The art of telling stories is seeing a revival. More and more libraries and cultural centres are programming storytelling performances, the art of storytelling is gaining popularity in various areas including educational circles and the social sector, and an increasing number of storytellers are trying to build a professional career. Alden Biesen Storytelling Castle supports this revival through several initiatives. NEW! in 2020 and 2021: Storytelling courses for teachers and staff of schools and adult education. Scroll down to find out more.

 

Unique international course for teachers in secondary education:

Storytelling as a multifunctional didactic tool in the classroom
15-20 November 2020

Target Group :
Secondary school teachers and staff (age group 12 – 18)

Summary
Storytelling in the Secondary Classroom is a course about how to use oral storytelling and storytelling techniques in secondary education. It offers five days of presentations, workshops & performances.

Description of the Course 
Storytelling in the Secondary Classroom is a course about how to use oral storytelling and storytelling techniques in secondary education. The course will be hosted and run in the beautiful Storytelling Castle Alden Biesen in Belgium, the home of the biggest international storytelling festival in Europe. It offers five days of presentations, workshops & performances. Storytelling in the classroom is much more than telling stories in the classroom. Stories, storytelling and narrative teaching approaches are known to help improve student’s verbal and communication skills in the mother tongue and/or in a foreign language. It also impacts imagination, creativity, social and civic competences, values, intercultural understanding, cultural awareness and expression. By offering subject content as a narrative, transformed into images, one improves the quality of the transfer of this content. A school where education is partly offered through storytelling approaches will have a greater appeal on pupils’ motivation because of the open atmosphere, the interactive and creative elements and the valuing of different cultures. 

The main trainer at the course will be a professional storyteller, Nell Phoenix. Guest speakers will add specific topics to the programme.

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Unique international course for teachers in pre and primary education:

Storytelling: a multifunctional didactic tool in the classroom
7-12 February 2021

Target Group
Pre and primary school teachers and staff (age group 4 – 12)

Summary
Storytelling in the Primary Classroom is a course about how to use oral storytelling and storytelling techniques in
primary education. It offers five days of presentations, workshops & performances.

Description of the Course
Storytelling in the Primary Classroom is a course about how to use oral storytelling and storytelling techniques in primary education. The course will be hosted and run in the beautiful Storytelling Castle Alden Biesen in Belgium, the home of the biggest international storytelling festival in Europe. It offers five days of presentations, workshops & performances.

Storytelling in the classroom is much more than telling stories in the classroom. Stories, storytelling and narrative teaching approaches are known to help improve children’s verbal and communication skills in the mother tongue
and/or in a foreign language. It also impacts imagination, creativity, social and civic competences, values, intercultural understanding, cultural awareness and expression. By offering subject content as a narrative, transformed into
images, one improves the quality of the transfer of this content. A school where education is partly offered through storytelling approaches will have a greater appeal on pupils’ motivation because of the open atmosphere, the
interactive and creative elements and the valuing of different cultures.

The main trainer at the course will be a professional storyteller, Michael Harvey. Guest speakers will add specific topics to the programme.

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Unique international course for teachers and trainers in formal and non-formal adult education and training

Applied storytelling: a multifunctional didactic tool in the classroom
4-9 July 2021

Summary
Storytelling in Adult Education is a course about how to use oral storytelling and storytelling techniques in formal
and non-formal adult learning. It offers five days of presentations, workshops & performances.

Target Group
Adult education staff and trainers, community workers …

Description of the Course
Storytelling in Adult Education is a course about how to use oral storytelling and storytelling techniques in formal and non-formal adult learning. The course will be hosted and run in the beautiful Storytelling Castle Alden Biesen in
Belgium, the home of the biggest international storytelling festival in Europe. It offers five days of presentations, workshops & performances.

Storytelling and narrative teaching approaches are known to help improve verbal and communication skills in the mother tongue and/or in a foreign language. It also impacts imagination, creativity, social and civic
competences, values, intercultural understanding, cultural awareness and expression. But specifically for adult education, introducing storytelling techniques offers a set of tools for inclusion. Storytelling
offers bottom-up narrative art, it creates a community of co-creation, it facilitates to hear and to be heard, it lowers the threshold to art, it stimulates a constructivist meaning making process, it helps create metaphors to by-pass the
unspeakable… Stories are heritage, they are gateways to heritage and to other cultures. 

The main trainer at the course will be a professional storyteller, Giovanna Conforto. Guest speakers will add specific topics to the programme.

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Storytelling for children and youths

Alden Biesen coordinates the TALES project (Tales And Learning in European Schools). TALES aims to develop new methods and didactic material for using tales and storytelling techniques in the learning process at school.

Having pupils use tales and storytelling techniques is a unique way of stimulating their creativity and developing their social, emotional and artistic skills. For teachers, tales and storytelling techniques are key didactic instruments because introducing content in the form of tales and narratives makes for a more efficient transfer of knowledge.

Storytelling for adults

Sheherazade, 1001 Stories for Adult Learning, is a European Grundtvig project that introduces the magic of storytelling in formal and non-formal adult education. The project focuses on the linguistic, (multi)cultural and social aspects of stories and storytelling. Amongst others it is aimed at helping adult immigrants and newcomers develop creativity, communication & foreign language skills in order to build competencies for inclusion.

For two years, the European partners, under the direction of Alden Biesen, cooperated in the research into and the development of a theoretical background and methodology; every participating country collected best practices, set up pilot projects and held study days. The project resulted in a manual and international course material.

The art of storytelling in Europe

Thanks to the International Storytelling Festival, Alden Biesen has become a unique meeting place for professional storytellers from a host of countries and language groups. Gradually it became apparent that an international network on the art of storytelling was indispensable and this led to the establishment of the European Federation for Storytelling, with its headquarters in Alden Biesen.

The art of storytelling in Flanders

Where in Flanders can you attend storytelling performances? Where can you find a storyteller? Where can you enrol in workshops or courses on the subject? How can you introduce storytelling techniques in your curriculum or training activities? You will find an answer to these questions and more on the Vertellen in Vlaanderen (Storytelling in Flanders) website.

Storytelling Castle

Storytelling Castle

Storytelling Castle Alden Biesen positions itself as a centre of expertise for the art of storytelling in Flanders and Europe. Under that heading, the Land Commandery is the motor behind a host of activities that put the art of storytelling in the picture: the International Storytelling Festival, Stories in the Park, FEST, Sheherazade and TALES.

International Storytelling Festival

The International Storytelling Festival is a unique multilingual storytelling festival that is very popular in Flemish education circles and among Flemish and Dutch story lovers. A mix of Flemish, Walloon and international storytellers recount their own tales, stories by famous and lesser-known authors as well as traditional tales. All genres are featured and there’s something for every age category. 

 

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