Voices from the Field
Learning Through Play in Harry Potter’s World
By Leigh Anne Wilson & Brittany R. Jacobs
In 1997, the world was introduced to one of its great stories: Harry Potter. The masterful writing of J. K. Rowling, about “the boy who lived,” has struck chords with millions of adults and children. Like many before her, Rowling tapped into the power of storytelling as a means of teaching, inspiring, and passing information from one generation to the next. Anthropologists have found evidence of storytelling throughout history, from orators in huntergatherer tribes to modern writers and actors (Hsu, 2008).