becorne a powerful organizer in the way we see the world. They relate this type of thinking to adubs (modern and primitive) as well as to children.

Brown (1 99 1 ) connects story structure to binary thinking, writing that stories are culturally universal and have served as instructional medium since the beginning of time. Shea (1983) and Funk (1966) discuss the importance of stories and their change-event structure to Christian religious teaching. Funk writes that unlike conventional lectures, stories have a way of circumventing the mind's logic to capture the imagination. Armstrong (1 992) advises business trainers to consider using stories in their practice because stories have a long successful history in adult education. All these writers agree that there is something about storks that we find compelling; we retell them constantly; and they are essential communication tools that we use in everyday life. Levi-Strauss (1 977) demonstrated that binary opposites provide the basic underlying structure of the stories in traditional oral culture. He also argues that binary thinking may be basic to al1 human thought, going so far as to suggest that humans rnay be 'hard wiredw to think in binary terms.

1 have corne to believe that stories are a reflection of how we think. Because we think and organize meaning in binary terms, we communicate our thoughts by structuring stories on the sarne terms. Because stories play such an important role in our day-to-day communication, perhaps we should be giving stories a more prevalent place in our efforts to design adult curriculum.

Egan (1986, 1997) argues that stories are how children think. He suggests that using binary opposites is a way of frarning subjects in opposition terms and also to cornpress information. Several authors (Armstrong et al., 1994; Egan, 1986; Walker, 1975) argue that story structure is so fundamental to the way young children think that it should form the basic ternplate for curriculum and learning in schools. Although I agree with Egan (1 997) and Kegan (1 980) that adults progress beyond thinking in binary terms, I would argue that since adults do not differ from young children in their binary thinking related to stories, story structure can be used to develop curriculum for adults.

Although we already seem to know how stories work intuitively (Armstrong, 1992). the structure of stories is considered in detail by Livo and Rietz (1 986,1987,199 1). They argue that the common structure occurring in stories helps us to understand, remember and retell what we hear. They write that we fit information into a story template - a powerful tool for organizing our thoughts and helping us find meaning. Some educators may be disturbed by the proposition of organizing curriculum around binary opposites because binary thinking is blamed by deep ecologists, feminist theorkts and anthropologists as being responsible for many of the social problems of the world. Binary thinking, they Say, is responsible for separating humans frorn the rest of nature (Clover et al., 1998; Devall & Sessions. 1985; Evernden, 1993; Leopold, 1949; Livingston, 198 1). It is also faulted for creating artificial gender barriers and hierarchies (Fox-Keller, 1986; Warren, 1990). Goody (1 977) warns anthropologists that binary thinking causes artificial hierarchies between advanced and primitive cultures.

Goody (1977) and Warren (1990) warn that binary opposites are arbitrary and culturally related. For example, the word, 'blackW in one culture may mean something different in another culture. During the process of the study, I changed the Cardinal story so that the idea of a bird changing from being black did not offend anyone. Although I felt cornfortable telling the story in its modified form, other interpreters at the Kortright Centre did not. As a consequence of their concern, I no longer tell the story.

Warren (1 990) suggests that binary thinking itself may not be the culprit. Instead, she suggests that it is our practice of assigning hierarchical levels and values to the binary poles and not the binaries themselves that causes the problems. Egan (1 997) writes that, rightly or wrongly, binary thinking is how we find meaning in the world and how children in particular think. If binaries are how we think, perhaps we should be taking .advantage of them to structure the lessons we create. Although Egan was speaking of children, this study suggests that adults also think in binary terms. Consequently, adult educators should be taking advantage of binary structure when designing lessons for adults.

This awareness of binary organization is helpful to beginning and experienced storytellers as well as to curriculum planners. lnstead of rnernorizing a story word-for-word, the experienced storyteller can think of the structure and slot in the detail, rebuilding the story anew, every time he tells it (Livo and Rietz, 1986). Curriculum planners can create stories, organized on binary opposites as a frame for content. Once the change-event and binary pair are established, the details of the story or lesson may be slotted in.

Curriculum designers, such as Egan (1986), Lauritzen and Jaeger (1 996) and the Waldorf schools pick stories that already exist and relate to the topic to be taught. Walker (1 975) has students develop their own teaching stories. Adult educaton can do the same. They can design lessons around stories that already exist; create their own stories; or they can ask the group they are working with to creates a new teaching story.

Although Walker (1975) suggests that there may be some advantages in helping a group to create its own teaching story, some adult educators may prefer creating stories specific for their own purposes. When t was designing this study, I used three existing stories and created the remaining two frorn a variety of sources. Followirig Gardner (1984), there are three ways to choose or develop a story on which to base curriculum - the story may be derived by:

1 ) Borrowing a plot from a traditional story - 2) Working backwards from a change-event (climax) or premise 3) Working from an initial situation to a final conclusion.

During this stody, I inteMewed participants who had used each of these techniques. One of them suggested that she would find it useful to create teaching stories linked to a specific location or situation. The new story would probably be of the type that explains how a situation came about or how it used to be. The environment she would highlight would either reflect the beginning or the end state of the binary pair. She would then create a suitable change-event to bring powerful meaning to her local topic.

Several writers discussed the relative importance of the different elements of story - premise, character or confiict - and how binary opposites influence the shaping of these in the story (Egri, 1946; McKee, 1997). If storytellers/educators are aware of the importance of binary opposites, they can create characters, situations and conflict which amplify the clarity of the binary opposites underlying the story and thus bring stronger meaning ta the story and tesson content arising frorn the story. Three of the stories I told in this study existed with strong binary opposites. The two that I created were crafted with binary opposites that would be meaningful. A~~licationof the Findinas

The findings of the study have been applied to create The Nature Storytellina Worksho~(Appendix 6). The workshop represents a practical outcome of the study.. It incorporates an analysis of this study, a reflection of my own personal experience working with environmental educators, and a review of the literature.

The workshop is targeted at adults who do not consider themselves to be storytellers, but who wish to enhance their efforts in environmental education through nature storytelling. The activities of the workshop encourage the participants to consider and achieve some skill anatyzing and using story structure (specifically, the change-event and associated binary opposites) to frame their storytelling efforts and environmental curriculum design. Perhaps some of the activities will help environmental educators select and tell important teaching stories. The following is a brief outline of the most relevant activities suggested in the workshop.

Many of the adults I met in the study were reluctant to tell stories. Keen and Valley-Fox (1 989) were also aware of this reluctance and created an exercise to encourage adults to sharing personal experiences. This activity uses a map of the house the participants lived in before they were 10 years old. A map or house-plan can stimulate the memory and once the location is established the memories and stories begin to fiow. The participants easily share their personal experience stories with another participant. Several participants told me that when they were trying to remember the stories that I had told them, they pictured the trail where the stories had been told. Roman oraton pncticed a thras-hour speech by reheaning sections at different locations in Rome. When they came to present the oration, they remembered the sequence of locations first and this helped make the long speech without notes.

I propose that environmental educators teach through nature stones. Lipman (1 995) believes that in order to teach effectively with stories, it is important to understand their structure. He designed a number of exercises that encourage storytellers to explore the possibilities of a story. I have modified one of his exercises to give adult educators experience working with the change-event rnodel. Participants name three objects that they might have seen on a hike. lncorporating these three unrelated objects into the change-event model (Fig. 2). they create a simple story. By modifying the binary States or by experimenting with different change-events, they gain experience strengthening the meaning of a story.

Livo and Rietz (1 986) also suggest that knowing the structure of a story helps the storyteller and listener understand its meaning. If the story is being used as a teaching story to cornmunicate content, then it follows that understanding its structure is equally important to the teacher and the learner.

