Teaching-Stories by Idries Shah
“…a series of children’s books that have captivated the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life. The books are tales from a rich tradition of story telling from Central Asia and the Middle East. Stories told and retold to children, by campfire and candlelight, for more than a thousand years. Through repeated readings, these stories provoke fresh insight and more flexible thought in children. Beautifully illustrated.” —NEA Today – The Magazine of the National Education Association
Listen to the Original NPR Report
Teaching-Stories and the Brain
Speaking at the Library of Congress, leading psychologist Robert Ornstein gives a presentation on the effectiveness of the teaching-story in developing thinking skills and perceptions. His lecture includes a video version of two Hoopoe titles: Neem the Half-Boy and The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal.
“Educating the whole child is not a new idea. It is rooted in the writings and teachings of many ancient cultures. Yet, achieving the kind of balance that encourages all children to learn, work and contribute to their fullest potential has been a continuing challenge as our world has grown more complex and our communities more fragmented.” —Maurice J. Elias, “Academic and social emotional learning,” Educational Practices Series-11, International Academy of Education (Brussels) & International Bureau Education (Geneva), 2003
“Our experiences show that, while reading Idries Shah’s stories can help children with reading and writing, the stories can also help them transcend fixed patterns of emotion and behaviour which may be getting in the way of learning and emotional well-being too. … We’ve found that this strategy can be particularly powerful, especially when change may be resistant to appeals to reason alone. By flying under the radar of emotion and analytical thinking, the patterns contained within a story can shift children’s perspective, to let them ‘own’ the meaning for themselves.” —Ezra Hewing, Head of Education at the mental-health charity Suffolk Mind in Suffolk, UK; and Kashfi Khan, who teaches English as an additional language at Hounslow Town Primary School in London