“If you were the star of the show, if it was fun, interesting and not like a classroom, then you would achieve so much more.”
After becoming an English teacher 11 years ago I was fascinated by two seemingly incongruous aspects of modern teaching; the need to engage students on so many differentiated learning levels whilst using outdated methods and tired teaching. Initially, my background as a Detective of 14 years piqued student interest and lessons were soon framed around anecdotes and mock crime scene investigations and forensic analysis. In the world of writing, where the crime genre and subsequent sub genres are the most popular form of narrative in all media, I developed engaging methods to immerse participants as investigators to establish authentic dialogue, research skills, evaluation, deep imagery, and intriguing characters. I also found that researching and academic writing was easily adopted with the same crime scene analysis. My teaching became more experiential, and students learned to drive the investigation, experimenting, and building confidence across all curriculum areas. We all learned the secret to deeper and genuine learning – asking the right questions.
“This is about you”
Learning is not just one, single answer. It is about inquiry, asking deeper questions, lateral thinking and learning to solve problems. It is not just about the crime genre either, because every genre asks questions. Learning is identifying that every problem has more than one answer, and that we all ask different questions. Our skills are limitless and individual, and not confined to one single answer or traditional method. I wanted to teach so that every individual could bring themselves, their uniqueness, regardless of ‘perceived’ ability and achieve more.
“…better ways to learn”
I wanted to learn more to show you more. After years of professional development, it became obvious that ‘subject specialty’ and the true passion that drives us disappears. The creativity and excitement that drove me to teach gave way to the legislative requirements and broader, industry wide development. Realising there were so many more options in my passion, I did a Master of Arts in Writing. I studied crime genre, children’s books, YAF, editing, popular culture amongst others. It unleashed unlimited and unrestrained possibilities for narrative in the classroom – and beyond. Why not create video games? Why not get hands-on? Did students know that video games are narrative based? What if they could design a video game? What if they could create comics, film, drama, graphic novels to communicate?
“Crime Story was the logical, necessary progression”
Our Vision at Crime Story is simple – finding better ways to learn.
Our Mission is to engage, inspire and allow you to create.
We believe everyone can achieve and that everyone should have access to us. Regionally based, our focus is just as much country, coastal and rural as it is city. We are flexible and mobile. We are challenging the lack of learning opportunities beyond the city. We measure, report, and provide timely and specific feedback to schools and individuals. We work with you, your natural ability, and your institutions pedagogy to achieve more.
How did you perform that skill and where else can you use that skill? The transferable skills concept is what makes us different. Better. Crime Story supplies the tools. You take them to new levels. So, we created a series of life-sized crime scenes. Real context, real problems requiring you to investigate by asking your questions. There is no right or wrong way to investigate, but you will succeed. Everyone is equal with the same information, and we get to our destination in so many ways. Crime Story shows you the way, you solve the crime. Using real forensic tools you can dust for fingerprints, swab for DNA, run interviews, sort through rubbish, examine trace elements, video footage, pick a safe, collect evidence and pin together a series of your own questions and actions that form the basis for a unique, one-off narrative. Our format shows you how to build deeper, more engaging narratives and dialogue for imaginative writing, or research and evaluate information for academic writing.