An exploration of storytelling and story-listening within the context of global citizenship education for emancipatory education

Presented in this paper was one project aimed at providing at least one answer to the question of how children can participate in the process of emancipation. My preliminary research, focusing on Paolo Freire’s theories of emancipation and praxis, showed that allowing children to participate in non-visual storytelling and story-listening enables them to create their own images and sense of the story—to make it a part of themselves through their own consciousness. And the hope is that by listening to as many stories as possible, from as many places and people as possible, children will be better able to understand the world in order to transform it. The project involved recording conversations between 3 children from Canada and the US and 2 adults in Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

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For me, this project was unquestionably more about the process than the product. As an educator myself, I am deeply interested and passionate about findings ways to involve children in the world around them, not just in order to deliver a mandated curriculum, but to foster empathy and a desire for transformative action. The highlight of the project was undoubtedly my privilege of being a facilitator for the conversations between children and adults from different backgrounds. My project ultimately fell short of my expectations for many reasons, but I nevertheless found healing and hope in the process of writing it, enacting it, and reflecting on it.

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