During the 80s and 90s the Central Bureau for Visits and Exchanges which is responsible for organising teacher exchanges and study tours used members of the Jordanhill tutor team to give courses for visitors from abroad. Many of these programmes were held in Edinburgh and Glasgow but one course was in London where a young American teacher, Kathy Fifield, immediately responded by enquiring about a follow-up study visit. This was arranged for her and she spent one week visiting courses and schools in Scotland during her school holiday period. Two years later in 1988 she returned as an associate tutor on sabbatical to shadow the author throughout that session. This included memorable visits to Denmark.
On her return to Portland, Oregon, Kathy Fifield created a consultancy called Storyline Design that she developed very successfully over the next five years. Tragically, Kathy died at the age of forty-one in the summer of 1994. She left Storyline Design in the capable hands of two very experienced colleagues Jeff Creswell, a teacher in Portland and Eileen Vopelak, an adviser from Santa Barbara, California. They are supported most effectively by Shelley Othus who administers the office and produces the Storyline Connection, a quarterly magazine for teachers. Course programmes are organised throughout the year and Scottish tutors are invited to join the summer institute presentations that offer credit from Portland State University. Amongst these very successful and innovative courses are the first organised especially for administrators.
Jeff has recently written a book about his experience of Storyline in the Heinemann Teacher to Teacher Series called Creating Worlds, Constructing Meaning. In March 1995 he also led a very successful study tour to Scotland for 35 American teachers.
Six Storyline tutors from Oregon and California were also presenters at the first International Storyline Conference in Denmark November 2000.
In 1990 a professor of education from Seattle University, Margit McGuire. attended an international social studies conference in Dillingen, Bavaria at which I made a presentation. She immediately recognised that this approach could be adapted for Social Studies teaching in elementary schools in the United States and has since written a series of books published by Early Learning under the title Storypath.
Storyline has played a significant part in at least two doctoral programmes from universities in Washington State.
Julie A. Cooper wrote on ‘The Cognitive Engagement in a Sixth-Grade Social Studies Class’ and Dr Rosalie M Romano has published her thesis entitled ‘Forging an Educative Community: The Wisdom of Love, The Power of Understanding, and the Terror of it all’ now published by Peter Lang.
In 1992 when Prof. McGuire was President of the National Association of Social Studies Teachers, Steve Bell and Ian Barr, Director of the Scottish Consultative Committee on the Curriculum, were invited to the National Conference in Washington DC to give a two-day pre-conference Storyline course. Ian and Margit continued to give courses in the Seattle area over the following years.