A little while back, I attended a workshop in which the presenter shared about using stories to teach his subject. Thinking about this, it seems, to me, that education is most often like telling a story. Most of the time the story is written by the presenter or the teacher but often is written by somebody else, for example a government or an external body. In many classrooms and many professional development activities the story has a definite end, which is gradually revealed by the “story teller” (the teacher/presenter).
However if we are going to truly educate people then maybe we could consider “Choose your own adventure” as a metaphor.
In “Choose your own adventure” the reader gets to select, from alternatives, the way they want the story to go and, therefore, what ending the story has. If we extend this metaphor to teaching, then, maybe, we also need to include the possibility of the “reader ” (student/participant) to actually write some of the story and contribute to the writing of the ending.
The story teller writes (plans) the basic plot elements of the story and delivers these to the reader. During the “telling”, the readers can contribute to the development of the story (using their prior knowledge, and connections they make as the story unfolds). By the end of the “adventure”, both story teller and reader are satisfied that they have jointly created something worth doing. The story teller, at no stage, gives up control of the story, but invites the readers to contribute their perspectives, thereby making it richer and more meaningful than if the story teller had written it alone.