Constructivism in Stories

Environmental issues are at the forefront of the conversations of many people in the world today. Climate change and global warming are very pressing issues in our society today. However, not many people are educated on those topics. Getting people to know about the issues is a crucial part of trying to effect change.

People today mostly get their information about issues through some form of media, whether it be an online news source or by watching the news on TV. Another way that people communicate information is through conversation and stories, whether it be in person, in a book, or on social media. Learning things through conversation and stories can have its ups and downs. On one hand you are increasing your exposure to a topic because you are listening to someone talk about it while also yourself speaking on the topic. This way of acquiring information can be biased. This is because when we speak on a topic it is nearly impossible to not put our own personal twist on them. However, these little personal twists can be why somebody decides to take an interest in something.

A recent program, We Love Reading, has been used in Jordan as a means of promoting the environmental knowledge of children. The program uses the reading of social stories in communities to address environmental problems in Jordan. A recent report by Randa Ali Mahasneh, Michael H. Romanowski, and Rana Basem Dajani took a look at how the We Love Reading Program was successful in its implementation in the community and promoting children’s environmental knowledge. The interesting thing about this experiment is that the We Love Reading Program was being specifically tested for its effectiveness at promoting environmental knowledge among children in various communities in Jordan

Below is a video explanation of how the We Love Reading Program helps children develop and bond and love towards reading.

This story of the We Love Program being implemented in Jordan is a perfect example of how using community based science is an effective way to educate that community, especially about environmental issues. I think the reason that this program was so effective is that it bring people together through shared experiences.


Constructivism is this idea that our experiences shape who we are and the type of learners we are. When things can be connected to other parts of our lives, it is so much easy to relate to and absorb that information. When we become personally invested in topics, we can truly dive into them head first because it affects us our wellbeing.
Storytelling can be a wonderful way to make personal connections to specific situations and topics. Environmental issues are a huge part of the conversation going on in our society today and need to be addressed. This study shows that the We Love Reading program is able to build those connections through the telling of social stories that ultimately promoting the knowledge of environmental issues in the community, which is a crucial step we need to take if we want to effect change in our world.

References
Mahasneh, R. A., Romanowski, M. H., & Dajani, R. B. (2017). Reading social stories in the community: A promising intervention for promoting childrens environmental knowledge and behavior in Jordan [Abstract]. The Journal of Environmental Education, 48(5), 334-346. doi:10.1080/00958964.2017.1319789

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2 Responses to Constructivism in Stories

  1. radfortj says:

    Naomi, thank you for the kind response. I think what I was trying to show by using this article is that when we have connections to what we learn, we get so much more out of it. When we have vested interests in topics, or personal relationships- the topic becomes all that more intriguing to us. All based on our prior experiences and knowledge relating to that topic.

  2. Naomi Patten says:

    Tom,

    I personally LOVE reading and writing stories, and I really enjoy how you summarized this article! Stories can be utilized in science so well, and I think they really bring issues that may seem “boring” to life. Environmental science tells the story of how the world is working. Chemistry tells the story of what molecules behave like (even though we can’t see them!). Biology tells the story of life. Telling science as a story–a nonfiction, fact-based story–can truly bring to life topics that can be dragged out with scientific jargon and papers that go way over our heads. Well done post!

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