Research Results on Use of Stories

If you know of any research papers that have quantified the use of stories, then submit to "> and put “Storytelling Research” in the subject title of the message.


Youth Involvement in Storytelling at the National Level – Submitted by Rachel Hedman

Quotes and Findings – Submitted by Gail Herman

Storytelling Sources – Submitted by Elise Krakower

Storytelling Research by 11-year-old – Autumn Joy Saskill


The following was submitted by Kate Dudding:

Searching the East Tennessee State University’s Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In May, 2019, clicking on the link above provided links to 24 theses and dissertations containing the words    storytelling  quantitative  . Once you are on this site, you can put in your own search terms. Be sure to include storytelling as one of the terms — ETSU offers degrees in many fields.

Storytelling as a trigger for sharing conversations 2014

This article explores whether traditional oral storytelling can be used to provide insights into the way in which young people of 12-14 years identify and understand the language of emotion and behaviour. Following the preliminary analysis, I propose that storytelling may trigger sharing conversations. My research attempts to extend the social and historical perspectives of Jack Zipes, on fairy tales, into a sociological analysis of young people’s lives today. I seek to investigate the extent that the storytelling space offers potential benefits as a safe place for young people to share emotions and experiences, and learn from one another. My research analysis involved NVivo coding of one hour storytelling and focus group sessions, held over five weeks. In total, there were six groups of four children, of mixed ethnicity, gender, ability, and socio-economic background, from three schools within Warwickshire. The results confirmed that the beneficial effects of the storytelling space include a safe area for sharing emotions and experiences, and in general for supporting young people outside formal learning settings.

Storytelling with Stuff 2007

The Spurlock Museum has found that adding storytelling to its educational offerings is an effective way to increase both the Museum’s offerings to the public and the range of visitors attending programs.

Mathematics, Art, Research, Collaboration and Storytelling: The High M.A.R.C.S. Project 2007

This article describes a curriculum integration project designed to help students better contextualize their learning, by linking mathematics, art, research, collaboration, and storytelling.

History in the Schools – Twin City Tale Spinners 2006-2007

The Twin City Tale Spinners worked during 2006 and 2007 to improve the telling of historical stories in local schools in McLean County, Illinois.

Using Storytelling to Break the Silence that Binds Us to Sameness in Our Schools  2006

Findings suggested that (a) stories of urban educators contain historical and socio-cultural ideologies that have shaped American education; and (b) storytelling, if combined with opportunities for dialogue and inquiry, can help to break the silence surrounding cultural differences in schools.

Benefits of Storytelling Methodologies In 4th and 5th Grade Historical Instruction  2006

Students in the experimental group listened to and participated in oral narratives during their history lesson while students in the control group received conventional lecture and note-taking instruction. After collecting and analyzing the data, results indicate a significant increase in history affinity in the positive direction for the experimental group with no change in history affinity for the control group.

Telling the Stars: A Quantitative Approach to Assessing the Use of Folk Tales in Science Education  2005

During the final stage of testing, the revised instrument and methods found significant increase in positive attitude toward science after the presentations.

Storytelling and Story Reading: A Comparison of Effects on Children’s Memory and Story Comprehension 2005

Students in both the reading and storytelling groups improved on most measures. However, on some measures, notably those regarding recall ability, students in the storytelling group improved more than students in the reading group.

Stagebridge’s 2004-2005 Storybridge Program 2005

Stagebridge’s 2004-2005 Storybridge Program provided direct instruction and teacher training to eight 4th and 5th grade classes in three schools. Conclusions: Students showed improvement in language arts and listening comprehension skills as a result of the program. Participating teachers gained a deeper awareness and understanding of storytelling as an art form and its impact on the core subject matter curriculum.

Storytelling for Middle Grades Students, Fastback 482 2001

This book offers tips for using storytelling in middle grade classrooms, noting that having students do the storytelling may have greater motivational benefit than having the teacher tell the stories to the students. The Fastback states that storytelling by students helps to develop higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis, as well as skills in oral composition.

Thinking and Doing Literature: An 8-Year Study 1998

A series of studies conducted over an 8-year period by the National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning examined the ways people think when they read literature and the ways in which instruction could support those kinds of thinking. Interactions with students convinced the researchers that literature and storytelling can play an important role in enriching students’ understanding across subject areas.

Figures, Facts and Fables: Telling Tales in Science and Math 1996

This book stresses that classroom teachers can be storytellers and offers suggestions on how to be a good storyteller. Practical suggestions are offered on how teachers can use storytelling for science and mathematics. Rationale on how storytelling benefits learning and how students can best benefit from storytelling exercises is presented.

Mathematics and Science Curricula in Elementary and Secondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Native Students 1991

Issues related to the improvement of mathematics and science education pertain to Native students as well as to the general population. Native students are most successful at tasks that use visual and spatial abilities and that involve simultaneous processing. Storytelling techniques can be used to develop culturally relevant problems.

Reading, Writing, and Storytelling: A Bridge from the Middle School to the Preschool 1989

Middle school students are writing original children’s stories and then telling these stories to preschool children. Findings show that most of the preschool children read more books, select a wide variety of materials, maintain a desire to read, and tell their own stories. The middle school students increase their sensitivity for communicating with a unique audience and they report an improved awareness of children’s ability to use and appreciate language.

The Effects of Storytelling Experiences on Vocabulary Skills of Second Grade Students 1987

Second grade students in Waterloo, Iowa, were taught storytelling techniques and given opportunities to practice these techniques for six months. They significantly increased their performance on vocabulary and reading comprehension tests beyond what was expected for that six month period.


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