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Chilla Tamas and Erika Piazzoli: Who’s Culture Is It Anyway? An exploration of DiE in facilitating student engagement with host culture in an international school

International schools are a melting pot of students from a diverse range of cultures. They afford students unique opportunities to experience cultural immersion in their developmental years.

International schools are a melting pot of students from a diverse range of cultures. They afford students unique opportunities to experience cultural immersion in their developmental years. In order to nurture intercultural understanding educators must be provided with opportunities and skills to develop or change curriculum. The DiE community has long harnessed the power of story, engaging young people and bringing them to newer understandings of our world. Using a DiE approach to infuse the curriculum with host culture story facilitates a common cultural meeting ground, or third space, from which students can explore their place in the world around them. This research provides an exploration of the efficacy of DiE in facilitating student engagement with host culture story in an international school in Hungary. It attempts to unify and apply research in the fields of DiE, intercultural understanding and international education, moving host culture pedagogy into a new realm.

Chilla Tamas:
A teacher, performer and Master student who currently works at an International School in Budapest. She is a staff member for the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) and currently performs with the Szeki Ruzsmarint dance group. She co-founded a thriving dance camp in Transylvania, encouraging young people to take pride in their culture and uphold traditional arts. Her Masters research from Trinity College, Dublin has allowed her to combine two passions, drama and infusing host culture into her work with young people.

Erika Piazzoli:
A teacher educator, researcher and drama practitioner. She is a lecturer in Arts Education at Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, where she coordinates the Master in Education (M.Ed.) programme and teaches within the Drama in Education and the Language Education strands of the Master’s programme. She is also Research Fellow (Adjunct) at Griffith University, Brisbane (Australia)

Tegan Arazny (Facilitator & Documenter)
Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that promotes Young People’s expression and engagement through Puppetry and Theatre practices. As well as collaborating and performing with ERTH Visual & Physical Inc and Welsh theatre company PuppetSoup, she has co-directed and worked alongside Shop Front Arts Co-Op Junior Ensemble of 8-14-year old’s to create the original devised production, The Unknown. Tegan is currently working as Teaching Artist for Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘School Drama’. This is a Teachers Professional Development Program designed to improve teaching and learning by modelling the use of drama-based strategies with quality children's literature.