Responding to: Drama: A Teaching Tool for Culturally Diverse Children With Behavior Disorders Nathaniel Bynum and James Jackson
Drama: A Teaching Tool for Culturally Diverse Children With Behavior Disorders
Nathaniel Bynum and James Jackson
This article served to offer me a different perspective on the uses of drama with a different population of children. Culturally diverse children, while perhaps not afflicted with ASD, are often represented at a higher than average rate in classrooms for students with emotional behavioral disorders. This is possibly because the schools many culturally diverse children attend place little emphasis on “providing these children with information on how they can integrate the values of their culture with those of the schools,” leaving these children with a heightened sense of isolation and discomfort. (Bynum & Jackson, 2012) The authors cite as a hopeful practice the growing use of drama experiences and training in order to “enhance educational programming and help children understand the dynamics of their culture within the school and its expectations.” (2012)
The authors suggest that it is important when developing creative drama activities for culturally diverse students that they feel that the activities address their cultural heritage even as it incorporates a useful lesson. In addition, they feel that in presenting these activities to this population, attention must be “focused on three areas. These areas include creating the drama, presenting the activity and presenting the drama as lesson.” (2010)
The authors conclude with a statement regarding the theory that drama can offer a safe, interactive and emotionally safe way for children of diverse cultures to create a more healthy way of looking at themselves, as well as a way to communicate what is important to them about the place and people they have left behind. In this way, it is speculated, the child will find more comfort in his new surroundings, build skills that will allow him to communicate more easily and to relate – with a more positive outcome – to his new surroundings and community.