The program “Practising Change” draws on the pedagogy of Forum Theatre as a rehearsal for developing social and emotional capability. Using puppets for distancing and reflection, children are invited to reflect on the behaviours they see and to try out for themselves better choices they could demonstrate. The workshop techniques draw on the wisdom first developed by Augusto Boal (1979), in response to Paulo Freire’s ideas of education, yet take on board a more contemporary evolution of Applied Theatre (O’Connor and Anderson 2015) in responding to the everyday context of kindergarden’s of the present.
Through the use of drama in the classroom it can, as Stinson (2013, 28) suggests allow exploration of identity and agency as children “investigate how roles and relationships interplay.” Through role plays children can foster the negotiation and listening skills that are important for active participation in society (O’Connor and Anderson 2015, 19, 30). As Gjaerum (2013) identifies, there is a big theme of literature that talks about the use of theatre in social change and transformation – this workshop series is a beginning of these skills and concepts at an age appropriate entry level.
The delivery mode encourages active learning for not only children, but also for educators. As it is a blend between an incursion, professional service, and training course – delivered face-to-face, with follow up remote coaching and mentoring for educators.
As Greene (1977, 287) points out there are in fact skills that educators can learn for facilitation of how to support critical consciousness and thoughtfulness.
Boal. 1979. Theatre of the Oppressed. London: Pluto Press.
Gjaerum. 2013. “Applied Theatre Research: Discourses in the Field” In European Scientific Journal. 3.
Green. 1977. “The artistic, aesthetic and curriculum” In Curriculum Inquiry. 6 (4).
O’Connor and Anderson. 2015. Applied Theatre: Research: Radical Departures. Series editors Michael Balfour and Sheila Preston. London: Bloomsbury.
Stinson, 2013. “Launching into Drama as a Pedagogy of Hope” In The Journal of Drama and Theatre Education in Asia. 4 (1)