There are several other useful ways to analyze a story which can be used to teach a lesson. Egri (1 946) and Funk (1966) write about the unity of opposites or reversal of destiny. 00th these concepts describe the change of binary opposites in a story. It helps a storyteller or teacher to analyze a story in order to define the change unôergone by the protagonist but it can also be useful to consider the equol and opposite change in the antagonist. One way to do this is to consider the cost. For every change- event, there is a cost (Funk, 1966). In most of the stories that I tell and have analyzed, the cost is bom by the antagonist. For example in the owl and rabbit story, after the changcevent, the rabbits enjoy the new food, but the cost is the lost ffiendship with the owl. In many environmental stories, the cost is borne by the environment. Understanding the cost is one more way of understanding story structure.

Once adult educators are aware of the importance of story structure, specifically change-event, they will be better able to use stories as a tool for teaching. Another exercise that helps educators visualize binary opposites is the game, 'Fortunately-unfortunately." I cornbined a children's story by Charlip (1966) with a story game from Lipman (1 995) to create this exercise which reinforces the importance of binary opposites in a story. The participants experience the rhythm of positive and negative pales as they 'dance" across a sequence of rninor change- events that they create. Livo and Rietz (1 986) write that once the structure of the story is known, storytelling becornes a simple 'slotting- in" of the details. This exercise supports Livo and Rietz, as adutt educators dot in the details of a story once they are given the structure. Limitations of the Studv and Future Research in an exploratory study of this nature. thete are certain limitations and indications for further research. ln this section I mention a few.

Were my stories suitable for this study? I chose the 5 key stories more or less at random from my repertoire because I was familiar with them - not because they were particularly suited to a study about change-event and binary opposites. It would be useful to examine the response to other stories to explore whether the result is consistent with those of the present study. For example, perhaps in other stories, the structural elements are not as recognizable. In relation to Turner's (1 996) classification of little stories, it might alto be useful to further examine the 5 key stories to ensure that there was not too much overlap between stories of the same type or category. For example. the loon story and the cardinal story are both 'how son stories, which explain how sornething came to be as it is.

In the case of these two stories of the same type, participants reacted differently. When participants chose the element with the most meaning in the loon story, they did not select the change-event where the wave destroys the boat. Eighteen of the 20 groups chose the scene which portrays the loon with its head under water, the raspberry grabbing at clothing and the bat flying at night. This scene represents the end state of the binary opposites rather than the change-event itself. There was no confusion about the change-event - they identified it during the interviews. However, they chose to show the binary end state instead. Although I made every effort to tell the stories the same way every tirne, 1 should have audio-taped each telling so that an independent judge could have venfied that 1 was telling the story the same way to each group. It would be interesting, to explore how modifying the telling affects listener response and to what extent this can affect the listener's perception of the change-event.

I defined adults as anyone over the age of 20. The limited scope of this field experiment would not be able to detect differences in more narrowly defined age groups. It would be instructive to explore listener response for participants of different ages. Along with adults, I chose grade 4 students because of the tableau connection in their mandated curriculum. Grade 4 students also fall into Egan's (1 986) category of 'younger children." Students in grade 8 are also required by their curriculum to retell stories as tableau. Drama and art are also used to explore the meaning of a story in other curriculum areas.

A prime area for funher research is into the use of Egan's adapted model. Will adult educaton use the rnodel which emphasizes change-event rather than binary opposites? Are there other obstacles to the use of the story model? What additional changes to the model will make it more applicable to the needs of adult educaton?

During the process of this study, I have had many opportunities to share my findings with instructors at environmental centres. Some of these adult educators use stories in their educational efforts and some do not. A review of how nature stories are currently used and whether or not the instructors find them effective could eniich my understanding and possibly affect my argument.

Several participants mentioned the effect of the length of the story. Some suggested that it would have been a better educational strategy if I had told fewer but longer stories. Others suggested the opposite - that I should tell more but shorter stories. Others suggested that I should try telling a few stories that are not nature stones - that they were saturated with nature stories by the time I had finished. Perhaps they might have been able to absorb the important content of several more stories had they not been stories about nature. Another participant suggested that the stories were al1 new and it might have been useful for me to weave into an old familiar story, some new nature content material.

Although, storytelling is too personal to prescribe a specific strategy that will be perfect for al1 instructors and al1 listenen, it would be instructive to explore the suggested variations. In terms of the learners, it would be interesting to explore which strategy brings about the most cornmitment to action - that is, which stories and follow-up activities encourage the participants to retell the story? Similarly, what mix brings about the greatest commitrnent to environmental action?

Several participants suggested that I should explore the general use of stories in presentations. What kind of stories are effective and what is the effect on the audience. Participants shared anecdotal evidence that using stories during a presentation to adults is useful. Armstrong (1 992) confirms this notion. but I found no empirical evidence in the literature. Sever3 participants suggested that telling stories is a way of breaking down barriers that exist between the telier and the listener. Revealing something about himself, the storyteller makes it casier for the listener to reveal something in retum. This idea is explored by Coles (1989) for the counsellor/therapist, but it might be a useful strategy for researchers. Turner (1996) suggested that we think in terme of stories. Perhaps, by telling a story, we are engaged in something more than simply revealing something about ourselves. Perhaps our story is a cataîyst to the storying complex within the listeners, encouraging them to add their story to the conversation. Swartz (1999) suggests that the best way to respond to a story is to tell another one - stones beget stories. Many of us experience this catalytic effect when we hear a joke and other jokes spring to mind.

Many adult participants in the study revealed a resistance to tableau creation and performance. It would be instructive to further investigate the factors influencing their cornfort level. Would more time together help? How is this activity accomplished in drama workshops? How many of the adults were familiar with parlor games? i could ask the same question about artwork or verbal storytelling. Children in the study were less resistant to attempting the activity than adults. At what point in our social development do we begin to resist demonstrating examples of our crea tivity?

The adults refused to prepare any artwork and when they created stick- figure storyboards they were reluctant to share them. Adults were also more reluctant to retell the stories verbally. Even during adult workshops with highly motivated people, the participants are reluctant to tell stories. In my workshops. I will continue to gather data about participant comfort level and factors infiuencing it for adults. One of the participants, Anna, expressed her concem about comfort level and explained how she would never feel comfonable using an activity such as tableau in an adult learning situation.

I dont think I'd feel comfortable putting people in a position where they're not comfortable. I know that not everybody wants to do it. Not everybody wants to be in front of a crowd of strangers acting goofy and doing that kind of thing. They can be goofy in other ways but not that way. Children are different. I might try it with children. They like playing garnes. Adults, t think, grow out of that - it's too bad really. It's the same with art. You can ask kids to draw you a picture of something and they dive right in - but ask an adult and he'll freak out - he won't do it (Anna [adult], Interview 2).

It is difficult persuading adults to produce artwork. Jeff Miller has developed an art program for adults called 'Look-See-Paint." Like nature storytelling, his program has been developed primarily as a tool for connecting people with nature. The program has been incorporated into an in-service experiential education program for teachers at Queen's University. The adult participants tackle making a small watercolour painting - something potentially threatening and very risky but in a supportive environment. Miller (personal communication, 2000) argues that in a safe, friendly workshop atmosphere, adults will create artwork that reconnects them with nature. He explains to the participants that they are not to worry about the final product but only cmsider the process which is fun. It would be useful to observe one of his adult workshops to detemine whether this technique could be used in conjunction with nature storytelling .

The Toronto Zoo is designing a study to explore the perception of nature held by their visitors. Researchers plan to ask visiton what nature means to them. After sharing the rnethods and results of this study, the researchers at the zoo are considering adding a component to their study where adutt visitors will be asked to comment on what nature means to them, in a non-verbal way such as in a drawing, a tableau or by selecting photographs from a set.

Stories are not the answer to every cuniculum need. Some participants told me that the nature stories got in the way of their learning about nature. They were confused by the fictional stories. I would like to compare the effectiveness of a nature storytelling hike to a nature 'fact" hike. I would compare the effectiveness of these two strategies by examining the behaviour change of the clients.

