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Once upon a time years and years ago in Baghdad there lived a porter called Sinbad. As he was passing a palace one day, he saw a bench in the great doorway and thought he would rest on it. So he put down his load, and was about to sit down when curiosity got the better of him and, slipping through the entrance he went into the gardens…

Do you want to enter the garden with the porter and meet Sinbad the Sailor to hear all his stories? You are invited to join us for a journey – for a journey through the world of storytelling. Storytelling not only for entertainment but in early childhood education and more concrete – to support the development of key competences. We hope you enjoy reading this first newsletter. Further information about the project can be found at:

Competence development through storytelling

Throughout the last decades the focus in education has grown towards a stronger achievement orientation. As a consequence discussions arise on lowering the entry age of compulsory school education. In many countries people discuss curricula even for children under the age of 3. Some say that it is necessary to do so to enhance the opportunities of disadvantaged children. Others wish to leave no talent underdeveloped and therefore wish for an early school start. Besides the two views indicated above, there is also a substantial group of experts, who think that young children gain from play and experience mostly, rather than from being taught.

Storytelling, we believe, is a powerful approach which mediates between these antagonist views, supporting the development of all European Key Competences. Children listen and are invited to talk about stories, to share thoughts with others (communication in the mother tongue), they identify with characters, develop empathy (social competences), by listening to stories and by talking about them, children develop competences of storytelling themselves. This adds to their ability to communicate, to reflect and to further develop themselves (learning to learn). Also the content of the stories may stimulate competence development. Thus competences may be developed in any area......

Storytelling for competence development in practice

The Sinbad partnership in its first year developed a number of useful resources for pre and primary school teachers. Among these resources are the pedagogical framework, the education pack but also a collection of stories. This collection includes the stories themselves, a mind map which supports the readers to memorise the key elements of the stories, the moral but also different competence development activities which you can perform with children. The stories serve as an example but also as inspiration for own ideas.

Have a look at one example story but also check our website for further information:

Filming the elearning contents

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The third meeting of the Sinbad partnership served – among others – for the production of audiovisual material that will be used in the elearning course. In this important task we were supported by the storyellers Nancy Wiltink (Netherlands) and Daniel Serridge (UK), as well as the German filmmakers Nina Mair and Robert Jahn.

Testing workshop contents

product image The past months the Sinbad project was presented to the public in each partner country. Events were organized giving an insight in our approaches and the next steps. From springtime 2016 onwards our test phase will start and people in the different regions have the chance to get involved, test the elearning course and participate in face-to-face workshops.

A first test run took place in Katerini, Greece. Pre- and primary school teachers from all partner countries came together and attended a workshop given by Peter Frühmann, Jaap van Lakerveld, Nancy Wiltink, Daniel Serridge and Sabine Röhrig-Mahhou. The workshop contained information about the concept of competence and competence based learning, the evolutionary origins of storytelling and its relevance for education, the choice of appropriate stories, presenting a story and also the involvement of children in the storytelling experience.

Check our website and contact the Sinbad partner in your country in order to learn how to get involved in the storytelling practice sessions.

Sinbad at a glance

  • Pedagogical background information
    • Competence based learning in early childhood education
    • EU key competences
    • Storytelling as teaching method
  • Education pack and elearning course: Storytelling for the competence development of children
  • Practical face-to-face workshops: Storytelling for the competence
  • Guidelines for organising face-to-face workshops and collegial exchange independently
  • Collection of example stories as resource and basis for further ideas

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