‘Story teaches you things'
: an exploratory study of the use of story as a resource for learning and teaching in the primary school classroom in Scotland

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This study explores the ways in which story is used as a resource for learning and teaching in the primary school classroom. Definitions of story are explored and theoretical perspectives on narrative modes of cognitive processing, metaphor and analogy are discussed.
    Story is widely used in the primary school classroom in Scotland, particularly in the Early Years (primaries 1-3), and an attempt is made to ascertain how far this is systematised, drawing on the perspectives of teachers and pupils in Scottish primary schools. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is used to attain an understanding of the way that story is used and perceived in the classroom.
    The data that inform the study were collected in five parts – focus group interviews with storytellers and teachers; a local (Angus) teacher survey and student teachers’ observations; surveys undertaken with schoolchildren in a Dundee primary school; interviews with teachers and primary school pupils in Angus, and a national teacher survey.
    Results from the study show that systematic approaches to story are in use in Scotland, and that in addition to teachers, pupils also demonstrated a good deal of knowledge about the use of story in the classroom. Results from the national survey also indicated systematic approaches to story use.
    There is some discussion on the articulation of story-based approaches to learning and teaching with the Scottish national curricular guidelines (Curriculum for Excellence), and suggestions are made as to how story might be used in Initial Teacher Education programmes.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAngela Roger (Supervisor) & David Miller (Supervisor)


    • story
    • classroom
    • Pedagogy
    • cogition
    • narratology
    • School

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