I would like to further examine the additional effect of cornmunity-based social marketing techniques (McKenzie-Mohr, 1998). Several participants demonstrated that a prompt served to rernind them of their cornmitment to tell the stories to others. It would be instructive to explore different kinds of prompts and tests for participant cornmitment to action. For example, one of the participants, Barb, said that my follow-up phone cal1 prornpted her to action. i'm going to do the drama thing with my Ws. I'm glad you called because you have reminded me to try it. I know they'll like it (Barb [adult], Interview 2).

In the method for this study, the two interviews were separated by a period of 8 weeks. At what point do people forget the story and in what order are the elernents of the story are forgotten? I could do several follow-up interviews with the participants to explore how the story fades in their memory and which component lingers the longest. At what point does even the image of the change-event disappear?

Several participants suggested that removing the S-minute time constraint would have affected the final outcome of the tableau. Others suggested that the one scene restriction rnight have affected their exploration of the story. Because there are other valid methods of producing a tableau, it would be instructive to explore whether'different techniques affect the associated leaining - for example, remove the one- - scene-only constraint and have the pai'rticipants prepare a full skit. This would require more time but is the final, outcome worth the effort?

Another Ksue worth exploring is the effect of group size. A group of 5 was convenient for the school groups. To be consistent, I used the same sized group with the adults. However, would a different sized group be more or less effective as a learning strategy? Conclusion

This brings me to the end of my thesis journey (Cole & Hunt, 1994). 1 look fondly back at the process'and think about what I have cdlected along the way. Seven years ago, I started this study with a mystical admiration for the power of story as a teaching tool. I knew storytelling worked with adults but I did not know why. This study answen some of my questions while introducing new ones.

First of all, stories have a long history of use by adult educators to teach content. Perhaps, Armstrong (1992) says it best when he argues that stories have been around for such a long time, there must be something to them. McKee (1 997) and McQueen (1 998) demonstrate that the basic story form is still the most powerfully engaging form of adult communication today. Adults are engaged by stories and will remember their content.

Educators who deal mostly with children undentand the power of story: Many of them present powerful arguments for using stories in the classroom. Egan (1 986, 1998) writes that children actually think in teims - of stories and consequently, story form should becorne the main template: for designing curriculum for children. Turner (1 996) examines the change-event in a story and relates story to al1 forms of thinking. He extends his argument to include al1 learning and says that story form is the basic learning tool for organizing our thoughts.

Many philosophers of education believe that stories are fundamental to our thinking because they are based on binasr fom. They Say that we organize our thjnking on binaries to make it possible to deal with a11 the information we are exposed to. We have evolved stories as a communication tooi to exploit the power of binary thinking.

But communicating with stories is not restricted to literary fom. When I started this study, I considered stories as literary. Perhaps the most exciting part of this study for me was when I saw what could happen when I encouraged participants to explore stories through words. art, or drama. The stories and their associated content blossorned and changed participant behaviour. I am looking forward to considering music as a way to explore stories.

For me, one of the greatest thrills and one of the most exciting 'surprises" emerging from this study was the concept of 'confidingness" (Carter, 1993; Swartz, 1999; Turner, 1996) or how one of the responses to a story, is the telling of another story. When listeners recognize a pattern in a story, they are almost cornpelled to respond by tellingda story of their own. Children with often respond to a story they have heard by spontaneously acting out one of the scenes ('You be Circe;-i'll be the pig") whereas adults will verbally share a related story with the storyteller. In . both cases, the listeners are sharing a secret with the storyteller because they feel that the storyteller has shared one with them. The pattern they have recognized that triggered their response may be related to the fundamental change-event in the story. I believe that this study validates the use of storytelling as an effective tool in adult education. By adapting Egan's (1 986) theory, and being aware of the importance of binary opposites and the change-event, educators can choose or create powerful, effective teaching stories for rdults. In the context of this study. the respomes of adults and children to a storytelling event are very simibr.

Environmental educators need al1 the help they can get to engage people in environmental experiences. Nature stories can introduce people to local environmental content that they would not be expoâed to in any other way. The stories, as simple as they may seem, might lead people to seek more understanding about the natural wodd. Seeking more information may be the first step in caring about the environment. Aesods Fables. (1 9 12). A translation bj1 V.S. Vernon Jones, Nenv York: Avenel Books.

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Amendix 1 - The 1998 Ontario Curriculum for Grade 4

The Ontario Ministry of Training and Education-(1 998) has mandated a curriculum for elementary students which includes a variety of storytelling activities. This appendix analyzes the curriculum and suggests nature storytelling activities which meet the requirements of grade 4 students - who Egan (1 986) refers to as young children.

First of all, this curriculum describes oral communication skills and stresses specific skills of analysis and critical thought related to extending storytelling to other the media such as drama, artwork and computer technology.

Nature storytelling activities not only achieve specific mandated objectives but also often integrate two or more objectives. Nature storytelling meets an expressed overarching objective of the curriculum; namely demonstnting the interrelationships between subject fields. I chose five specific stories for the field test, which along with the activities derived from them, meet some of the explicit objectives of the language, arts and science and technology curriculum guides.

"Language is central to students' intellectual, social and emotional growth and must be seen as a key element of the curriculum" (Language, p.5). Within the language section, there are three strands; writing, reading, and oral and visual communication. There are several areas in which storytelling activity teaches skills that are mandatory from each strand.

Language is described as a crucial tool for learning in all areas, including arts and science and technology. Through a study of literature such as nature stories, the students corne to understand other people and themselves and appreciate the power of words and the many different uses of language. In planning language prograrns, teachers are encouraged to help students acquire language through instruction combined with interesting and purposeful activities using oral Ianguage. Because the various language functions are interdependent, teachers are encouraged to plan activities that blend material from the different strands. Thus lessons in writing and reading should draw on oral language activities and vice versa.

Teachers will ernphasize effective communication and will provide language activities that stress communication. They will encourage communication within the classroom by providing opportunities for students to interact with one another individually, as well as through small and large-group assignrnents.

Oral and Visual Communication: Grade 4

Students are expected to identify the main points of a story and gain experience analyzing story structure. The tableau activity in the field experiment matches the specific requirement of the oral and visual communication curriculum where students identify the main point of the story and communicate it through oral and visual communication conventions - retelling stories verbally. in drama, and in artwork.

While telling their own stories in the classroom, students are expected to use vocabulary learned in other subject areas. They are also expected to use effective openings and closings and to use appropriate gestures in classroom activities such as tableau.

Students are expected to be developing listening skills. While on the nature hike they will Iisten to the storyteller and later, they will listen to each other as they prepare their tableau. They are also expected to stay on topic without intervention by the teacher. While they are negotiating they will use appropriate strategies to organize and carry out the group project (e.g . brainstorming, summarizing, giving and following instructions). The cu,rriculum calk for some knowledge about the use of media such as photography for communication. The field expriment involves photography. Since each dass receives a copy of al1 the photographs of their class, they could develop and practice media communication skills such as identifying camen angles; distance from the subject; and effects of photographic devices on the viewer's perception. The students could create a variety of media works to meet the requirements of the curriculum (e.g. create an album of camen shots, identifying the different camera angles and distances and commenting on their effects, and writing appropriate copy for the photographs). Students will be able to relate the nature storytelling activity to the reading strand of the curriculum through a number of enrichment activities. After their field trip, students could read a variety of related fiction. I provide a suggested bibliography of grade 4 suitable material including web sites. Students are required to define a specific purpose for reading (such as further research) and select suitable material. For example, they might wish to do some reading about one of the animals from the five stories to prepare a report.

