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What we can learn from myths and legends


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What we can learn from myths and legends

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How can traditional myths and tales help children learn? Is there a place for them in the classroom? In this edition of Learning World we explore the role of mythology in education and examine how it can stimulate creative and critical thinking. We look at three projects aiming to preserve fictional narration in the minds of today’s young people.

For our first story we visit L’Espace des sciences Pierre-Gilles de Gennes de l’ESPCI ParisTech in Paris where one organisation, Les Atomes Crochu (Hooked Atoms) has found a way to teach complex environmental and economic ideas to primary school children using engaging narration.

In one example, the relationship between consumerism and global warming is told through the age-old medium of the fairytale, complete with a damsel in distress! We talk to the creator of this method about what inspired her.

Whether or not we completely believe every tall tale we hear, many of them do have cultural importance, as we learn in our second report form Mexico.

This is the story of one man’s mission to keep the ancient folk stories of Mayan civilisation alive, at a time when many are almost forgotten.

Education authorities have seen the value of his work and have set up a programme bringing these stories to life in the classroom.

In learning about these legends the children come to appreciate the values of an integral part of their heritage.

And finally, we go to India to find out how one postgraduate student’s passion for oral tradition is boosting interest in that area among young people who sometimes shun the past in favour of modern tales.

Watch the video and see for yourself.

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