The adult brain learns best with stories

Since the dawn of time, human beings have been telling stories to pass on their most precious values and knowledge to their fellows. Nowadays, this activity is mainly used as entertainment and associated with childhood. Research tells us that a well-crafted story can become a powerful learning tool, even for learners who have long since reached adulthood. How much storytelling is part of human life?

An adaptive advantage? Did you know that more than half the content of our conversations is made up of personal stories and gossip! That’s how innate storytelling is to us… and how useful and effective it is from a behavioural standpoint. “Story is for a human as water is for a fish—all encompassing and not quite palpable” writes Jonathan Gottschall in The Storytelling Animal. It must be said that telling a story to someone else can become a “transfer of experience,” of ideas, thoughts and emotions (Hasson et al., 2010).

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