Enriching teaching through storytelling and virtual reality – Times of Malta

A dissemination meeting was recently held at the Catholic Institute, Floriana, regarding ‘Story Changers – Enhancing Pupils’ Skills and Enriching Teaching Methods Through Storytelling and Virtual Reality’ – an Erasmusplus-funded project running from 2020-2023.
Ruth Mansueto, project coordinator from Mater Boni Consillii St Joseph School, Paola, explained that the school was motivated to join the project to continue sharing good practices and pedagogies between different countries as well as to help develop the teaching methods to help students develop skills needed for the 21st century and their well-being, according to the Six Cs of Education for Student and Society, by Michael Fullan (2014).
The schools participating in the project from Malta, Greece, Cyprus, France and Spain formed a consortium to develop an innovative digital teaching package for teachers in the use of VR and storytelling to promote diversity, respect and tolerance at school, enhancing key social skills such as empathy, emotion management and problem solving.
After conducting desk research about the value of storytelling and in the use of VR, the consortium produced a ‘curriculum and methodological guide’ for teachers on how to combine storytelling and virtual reality in teaching methods to enhance pupils’ skills. After the project ends, this guide can be used by interested parties as a tool to familiarise professionals with basic creative story-writing, concept-making and creative-writing techniques.
The partners then composed the stories under the theme ‘You Tell Stories’, which include several ‘decision points’ – moments when the pupils themselves decide what the heroes of the stories must do.

The stories include ‘decision points’ – moments when the pupils themselves decide what the heros must do

At this stage in the project, five of the 10 stories that were created, based also on the methodologies of story-telling of Gianni Rodari and Eugene Trivizaz, have also been developed into e-booklets, are being converted to virtual reality scenarios. In addition, a guide on how these ‘You Tell’ virtual reality scenarios can be used is also being developed. 
One of the project’s next steps is to train master teachers to use the teaching package, and they in turn will train other teachers on how to use the teaching package. Subsequently, teachers will pilot test the ‘You Tell’ stories and VR scenarios with their pupils.
As part of the project, Mater Boni Consillii St Joseph School created the story Rospo with the collaboration of Rita Azzopardi. The story is available as an e-book in both English and Maltese.
The project was made possible with the funding of the Erasmusplus programme. The European Union Programmes Agency (EUPA) in Malta supported the school to implement the project.
For further details on the project and stories visit the project website or Facebook page on the project.
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