04 SES 12 B, New Approaches To Inclusion: Insights From Research
The Research focused on inclusive education relating to the value of diversity, gender, multicultural and globalizing society. The aim is to show how puppetry can facilitate and reinforce not only the intellectual and communicative development of students, but also support the process of building the sense of community in an intercultural, inclusive and democratic direction (Oltra, 2013). In order to do so, this study is based on the theories and the practical experiences that have arisen in the last decades, trying to deepen the possibilities that the device of this artistic technique could contribute to Education.
In consequence, we relate theatre and puppetry with educational field, so that we start to consider it according to its anthropological dimension, describing how this, as a ritual manifestation, bases the values and ideals of a community (Turner, 1982). Human beings need to contemplate and reflect on themselves. Participation in a collective act of simulation and performance of roles other than one's own. (Tejerina, 1994, p. 2)
On one hand, puppetry is theatre. As an art form, it encompasses the entire spectrum of the arts and it involves individual choices that allow one to be able to express his/herself in a collective context. Puppetry is a specific theatrical language, which combines different arts, it involves music, sculpting and painting skills (Chessè, 2005, p. 14).
On the other hand, theatre is representation. Actually, there is not a singular definition: theatre is the ritual ceremony of collective theatre, it is the dramatic art. Particularly, puppetry is a form of ancestral expression and is capable of crossing boundaries of space-time between different cultures and societies (Castro, 2016). Theatre has made the community aware of its myths, values and contributed to its cohesion. What is more, it has proposed and socialized new cultural instances, has censored, educated, provoked, transmitted or promoted knowledge and aroused emotions (Dolci, 2009). The pedagogical vision that accompanies this research is based on the reflection of the role of art in the school from an inclusive and democratic perspective. We believe that, if consciously used, the puppet can stimulate and strengthen not only the sensory, intellectual and communicative development of the students, but also favour the relationship and collaboration in the classroom through its role of mediatory function (Mesas Escobar, 2019). As a mediating object, puppet provides a connecting way with the other who is universally human, improving the community involvement (Ackerman, 2005). We consider that we can create a sense of community when individuals share a history, stories, and moments together. As Minoia (2016) states, from Dewey's thought (1951), we conceive the use of art in teaching as a way of thinking about the world and pursuing that aesthetic vibration that "reveals itself as a possible dimension of knowledge" (Malaguzzi, 1995 p.83).
According to Eisner (1976), the arts can be an effective tool because they favour the integration of who and what appears "different": art in its various forms (music, theatre, dance, etc.) teaches how to develop a multiple perspective, which also influences the way we observe and interpret reality. During the artistic process the mind of the child is involved in a process of discovering the "how" and the "why": by experimenting with artistic languages, we think "with" and "through" the materials, making ourselves aware of the fact that through material means it is possible to transform ideas into reality. Eisner argues that art is the expression of the possible that lives in each of us, and therefore a channel for human formation itself.
The research is based on the Grounded Theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990), which is a “theory inductively by using a set of techniques and procedures to develop theory that is grounded in data systematically gathered and analysed” (Khosrowpour, 2000, p. 1040). In consequence, considering the context and subject of our research, we conceive appropriate to use a methodology that responds to a qualitative approach and is based on a case study: two groups of students of Primary school, in the Italian Lyceum of Madrid. According to Stake (1998), the case study is an inquiry strategy that seeks to study the particularity and complexity of a singular case. As Eisner argues: “I conflate generalization and transfer because transfer always requires more than the mechanical application of a set of skills, images, or ideas from one situation to another. … Some features of the situations always differ. Hence transfer is a process that has generalizing features” (1998, p. 198). Therefore, it is the reader who brings the conclusions or interpretations of the case and decides if they are transferable to their own context. The data collection techniques during the fieldwork were based on the participant and non-participant observation, writings in detail in the field notebook the events in the classroom throughout the development of the first two phases. Specifically, anecdotal recording, audio recordings and videos have been used. In addition, notes have been taken in the field diary not only in narrative-descriptive form, but also non-systematic annotations and personal reflections. During the field work, formal and informal interviews have been carried out with the students and the teacher, being able to obtain information and situations that I could hardly have registered based only on our observations. In addition, in order to seek precision and alternative explanations, as Stake (1998) explains, “we need strategies that do not depend on simple intuition and the good intuitions of «Do it right»” (p. 94). To obtain the best possible interpretations guaranteeing the credibility of the study, “triangulation” will be used as a validation strategy for the data collected. Through other interviews with experts in the field of puppetry and focus group education, other necessary data will be obtained to avoid superficial interpretations and find multiple and varied meanings.
Through the activities carried out with the puppet as a mediating object, it is worth highlighting the possibilities that puppet has shown as a safe object before the different behaviours of withdrawal, introversion and inhibition present in the classroom and that often tend to limit and even paralyze the teaching-learning process. In relation to this issue, we show the example of a girl, F., who has a hard time talking to others, who behind the altarpiece encouraged her character by speaking loudly and firmly. Regarding the assessment of the didactic proposal made in the classroom, based on triangulation with interviews with students and the teacher, the use of puppet in the classroom is considered as a valuable educational instrument to promote expression and communication among students, as well as between the students and the teacher. In particular, the construction and animation of the puppet, the design and creation of a play have proven to favour: student motivation towards participation in the proposed activities; collaboration between the teacher and the researcher; learning through a methodology based on the artistic approach to teaching; the carrying out of activities that involve inclusive and solidarity relationships between partners; conducting cooperative learning activities in small heterogeneous groups and discussions in the class group; From the answers of the 43 questionnaires addressed to families, the results achieved show that, on the one hand, the introduction of puppets tends to favour expression and communication and listening in students, and on the other, to positively influence learning. This first panorama obtained from the first two phases opens questions to continue with the third, which will focus on the analysis of the data collected in the first two, triangulating it with interviews and focus groups with experts in the artistic and / or educational field.
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