29 SES 04, Looking for Non-representative Approaches in Arts Education
Stress is one of the most challenging problems in working life and in the world of education. According to Taelman et al. (2008) “half of work-related stress illnesses are directly or indirectly related to stress” (2008, 1366). Nonetheless, previous research has already indicated the significance of arts as a well-being and stress-relieving activity. (see Karkou & Glasman, 2004; Pöllänen, 2015). In elementary schools arts (including visual arts, music, crafts and drama) are mostly being taught as a skill. Yet, in arts there is always the dimension of therapy despite the goal. Teachers are not therapists but they may promote the idea of well-being through arts. All its best, art as an experience – without the idea of therapy – can relief stress.
Theatre is said to be the most integrative of all the arts; it can, and often does, include singing, dancing, painting, sculpture, storytelling, music, puppetry, poetry and, of course, the art of acting. It can be argued that there is an innate healing function in theatre that goes all the way back to its origins in human culture (Bates, 1998; Emunah, 1994; McNiff, 1988; Pendzik, 1988; Snow, 1996; Snow, 2003). According to Snow´s (2003) research, therapeutic theatre reduced sense of stigmatization, increased socialization, improved self-image and self-confidence, increased spontaneity and freedom of expression, and expanded positive sense of self. (Snow 2003, p. 81.) According to Emunah (1994) ”the therapeutic impact of performance” can be more effective than “process-orientated drama therapy” (1994, p.251).
Toivanen et al. (2011) claim that different drama exercises, such as improvisation, improve our interaction skills. Drama as a scholarly subject consists of physical movement, vocal action and mental concentration. They (2009) rise a list of things that steer teaching drama for student teachers. The most important goals are “to increase awareness of the student teacher’s self (mind, body and voice) and of others (collaboration and empathy); to increase the interaction skills; to improve clarity and creativity in communication of verbal and nonverbal ideas; to increase the understanding of human behavior, motivation and diversity in educational situations”.
Although the emergence of arts therapies is closely linked with education (Karkou, 1999; Karkou & Sanderson, 2000; 2001), arts education and arts therapies are now separate and distinctive practices. Arts teachers and arts therapists make different use of space (open space vs. private space) and encourage involvement of different groupings of students (large numbers vs. one-to-one and/or small groups) (Karkou & Glasman 2004, 58).
This study is located in the field of drama education and it is a part of doctoral thesis based on drama education in teacher education. It aims to clear out the student teachers´ experience of stress during the drama lessons. It will also describe what kind of feelings they experience during their drama exercises. The group of participants consists of 13 volunteer student teachers who participate on the drama course in January-February 2016.
Bates, B. (1988). The way of the actor. A path of knowledge and power. Boston: Shambhala. Emunah, R. (1994). Acting for real: Drama therapy process, technique and performance. New York: Brunnel/Mazel. Karkou, V. & Glasman, J. (2004). Arts, education and society: the role of the arts in promoting the emotional wellbeing and social inclusion of young people. Support for Learning. Volume 19, Issue 2, pages 57–65, May 2004. Karkou, V. & Sanderson, P. (2001). Dance movement therapy in the UK: a field emerging from dance education. European Physical Education Review. Volume7(2):137–155:017299. Pendzik, S. (1988). Drama therapy as a form of modern shamanism. The Arts in Psycotherapy, 20(1), 81-92. Snow, S., D´Amico, M & Tanguay, D. (2003) Therapeutic theatre and well-being. The Arts in Psychotherapy. Volume 30, Issue 2, 2003 Pages (73–82). Puig, A., Sang Min Lee, Goodwin, L. & Sherrad, P. A. D. (2006) The efficacy of creative arts therapies to enhance emotional expression, spirituality, and psychological well-being of newly diagnosed Stage I and Stage II breast cancer patients: A preliminary study. The Arts in Psychotherapy. Volume 33, Issue 3, 2006, Pages 218–228. Pöllänen, S. (2015). Crafts as Leisure-Based Coping: Craft Makers´ Descriptions of Theis Stress-Ruducing Activity, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 31:2, 83-100. McNiff (1988). The shaman within. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 15(4), 285-291. Ruotsalainen, H., Kyngäs, H., Tammelin, T., Heikkinen, H. & Kääriäinen, M. (2015) “Effectiveness of Facebook-Delivered Lifestyle Counselling and Physical Activity Self-Monitoring on Physical Activity and Body Mass Index in Overweight and Obese Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Nursing Research and Practice, vol. 2015, Article ID 159205, 14 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/159205 Snow, S. (1996). Fruit of the same tree: A response to Kedem-Tahar and Kellermann´s comparison of psychodrama and drama therapy. The Art in Psychotherapy, 23(3), 199-205. Taelman, J., Vandeput, S., Spaepen, A. & van Huffel, S. (2008). Influence of Mental Stress on Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability. Sloten, J. V., Verdonck, P. Nyssen, M. & Haueisan (Eds.): ECIFMBE 2008, IFMBE Proceedings 22, pp. 1366-1369, 2008. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009. Toivanen, T., Komulainen, K. & Ruismäki, H. (2011). Drama education and improvisation as a resource of teacher student´s creativity. International Conference on Education and Educational Psychology.
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