We are surrounded by stories. Stories are in our memories, in our family history, our street, city or country. Stories come up when we meet friends, colleagues, neighbours … They deal with daily life, happiness, grief, anger, fear or just faits divers. Stories help us build a community and gain trust. J.P. Sartre in ‘La Nausea’ writes: « Man is always a teller of stories, he lives surrounded by his own stories and the ones from the others, he sees all that happens to him through these stories and he tries to live his life as if he is telling it.” Also the use of narratives and stories in teaching and learning has been put forward by educators as an appealing and successful approach. Narrative is known to be a fundamental structure of human meaning making and personal development.

In Europe inclusion is a growing issue and communication a more than ever needed key competence. Content, language and performance turn stories into genuine products of the culture they are based in. A revitalisation of storytelling would help communities to regain a link with their own heritage and identity and would provide them with an instrument to better understand each other, this by using stories as carriers of (cultural, historical) knowledge and to practice listening and speaking skills.

Storytelling offers:

– a common approach to learning that transcends the formal and non-formal education sectors and the socio-cultural sectors. Storytelling is extremely well fit to lower the threshold for participation and learning and to create innovative and attractive pathways to the development of key competences: literacy, foreign languages, cultural awareness, civic and entrepreneurial competences.

– tools for inclusion as storytelling is a way of expressing individual and cultural identity, inviting the listener to identify with “the other”. Anyone who gets to tell his/her story and is heard finds a sense of being part of the group, the community.

– tools for community development, common tools and approaches for local and regional organisations to cooperate on common goals and the creation of an inter-sectorial and inter-organisational network.

There are a number of Good Practice of how storytelling can be used in a successful way.