Sherman’s Research – Chapter 2

As I venture further into my storytelling while expanding my view as I progressed through Module 2, I started thinking rather the resources I have so far originated from real indigenous sources or a mishmash that is put together by ‘wannabes’. In my previous research, I mentioned that I wonder if technology could help keep these stories that survived for centuries alive for even longer, but now I wonder as I research if technology would also be the killer of these centuries-old teachings due to the mass amount of mixed messages and the culture of wanting information at lightning speed, ignoring the importance of depth and the necessity of time-sensitive revealing of concepts and ideas.


Exploration #6 – Toward an Ecology of Stories: Indigenous Perspectives on Resilience
Kirmayer, L.J., Dandeneau, S., Marshall, E., Phillips, M.K., and Williamson, K.J. (2012). Toward an Ecology of Stories. The Social Ecology of Resilience, 399 – 414. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-0586-3_31

This article discusses the way indigenous people survive colonization through their ‘historical rootedness’ to formulate a theory of the resilience in the effort of supporting development of a program that. Storytelling or narrative was discussed in this chapter as a mean of maintaining cultural and individual resilience in indigenous people, which was described to assert authority and common value shared by members of the tribe.

Personal Connection:

This article slightly defer from my focus on stories. However, I think resilience is an important puzzle piece in bridging my understanding as to why storytelling is a powerful teaching tool. The ideas of asserting authority and affirming value are quite new to me in terms of value that storytelling offers. As I read this article, I wonder continuously how this fits into my research and learning in the end.


Exploration #7 – When Aboriginal and Métis Teachers use Storytelling as an Instructional Practice

This article is a research on how seven teachers incorporate storytelling into their instructional practice. It was found that the incorporation of traditional storytelling not only reflects indigenous way of learning, but it was also found that students become more active in participating in their own learning and a stronger community learner is built; through storytelling, the teacher can incorporate experience and ideas that students brought with them into the classroom more readily into the curriculum. As a result, the lessons are more relevant to the learners and, thus, participation level increased.

Personal Connection:

This is an important part of my research on storytelling. At the beginning of my research journey, I wondered how storytelling impacted learning. My naïve thinking originally relates storytelling to a more fun and imaginative way of representing information in a digestible form from a third person point of view. However, this article broadened my view to show that there is multiple layers of benefit to storytelling, many of which even a classroom for ‘mainstream’ student would likely benefit from – THIS is what I am curious about as a teacher, mentor, sister, daughter and a future mother…


Exploration #8 – Indigenous Knowledges and the Story of the Bean

Brayboy, B.M.J., and Maughan, E. (2009). Indigenous Knowledges and the Story of the Bean. Harvard Educational Review, 79(1). 1 – 21.

This portion of my exploration features a clash between the mainstream educational system and the indigenous system of knowledge. Students in an indigenous teacher preparation program question the mainstream system of knowledge. One of the indigenous student teacher reworked a science lesson to demonstrate the value and holistic of indigenous view of knowledge.

Personal Connection:

I know that storytelling is powerful, but the reason why I wanted to explore this more is because I know I like this form of teaching yet do not know how to express to other teachers as to why this might be a good incorporation for lessons (or at least my reasons are more one sided as mentioned in my previous exploration). This, along with exploration #3, provides me with reasons from a different perspective. Storytelling is not only to provide examples to a theory explained, but also a mean of creating a community that grows. Stories are not static, but dynamic with addition of stories from students, and the storyteller is not always the teacher but the classroom as a whole. This to me is completely new. Reading these article in a more of a storytelling form also feels very different from reading other academic research that are more influenced by Western knowledge views.


Exploration #9 – Indigenous Voices

Joseph, K. (2009). Indigenous Voices. World Literature Today83(5), 4.

This is a letter to the editor of World Literature Today by a Maori writer. This short letter expresses the importance of representation of indigenous voices in modern literature today to people of indigenous background and also to the understanding of indigenous culture by outsiders. The author of this letter also mentioned Patricia Grace as an Maori writer, which would be worth further exploring in my research.

Personal Connection:

This is likely not an article packed with information that I will incorporate into my final research composition at the end of this term. However, I am including this part of my research exploration because this is a letter that voices the importance of sharing indigenous stories in modern literature to both indigenous people and those of us who are not of indigenous origins. I find that the emotion presented is profound to reminding me of the importance of storytelling.


Exploration #10 – Indigenous Literacy Foundation

This is the official site for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation of Australia. This site focuses on work that is being carried out right now by the foundation to provide books and literacy resources for indigenous people in remote communities. Rather than imposing participation, the foundation invites people from these remote communities to share their stories. Stories from these communities are then shared on this site.

Personal Connection:

This is not a site on indigenous storytelling. However, the way that this website is structured perks my interest. The way that the foundation words things in terms of sharing success stories and inviting participating and potentially participating communities to share experiences seems to be a softer approach to achieving literacy in general. It is also interesting to read stories from the community. However, as I am going through this site, I also wonder if the stories presented here are influenced and shaped by more mainstream views. A further analysis and exploration would need to be done to examine this source thoroughly.



There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.