Once they have read a story, grade 4 students are expeaed to identify the main idea in a piece of writing and provide supporting details for their argument. Following their nature hike, they could identify and describe elements of the 5 stories (e.g. plot, central idea, characters, setting). One of the requirernents of the curriculum is retelling a stories in another way (e.g. as a dramatization such as tableau).

In the writing strand, students will communicate through writing ideas or information for a variety of purposes. Telling a story orally to a variety of audiences will give them an opportunity to organize and develop their ideas before they commit them to paper. They will also produce a piece of writing using other media such as a photo sequence. For example, teachers might use the photos I provide as the basis for a creative writing assignment- a kind of photojournalism. The Arts Cumculum: Grade 4

The arts cumculum has three strands, music, visual arts and drama and dance. Through the study of music, visual arts, and drama and dance, students not only develop the ability to think creatively and critically, but also develop physical coordination and the ability to work both independently and with others. The creative and practical work also encourages students to express themselves in verbal and non-verbal ways, and can enable them to discover and develop abilities that can prove to be rich sources of pleasure later in life.

Students are encouraged to link the study of the arts with the study of other fields such as language and nature study (science). and gain an appreciation of the importance of the arts, both as sources of enjoyment and as means of communication.

Teachers are encouraged to help students develop fundamental knowledge and skills that will enable them to appreciate artistic expression and to participate creatively in the arts They will design lessons that help students understand the basic elements and aspects of each of the arts such as improvisation in drama (tableau).

Students should explore ways in which knowledge and skills learned through experiences in the arts can be applied in other areas of the curriculum. Students can make use of drawing skills to enhance a written report or tableau skills to enhance an oral presentation.

Students are encouraged to project a positive attitude toward the arts. By giving students an opportunity to use their imagination and problern- solving and critical-thinking skills, the teacher is giving the students a chance to have fun thus encouraging young children to develop a positive attitude to the arts.

The nature storytelling activity has several opportunities to relate to the music strand outlined in the arts curriculum. Two of the stories involve music - the cardinal story involves whistling and the owl tale involves hooting and rhythmic chants. ('Who cod

Other activities that relate to the curriculum would be to fit the story to a farniliar melody or beat. Students could create an accompaniment for a story using their knowledge of beat, rhythm or a musical inst~ment. To satisfy the requirement of a media exercise, their new music could be tape recorded or video taped.

In the visual arts strand of the arts curriculum, students are required to produce two and three-dimensional works of art that communicate ideas from a story. Their tableau is a three-dimensional work and the accompanying photograph and artwork are two-dimensional.

In the drama and dance strand of the arts curriculum. students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of some of the pinciples about the structure of a dramatic work. One specific requirement of the curriculum is that the students interpret and communicate the meaning of a story by creating a tableau. While doing so. they should identify and apply solutions to problems to problems they encounter (e.g. which scene to show in the tableau). They should describe and interpret their own and others' work using appropriate drama such as tableau and appropriate vocabulary and explain the use and significance of symbois or objects (e-g. gestures or props).

They will represent and interpret main characters by speaking. moving. and writing in role. They will demonstrate control of movement in tableau and demonstrate the ability to maintain concentration while in role (e.g. create and present tableaux in small groups, using a specific focus of the story) and using facial expressions, gestures and symbols to convey meaning.

The students will explain how elements of drama work together to create an intended effect on the audience. They will identify their own feelings and reactions in various situations, and compare them with those of a character they have portrayed.

Science and Technoloav - Grade 4

Nature storytelling has two major intersections with the Grade 4 Science and Technology curricuium. The first connection is found in the content of the nature story itself which is drawn from the natural world. The second connection is found in the development of skills in communication within the science curriculum itself.

First of al1 the connection of nature stories to the science and technology seems obvious. The content for most nature stories is drawn from the life systems strand. In grade 4, this strand focuses on the ecological concepts of habitats and communities which builds on the basics about plants and animals introduced in grades 2 and 3. Stories (either real-life or fictional) that feature plants and animals in their own habitat or community fit the requirements of the curriculum.

A teacher can choose stories about specific animals so that the students will be introduced to such ecological concepts as the food chah and animal communication. The students will then be able to classify organisms according to their role in a food chain (e.g., producer, consumer. carnivore and herbivore) and be able to describe structural adaptation of plants and anirnals that demonstrate a response of living things to their environment (e.g. colour. eyes adapted to see at night. animal communication through sound).

Practice with general communication skills is an essential component of the science and technology curriculum. Many of the activities and tasks that students undertake involve the use of communication skills. both written and oral (Science and Technology, p. 9). In rnany ways a science "experirnentw is like a story which has characten, a situation and an expectation or hypothesis. After the event or experiment, there is a resolution similar in effect with the conclusion of a story. Gaining skills in storytelling can help young writers communicate their findings in a scientifi c investigation. The curriculum emphasize the importance of clear, concise communication. a skill developed by practice in storytelling.

There are several specific connections between the content of nature storytelling and Energy and Control: Grade 4 - light and sound energy. Students will be able to recognize a variety of rounds and sources in their environment and group them according ta pitch and loudness (e.g. cardinal, owl and blue jay). They should be able to identify various uses of sounds encountered daily (e.g. warning sounds of a blue jay). Appendix 2 - Enrichment Activities suggested to Grade 4 teachers

Note to the teacher

Here are suggestions for enrichment activities following your nature storytelling hike at the- Kortright Centre. The activities have been designed to meet some of the leaming expectations for grade 4 students. Please let me know how they work, how you rnodified them or how you and your class created new ones.

Thank you,

Allan Foster

1 ) A New Storv

In srnall groups. the students create a story about a rabbit that escapes from a coyote. Then, they find a way to tell the story to the rest of the class through drama, writing, music, artwork, cornputer or cartooning.

2) Food Chain Stories

In small groups, students will construct food chains that include different plant and animal species including humans. They should use the Sun as the starting point. They will select one of these food chains and create a story about it.

In pairs, the students select one of the nature stories they learned and using a computer, create a map of the environment of the story. They should be directed to mark positions on the rnap where specific events happened. They should use this map as an illustration while they retell the story. 4) Research - Where. Whv and How

In pairs, students select an animal or plant mentioned in one of the nature stories. They research that animal and plant. They should specifically look for information about that animal's environment and wttat it contributes to the envi-nment. What value does that animal or plant have to its family?

5) Same Animal - Another Stow

In pairs, students find a story in the library about any animal they choose. They read the story and then prepare a presentation like a sales pitch to persuade the rest of the class to read it.

6) Chart Pa~erStow

In smalf groups, students create a story that they can read to grade one students. They present the story with a chart paper illustration and tape recorded sound effects.

New stow from old characters

In small gtoups, students select two characters from two different nature stories that they heard. They write a new story about those characten.

8) New storv from old dcture

In small groups, the students take one of their favourite photographs from the nature storytelling (perhaps the one they are in) and wnte a new story about new characters suggested by that photograph. Appen,dix 3 - Learning expectrtions

The following are learning expectations compiled from the Language, Science and Technology and Arts cumcula for grade 4 students. These expectations may be met by attending the nature storytelling program at Kortright. Students will:

- retell a story by adapting it for presentation in another way (Language, p. 32). - interpret and communicate the meaning of stories using a tableau (Arts, p. 53). - create tableaux in small groups with a specific focus, using facial expressions and symbols to convey meaning (Arts, p. 53). - enact or create, rehearse and present dnrna based on stories (Arts, p. 53). - identify and describe elements of stories (e.g. plot, central idea, characters , setting) (Language, p. 32). - identiS different sounds and their sources in their environment (Science and Technology, p. 60). - produce a three-dimensional work of art that communicates an idea to a specific audience (Arts, p. 36). - create a poster for display to commemorate a personal literary hero (Arts, p. 36). - create an accompaniment for a story; using their knowledge of beat, rhythm and tone cdour (Arts, p. 18). - communicate ideas and information for a variety of purposes to specific audiences (Language, p. 17). - communicate a main idea about a topic and describe a short sequence of events (Language, p. 43). - contribute and work constructively in groups (Language, p. 43). - use effective openings and closings in oral presentations (Language, p. 43). Appendix 4 - Consent form for adult participants Hello.

