The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination

The Call of Stories Teaching and the Moral Imagination The Call of Stories presents a study of how listening to stories promotes learning and self discovery

  • Title: The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination
  • Author: Robert Coles
  • ISBN: 9780395528150
  • Page: 342
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Call of Stories presents a study of how listening to stories promotes learning and self discovery.

    One thought on “The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination”

    1. This book gave me a long list of titles that I would either like to read for the first time--Tillie Olson's Tell Me a Riddle, William Carlos Williams's Paterson; or titles that I would like to revisit--The Death of Ivan Ilyich, The Brothers Karamazov… Still, there were times reading this book when I felt as acutely from the wrong side of the tracks as I ever have. Coles is doubtless a wonderful teacher and doctor, but his is a rarified world indeed, full of Harvard students on their way to ill [...]

    2. Robert Coles's parents programmed him, in a sense, to be a lover and teller of stories, not necessarily of his own, as in a writer of fiction, but of others. They did not attempt any particular brand of brainwashing; they simply, to he and his brother's consternation and embarrassment, sat there in the middle of the living room each evening reading the classics to one another. As a consequence, Coles has spent his life not only reading short stories and novels, but in teaching their stories to s [...]

    3. (I think Robert Coles travels in the same circles as Ms. Gretchen from Happiness at Home ugh.) For my liking, there was entirely too much time spent in the POV of upper middle-class white America: lawyers, business types, etc. and almost all (all?) the literature referred to were stories I find absolutely dull, underwhelming, uninspiring. The writer's voice never comes off as snobby or elitist, though; he speaks from where he is coming from. Which is honesty. And he shows a lot of empathy (I'm t [...]

    4. It's been a long time since I read this book, but it made a huge impression on me. My writing to this point in my life had been almost exclusively essay and Cole convinced me that I needed to rethink what story I was telling with the stories I tell. In 1990 I was beginning my career as an English teacher. It is only the stories that change our lives.

    5. This doctor practices literature. Robert Coles has taught a “Literature and Medicine” class at Harvard Medical School for decades, and he also teaches classes at Harvard Law School on “Literature and Law.” He occasionally does something similar at Harvard’s schools of business and government. Before teaching, Coles spent 20 years in the field as a child psychiatrist to the poor and writer telling their stories in his famous “Children in Crisis” series for which he was awarded a Pul [...]

    6. Coles reminds us of the importance of story -- and how it shapes and reflects our lives as much as entertains us. He uses his own experience, both as a teacher and medical student (and eventually a doctor) to show the power of story -- how it can be used with someone struggling with issues in their own lives to understand and put their trials into context, and to connect with the larger world.He writes:“…so it has been for many of us – going back, way back, to the earliest of times, when m [...]

    7. More than anything, a love letter to books and literature, but more specifically, a book about the ways in which literature ("stories") can be its own teacher in our life. Robert Coles is a doctor and a therapist, and has taught literature courses to med students at Harvard for decades. He implores future doctors, and mental health practitioners, to take their patients' stories seriously, and to view them less as medical or mental health riddles to be "figured out" and analyzed, and more as uniq [...]

    8. Incredibly interesting take on story telling and literature through the lens of a teacher/psychiatrist. Coles creates a homage of sorts to powerful writers of past and present and explores the intersections where story, healing, and place-sharing intersect. In numerous candid conversations with medical students and patients alike, Coles demonstrates how our ability to imagine and place ourselves in a story besides our own greatly aides our ability to engage and help others (medically, spirituall [...]

    9. Read this based a quote someone posted on twitter (can't remember who or what the quote was), but didn't recognize any quotes while reading and kept reading, hoping I'd get to something worthwhile. The book gave me a couple of ideas for teaching, but overall, disappointing. What bugged me most were the conversations the author recalled with various patients and student -- no one actually speaks the way he recalls these dialogues. Was hoping it'd be inspiring but wasn't.

    10. I have owned copies of this book for over 30 years and have been giving it away, particularly, to doctor friends of mine because of the stories and the message within the stories. Dr. Coles may be a psychiatrist by training but he is able to tell a story with deeply felt emotion and empathy for the individuals in his accounts of struggles and pain. His literary skills enhance and elevate what may seen like an ordinary tale to one of extraordinary dimensions.

    11. I admit, my reading of this was colored by how little time I gave myself to finish it in time for class discussion, but it didn't really get me interested. This is partially because the point felt very obvious to me, and partially because I don't tend to be interested in reading about doctors treating patients. It isn't my genre and I just wasn't very fussed about the whole thing. Maybe if I hadn't skimmed as much as I did it would have been a different story, but eh It was okay.

    12. Are you a teacher? Do you love to read? Then this book is for you.As an English teacher, I always give my students one chapter to read at the end of the year (sophomores in high school) and I think they're surprised to find out how much of what they've read has actually changed who they are today.

    13. Non-fiction about how stories influence us psychologically and morally; and also about our own stories (i.e. our lives). It's not too bad, although I think Coles told a few too many Personal and Relevant Anecdotes. Also, he referenced a looooot of books I (the Literature Major) have never read. I think he could have told us the same thing in like one chapter, but maybe that's just me.

    14. This book has detailed interviews and journal entries from Robert Coles and his patients and students. Each chapter is an essay on his work as a teacher, doctor, or activist. An engaging overview of his fascinating life's work.

    15. Highly recommended for anyone interested in how stories affect readers. Coles is a psychiatrist and teacher, and he writes from his experiences in using stories to connect with patients and students. There is a lot to think about here; I expect I will return to this book at some point.

    16. The author is a child psychiatrist and had for years taught in the different schools at Harvard. He talks of the "nourishing moral insights that come from the narrative". This book is full of ideas for your reading list. I loved it and the doors it opened for me while expanding my interests.

    17. Shaping medical professionals through literature. An interesting read and productive approach, but I didn't love it like I thought I would.

    18. This was an interesting book. The stories in it touched me in a unique way. He is very honest and has a way to use stories to bring across what he is trying to say.

    19. Examines the therapeutic use of stories for patients to help therapists understand and the use of fiction to understand ourselves e.g. Dickens, Tolstoy

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