I’ve always been a sucker for a great story. An exquisitely crafted and compelling narrative not only has the potential to impact a reader long after the last page is turned and the final word is absorbed but it can also foster authentic agency.
With the aim of providing students the opportunity to design relevant, thought-provoking stories which celebrate the human spirit, Concordia International School Shanghai is launching a new high school applied learning course called Storytelling Agency.
The goal of this new course is to provide real-world opportunities in which young writers can produce original content in the form of innovative blogs, content writing for socially conscious entrepreneurs, and young adult literature. While learning about these various writing genres, students will conduct ethnographic research and identify potential opportunities or problems to address in a specific type of narrative.
Applying a “design thinking” approach, students will create and prototype organic stories which seek to address the perceived needs of their readers. Students will seize opportunities to workshop their writing, soliciting feedback from concerned parties and industry professionals, until their stories achieve a mutually inspired purpose and desired effect.
It is my hope that this course continues to bolster in students a love of literature, writing, and service within the school community and beyond.
Great stories can inspire advocacy, awareness, support, and real transformation. It is in this spirit therefore, that we hope to discover the potential agency of the written word.
Dagne Furth is a high school English teacher at Concordia.