Innovative Education

Traditional IQ tests focus on isolated skills involving literary skills and mathematics.  And so they completely miss the most complex and interesting form of measuring intelligence… Storytelling.


We now understand that there are many more kinds of intelligence, and that they all interest with one another. What skills stimulate our diverse intelligence skills?  Let’s explore them:

1. Verbal intelligence is broader than literary intelligence (reading and writing.)  It includes listening and speaking. Storytelling includes all four aspects of verbal intelligence.

2. Spatial intelligence means experiencing and navigating a three-dimensional rather than  a two-dimensional world. Storytelling creates a three-dimensional inner space in our imagination as we journey through a story.

spatial intelligence

3. Interpersonal intelligence means high sensitivity to another person’s mood, motivation, temperment and feelings.  Stories help us discover all these features in the characters who live in the story.  Listening to a rich storytelling traditions prepares us to be sensitive to others in daily living. 

4. Intrapersonal intelligence means we have the ability to know ourselves honestly and with deep awareness. As the characters in stories frequently reflect our own character, Storytelling is a process of discoverng our true selves.  

intrapersonal itlligence

Beside these four major areas, storytelling also nurtures the other intelligences: 5. Musical, 6. Logical, 7. Bodily, 8. Naturalist, 9. Existential All nine intelligences are sharpened by both storytelling and storylistening.  Frequent exposure to oral storytelling has a long-term and profound effect on children and adults. 

But most importantly, storytelling heightens our sense of identity and self-worth (our existential intelligence)

Let’s explore how this happens.

Family-Centered (Multi-generational) Storytelling

Child-Centered (Peer-Group) Storytelling

Elders and Storytelling (both multi-generational and peer-group)

The American Center for Storytelling and Narrative Art provides training and consultation services for innovative education with children and adults.

Please contact me if you have questions or comments. 

Dr. Robert Béla Wilhelm

© Robert Bela Wilhelm 2017