Monday, December 22, 2014

Education and Journalism have a lot in common

There are a lot of similarities between education and journalism. Just take the storyline and the learning curve for example. Above is the storyline and below the typical learning curve.

 I believe the connection between the two is people find themselves in crisis and looking for solutions. Education and a good story both have crisis and solutions given. How the main character responds in a story can be either a comedy or tragedy.

Storyteller & Educator

Both the storyteller and teacher must master their content before they can create content for their audiences.

I have always liked this illustration for helping me to grasp how learning takes place. I was taught these stages while working on my masters in the education department.

I learned that when you teach if you don't really know what level your students are and what level you are teaching you will create a problem for the learning environment.

The storyteller and teacher must master the subject. They must be able to go to the highest level of learning which is synthesis or the ability to create something new.

The storyteller and the teacher must be able to look at their audience and know how to lead them through the crisis to eventually understanding.

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 7200, ƒ/6.3, 1/250
Great teachers and storytellers have three things in common:

  1. Know their subject as an expert
  2. Know their audience 
  3. Know their craft to connect the audience with the subject 
If you are a teacher or storyteller and you find yourself struggling it is with one of these three things most every time. 

When I was in the education classes I noticed we spent a lot of time learning about our audience. We learned educational psychology which helped me learn how we learn and what we can learn depending on the age of the audience. 

In my communication classes we really worked on the craft of telling the story. Either we were learning how to write, use visuals or design to help get across the message of the subject.

Both in education and communications they both equally emphasized our need to know the subject well, but both education and the communications classes were weak on one of the other two areas.


Teachers and storytellers you both need to dedicate your life to learning more about all three of these areas. You subject will evolve as well as the audience. 

There are endless ways to engage your audience. You need to mix things up or your style can actually get in the way of learning or storytelling. You become predictable and boring.

Most of all keep the passion and curiosity vibrant.

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