Thank you for agreeing to help me. Your signature at the bottom of this form will indicate that you have consented to parricipate in my research project. Your name will not be used.

What is this about?

I am studying how groups dramatize stories. I will be photographing you in a group of 5 as you present a tableau. In the course of my research, I will be collecting hundreds of photognphs which will be examined by two independent consultants. A few will be included in my final report for illustration purposes. The photographs will not be published in any way.

I may ask some of you to answer a few questions about the storytelling activity. If you agree, I may tape record your responses. As with the photographs, your name will not be used in the report.

Your participation in this project is entirely voluntary. Even after you sign this consent form, you have the right to withdraw fiom the project at any time, for any reason. If you choose to withdraw, cal1 me and I will destroy the photograph and the audio tape.

Thank you for your help.

I have read the above description of Allan Foster's research project and consent to participating.

...... Signature

I am ...... years of age. Appenaix 5 - Interview Guiding Questions interview Questions - First interview for adults

1) Which story did your group present as a tableau? Can you give me a synopsis of the story?-

2) Which part of the story âid your tableau portny? Was there another element or elements of the story your group considered presenting? As a group. how did you decide on what to element present?

3) Describe briefly your experience of preparing the tableau. Why did you choose to play a particular character? How were the characte6 assigned? Do you remernber what characters the other members of your group portrayed?

4) How did the audience respond? Were there any comments about your tableau? Was the audience confused?

5) Do you recall the other 4 stories retold as tableaux?

) Did you feel cornfortable doing this activity? How about the others in your group? Did anything about this activity surprise you? 7) Would you like to do an activity like this again? Would you use an activity like this? How would you change it?

8) Did you leam anything new about nature or did the stories get in the way?

9) Are you familiar with the term 'binary opposite" in relation to story structure?

10) Have you used stories as an educational tool before?

1 1 ) Did doing the tableau help you remember the story?

12) Since hearing the stories have you had any connection with the animals or plants that you met in the stories? Second interview for adults

1) Which story did your group present as a tableau? Can you give me a synopsis of the story?

2) Which part of the story did your tableau portray? Was there another element or elements of the stov your group considered presehting? As a group, how did you decide on what to element present?

3) Describe briefly your experience of preparing the tableau. Why did you choose to play a particular character? How were the characters assigned? Do you remernber what characters the other memben of your group portrayed?

4) How did the audience respond? Did the audience guess the story right away? Have there been any further comments about your tableau?

5) Do you recall the other 4 stories retold as tableaux?

6) Did you feel cornfortable doing this activity? How about the others in your group? Did anything about this activity surprise you?

7) Have you retold the story since we last spoke? Have you had an opportunity to do another tableau activity? How did you/would you change it?

8) Did you learn anything new about nature from the stories? Have you seen (the nature object) since you were at Konright?

9) Can you define the change-event and binary opposites for your story? i O) Do you have anything to add? First intemiew for children

1 ) Which story did your group present as a tableau? Can you tell me the story? Did doing the tableau help you remernber the story? .- 2) Why did you pick that scene from the ~tory? Was there anything else your group considered using in the tableau?

3) Describe briefly your experience of preparing the tableau. Why did you choose to play a particular character? How were the characten assigned? Do you remember what characte- the other members of your group portrayed?

4) How did the audience respond? Did the audience guess rîght away what story you were describing in your tableau? Did anybody Say anything to you about your tableau?

5) Can you remember the other 4 stories or the other 4 tableaux?

6) How did you feel doing this activity? Have you done tableau before? Did everybody in your group enjoy thernselves? Did anything about this activity surprise you?

7) Would you like to do an activity Iike this again? How would you change it?

8) Did you learn anything new about nature from the stories?

9) Do you like stories? Who tells you stories? Do you have a favourite story?

10) Do you have anything to add?

Second interview for children

1 ) Which story did your group present as a tableau? Can you tell me the story? Have you told the story to anyone else? Did doing the tableau help you remember the story? 2) Wh, did you pick that scene from the story?

3) Describe briefly your experience of preparing the tableau. Why did you choose to play a particular character? How were the characters assigned? Do you remember what characten the other members played?

4) Can you remember the other 4 stories or the other 4 tableaux?

5) Did you leam anything new about nature frorn the stories? Have you seen (the nature object) since you were at Kortright?

6) Do you like stories? Who tells you stories? Do you have a favourite story?

7) Can you define the change-event and binary opposites for your story?

8) Do you have anything to add? Appendix 6 The Nature Storytelling Workshop

1) Introduction to Stow Structure

This component introduces and reviews the concept of story structure, change-event and binary opposites. The introduction is based on the story theones of tivo and Rietz (1 986) and Egan (1 996).

Following the brief introduction, the participants assemble into teams of S. 1 present each team with a printed version of a short Aesop fable (no more than 200 worâs). Each team analyzes the story to identify the change-event and the binary opposites. Each team then reports its findings back to the rest of the participants by indicating the change- event and binary pair. The participants discuss the importance of story structure to storytellers.

Debriefing: The participants corne to realize that al1 Aesop fables are structured after the same pattern and that this pattern is dased on the change-event.

2) House Mao - Tellina erso on al stories

This exercise encourages the participants to share personal experience stories with another participant. The activity is adapted from an exercise created by Keen and Valley-Fox (1 989). As a frarne for the activity, the participants are supplied with a piece of 10 x 17 inch paper and asked to draw a fioor-plan of the house they lived in before they were 10 years old. Once they have completed the floor-plan, they indicate with an "XW two places in the house where something important happened. They share with a partner the event that tod< pîace at the 'X." Som participants might be more cornfortable drawing a map of their backyard or some park where they can remember something important happening. For each event they also define the binary opposites.

My experience with this exercise is that it is very effective with people who do not consider themselves to be storytellers. Many participants will Say at the outset that they do not (or can not) tell stories. But during this activity, the participants become animated and excited about the incidents they are sharing. The noise level in the room rapidly escalates as excitement and cornfort levels build.

Debriefing. The participants come to understand that their sharing of personal experiences is really telling stories. When they analyze the personal experience in terms of a change-event and binary opposites, they come to understand the universal structure of a story - fantasy or otherwise.

3) Usina binaw ocmosites to create a stow

This game is an adaptation of a game 'Sets in confiict" ( Lipman, 1995). Because it uses the concept of set theory and Venn diagrams, it honours the mathematical intelligence (Gardner, 1 983). l introduce this activity by dnwing two large circles on a flip chart. To emphasize what I am trying to illustrate, t label the left circle '-"and the right circle '+."

Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites

Then I ask the participants to kt three unrelated nature objects that could be found on a hike. The group then chooses two of the objects that can somehow be related. For example, perhaps two objects are the same colour. I write the names of these two objects inside the circle on the right. Then I write the name of the third object - the one that does not belong - in the circle on the left. The participants then fom into teams of 5. Each team creates a very short fantasy story that involves a change- event that results in the object in the left circle becoming a member of the right circle.

The two circles represent the general binary opposite, "belongingn and "not-belonging." The rectangle between the circles represents a change- event which will cause the object that does not belong to become one that belongs. In the following exarnple the binary opposites are livinghot living.

An example: When I ask the whole group for the names of three unrelated objects found on a hike, the group rnight corne up with "feather," 'stone," and 'leaf." I then ask the whole group to decide which two items might normally be considered to be in a set and why. The whole group might suggest that 'feather " and 'leaf" could be considered in a set of objects that are or were once alive. The stone therefore would not be in that set under this criteria. I then write "feather" and 'leaf" in the right circle and "stone" in the left circle.

