Narration is one of the most important methods of communicating knowledge. In the teaching of history, as in the teaching of literature and geography, narration can be used as one of the most effective methods.
In the words of Panton, “Narration is an art in itself which aims at presenting to the pupils, through the medium of speech, clear, vivid, interesting, ordered sequence of events, in such a way that their minds reconstruct these happenings and they live in imagination through the experience recounted either as spectators or possibly as participators.”
Narration is a time-honoured device for oral communication of knowledge. Narration helps children learn quickly by making the subject-matter interesting and easy to grasp. In the teaching of history, narration occupies an important place. On many occasions, teachers find it convenient and profitable to narrate, i.e., to tell stories, give account of events, recount some past incident and the like to the pupils.
Narration is an art which every teacher of history should try to learn. To be a good narrator, a teacher should know the skilful use of language and speech. He should be able to use appropriate language which should clearly depict situations and happenings.
The success of narration as a technique of teaching depends upon the ability of the narrator, his use of the appropriate language and the way he makes his narration interesting and lively. As a teaching method, narration when properly used can prove to be a valuable technique for creating interest and enthusiasm in the teaching of history.
Suggestions of Successful Narration
1. The language and the diction employed by the teacher for narration is of utmost importance. The teacher must be master of the language to make his narration interesting and effective.
2. Proper sequence of events must be followed.
3. The facts of history should not be distorted, though every effort should be made to adapt the narration to the mental level of the students.
4. Proper gestures and dramatization should be used to make the narration vivid and interesting.
5. The use of proper and relevant audio-visual aids should be made to illustrate the narration. Pictures, charts, maps, etc. make the narration vivid and full of interest.
6. The story should be narrated vividly in a natural tone and in a pleasant manner. It should never be read from a book or a magazine.
7. Children love action and sense impressions. Therefore, the narration should not be mere telling; it should be accompanied by activity, dialogue and dramatization. Sense- impressions may be created by vivid descriptions and presenting events as if happening before them.
8. Narration should be well-prepared in advance to serve its purpose well.
Narration as a method or technique of teaching is specially suited to the teaching of history. Therefore, this method can be very profitably used by the teacher of history to make his teaching interesting and effective.