Posts Tagged ‘Nbsp’
Every week in my Advanced Methods class we take turns reading and creatiing an abstract for an article that coordinates with what we are studying that week. Ths week the article was on a technique called Playback Theatre – the link to the article is here,
and my response to it follows.
Elissa thank you, I thought this was a great subject.
Agree with Jen – this is what I truly love about what we do – the chance we have been given to affect change on our students for the better in so many more ways than just the simple (ok, maybe not simple!) enhancing of their acting skills. And of course, and you are probably all getting bored with hearing my stories of the place I worked last year but as the entire population of the school was made up of high risk students this article brought back of the old frustrations I experienced in trying to reach our guys. I have always felt like I did not do the students justice in teaching them. Every one of them is a child who needs so much help academically and socially -it was as if I stood on the edge of a mountain looking up at all the ways they needed help and could not for the life of me figure out a way to get up there and reach them.
This was one of the main reasons I came to USC and our program. I KNOW that we can help these students with theatre arts, but unlocking the key as to how to do that with students at the level of learning differences we were dealing with at our school was something I really felt I needed a great deal more information about and guided experience with in order to do them justice.
In my view, Best Practices means an active classroom where children are learning to be responsible for much of their own learning. The classroom we visited last semester during Creative Drama comes to mind: the room was chock full of books on many different subjects, and was divided up into learning centers where children could visit, experience and make their own discoveries rather than, for example, sit and be told something and then do a worksheet. One of the centers was special time with the teacher who was assessing the children she was working with as she interacted with them. There were engaging, informational, decorative and cheerful posters and charts all over the classroom walls and even hanging from the ceiling! The children’s seats were grouped in clusters rather than in rows, which made sharing and discussions of content much more likely.
When the children were working they appeared busily involved in what they were doing and appeared relaxed and engaged as they went about their tasks, which led me to believe that the teacher had been successful in influencing the children that they were not only going to enjoy what they were doing but that they were fully capable of gaining mastery of the content – no need to fear the tasks.
I also feel that Best Practices takes into consideration the learning styles of all children in the classroom, and that towards the success of all learners many varied opportunities for gaining content are offered. I see a Best Practices curriculum as one which integrates across all subjects thematically, providing another way to assure that the children will have diverse experiences through which to gain knowledge. Further, influences from Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences should be considered in the creating of the Best Practices learning environment as another way to foster learning, success and self actualization in all our students.
The student’s own views on their learning are a Best Practices assessment tool that I feel is invaluable. I am reminded of the Y.-L.P. Chan article we read at the beginning of this semester and her study of the ways students, some of them very little people, were able to relate to the researchers their feelings about what they had learned in their drama lessons. While the children did not always see the value of the lessons, making statements such as, “We were just playing around in class!”, when the researchers discussed the experiences with the children further they were able to uncover verbal evidence that the children had made great strides in learning the cross curricular lessons that were the goal of that day’s activities. As one student said, “I used to know that the farmer’s lives are harsh. However, taking part in the drama lessons, I got to feel that the hardship was much bigger than I imagined. Clearly, this child had learned a great deal through a “non-traditional” social studies teaching strategy, and was able to provide his teacher with a clear verbal self report through which she will be able to access his understanding of the content. (Chan, Y.-L.P 2009, pg. 201)
Yuk-Lan Pheobe Chan(2009): In their own words: how do students relate drama pedagogy to their learning in curriculum subjects? Research in Drama Education: The Journal of applied Theatre and Performance, 14:2, 191 – 209.
This summer Center Stage will hold a Drama Conservatory for Students ages 5 – 19, July 9th – August 3rd at the Grace Church in Rutland VT. We are already busily planning the program, and online registration will be available on the Center Stage website within days. We will also have registration forms that can be printed and sent to us by actual mail!
We are so excited to be spending a month in Vermont, and I am so hoping to see a lot of familiar as well as lovely new faces in our classes. My Graduate work has opened new horizons for me in the realm of teaching and directing, and I am very excited have this opportunity to bring what I have discovered to young people in VT!
I am this week reading a book about Augusto Boal and his Theatre of the Opressed Movement:
The Theatre of the Oppressed, a term coined by Augusto Boal, is a series of theatrical analyses and critiques developed in the 1950s. Boal is an avid supporter of utilizing interactive techniques, especially in the context of theatre. Many of his ideas are considered as “a new media perspective”, despite the relatively early birth of these ideas. Since then, these ideas have been developed more, giving them meaning in a modern-day context. The creation of the Theatre of the Oppressed is largely based on the idea of dialogue and interaction between audience and performer. Moreover, these ideas have served as a framework for the development and evolution of stronger ideas.
Simultaneous dramaturgy is a technique used to define a type of actor-audience interaction. It is the technique where amidst the middle of a theatrical work, the actors on stage will stop the play and ask the audience for solutions to their situation. The audience will voice their opinion toward a solution.
This approach bridges the gap and increases interaction between actor and audience. It promotes consistent dialogue, and breaks barriers that might otherwise divide the two. The audience now becomes empowered to direct the course of the play. More importantly, a sense of empowerment is bestowed upon the audience: an incredible factor in political activism, hence the name: “Theatre of the Oppressed”.
I can’t stop thinking about the ramifications this technique could have on the education young people in so many areas.
For more information: http://www.theatreoftheoppressed.org/en/index.php
In my opinion Musical Theatre is just as much a wonderful part of what we should be doing with kids as anything else we do. I think becuase of my training and career musical theatre is a huge part of what I love about what I do! Here’s a great piece of about a HUGE project for hundreds of teens at the Orpheum Theatre (sing out Louise!) in Minneapolis…
Tomorrow I will meet for the first time in a couple of weeks with the Center Stage kids for a rehearsal for our Musical Theatre and Acting recital that will take place May 13 and 15. It has been a long break, and I am still not back in tip top shape, but I am looking forward to seeing and hearing what the kids have been working on during the last few weeks on their own.
We’ll need to get straight just who is going to be ready to do what, and make those decisions tomorrow. I have given them so much material, especially some of them! I only hope that we can mold this experience into something that becomes a sweet, low key chance for the kids to perform well, but without the pressure of a big show. Something that gives them a chance to shine, to experience success and to hopefully learn a few things; about themselves, about the Center Stage, and about the joy found in the world of theatre arts.
Or is that DS’s?
Today at the teacher’s meeting we continued our discussion on whether the students should be allowed to bring their hand held video games to school. My position is that it takes away from brain power and focus that should be geared toward and heading into one direction – learning. Not to mention that ther are issues of “I jsut ahve to plug it in” “Just let me save my game” and a myriad of other responses and comments that take away from class time.
Though another teacher pointed out that the kids with Asperger’s who ordinarily would not talk to anybody are now relating to each other concerning the games, and discussing strategies and cheering each other on during time when they are using the games. I had not thought of that, and while that is valid, it still seems to me not to me a good use of their focus, and heaven knows focus is sometimes very hard to come by at school.
The Dean of Students is going to lead a discussion in the meeting tomorrow and talk with the kids – there is an idea that we could allow the games in school firdays, and only during Friday Fun time. This seems to me like a great compromise.