Once this situation has been established, the whole group breaks up into small groups of 5 and each small group creates a short fantasy story that describes how the stone goes through tome magical change-event and becornes a member of the set of objects that are alive. The premise of the story is shaped from the suggestions of the whole group but the unique details of the story, such as characters and situations are determined by the malt groups.

After a few minutes, each group will choose a volunteer to tell their story to the group.

Egan (1 976) suggests that the abstract concept of belonging and not belonging to a group is very familiar ta even young children. in the above example, I grouped the faather and leaf into the same set. but other arrangements are possible under different selection criteria. For example. the group might have decided that the leaf was green and the stone and the feather were both grey. This arrangement would lead to different fantasy stories because this time it would be the leaf that had to undergo some change before it could join the other group. It might be helpful to list the names of the objects three tirnes thereby showing the three possible groupings. For example:

1) stone leaf and feather 2) leaf stone and feather 3) feather stone and leaf

Groups wishing to practice the skill of dev-loping stories from binary opposites and change-event could try this activity again by selecting other possible arrangements of the three objects and creating new stories based on the new groupings. This illustrates that rnany completely different stories can be derived from the same premise (binary opposites and change-event). Egri (1 946) argues that a storyteller should begin with a premise - the details evolving from the premise.

Another variation of the activity could be to have the participants start again by selecting three cornpletely different objects. Three different objects and a new diagram will give rise to more unique stories.

This activity illustrates and reinforces several important storytelling concepts and skills. The first concept is to improvise a fantasy story explainhg how an object moves from one pole of a binary pair to the other or, in other words, how an object joined r set that it did not originally belong to.

The second benefit of the adivity is the opportunity to explore the idea of set theory where objects are deemed to either belong to a set or not. This can lead to further understanding about the importance of binary opposites in stories and how they may be illustrated.

Debriefing: The discussion following this activity might move naturally into thinking about objects that are part of multiple, overlapping and non- overlapping sets and Venn diagrams. It might also evolve into a brief discussion about the binary pair hurnan/the rest of nature, which is considered so important by deep ecologists.

This activity illustrates an important correspondence between mathematics and storytelling. Set theory is the study of like and unlike, or similarity and difference, of inclusion and exclusion. As I have described, most stories are structured to exemplify these concepts and describe the movement frorn like to dislike, exclusion to inclusion or difference to similarity. Liprnan (1 995) suggests that mathematics pursues the implications of relationships between concepts white stories investigate the implication of relationships between characters (Lipman, 1975).

In addition, this activity makes use of one of the lessons of environmental education, which is 'everything is connected to everything elsew (Commoner, 1990). By connecting two unrelated objects and creating a story to connect the third object, the participants observe how this principle works.

4) Skit from Proos

Although this activity introduces the concept of telling a story through drama, because it resembles a party game, it can also serve as an ice breaker (Warren, 1983). Although they are given a theme, the participants develop a story from objects rather than a premise (Egri, 1946).

The participants group into tearns of 5. Each tearn receives a bag filled with about 15 abjects that I have prepared in advance. I tell the tearns that they have 15 minutes to create a skit, using al1 the props in the bag. I also tell them that the therne of the skit will be, 'Something happened on my way through the forest." The objects in the prop bag can be anything such as pine cones, pencils, string, small stick or balloons. The objects may be used to represent themselves something else. For example, in my experience participants have used a piece of string to represent a fishing Iine, a path in the woods or a web of Iife.

Each team is sent to its own corner of the room to create their skit. It is desirable that the tearns do not see each other practising because it should be kept a secret that al1 the skit bags contain the same objects. Each team will create a completely different skit inspired by identical props. The skits are analyzed to find the story structure including change-event and binary opposites. Debriefing: The discussion is around the use of drama to tell a story. The teams will probably have used different narrative strategies. For example, some will use a narrator, others may perform a mime and others rnay create a play with dialogue and action. These variations lead to discussion about different forms of drama and how they tell a story.

The participants will also be able to relate the story structure of their skit to what they have already leamed about change-event and Mary opposites.

5) The Nature Storytellina Hike.

The 3-hour nature storytelling hike is a core activity. It serves many different functions: - It models nature storytelling in situ. - It provides a resource of nature stories. - It atternpts to honour al1 8 intelligences (Gardner, 1984; Roth, 1998). - It provides ample nature content for creating nature stories. - It provides further practice identifying the binary opposites and change- event of a story.

The activities experienced on the nature storytelling hike are designed and organized to relate to and integrate the multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1984, Roth, 1998). The activities are al1 framed by storytelling and in order to review the concept of story structure, after telling each story, I ask the participants to define the change-event and binary opposites. - - --- Literal Intelliaence: I tell a number of ~toriesalong the nature trail. Participants who think and communicate in words will excel in this part.

Loaico-mathematical Intelliaence: To estabkh a problem, I tell the riddle story, The Farmer. the Goose. the Baa of Grain and the Fox. The participants work in small groups of 5 to solve the problem and complete the story.

After they have solved the story/riddle, one or two groups act out their solution as a skit. This provides a further drama activity and describes the solution of the puzzle in a way that honours the visual/spatial intelligence (Gardner, 1984). 1 also ask the participants to use their developing skill at analyzing stories for structure, to define the change- event and binary opposites.

The Farrner, the Goose, the Baa of Grain and the Fox.

Once upon a time there was a farmer. He had a fox, a bag of grain and a goose. He was on his way to market when he came to a small river he had to cross. Unfonunately, the only way across was in a leaky old row boat that could only hold the farrner and one other object. How did he get himself, the bag of grain, the gmse and the fox safely to the other side?

Most groups negotiate a solution that calls for the farmer to go back and forth across the river. First he takes over the goose. Then he takes over the fox and returns the goose to the original side. Then he takes over and leaves .the bag of grain. Finally he returns empty to the original side and retrieves the goose and continues on his way to the market

Other groups find additional solutions where the grain is in the boat and the fox and the goose swim behind the boat. One imaginative group had the goose eat the grain and the fox eat the goose, so that the farmer only needed to get the fox (but a super, well-fed fox to market).

Debriefing: The discussion following this activity is that this story engages the participants with logico-mathematical intelligence. Usually, the group can think of another storyfpuule to try.

Musical Intelliaence - the Rain Storm

This activity is more a sound effect than a story. The group stands in a circle and the leader walks around the centre of the circle indicating a sound effect. The participants in the circle begin to do the sound effect until the leader has walked al1 the way around the inside of the circle and indicates a new sound effect. The activity produces a sound that has the effect of an approaching and receding rainstorm. The sequence of sound effects are: rubbing the hands together, snapping the fingers, clapping the hands lightly, clapping the hands loudly, slapping the thighs, starnping the feet and then reversing the sound effects until only the quiet rubbing of hands remains. Debriefing: The discussion is around the inclusion of music or rhythm into a nature hike in order to honour the musical intelligence. Participants will usually suggest other rnusic/rhythm activities.

Visual/ Soatial Intelliaence - The Storyboard Illustration

After one of the stories, when it is convenient, I give each participant a blank recipe file card and ask them to use a pencil to divide it into 6 equal squares. Then I ask thern to illustrate the story I just told with stick figures. To reduce the anxiety level. I explain that they will never have to show the illustration to anyone. It is for their own purposes to help them remember the story. When they have finished their storyboard I ask them to indicate with a mark the picture that shows the change-event.

Debriefing: This activity should lead to some discussion about how artwork can be used to tell a story. It can also lead to a discussion about story rnemory and how working in another medium than words can be a useful way to explore the meaning of a story.

