Summary: Storytelling can be a powerful tool for encouraging young people to be active citizens. It inspires empathy, develops skills, raises awareness and provides a sense of agency, all of which motivate young people to make a positive change in their communities and the world.
Keywords: Storytelling, Active Citizen, Agency
Storytelling is a powerful tool for encouraging young people to seek change in the world. Through storytelling, young people can learn about different perspectives, experiences, and cultures, which can help them understand and relate to the issues and challenges facing their communities and the world at large. Storytelling can play a significant role in fostering active citizenship in young people.
One way storytelling can encourage active citizenship is by inspiring empathy and compassion. Hearing stories about the struggles and triumphs of others can help young people understand the impact of social and political issues on real people. It can also help them to identify with the people affected by these issues and understand their perspectives. This can motivate them to take action to make a positive difference in their communities. For example, hearing a story about a child who is living in poverty can inspire a young person to volunteer at a local food bank or to advocate for policies that support low-income families.
Storytelling can also help young people develop important skills for seeking change. For example, listening to stories about how people have successfully advocated for change can teach young people about effective communication, negotiation, and leadership. Additionally, storytelling can help young people develop critical thinking skills by exposing them to different perspectives and encouraging them to question assumptions and consider different solutions to problems. This can be particularly important in the context of environmental issues, where there may be multiple solutions to a problem and a need to evaluate the pros and cons of each.
Another way storytelling can encourage young people to seek change is by raising awareness about important issues. Hearing stories about the impact of climate change, for example, can help young people understand the urgency of the issue and motivate them to take action to reduce their own carbon footprint and advocate for policies that address the problem. Additionally, stories about environmental disasters and their impact on communities and wildlife can help young people understand the importance of protecting the environment and inspire them to take action to reduce pollution and conserve resources.
Ultimately, storytelling can also be a way for young people to see themselves as agents of change. Hearing stories of young people who have made a difference in the world can give them the confidence and inspiration they need to believe that they too can make a difference. This can be particularly important for young people who may feel disempowered or disengaged from the political process. Hearing stories of young people who have successfully advocated for change can show them that their voices and actions can make a difference.
Storytelling can be a powerful tool for encouraging young people to seek change in the world. By inspiring empathy and compassion, developing important skills, raising awareness about important issues and providing a sense of agency, storytelling can help young people understand the impact of social and political issues and motivate them to take action to make a positive difference in their communities and the world. Whether it be through books, movies, podcasts, or community storytelling events, it is important to provide young people with a variety of stories that reflect the diversity of perspectives and experiences in the world. In this way, they can be better equipped to understand and engage with the issues that matter most to them and to their communities.
Blenkinsop Clarke, K. (2017) “How active storytelling can promote and develop essential language and literacy skills.” Available at: https://www.ecsdn.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Kelly-Blenkinsop-Clarke-Submission.pdf (Accessed: January 18, 2023).
Ethnographies of Participation (2020) “Youth Active Citizenship in Europe.” Available at: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-35794-8 (Accessed: January 18, 2023).
Phillips, L.G. (2010) “Active Citizenship: Storytelling, Stories and Social Actions.” Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266498430_YOUNG_CHILDREN‘ S_ACTIVE_CITIZENSHIP_STORYTELLING_STORIES_AND_SOCIAL_ACTIONS (Accessed: January 18, 2023).
World Bank (2014) “Breaking the Barriers to Youth Inclusion: Youth Participation, Voice and Active Citizenship.” Available at: https://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/MNA/breaking_the_barriers_to_youth_inclusion_eng_chap2.pdf (Accessed: January 18, 2023).
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Project Number: 2021-1-ES02-KA220-YOU-000028702