Jonathan Olsen and Sarah Gross argue for incorporating more storytelling into science education, based on:
1. Impact on learning
Research has shown that storytelling activates the brain beyond mere word recognition.
We think schools should use reciprocal integration between the arts and sciences to capture [students’] imagination
3. Realities of how science is done
Scientists recognize that science and storytelling are intertwined.
4. Need for scientists to learn strong communication skills
The importance of storytelling in science has been growing over the last few years as scientists work to communicate with the general public and stimulate more critical thinking about important issues.
5. Potential for inviting more girls into STEM
If teachers taught STEM subjects through the lens of story we think many of those high-achieving girls with astronomical verbal scores might be more interested. It sure beats a pink microscope.
They advocate not just for incorporating more science-related nonfiction into humanities classes, but for incorporating more storytelling into math and science classes.
What I would add to their statement is the need to address STEM content substantively through those stories, so that they’re not “pink microscopes” that provide mere windowdressing for the subject, but genuine insights into the richness and significance of the mathematical and scientific concepts.