Visual Storytelling as Generative Strategy for Social Educators

Visual Storytelling as Generative Strategy for Social Educators

Laura Fedeli (University of Macerata, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7841-3.ch002
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The chapter deals with the discussion of the results of an experimentation run in two consecutive academic years within the classes of the graduate course “Instructional Technology” in the graduate course “Science of Education” at the University of Macerata, Italy. The IT course is programmed in the third year of the curriculum for “Social Educators” and the contribution reports the results of a case study related to a workshop activity in which students could find a further opportunity to identify different dimensions of relation among theoretical aspects and the potential practical/applied connotations in professional contexts. The workshop was structured as an experiential learning process in which the value of the digital storytelling as educational approach was a strategy adopted to foster the students' understanding toward the intercultural issues in terms of improvement of relationship by taking a prospective position oriented to the other.
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The research developed through the IT course is framed in a theoretical background that embraces multiple perspectives of different epistemologies: the theories of narration and empathy; the models of experiential learning.

The theory of narration is a field of research that, similarly to the other mentioned and taken into consideration as background of this work, has been developed by different specialists; it is not, in fact, a restricted interest of literary studies. The “stories” accompany our lives and the narrative system represents a primary system of modelization of experience (Ferraro 2015). The narrative competence starts from the early months of child life who develops the narrative structures skills even before acquiring the language skills. The narrative codes is the only code that “works in absence of an own modality of expression” (Ferraro, p. 152) and for this reason it is an amodal system.

Narrative code needs to be transduced in another code (e.g. language) so asking students to convert a written narrative into a video represents an additional intersemiotic transposition task and, as will be described in the paragraph dedicated to research design, the hypothesis is that such task could enhance the empathy present in the reading experience.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intersemiotics: The concept can embrace different definition and refer to two or more different codes (e.g., linguistic sign system and image ones). A transposition occurs when there is a shift from one system to another.

e-Portfolio: It is an online platform used to store, organize and share personal artefacts. The portfolio can be a professional environment to showcase own products (e.g., scientific publications) or a student portfolio to draw and reflect on the learning path through activities done and reached milestones. The e-portfolio can contain photos, videos, texts and messaging options to connect with other students.

Digital Storytelling: It is the practice to create stories through digital media (audio, video, animations, etc.) using video editing software or simple online tools that let the users easily mix media and publish their work online.

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