During the debriefing, I share a personal experience. I was once asked by CBC Radio to tell a story about why autumn leaves change colour (Foster, 1996). It was a new story and I was uncornfortable telling it [ive on national radio. I could have written the story out in full and read it but whenever I read a story, I sound like I am reading it - I do not sound like a spontaneous storyteller. To avoid this. I drew a stick figure storyboard that I could refer to. When the time came to perform rny story. because I had made the effort to illustrate it, I remernbered R without referring to my visual prompts.

Visual/Spatial lntelliaence - The Tableau -

This exercise is identical to the field experirnent described in this paper. I photograph each tableau for the photo record. The participants analyze the story structure and then relate that to why they chose the change- event to perform in their tableau. Because of the preceding discussions in the workshop, their choice of change-event is not intuitive but informed by their growing understanding of story structure.

Inter~ersonallntelliaence - Group work

There is no special activity to honour the interpersonal intelligence because this way of learning is involved in al1 the small group activities. Participants express this form of intelligence when they move from stop to stop. Small groups constantly form and reform during the progress of the hike. tntrapersonal InteIlicience - Reflection

At the conclusion of the hike, I provide a blank recipe file card to each participant. I ask that they sit quietly for several minutes reflecting on the whole hike/storytelling activity and then write two items on the card: first, which was their favourite activity and why; and second, how would they adapt it to their own practice? This is their private reflection and, afker Hunt (1 987). no one else will see what they write.

Naturalist Intelliaence

Gardner identified and added this eighth intelligence to his list in 1997 (Roth, 1998). Activities such as field trips and nature hikes honour this intelligence.

6) Cam~firestow games - Evening storytelling

During the day, I survey the participants to find several who are willing to perform a skit, sing a Song, or tell a story around the campfire. I intersperse these with games and activities of my own.

Round Robin and 'Fortunately/Unfortunatel~"

The round robin activity is a story building game where one panicipant starts a story with a single sentence. The person sitting to the right adds the next sentence. The story builds until it has worked its way around the circle of participants. The leader or a member of the group can narrow the focus of the story by suggesting a theme. A challenging addition to this garne is for one peson to stand near the rniddle of the circle and retell the invented story. It would seem like an impossible task to reconstruct a nonsense story but with the faces of the participants as a due, it can usually be accomplished. A variation of this game that incorpontes the concept of binary opposites, is called ufortunately/unfortunately" (Charlip, 1966; Lipman 1995). The activity begins just as the round robin above, but this time the first participant starts her sentence with the- word 'fortunately." The second participant starts her sentence with the words, 'but unfortunately." The 'fortunately" and 'unfortunately" sentences alternate al1 the way around the circle just as transitions in a story discussed by McKee (1997). The last three participants in the circle start their sentences with 'fortunately" - a step which guarantees a happy ending .

Debriefing: By alternating between 'fortunately" and 'unfortunately" participants see the importance of opposites in a story, practice distinguishing positive from negative action, and learn the rhythm of alternating between them. When played in conjunction with the round robin garne, this game demonstrates that the alternation makes retelling the story easier. The number of events in the story are reduced by half - to opposite pairs.

These two games also provide the opportunity to create a story, by each participant adding a srnall component to a group effort, which is less stressful than creating a story by themselves. The opponunity to add one phrase to a growing pattern appeals to people who do not consider themselves to be storytellers, making this an excellent introductory garne. This entertaining ghost story is adapted from the Girl Guide Campfire manual. Participants are divided into groups of 4 and each group is assigned a character and related sound effect. They make that sound effect whenever the narrator mentions their character. The special effects include the sound of bats fiuttering their wings, crows cawing, wolves howling, witches cackling and a snake hissing. The change-event in the story occurs when the mysterious stranger reveals himself to be a ghost. The change-event is sharply emphasized by the unified scream of al1 the participants at the end of the story.

The group is divided into 9 groups, one for each of the following characters.

Student (yahoooo) Witch (shrill cackling laugh) Scruffy cat (loud meow) Long slithering snake (hissss) Tall man (aha!) Noisy crow (caw, caw, caw!) Four fluttering bats (pat you knees, fiutteringly) Vampire ("1 vant to bite your neck!") Mangy dog (bark! bark! bark!) Ghost (everybody scream)

Every group briefiy practises its sound effect. On a dark and stomy night in October, a stage coach rumbles along a country road. In it a student bowes up and down on the hard cushions and gazes with fright out into the darûness. Suddenly the coach stops and in steps a w it c h. From under one ampeers a scruffy cat and around the other arm twists a long slithering snake.

"Oh good!!!" says the w it c h. 'A young studen t traveling alone tonight!" 'Let me tell your fortune my little one." The w it c h stretches her bony am toward the s t udent, while the scruffy cat and the long slithering snake watch with beady eyes. 'No, no," cries the student, shrinking as far as possible into the corner of the seat.

At that moment the door is violently thrown open and in rushes a tall man wearing a long raincoat. His face is hidden by a drooping hat. His voice is low and pleasant. 'Allow me," he says, and gently pushes his way between the stu dent and the w it c h. The w it c h three tirnes points a withered finger at the tall man. The tall man has a mangy dog with hirn, and it growls from under the seat. The scruffy cat meows again, and the long slithering s na ke hisses once more.

On the window sill of the coach alights a noisy crow. lnto the coach flies four fluttering bats, who beat their wings in the face of the student. Then through the window peers the grotesque face of a vampire. Nearer and nearer the tall m an slides toward the w it c h. The tall man pushed back his dropping hat and gives a piercing look at the w it c h.

With a horrible shriek the w it c h springs to the door followed by her scruffy cat, the mangy dog, the long slithering snake, the four fiuttering bats, the noisy crow, and the vampire. lmide the coach the student faints, for under the hat of the tall man shone the ghastly face of a ghost!

Debriefing: This story leads to a discussion about ghost stories in general. Some participants like it and othen worry that children might be frightened. My own experience is that children love this story because of the silly sound effects. Because the participants respond to the prompts in the story, they listen intently. This story might also encourage discussion about story games which involve the audience in some forrn of response (Barton and Booth, 1990).

An excellent enrichment activity as a follow-up is to create another participatory story. This can be achieved as a small group project. The story can be new or sound effects can be added ta a familiar story. c) Sorne MusidRhythm

By this point in the program someone should have volunteered to teach the group a Song. If they have not, I will teach the chant/poern Herman the Worm. This is repetitive tale about a worm that eats his family, one member at a time. The worm gets bigger and bigger until it almost bunts. Rhvthmic Review

Another musical activity is a rhythmic review. I teach the group one rhythmic review of a story and after we have chanted it as a type of round, they create their own rhythmic review for one or two other stories. For example the rhythmic review for Circe and Enchanter's Niahtshade might be:

Row, row, row. Row that boat. Danger, danger. Don't go there. Abracadabra. You're a pig. Oink, oink. Squeal, squeal. Oink, oink. Squeal, squeal.

The group is divided into 4 teams. Each team is assigned one line of the chant. I clap out the rhythm and teach each team their line. Then we chant ali the lines at once. The activity becomes very noisy and most participants enjoy it. Some groups will add actions to their chant.

The participants can analyze their chants to define the change-event. for example, in the above rhythmic review, the change-event is represented by the line, "Abracadabra. You're a pig!" If they create additional rhythmic reviews from other stories. they will find that one of the lines always represents the change-event.

Debriefing: A suitable way to debrief the campfire activities is to sing the round, Fire's burninq and give the traditional campfire closing. "Thanks for the day, cornrade." 7) New Stories from Old

There are many ways to develop a new story #rom an dd one (Gardner, 1984). One way, that this exercise utilizes. is to start with an Aesop fable and then play, 'What if" (Bernays and Painter, 1990). For example, if a small group of participants started with the fable about the fox ând the grapes and said, 'What if the fox were a snake and the grapes were Fruitopia?" How would the story go then? The participants are divided into small groups and each group receives a printed version of an well known Aesop's fable and create a new story by changing the characters. The group may also experiment by changing the change-event which brings about a entirely new story.

