Curry Class Note

Kenneth X. Warren

Kenneth X. Warren ( M.Ed. ’04, Ph.D. ’11 IT) knows the power of story. His grandfather, Dr. Francis M. Foster, a Richmond dentist, was known in the family as “the golden griot.”

“He was sort of the African-American historian for the city of Richmond,” says Warren, who has a master’s degree and a doctorate in instructional technology from U.Va.’s Curry School of Education. Two generations later, Warren is carrying on his grandfather’s legacy.

Now an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Warren teaches a graduate course that helps medical educators use digital media to tell stories. “Storytelling is a way of sharing experiences, sharing stories, communicating,” says Warren. “It’s a way to archive lived experience … My grandfather taught me how to be a good listener. He believed, as do I, that it is the listening that values a storyteller’s experience and prepares a listener for change.”

That can be particularly challenging in medical settings, where patients face medical personnel with a mixture of awe, terror, hope and confusion. Warren believes much of that discomfort can be softened by doctors who are more reflective and “in the moment,” or “meta-cognitive.”

Read the full story: “Alumnus Kenneth Warren teaches digital storytelling to physicians” by Tracey O’Shaughnessy in the Virginia Magazine

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