The Story Pirates education department pairs experienced teachers with talented artists to collaborate with schools and community organizations in creating exciting, dynamic classes covering a broad range of academic topics. Our educational philosophy can be summarized in the following 5 points:
1. Multiple Learning Modalities: We approach every lesson with the idea that students should be able to explore the material in a variety of ways that will play to their diverse strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds. Many of our teaching artists are also talented theater artists, visual artists, and musicians; we make use of these resources to craft unique yet organic lessons around any academic topic, which not only engage with multiple learning modalities, but are compelling, fun and extremely memorable for students.
2. Storytelling: Storytelling is perhaps the oldest human method of passing on nuanced information, and indeed it is still one of the most vital ways we begin learning about the world from the very youngest ages. We believe that nothing matches the power of a story to make even difficult material comprehensible and memorable. For this reason, we use interactive storytelling in the classroom, both as a way of teaching certain complex concepts in an approachable manner, and as a way of making lessons into engaging experiential processes, in which students are expected to interact and explore rather than simply listen and absorb information.
3. Student Engagement: We believe that students learn best when they are genuinely invested in the lesson, and thereby are able to engage in an authentic inquiry or creative process. This doesn’t mean that we confine our lessons to topics we know the students already like. Instead, we focus on the following two principles of student engagement:
4. Partnership with Schools: We believe that our workshops will be most effective if they fit organically into the learning environment already in place in a particular school. In particular, we focus on the following three methods of aligning our work with the goals of each school, to best ensure that we positively influence student learning even after we have left the classroom:
5. Assessment: We are committed to making sure that our work with students will contribute positively to their academic development. We strive to find diverse modes of assessment for our programs, to evaluate whether our goals are being met, and obtain feedback and evidence from all stakeholders that will help us continually to grow and improve as educators.