Tonight I just had an epiphany about my role as a facilitator. I thought I was a storyteller, but it turns out I am a facilitator of storymaking.
I am in the midst of my data analysis for my Masters Research. I have been working on this baby for over a year now, and in the last three months I have been ephiphonizing (is that a word?) about this experience that I am generating at #WildCraftPlay. It isn’t that I am a storyteller, sitting with a book with these children. I go about my day prepping quests, hiding items, setting items up just right, so that when the kids come in from school, they see things like jars, tools, resources, and even the snail mailbox. Then, when they are ready, they go investigate and ask questions like “what is this for?” or “What are we doing today?”
My regular response is “Hmmm… good question.” or “I don’t know!” And rather than me telling the story, or explaining what we are about to do, I guide these children through their own discovery of what could transpire in the day.
In my research, I am finding the same thing. On the day where I plant ideas, ask questions, state facts, request help, they are all over the next phase, and yet I tend to let go of what I think needs to happen. In this case, I may pack 10 things more than what I ended up using for that day, this is one of the skills required to faciltiate dramatic storylines. In the end it is up to the children’s interest. The facilitator needs to follow their inspiration, follow their engagement, and allow the story to transpire through interest.
It is good to guide them to finding that answer themselves, but only by asking guided questions, and picking up on what they have said.
This truly is the art of Facilitating Storymaking.
Tonight I Googled “Storytelling vs Storymaking” and came across a blog called
The Beginning of the End of Storytelling
Brands Need to Be Story Makers, Not Story Tellers
yes, it’s about marketing… but I was inspired by what was said at the bottom of the blog:
It’s about storymaking, where the brand facilitates and taps into the stories people are creating and sharing with each other. Storytelling is the epitome of the old one-way, broadcast mindset that so many of us in marketing are trying to leave behind. Storymaking, by contrast, is far more fulfilling, and exactly what will matter to the people all of our brands are trying to reach.
I believe children need to learn to facilitate their own story, tap into that which others are sharing and join the movement, make educated decisions and generate positive action. Being a part of an on-going play is what I believe enhances these skills. It’s simple. Wild Craft Play.
What is a facilitator?
“A facilitator is someone who engages in the activity of facilitation. They help a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan how to achieve these objectives; in doing so, the facilitator remains “neutral” meaning he/she does not take a particular position in the discussion.
But then Oxford Dictionary says:
A story maker is: