Narrative Learning

“It is necessary only to be a master of the metaphor”
Aristotle 384-322BC

Listening to a Story awakens our minds.

Creativity is born first in the mind and is stimulated using creative problem-solving techniques. The creative learning process uses colours, shapes, symbols and metaphor to stimulate creativity and accelerate problem solving.

A metaphor is a figure of speech, founded on resemblance. It is not literal but figurative. Symbolism uses symbols to represent meaning. The everyday language we use is often “peppered” with metaphors and symbols

The following story is an example of a creative learning process providing practice in creative thinking and reflection. Gender is unimportant. It is merely symbolic.

The Boulder by Maggie Foster

A large rock

A man decided to push a boulder uphill, and very soon every part of

his being was filled with pain. When he reached half way, he stopped for what he thought would be a rest, but it took all of his strength just to hold the boulder in place.

While he was standing there, a stranger came by and asked: “What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?” the man snapped back “I’m pushing this boulder uphill”.

“And, what is to be gained from doing that?” enquired the stranger.

“I won’t know that until I reach the top!” the man snapped back.

The stranger, with a look of concern, was about to say something else, but the man was already pushing with all his might concentrating only on the boulder. When he was almost at the top, the man glanced up for a moment and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, standing at the summit.

He was so mesmerised by her beauty that he stepped aside to get a better look. Moments later, he heard a sound like thunder coming from behind him so loud that the ground beneath his feet began to shake. He turned and saw the boulder hurtling down hill, rapidly gathering speed, taking with it other small rocks and stones.

A dark cloud of dust filled the air. “What have I done?” the man cried out.

He turned around and looked back at the summit. The woman had simply vanished.

He walked slowly to the top and looked in all directions, but she was gone.

He sat down, buried his head in his hands and while he was sitting there, an invisible voice whispered: “You are not alone, follow the path”.

The man stood up and once again, looked in all directions but he was alone. He looked downwards and noticed that the boulder had carved a path for him to follow.

As he made his way back down the hill, he noticed for the first time on his journey that the sun was shining.

Maggie Foster © 2017

Contact Maggie Foster if you have any questions about this article or require further information about creative problem solving.