20 SES 05, Narratives, Photography Narratives and Drama; How Do These Methods Work in Research and What Kind of Knowledge Will These Methods Provide on Topics Like Diversity, Identity, Social Skills and Life?
Europe is changing rapidly and therefore education has to respond to that. Young people in Europe are facing changes at many levels such as climate changes, people seeking jobs around Europe, and new technology. These changes call for a just and equitable multicultural education that helps students find personal happiness and fulfillment, develop curiosity, and enjoy learning and practice critical thinking. Different education arguably carries different educational cultures.
The purpose of this research was to learn and gain understanding of how schools can prepare young people to become global citizens through drama teaching methods. With that kind of knowledge teachers create learning environment that fosters students cultural and social resources.
The aim of the research is to learn how drama-teaching methods can support students in their lives, develop their respect for others, give everyone same possibilities and support them in allowing everyone to be as they are.
How can the teaching methods of drama promote personal identity and social skills of students?
Albert Bandura (1997) came up with the concept self efficacy. This includes individual’s assessment of his or her own abilities to solve a certain task. Self-efficacy must be important for student’s behavior in schools. It affects the willingness of the students to perform certain tasks and impose them in it. If the students believe in their own capability, in their own way of solving tasks it is more likely that they become independent global citizens. Baumeister et al (2003) emphasize that children and young people with positive self-image and social skills are more likely to initiate, sustain and adapt to changing circumstances. Others point out that drama can prevent students from isolation, and help them build up their self-esteem and promote empathy (Moorefield-Lang, 2008; Ása Helga Ragnarsdóttir and Rannveig B. Þorkelsdóttir, 2011; Anderson and Dunn, 2013).
John O’Toole (2016), a professor in drama, talks about using pedagogical tools when teaching, some sort of a teachers helping kit. He approches six key characteristics when teaching drama. Firstly he discuss that drama is all about telling stories, using them in teaching and learning from them. Secondly his focus is on play which is one of the primary ways children learn about the world, and how it works, and learn about other people, by being able to pretend, to create make-believe worlds together that can show us not only what the real world is like. The third characteristic is empathy, all drama is about stepping into somebody else’s shoes, so it’s bound to call upon the student’s empathic skills and develop them. The fourth is about questions. Drama often starts with an open question, one which there is yet no right answer: What if…? And that leads to the land of ‘As if…’ where students can play with the realities they think they know, and explore new worlds and new possibilities. The fifth characteristic is dialogue, through drama new knowledge is shared and constructed together by teacher and students, and the participants reach new conclusions together in the dialogue. The last characteristic is embodiment, drama really is what the educational philosophers dream of – a fully embodied pedagogy (O’ Toole, 2016, personal communication).
These six characteristic, O’Toole stresses, are pedagogical tools when teaching drama, but when examined closely, they can be, and often are, used in other subjects, not only in drama. It is important that these characteristic are used frequently in teaching, however we wonder if they are often underestimated in schools.
Anderson, M., Dunn, J. (2013). How Drama Activates Learning: Contemporary Research and Practice. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company. Baumester et al. (2003). Self-regulation and the executive function of self. Handbook of Self and Identity. New York: Guilford Press. Manley, A. & O’Neill, C. (1997). Dreamseekers: Creative Approaches to the African American Heritage. Portsmouth: Heinemann. Moorefield-Lang, H. (2008). The relationship of arts education to student motivation, self efficacy, and creativity in rural middle schools. Chapel Hill: Pro Quest LLC. Ragnarsdóttir, Á.H., Thorkelsdóttir, R.B. (2011). Creative learning through drama. Drama Research. International Journal of Drama in Education. 3(1), 1-18. Wagner, B.J. (1998). Dorothy Heathcote: Drama as a Learning Medium. London: Hutchinson. Wolcott, H. F. (2005). The art of fieldwork (second edition). Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.
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