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Columbia College Chicago
Story Workshop Method

Story Workshop Method

Columbia College Chicago has been home to the dynamic Story Workshop® method to the teaching of writing since 1966.

Writer John Schultz originated the method in 1965 when he began teaching it in his private writing workshops.

Columbia College President Mike Alexandroff, then formulating his revolutionary ideas of wedding open admissions enrollment with the arts, public information and entertainment media in a context of enlightened liberal education, and impressed with a teen anthology of Schultz's Story Workshop programs entitled Summer '66, which included lively writing of some Chicago street gang members, hired Schultz to form a Writing/English department.

And so in the fall of 1966 John Schultz brought his Story Workshop method to Columbia, where he is currently Professor Emeritus.

You can identify the Story Workshop® method of teaching writing by its structured, flexible format; by its theory of seeing and voice; by its repertoire of oral word, oral telling, oral reading, writing and recall exercises; by its semicircle format, which heightens and facilitates the group process and the sense of audience; and by its teaching approaches, techniques, strategies, and tactics made possible by the exercises and their many variations. Used in class sessions and in one on one tutorial sessions, the Story Workshop method assumes that all forms of writing derive from image and story, from image and movement of voice organizing the expression of perceptions through time. The development of these human perceptual imaginative, and verbal capacities through their many derivations in oral and written forms is always the Story Workshop objective.

The Story Workshop classroom always welcomes the voice the student brings to the class. By voice we mean the words, phrases, syntax and sentence structure which constitutes a student's reality of speaking, hearing, perceiving and understanding.