One volunteer from each group then shares the new story with the whole group. After al1 the new stories have been told, the participants can review the story structure for each and discuss how the modifications they made to the story altered the change-event or binary opposites.

Another way to develop a new story is from a prernise (Egri, 1946). If each small group of participants is given a moral from a less well known Aesop's fable, they can develop a story from the premise. A way to help the participants is to suggest the characten as well as the premise. Once they have created their new story, it is instructive to give them a copy of the original tale developed from the same premise. This emphasizes that many stories evolve from the rame premise. Again. these new stories provide another opportunity to discuss story structure. The headlines from a tabloid newspaper can provide prompts for story ideas. The small groups are provideci a set of headlines and are encouraged to create a new fabricated story. The headlines often resernble a premise. Examples of tabloid headings found in recent copies of The National lnauirer include such rich ideas as: 'Mother sells child for pound of chocolate;" 'Two day-old baby can read - baffles scientists;" 'Man takes pill and sleeps underwater for a week;" and 'Man on miracle diet loses 50 pounds in two days."

Debriefing: These activities lead to a review of premise, change-event and story structure.

8) Story from a Picture

This activity uses specially selected magazine photographs to evoke stories. To help participants make mental connections quickly, the activity asks them to create a story that combines three photographs. To help participants develop alternative explanations for what they see, the activity requires them to use the same photos in multiple stories. This also serves to develop the ability to create multiple hypotheses to explain visual data (Liprnan, 1995).

I provide 25 pictures, face down in a pile. These are from a collection of magazine advertisements. The participants are divided into 5 teams of 5 and a representative from each team draws 3 random photos, then places them @ce-up in a line. Then the tearn develops a short story that includes the images from the three pictures.

Once they have created one story illustrated by the three photographs, each group trades one picture with another group. They create a second new story using two original and one traded photognph. They chaose their favourite of the two new stories and share it with the rest of the participants illustrating it with the three photographs. Each story can be analyzed for story structure.

Debriefing: Developing a story from objects or pictures removes some of the stress of creating a story. Also working in small groups removes the stress of creating a story by themselves.

This activity illustrates how visual images can have multiple meanings. A picture used for one story may be have a cornpletely different meaning in the second story. Participants will observe how visual cues can lead to creative imagination. As a storytelling exercise it gives participants an opportunity to persuade others to see a picture the way they do themselves. Using the pictures while telling the story helps participants rnaintain the sequence in a story by sequencing the visual dues. Speech therapists use this exercise to help clients develop their short-term memory.

9) Desinninu a Lesson throucrh Stow Structure Egan (1 986. 1997). Walker (1 975) and Lauritzen and Jaeger(1996) al1 for the use of story in developing curriculum for children. Because adults seem to be equally engaged by binary oppasites and the compelling nature of the change-event in a story, I propose that curriculum may also be created for adults using story structure and Egan's mode1 (1986). Adults can best explore this model after they have had some opportunities to practice analyzing story structure.

I have adapted Egan's model in two fundamental ways: Fint, I am using the model for adults rather than children. I feel confident doing this because of the findings of the present study. Second, in the model, I emphasize the concept of change-event rather than binary opposites. I agree with Armstrong et al. (1 993) and have found that educators have difficulty proposing the binary opposites for a lesson. However, they can readily find the change-event in a story. Once they have defined the change-event, they are able to work backwards to define the binary opposites underlying a story.

Using this model may help adult educators plan their lessons but rnay also direct content as well. For example, the first question implies that if we cannot find anything affectively engaging in the topic, perhaps we should go no further. The first question could be useful in deüding what to include and what not to include in a curriculum. But once the topic is determined to be meaningful, the adult educator goes through the steps of the model and generates a lesson based on story forrn as defined. This activity is a small group discussion. The group first decides on a topic for an environmental lesson that they wish to teach to adults and then work through Egan's (1986) mode1 for curriculum design. Following this presentation, the group creates the story for teaching the lesson.

Eaan's rnodel. Adapted from Egan (1 986, p. 41)

1 ) Identifying importance of the topic: What is most important about this topic? Why should it matter to aduits? What is affectively engaging about it? 2) Finding the change-event: What powerful change-event would catch the importance of the topic? 3) Organizing content into story forrn: What powerful binary opposites are suited to the change-event? What characters, situations and content best articulates the topic into a story? 4) Conclusion What is the best way of resolving the dramatic confiict embodied in the binary opposites? 5) Evaluation How can the adult educator know whether the topic has been understood, its importance grasped and the content learned?

Debriefing: Each group will have created the plan for a lesson for adults based on a story which is framed by binary opposites and change-event. They will practice the skiil they have learned defining the change-event by creating one that suitably illustrates the topic they wish to teach. The debriefing involves discussions about challenges they have and how they solve the issues within their group. The main challenge wili be to synthesize the skills they have practiced in the previous activities - defining change-events in stories and creating stories from change- events. They will set the advantages of being able to use story creation tools such as premise, old stories, story games, props, and illustrations.

10) Final Skit

On a map, as a whole group activity, the participants retrace the path taken on the nature hike. I ask them to list the stories I told along the trail as well as any other points of interest. Many of them will find that seeing the map and reviewing the route helps them recall the stories. Many participants in the field experiment told me that they remembered the stories by associating them with specific locations on the trail. Someone labels the rnap with the titles of the stories I told. From the map, we create a complete list of the stories. The participants form teams of 5 and select one of the stories. No two tearns may select the same story. The teams then have 20 minutes to create a skit based on the story they selected. I provide a box of props such as hats, scarves and found natural material which the participants may use as props in their skit.

The tearns perform their skits based on the stories. I photograph each skit, especially the change event. Debriefing: This is a suitable final activity because it is a favourite. By this time in the workshop, the participants have practiced performing and presending in front of one another and feel cornfortable enough to put much creativity and energy into this final performance.

These skits review at least 5 of the nature stories. By this time, at the end of the workshop, these stories have been reviewed in many different ways; illustrated in artwork; chanted in rhythmic reviews; modified in verbal storytelling activities; analyzed in discussions; performed in tableaux and considered in educational context. The final skit gives one last energetic opportunity to explore the meaning of the story.

1 1) Final Debriefing

Each activity is debriefed immediately following its completion and there is also be a debriefing of the whole event. This not only gives the participants an opportunity to reflect on the workshop and plan some action, it provides the facilitator with immediate feedback.

An added feature to the reflection on this workshop will be the cal1 to action following the community based social marketing theory of McKenzie-Mohr (1999). This will involve a follow-up contact with the participants. They will sign a cornmitment contract promising to take three actions over the next three weeks. They write three actions and state the dates they expect to complete thern. Examples of typical actions are: telling a story to someone; looking for one of the plants they have learned about; or persuading a group to perforrn a story-based tableau. They promise to hang this contract as a prompt, somewhere that they will see it every day. As part of this commitment, we will also agree on a tirne in about a month when I will phone them to ask if they have met their objective. McKenzie- Mohr (1999) argues that this kind of written commitment and prompt increases the likelihood that the participants will actually overcome some of the barries that prevent them from engaging in some storytelling behaviour. I like to emphasize my belief that a workshop is similar to a story - a journey of discovery. I use the following diagram to illustrate that betief.

0 n Change-event Participants not Participants sParticipants willing to try willing to try I ..tu, storytelling rstorytelling Binary Pole Binary Pole Transition between binary opposites

By engaging in the activities in the Nature Stowtellina Worksho~,either in a group of like-minded educators or by themselves, it is rny hop that participants will develop the skills necessary to attempt nature storytelling with adults. t feel confident that once they try nature storytelling and develop their own methods, they will enhance their environmentai education efforts.