Preserving Heritage Stories and Encouraging Students to Pass Them On

By:
Dr Maria Elizabeth Gonzales Velasco,
Dr. Elia Vázquez-Montilla
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In this article, we began with a personal account of the effects of "story." We further explore concepts of "story" as they are found in human development, in culture, and in educational implications. We look at how stories not only guide us in our identification processes, but are central to our feelings, emotions, and even the strength with which we learn. We explore ways that storytelling may be used as a pedagogical tool and share some ways that we have used stories and storytelling with pre-service teachers. Our own inflated visions of our worth may have caused generation after generation to record these heritage stories. The strength of story may also be explained as a genuine concern for adults' teaching the fledglings what has been learned in a previous era. The original concern may have been related to survival. We can ponder these questions and be mystified about why every culture and every civilization since the beginning of time seem to have told their own stories of their creations, their heroes, their tricksters, and the wonder of fantastic tales. Whatever the early reasons were for the transmission of the heritage of a people through stories, it did happen and continues today. Although the stories were originally told and passed down by word of mouth, there were compilers who saw the value of preserving the tales that had provided so much pleasure in the courts of the royalty (Perrault and the French fairy tales); or the linguistic value of the original language of the tales (The Grimm Brothers in Germany); or Joseph Jacobs from England, who saw the interest of children as an audience (Hawley and Spillman, 2003). As the stories were written and perpetuated, they became part of the lives of children and were more important to each succeeding generation.


Keywords: Storytelling, Heritage Stories, Pedagogical tool, Narratives
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English/Spanish
Paper: Preserving Heritage Stories and Encouraging Students to Pass Them On, Preserving Heritage Stories and Encouraging Students to Pass Them On


Dr Maria Elizabeth Gonzales Velasco

Assistant Professor, College of Education, Florida Gulf Coast University
USA

Maria Elizabeth Gonzales is a US citizen, born in La Paz, Bolivia. She did her undergraduate studies in Art Education at Florida International University. She worked in Bolivia as an art teacher for three years before returning to Florida for her graduate Work. She obtained a Masters in Education from University of Central Florida in 1996 with a thesis focusing on Intercultural Education. She did her field work for the doctoral work in Bolivia in the area of Curriculum Development and Education Reform with the focus on sustainable development. She obtained her Ph.D. in April of 2002. At present she is a professor in the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. Her research interests include curriculum development as it is defined through intercultural education, storytelling, and other forms of cultural expressions.

Dr. Elia Vázquez-Montilla

Professor, College of Education, Florida Gulf Coast University
USA

Dr Vázquez-Montilla completed her B.A. in 1969 at the University of Puerto Rico. She also completed her masters program (M. Ed.) in Education, Administration and Supervision at the University of Puerto Rico in 1975. In 1991, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida with majors in elementary education and multicultural bilingual education. Dr Vázquez-Montilla has been working with linguistically and culturally diverse students and families in Florida since 1987. Research interests include teacher education, linguistically and culturally diverse families, and monitoring academic performance of English language learners. Dr Vázquez-Montilla is a founding faculty member and professor of the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. In 2003 she was the recipient of the University Senior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. One of her strongest contribution to the College of Education and FGCU has been her creation and implementation of 5 new and outstanding Internet distance courses that lead to a complete program track for English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) endorsement courses for teachers. She has published numerous articles and has presented at state, national, and international professional conferences. Dr Vázquez-Montilla provides service to surrounding school districts on ESOL issues and trends and willingly shares her expertise on ESOL issues with faculty and students.

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