Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Story: An Aid to Positive Child Development

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Story: An Aid to Positive Child Development

Article excerpt

Story: An aid to positive child development

Human beings organize intentions, experiences, and memories of life events mostly in the form of stories, myths, and excuses and so on; these stories become their version of reality. Story is a schema through which human beings give meaning to their experiences of temporality and personal actions (Polkinghome, 1988). The consciousness of ourselves is constructed out of both the stories we tell about ourselves and the world, and from the stories we come to believe, of what others tell about us and the world (Parry, 1997). The existence of a person as a narrated identity is a modem invention. An individual has a conscious, intentional relationship with himself and engages himself in the pursuit of a new ego. Freud rediscovered and applied the power of stories as a method to redirect a life that is lost in fragmentation and incoherence, by simply asking the individual to tell his/her stories. We believe the stories that we tell ourselves to be the truth, which creates a world that is defended because it upholds our identity. This paper focuses on the potential that stories have and their active role in the holistic positive development of children.

Story: Meaning and aspects

A story is a particular kind of narrative discourse identified by its structure, features, content, and language. Structurally, a story contains three basic interrelated elements, such as the story-setting, characters), and a plot which has a series of events. The development of one affects the development of the other. A character's nature is expressed or manifested through his/her actions and the decisions he/she takes. These decisions and action form the core of the story - the plot. Every story has a theme (meaning, message or an idea), and the element of time which is continuous, or spread across time. Stories can be true stories or fictitious tale, in prose or verse, short or elaborate as novel.

The functions of vision and voice are hallmarks of storytelling, especially of the epic story-telling where the story is presented within the context of the narration. This implies that the narrator of the story not only has a vision to tell, but also a typical way of telling it for the benefit of the audience. A story can be presented, represented, and/or communicated through any one or a combination of the following methods - (1) actions, dance form, drama, (2) three-dimensional toys, puppets, models, and other play materials, (3) colorful or achromatic line drawings, pictures, and/or paintings, (4) oral language such as narration, dialogues, songs, etc, and finally (5) written language.

Story: Concept and structure

The concept of story is a mental representation of the story structure, and essentially the organization of the story elements, such as the setting, the character (s), and the plot. Many adults and children seem to use the knowledge of story structure to cognitively process the text; i.e., to understand and remember the stories (Kintsch, 1977; Mandler & Johnson, 1977; Rumelhart, 1978; Stein, 1976, 1979; Stein & Glenn, 1977) and to anticipate forthcoming information (Applebee, 1978; Whaley, 1981).

Mandler and Johnson (1977) categorize the story structure into six major categories of narrative information, such as the setting, beginning (a precipitating event), reaction (the protagonist's reaction and setting of a goal), the attempt (effort to achieve the goal), outcome (the success or failure of the attempt), and ending (the longrange consequence of the action sequence or the added emphasis). The events from the beginning to the end together make an episode. Relationship between the categories and the episodes determine the complexity of a story (Johnson & Mandler, 1980; Mandler & Johnson, 1977). Story schema - knowledge of the story structure involves identification of the story elements and their interrelationship (Mandler & Johnson, 1977; Rumelhart, 1978; Stein & Glenn, 1979; Thomdyke, 1977). …

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