A sophomore at the University of Virginia has a great column in the Huffington Post here advising his professors that their lectures would be much more effective if they wove stories into them. It’s a great column and must have taken courage for the student to write.
I love this column. I taught high school English for 37 years, and always saw that the livelier and funnier the class was, the more students learned. I took to heart what a psychologist told me one time: if you learn something when you laugh or cry, it's a "hot cognition."
And the power of stories is just one reason it's so important to develop a love and habit of reading in children. Not only will they then acquire sophisticated reading skills, they will learn so much history and culture and, often, politics and science effortlessly--just from stories they are enjoying.