Burning the Candle Down

  • Emma Parfitt
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Alternative Education book series (PSAE)


Many traditional tales were so long that a candle would be burned down to its stub in the telling. The book’s conclusion summaries the benefits of including storytelling in a school or afterschool curriculum due to its social, emotional and behavioural impacts on the conversations of young people. Thus, the book supports a call for action to incorporate storytelling spaces in schools across the UK because (1) young peoples’ lives involve a multifaceted relationship with story and their surroundings, and, (2) storytelling provides fun, rich and effective spaces for young people to explore and critically engage with their own ideas and the ideas of others.

Further reading is provided at the end, for those who would like to create similar storytelling spaces for young people, or read more about other aspects of story research: such as improving science or maths skills via oral story, the benefits of writing therapy, and storytelling and drama in the classroom.

For those interested in storytelling methods some storytelling session plans will act as reference materials, (1) The Storytelling Space method adapted for classroom use (2) The four “rooms” method: my own creation based on the Bridges ethos of creating a space to learn through experimentation, and, (3) A sample of a Neighborhood Bridges lesson plan, US storytelling charity.


  1. Dombrink-Green, M. (2011). A conversation with Vivian Gussin Paley. Young Children. National Association for the Education of Young Children.Google Scholar
  2. Saunders, J. N., & Stinson, M. (2016). Drama in the Australian national curriculum – The role of advocacy. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 40(2), 113–126. Scholar
  3. Stone, R. (2005). The healing art of storytelling. New York/London: Authors Choice Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Parfitt
    • 1
  1. 1.EdinburghUK

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