The web-site is now in readonly mode. Login and registration are disabled. (28 June 2019)

what is distinctive about storyboarding? - the essence

storyboarding - the findings, the progress, the issues and the needs

Cloud created by:

Bill Law
27 August 2012

Bill Law
The Career-learning Café

Bill Law’s three-scene storyboarding is a narrative learning method, inviting both words and images in accounts of experience.  It is designed to enable a person to move on, from whatever the remembered past may be and into a meaningful and purposeful future.

It is the product of a long and wide-ranging development process.  Some key and essential ideas are now forming into useful bases for action...

  • findings - what we can be reasonably sure of
  • steps forward - progress in narrative thinking
  • issues - how these ideas disturb and reposition practice
  • needs - what further action is called for



There are positions - concerning needs, relevance and process - that we can be reasonably sure on...

  • ascribing new meaning leads to new purpose - and that change may be a compelling response to re-configured experience
  • how to achieve this kind of change can be learned - and applied life-wide and life-long
  • it comes from learning to openly questioning the narratives - setting up talking-and-listening conversations

more information:
Examples of Three-Scene Storyboarding - Narratives of Learning-for-living


steps forward

Practice is now supported in terms of aims, theory and philosophy...

  • the aims are for ready-for-anything flexibility - now brought into focus and developed into learning outcomes
  • there is a theory of turning-point episodes - now developed from the interplay between cultural and neurological influences
  • there is an underlying philosophy that nothing is inevitable - now focused and made explicit in achievable terms

more information:
Three-Scene Storyboarding - Learning for Living


The essential ideas of storyboarding show both what it is like and what it is not like.  These are new uses of narrative, unfamiliar to much conventional thinking...

  • it calls on the availability of significant time, resources and partnerships - which may not accord with familiar educational uses of narrative
  • it is designed to take people on an exploratory journey, in search of unforeseen possibilities - although people commonly seek immediately-competitive narratives
  • it re-situates narratives to where people can find new points-of-departure - people whose journey begins in cultural enclaves move beyond them, escaping entrapment

more information:
What Future for Narrative Methods?



There are priorities for action - on developing the programmes, on the locations of their operation, and on the management of their work with narratives...

  • the work calls on learning which is socially-set, is in a step-by-step progression, and is creatively active - which is more than can come from the application of occasional and individually-focussed career expertise
  • working in community-based and informal enterprise, or in the volunteering branches of that third-sector are well situated - able to do more than private- and public-sector formal institutions
  • appropriate programme management selectively connects to ‘friendly’ helpers and stakeholders who are comprehending, intuitive and engaging - which means not relying on institutionalised or policy acceptability

more information:
Ten Propositions in Search of Careers-work Professionalism


the future

So much for the four essential areas of three-scene storyboarding development.  But these have not been propitious times for introducing this work.  Careers workers have been led to believe that there is a world-wide ideal and expert-led partnership model for their work.  Such talk does not stimulate a hunger for the kind innovation that storyboarding represents.

Furthermore, policy responses to national debts are to transfer resources from the public to private sectors, seriously destabilised the professional prospects of publicly-funded careers workers.  These unexpected threats do not commend unfamiliar departures. 

Bad timing may explain why there is more interest than action in storyboarding.  But a slow start need not be a bad thing.  The following features of storyboarding call for measured implementation...

  • formulating distinctive aims, theory and philosophy
  • supporting sustained change through reflection
  • appealing to the authority of student experience
  • setting narratives in a social context
  • using words-and-graphics formats
  • processing attributed meaning into sustainable purpose
  • enabling critical questioning
  • rebalancing the importance of step-by-step help with occasional help
  • relying on widely-linked but carefully-selective management styles

There is no quick fix here.  It calls for a continually-adjusting development, over some time.  Indeed that maintained process will itself modify and expand storyboarding’s scope and usefulness.  This is slow-burn not quick-fix innovation.

more information:
Innovation - the Fizz and the Burn


share in the innovation

contact a UK community-of-practice - e-mail: - or -

more information about the Leonardo project

catch up with the background thinking


Extra content

Embedded Content


Contribute to the discussion

Please log in to post a comment. Register here if you haven't signed up yet.