02 SES 10 C, Studies On Early School Leaving And Integrative Strategies
Parallel Paper Session
Students, especially those educated in schools for special needs, experience serious problems entering the labor market. Many programs are being implemented to solve this situation. Unfortunately their success has been disappointing. New measures are required. The intent of this paper is to explain, why drama in teaching can be considered as an innovative approach for students with learning disabilities to cope with transition from school to work.
A learning disability is the most frequent disability diagnosed in childhood. Moreover, a learning disability is invisible to the uninformed, which is why these students are often stigmatized as dumb, cheeky, or lazy. Most of them are educated in schools for special needs and leave school without graduating (Powell, 2006). They report low self-efficiency and often develop dysfunctional cognitive behavior (Baird et al, 2009). Although the students seem to be interested in vocational training, they stay inactive. It is estimated that they anticipate their low chances of success and react accordingly. It can be assumed that they are going to form their identity in opposite to social norms (Pfahl, 2006). This is alarming because adolescence is the time, when students define their place in society and when their vocational identity is most salient (Vondarcek & Porfeli, 2005).
In Germany, most of the young people seek a vocational training, but only two thirds of those, who apply for such training, actually reach this goal (BMBF, 2010). Students with learning disabilities certainly do not belong to this group. Not only is vocational training scarce, but the employers also complain about the young applicants` lack of maturity to start or to complete a vocational training. However, what do they mean by maturity? The experts of the BIBB (2005) state, "We agree that maturity depends on competencies which are necessary for all apprenticeships, independent from branch or academic potential. …….the focus is on social competencies and serious attitudes toward work" (p. 1).
Therefore, innovative measures are required to support and motivate students with learning disabilities. Drama in education is expected be an appropriate means.
Drama is not really part of the statutory German education system, even though the positive effects of acting are expected to be huge (Pinkert, 2009). Drama can be understood as means to provide insight into socially accepted behavior and the opportunity to learn by imitation (Schroer, 2005). New roles help to overcome internalized stereotyping and counteract negative labeling. Finally, preparing and giving a performance teaches general working skills (Liebau et al., 2009). Although these expectations exist, only little scientific evidence concerning the effects of drama has been generated. Only a few studies were conducted which were able to confirm that drama offers new perspectives for people with low self-esteem (Wright, 2006) and supports personality development and key-competencies (Domkowsky, 2008; Haun & Finke 2001). Moreover, no studies have yet been conducted with students with learning disabilities.
The drama project, Every career starts with a first step, aims to improve students` opportunities on the labor market supporting their vocational competencies and self-esteem.
BIBB (2005). Ausbildungsreife - auch unter den Fachleuten ein heißes Eisen. Ergebnisse des BIBB-Expertenmonitors. Retrieved from http://www.bibb.de/de/21840.htm
Baird, G. L., Scott, W., Dearing, E., & Hamill, S. 2009). Cognitive self-regulation in youth with and without learning disabilities: academic self-efficacy, theories of intelligence, learning vs. performance goal preferences, and effort attributions. Journal of social and clinical psychology, 28(7), 881-908.
BMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Ed.) (2010). Berufsbildungsbericht 2010. Bonn: Referat Grundsatzfragen der beruflichen Bildung.
Domkowski, R. (2008). Wie man Brücken baut. In Hoffmann K. & Klose R. (Hrsg.). Theater interkulturell (S. 111-122). Uckerland: Schibri Verlag.
Haun, H., & Finke, R. (2001). Lebenskunst als theaterpädagogische Praxis -ein Modellprojekt. Korrespondenzen, 38, 56–66.
Liebau, E., Klepacki, L., & Zirfas, J. (2009). Theatrale Bildung: Theaterpädagogische Grundlagen und kulturpädagogische Perspektiven für die Schule. Beiträge zur pädagogischen Grundlagenforschung. Weinheim: Juventa-Verlag.
Pinkert, U. (2009). Jenseits von Heilsversprechungen – Über die Wirkungen des Theaterspielens. infodienst. Das Magazin für Kulturelle Bildung, 92, 10–12.
Pfahl, L. (2006). Schulische Separation und prekäre berufliche Integration: Berufseinstiege und biographische Selbstthematisierungen von Sonderschulabgänger/innen. In Spies, A. & Tredop, D. (Eds.). Risikobiografien, 141-156. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
Powell, J. J. W. (2006). Special Education and the risk of becoming less educated. European Societies, 8(4), 577–599.
Schröer, A. (2005). Erziehungswissenschaftliche Anschlüsse an das Schultheater. In Liebau, E., Klepacki, L., Linck, D., Schröer, A., & Zirfas, J. (Hrsg.). Grundrisse des Schultheaters. Pädagogische und ästhetische Grundlegung des darstellenden Spiels in der Schule, 53-68.Weinheim und München: Juventa
Vondracek, F., W., & Porfeli, E., J., (2005). The World of Work and Careers. Adams, G. R. & Berzonsky M. (Eds). Blackwell Handbook of Adolescence. [Electronic version] Retrieved from
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