The Motivational Tales project developed from discussions of the WEA North East Local Association.  Voluntary members wanted to increase their knowledge of WEA courses and find out about their impact on learners’ lives.

The approach was one of Narrative Enquiry, where out of storytelling would emerge the learner’s experiences and reflections.  This method allows learners to decide what is relevant to them.

The outcomes were revelatory.  By highlighting the learners’ voice, which was often heard but rarely captured and shared, members knowledge of the work was increased and a contribution made to ongoing evaluation.  Learners articulated their experiences, hopes and concerns with true fluency, which was faithfully recorded.

A crucial point, reaffirmed during their inquiries, is not the difference education makes to people’s lives, but how the WEA’s approach to learning helps establish a foundation of self-esteem and social skills on which education and critical thinking can flourish.

Read the stories of the learners and experiences of the voluntary members in the Project Report

Listen to learners’ stories, David and Graham.