I have just returned home to Aberystwyth University from a very enjoyable and informative workshop organised by Oxford University.
The workshop was entitled ‘Medieval Storytelling: Engaging the Next Generation’ and is the first step in what will hopefully develop into a long-running programme of events both for myself and for Oxford and its future collaborators.
It was an AHRC-funded skills development programme aiming to train research postgraduates in the art of storytelling. We were divided into two groups. One group was led by professional storyteller Daniel Morden while the second group was led by Jenny Moon, a storyteller and proponent of the effectiveness of storytelling in Higher Education.
Packed into two days were workshops on performance and adaptation skills with a view to performing medieval stories to schoolchildren as a way of enhancing and supporting the teaching and learning processes within schools and to foster an interest in medieval narratives from an early age.
These two days of workshops are not the end of the project and now each participant must to go back to their home universities and make contact with primary schools and/or more publicly accessible venues within their locality in order to perform the stories that they will adapt using the skills learnt at Oxford.
The organising of our own events for schools or the wider public will raise their own difficulties and in overcoming these I hope that by the end of the project I will have developed my general communication and organisational skills to a high level so that I can share my their research wider a wider audience outside of the academic community.
So while the workshops at Oxford were both informative and entertaining it is now that the hard work begins and I should announce that I am now available as a storyteller for schools and events.